Tag Archives: big butt baby pants

Frankenstein’s couch

20 Jun

It may not say much for my taste, but I’ve always liked the fashions of the 1870s because, not in spite of the fact that they look like upholstery: pleats, cording, heavy swags–love it.

Upholstered dresses, mid-1870s.


Making curtains into dresses, of course, calls to mind two famous cinematic (or novelistic) scenes: Scarlett O’Hara dressing up in drapery to go seduce Rhett Butler, and Maria Kutschera dressing her charges in drapery to, as it turns out, seduce Captain von Trapp. The critical commonplace (“critical commonplace” is what people say when they’re about to use a scholarly cliche) about women’s fashions of the mid-nineteenth century is that they restrict women’s movements as a symbol of restricted social roles, and that the upholstered fashions are symbolic of the way that women were supposed to be decorative rather than useful–in theory, at least, if not in practice. That’s why Scarlett’s use of curtains is supposed to be (I think) subversive: it upends the idea that women are supposed to be decorative by literally using curtains in order for Scarlett to do something extremely useful, when the men have all failed her. She’s performing being decorative in order to get the money that she needs: it’s an amplification of what women were “supposed” to be doing and I think is supposed to point out how absurd that is.

Anyway, my predilection for upholstery-inspired fashion is the only explanation I can offer for this:

A little blurry, but the only decent backside picture.

I don’t know what possessed me to think that this fabric would make a good romper. I wanted to make some rompers for Abby because she has a hard time crawling in dresses, and, well, rompers are cute! So, I spliced together the Sadie Shirt and the Big Butt Baby Pants and came up with something that can really only  be termed a monstrosity.

She’s been taking some steps!

Every once in a while I look at it and think, Hey, that’s not so bad. And then I see the look on my husband’s face and determine that, actually, it is that bad.

She's still pretty cute, though.

I’m going to detach the pants from the bodice and see if it works as a shirt–although, I cut the neckhole too big, so it may just end up in the “quilt” pile. That’s how I steel myself to cut into fabric: I promise myself that someday I’ll make a quilt out of all the scraps. As you can see by the mess on my floor in this pre-bias taped version, Abby located that bag of scraps.

What else can she destroy?

To say nothing of the fabric, I think my skills have not quite caught up to my vision. Maybe stick with other people’s patterns for now, hm?

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Denim shorts refashion

2 May

A few weeks after giving birth, when I realized that I was not going to fitting back into my size 26 jeans any time soon, my sister gave me some lovely James Jeans that she had shrunk out of. Four months of swaying back and forth while holding a crying baby later, those jeans had giant holes in the thigh area.

Snicker snack! I kept the outside seam but couldn’t keep the original hem, because the legs were too narrow.

These came together pretty easily, despite the fact that I was using them to recover from the frustration of a professional rejection. I used a needle for heavy fabrics, set my tension high, and crossed my fingers. It must have worked, because my cheap-o sewing machine survived.

The insides could be neater–but who’s looking?

Mods and notes: The jeans had a pretty significant fade, so I cut the bottom insert from the darker bottom and the legs from the faded thighs. Instead off a bulky casing at the waist, I chopped off a few inches and added a knit waistband, tutorial here. You can see the waistband in the second picture. (Let’s be honest: they look a little like maternity pants. But they sure are easy to get on and off.)

Now I can’t decide what to do about the hems. The long strips in the top photo are for a bound hem, but I kind of want to leave them cuffed for a while so she can grow into them. Maybe I’ll hem them at the beginning of next summer, if they survive that long. She seems happy for right now!

Pattern: Big Butt Baby pants, of course
Fabric: Upcycled James Jeans

Pink ruffle upcycle

21 Apr

I had a majorly crappy day yesterday. A missed appointment, $200 on brakepads, and 5 loads of laundry do not make for a happy camper. Added to that, I’ve had two major sewing catastrophes–the ill-fated peasant blouse, which I was unable to salvage, and a pair of baby shoes that started out cute until I tried to improve the pattern. Mistake!

So I figured I’d do a quick sewing project that would be sure (or, almost sure) to turn out: an upcycled tank for Abby made from an old T-shirt. I bought the original T-shirt from the Gap two years ago for $5, and I was very excited to get my money’s worth out of it … except I cut the damn thing out wrong. I used the side seam as the fold, so the bodice had a big, fat, ugly seam running right now the middle. But I forged ahead and made a casing for the neck and shirred the sleeves. Ick. It still looked very homemade. What to do?

Ruffles!

Much better, even if the third row of ruffles is a little wonked. I will probably fix that at some point.

And a third picture, because I love her expression and because it’s not over-exposed:

The pants are actually another pair of Big Butt Baby Pants (my other versions here and here), so her entire outfit is mama-made. Yay!

New Camera! New Pants

11 Apr

After deciding that we’d be sad if, twenty years from now, all we have of Abby is blurry iPhone pics, Chris and I splurged on a fancy camera. We’re going to have to be extra-thrifty to make up for it (for like, YEARS), so I’ve been mining the nearest Goodwill for “fabric.” Abby and I happened to be matching yesterday: the perfect time for a pants-into-pants photoshoot. I know the photos aren’t great for showing off the pants–we’re both new to this photography thing. But they show off the baby just fine!

The pants Abby is wearing used to be from H&M. I repurposed the lace on the waistband into a butt-panel:

Lace panel on the butt

And then the front seemed a little plain, so I cut out a flower from some patterned linen in the stash and zig-zagged it on:

The side seams were supposed to be the pant’s original seams, since the pattern I used (from the genius Made by Rae) doesn’t use a side seam. Unfortunately, I’m a spatial idiot and cut out one pants leg backwards so that the seam was on the outside. I ripped and re-stitched, and I must say the new seam looks pretty nice!

They garnered two unsolicited compliments at the library this morning, and Abby seems to like them, too: