I am in a terrible state for clothes again, and having a will to use some sense rather than buy more on credit, I’ve gone combing through the fallow piles that I’ve gathered and not tossed over the past year. A pair of Miss Sixty pants, too small for me, given by a friend, another pair of pants I’ve worn out the seams on and needing repair on the waistband, a pair of checked slacks for work that unfortunately met the teeth of a very medium-sized, caramel-coloured rodent, ditto with a pair of purple cords. Pants are in limited supply right now, and so I went to the Grande Bibliotheque and found this book: Mend it!

What competencies we have lost by coming to rely upon cheaply made clothes in a whirlwind of fashion demands! Yet Canadian design is poorly supported, quite possibly because of this loss of competency. Canadians go for the established name brands, and not the new designers with interesting ideas. Having interesting ideas comes not from an image, but the skill to create something out of fabric. If you’ve never created something out of fabric before, how can you evaluate the idea, or fully appreciate the workmanship that goes into your workaday wardrobe?

Regardless of whether fashion is your thing, well-made clothes never go out of style, given that they are amenable to alterations. Most of us have to alter the pants we buy, anyway – shortening and hemming the legs, tucking a too-loose waistband especially on mid-rise (the best rise, nonetheless) pants; lately with stovepipe legs being in fashion, tapering your jeans and pants is necessary – even with the unfortunate side effects of making most legs appear short and butts appear either big or completely flat (and later on, increasing the wear at the knees).

I digress. I have now read up on the techniques to repair my checked pants, and will tackle that next week. But first I’ll tell you about the project I started last week:

I have split the inseams of a pair of khaki pants and hand-stitched them together in the form of a skirt. I then pinned an upward tuck, the name of which I don’t know (signifying a new skill to learn) so that it lies nicely over my behind rather than cling as pants are supposed to do. Once that is hand-stitched and the skirt is gently laundered and ironed, I will finish the inside edges on a machine and restitch over my handwork and finish the kick-pleat, which is not at risk of needing an adjustment.

Then, I may have to pick apart the waistband, reinforce it with new tape, and restitch the edge. Then iron it, try it on, and make little adjustments until the skirt is satisfactory, and then finish the seams.

As pants make for a mighty long skirt, I have a couple of styling options to use that will make the skirt a business/casual length, without cutting the fabric. It’s unfortunate I can’t show you the Before, but when it’s done, I’ll post the after.