Fending Off My Inner Hoarder One Project At A Time

It took a few moments but I realized I have a problem when these threadbare, stained shorts felt like a treasure I couldn’t destroy.

One of my sewing goals is to re-purpose old fabrics. I don’t toss ill-fitting skirts or unused sheets. No, those are bag linings and pajama pants waiting to happen. I’m doing my part to save the planet and resist a culture of consumerism. Or, I’m a hoarder with an affection for threadbare, paint stained cargo shorts formerly worn by my husband. It’s hard to say which is more accurate.

When I hesitated to cut into these worn out cargo shorts because I didn’t want to destroy their potential, I think I was leaning more towards my inner hoarder than my eco-friendly fashionista. Look at those pockets! They could be cut out and turned in to a wallet worthy of American Eagle (confession: I’ve only been to American Eagle a handful of times in my life so I don’t have a good sense of what they sell).

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With all the possibility these cargo shorts have to offer, how could I decide which option to take? How could I limit their potentiality by recklessly cutting them out for a potentially doomed sewing project?

When I took a moment to step back from the situation I knew I had to cut into these if only to resist my inner hoarder who finds irreplaceable value in items many would toss in the garbage.

I cut into them with hopes of making a pair of pants for my infant son. Without the benefit of a pattern, I tried to model them off a pair of pants we already have. The result was comically defective. I had not adequately considered the difference between stretch and non-stretch materials. Maybe if my baby didn’t wear diapers these tiny pants would work as skinny jeans. Even if they’d been big enough, the legs didn’t line up properly. Apparently ‘eyeballing it’ is not one of my gifts.

Left: the pair of pants I made; Right: a pair of stretchy pants that would fit my son around the waist.

Left: the pair of pants I made; Right: a pair of stretchy pants that would fit my son around the waist.

I set these pants (and cut-up cargo shorts) aside satisfied with the knowledge that I had made progress in my battle against the crazy, hoarding version of myself. After a speedy Google search, I found Made-By-Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants. A pattern featuring sizes 0 to 2T (I don’t yet know what ‘2T’ is but apparently my kid will someday need 2T clothes), and a pdf with color photos accompanying the instructions.

Used with permission.

Used with permission.

For this second attempt at baby pants, I cut up an old pair of linen pants.

I bought these thinking they’d go well with silky shirt and flat sandals. I envisioned myself standing tall with wind-blown hair, sipping white wine and engaging in witty, sophisticated dialogue. The phrase ‘cosmopolitan poise’ comes to mind. The reality was these pants looked more like pajamas on my pre-baby petite-pear figure. My post-baby body won’t be fitting into these for a while (if ever) so I cut them up with reckless abandon.

I bought these thinking they’d go well with silky shirt and flat sandals. I envisioned myself standing tall with wind-blown hair, sipping white wine and engaging in witty, sophisticated dialogue. The phrase ‘cosmopolitan poise’ comes to mind. The reality was these pants looked more like pajamas on my pre-baby petite-pear figure.

Years ago, I bought these pants thinking they’d go well with silky shirt and flat sandals. I envisioned myself standing tall with wind-blown hair, sipping white wine and engaging in witty, sophisticated dialogue. They would have a look of cosmopolitan poise. The reality was these pants looked more like pajamas on my pre-baby petite-pear figure. Not sophisticated or poised. My post-baby body won’t be fitting into these for a while (if ever) so I cut them up with reckless abandon.

I lined the pattern up so I could use the side seams as decorative stitching.

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Blooper: I forgot to turn the pattern piece over on the second leg so the side stitching is inside out. As it happens, I’m still fairly satisfied with these pants.

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The pattern promised ample room for a diapered baby butt. I added pocked and a fake fly to make them look like miniature ‘real’ pants.
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Next time: I’ll practice getting the pockets at the right angle so they can be symmetrical. For now, I’ll call them ‘artisan pockets’ because labeling something ‘artisan’ covers a multitude of discrepancies. I love words.

2 thoughts on “Fending Off My Inner Hoarder One Project At A Time

  1. Kady Boden

    I have made the same stretchy vs not stretchy mistake. It was on a pair of pyjama pants so I conveniently added a few inches of fabric to each side seam. I called them expand-o-pants

    Reply
    1. Michelle Post author

      Good idea! If the practice pants were a little less wonky (if the crotch lined up better and they were high enough to make a waist band) I’d give that a try.

      Reply

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