Monday, February 01, 2010

homemade monday: trousers from a shirt

when i spent a year in india i had the good fortune of attending the dalai lama's spring teachings. every morning i'd arrive bright and early and sit in the same spot surrounded by the same people. we'd situate ourselves on our zafus, sip steaming milk butter tea poured by the monks, and communicate with one another, whether it be with words or with eye contact, for not everyone attending spoke the same language. by the end of the teachings, i'd gotten to know my neighbors pretty well. two of my neighbors were an american girl and an english chap. we used to joke about the differences in american and british usages of the english language. one day our british friend told us with a laugh that in england, pants is a term for underwear. from that time on, i've tried my best to stick with the word trousers to refer to the long coverings we wear on our legs!

this weekend i used a thrifted striped shirt to sew up some trousers for tristan. the directions are in amanda soule's the creative family. i left lots of room for growth, but was generally pleased with the result.

there was some left over bits of shirt, including two perfectly formed thin pointy triangles between the area where the trousers had been cut.

so i made a hat from the same fabric for tristan.

and one for iris.

whether a poem, a collage, a piece of handwork, a baked good or a clean corner in your home, it's always a relief to have created something by monday!


Maria said...

I LOVE these pants! I see how you do it, but what do you do about the elastic top... do you just cut a few inches out to allow for the gathering at the top?

zoe krylova said...

hi maria, the instructions are in amanda soule's book, the creative family (a really nice book). when you cut out the pants, leave an extra 2.5 inches at the top (in length, not width) for the waistband.

elastic should be 3/4 inch wide, and measured 1 inch larger than child's waist.

to make the waistband, fold down 1/4 inch from the top and press. fold down another inch and press again. sew that part down, very close to the fold, and leave a 2 inch opening. insert the elastic and pull through with a big safety pin. sew the elstic together where the ends meet and then sew the opening closed.

they are super easy!

Maria said...

Sweet! Thanks! I'm now on a hunt for crazy shirts to make pants from! Good Will, here I come!