Child of a Hippy – upcycling for the kids

Another lovely half term day of being just us. This morning was spent cleaning (I know! Even I was a bit shocked) and setting up the Tesco app on everyone’s phones so we can create an online shopping order that each of the adults can build as we think of, or use up stuff.

Note: for those who don’t know, we live as an extended family with my parents, me, my husband and our two children. This is in it’s fourth year (two years since the major house extension was completed) and it’s been an experience which is gradually getting easier. This household shopping app should address one of the current niggles.

This afternoon, I met up with a friend from an online book club with her daughter (the Internet is indeed an awesome place) and whilst they were racing around the soft play we chatted about huge volumes of things, one being my eldest daughters current trouser predicament. She insists on growing despite being the tallest girl in her class and after this week, she is now down to two pairs of wearable trousers. Bugger. This predicament is made worse because despite loving vegetables and hours of racing around and sport daily, she has been blessed with hips and a bum. This doesn’t make for happy shopping trips and I refuse to let her get hang ups about her body just because the general populous under ten is skinny.

This afternoon, we hatched a plan. A friend with equally tall (but stick like) teenagers had given us a bag of clothes to put away for later. I love the cycle of clothing that goes around our friends, but with the inherited hips of her father, my eldest stood little chance of getting into these once her legs were of the required length. So, out come the sewing box….


The first thing was to measure these teenage jeans against my beanstalk child. The fit around the hips was loose, but comfy (nothing a bit of elastic wouldn’t help).


The next thing was to fold up the legs to a length more accurate for an eight year old giant child…


Then, I cut the bottoms off, leaving 1 inch extra for hemming then because we were going to go for something a bit more forgiving than skinny jeans, I used scissors to cut the seam up the outside of each leg right up to the to of the thigh.


The next step was to raid my fabric drawer for something funky to give these jeans some flare (pun intended!). The beanpole chose some lightweight faus fur in Dalmatian print that I’d set aside for making soft toys. This was measured against the split I had made in the trousers and two rectangles were cut.


The final preparation was to cut the rectangles into triangle shapes to give the legs the flared shape.


These triangles were then sewn into the legs starting at the bottom and using the seam allowance in the jeans from unpicking the hem to guide the lines. The seam allowance on the extra fabric was adjusted so that the seams met at the top.


Finally, a hem was sewn using the inch of extra length left when cutting down the leg length. And it appears that madam rather likes them!


All this without having to face the shops where the poor kid gets miserable because all the clothes her age are for skinny rakes like her sister and I resort to going to mega-expensive shops which cater for people who have a bit of a bum.


2 thoughts on “Child of a Hippy – upcycling for the kids

  1. I can remember doing this with jeans in the 60s just to get a bigger flare..I remember what it’s like to have odd shaped children …my eldest son was the shortest in his class . .until one summer aged 15 he had a growth surge..and grew and grew and grew was bad enough trying to find school shoes for my 6 foot two size 13 son, but slippers were impossible and just to make you feel good if did stop 5 inches higher later


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