Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pink pants into shorts, again!

New Year's Eve is supposed to be a happy occasion, but tragedy struck when I realized I had forgotten to bring mascara to the hotel. Forgetting my mascara is actually something I do annoyingly often, but for NYE, the bar is set a little too high to rock the eyeliner-only look. So I decided to run (not walk; I needed my exercise) to the Safeway down the road and hope I could find a tube on the cheap. An even bigger tragedy struck when I failed to see a curb in the middle of the road, tripped over it, and tumbled to my doom. This was a fairly serious accident—my purse went flying (but miraculously stayed closed), I ripped a hole in the palm of my glove as I landed, and I really clobbered my left knee (weeks later, it still hurt when I moved it most ways), but the real victim here was my pants.

My beautiful pink pants! The gloriously comfortable ones that also happened to be such an unobtrusive shade that they went with almost everything while simultaneously not being a boring neutral! The flattering pink pants that happened to make my lower half look great! Let us take a moment to remember those pants, since I won't ever be wearing them again: Here they are with a brown sweater dress. Here they are paired ingeniously with purple and red.

When I arose from the asphalt, trying to get my bearings and avoid eye contact with a nearby driver, I saw, on the knee of my pants, a gaping hole bordered with streaks of tar.

Woe is me.
Thusly mangled, the pants were good for only one thing: refashioning. I considered trying to make them into a skirt, but I wasn't sure if I had enough undamaged fabric, and I had happened to retire my only pair of pink shorts this past summer, so I thought I might as well make them into some shorts. Here's how I did it.

First I tried them on in the mirror to get a feel for how short I wanted them. One of my favorite features of these pants was the angled pockets with the zippers. I wanted to make sure my new shorts really played up those features. I felt like the best way to do that would be to allow the pointed edge of the pockets hang down below the bottom hem of the shorts.
Then I cut them into the approximate shape.
I chalked a line on the inside where I thought the bottom hem should be—a place where it would intersect the pockets at a distinctive angle.
Then I chalked a similar line (just a really rough guide) on the backside.
Then I cut the shorts down so that I only had a centimeter of allowance for the bottom hem.

I never use pinking shears any more, and this project reminded me why. My shears are so old and dull, they were basically tearing the fabric instead of cutting it, so after struggling my way through a few inches, I went back to straight scissors.
At some point here I made a mistake (I think I misjudged the thickness of the crotch seam, or cut on a guideline without adding a seam allowance), so I had to shorten the legs, resulting in a pair of dangerously short shorts.

But, ignoring that minor issue, I went ahead and stitched the bottom hem. I did not stitch over the pockets, because the seams there were already so perfect, and I didn't have matching thread.
So I decided to glue down the excess fabric around the pocket area. This is something I've never tried before. I used some Loctite vinyl, fabric, & plastic glue I had from Home Depot.
The directions said to glue both pieces that are to be attached, so here's a close-up of the gluing process.

Warning! This stuff smells strongly like rum for some reason, so I don't recommend performing this activity if you have a hangover!
The directions also said to tape the two pieces together until the glue had set (after 2 hours), so I did that.

I used a binder clip at the tip of the pocket, where I needed extra strength to hold together several layers of folded fabric.

All done! I finished the project in January and waited anxiously (for 3 full months!) for the weather to be agreeable enough to wear a pair of shorts. I finally broke them out for the first time on Friday night, in this black and pink ensemble (also the first time I've taken the scarf out in public!).

After one wear and zero washes, the glue on the hems is already coming undone, so I do not recommend using Loctite fabric glue for all your Fashion DIY needs!

1 comment:

  1. I love the assymetrical hem from the pockets!! Looks rad. You could try some iron-on hemming tape to refinish your glue-ey hem?