Thursday, January 26

Queen of the Quick Fix

I've done a bit of self-reflection this morning. I was prepared to tell you that I've discovered that I am actually a Suzy Homemaker. But in examining the facts, I have realized that I'm something a bit less glamorous--a quick fixer. This is a well-established pattern for me that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. We'll be seeing with the latest project I've just finished...

I just hemmed a pair of Caroline's pants. Well, to be accurate, hemming would entail using measuring tape, scissors, needle/thread and perhaps a sewing machine. I only used the scissors out of that list, so I guess "shortened" would be the truth. I bought Caroline 2 pair of pants that fit perfectly except they each were about six inches too long. Normally I don't do this because I realize if something can't be fixed quickly, I'll never do it, but we were desperate. Finding somebody to do thejob is NOT a quick fix. First you have to locate somebody available, then take the pants with the kid for fitting, then pick them up when they are finished. Instead, they have been sitting at home not being worn. But Caroline kept asking to wear them so in my normal style of self-confidence I figured it can't be rocket science to fix a pair of pants.

My process: I took the two pair of pants, and laid them side by side. One was much longer than the other. I "measured" how long Caroline's legs were with the automatic built-in measuring tape in the front of my head (frequently called eyeballs) and estimated how much needed to be taken off the shorter pair of pants. This part was especially tricky because Caroline was at school. I turned them inside out, folded the cuff to the precise measurement I had estimated and plugged in the iron. While the iron heated up, I rooted around my closet for a little bottle called "Patch Attach". I discovered this quick fix when Caroline needed Brownie patches "sewn" on her Brownie sash. I gave a generous slathering of glue to the underside of the cuff and let it set a minute (according to the directions). I then set the iron on the cuff and left it there, taking it off just before the scorching point. I laid the other pant leg on top of the finished one to see how much to fold under and repeated the whole process. When I turned them right-side out, wah-lah--it looked pretty good.

The second pair of pants was a little harder. Not only did they start out quite a bit longer, now that the first pair was shortened, there would be too much cuff to fold under (see, there is some calculating going on). So I laid the finished pair of pants on top of the ones to be done and took scissors and hacked off some of the excess. Then I repeated the whole process and came out with 2 pairs of pants that were relatively the same length.

The real test was when Caroline got home, I found that my measuring system worked pretty well. And the bonus is, I'll probably get really good at this shortening thing, because I'm guessing I'll get to re-glue the pants each time they go through the wash!

PS--I have an appointment in February with John's aunt to actually learn how to properly hem a pair of pants.

1 of Your THINKS:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen, I just loved this post, a woman after my very own heart. Sad to say, I haven't a clue how to hem a pair of britches! I actually inherited a pair of Kristy’s hand-me-down sweats and literally cut the bottoms off so I could wear them to the gym.
- Debbie S