This is possibly one of my favourite things i have ever made, mostly because of the bright colours and kitschy design, but also i think because it was such a lot of effort that it would break my heart to now not like it! Or them, rather. This was not so much a refashion as such but an embellishment project, of two pairs of plain capri-length jeans (one i’ve had for years, the other from a charity shop’s £1 bin) with the additionof lots of little stars and hearts cut from…wait for it…old socks! All the socks that had been accumulating in a bag in my sewing room, socks with holes in the heel, or whose partners had been eaten by the washing machine (or whatever happens to those poor socks that don’t come back from laundry :s), but were to pretty to be thrown away just in case they could be useful again.
I know, it does sound a bit crazy. My boyfriend certainly thought so, hence the name Crazy Pants which was his doing. But i think they are beautiful! Or at least a lot of fun :p
here are the original pants:
These i had already started to decorate a couple of years before while on holiday with some hearts cut from tights and stars cut from socks, very carefully hand stitched on. They had survived numerous washes which gave me the confidence to add lots more.
These are the pair from the charity shop. I was very lucky to find them, my size, lovely lightweight and soft black denim, and only £1!
Here are some of the sacrificial socks-
I also had some shiny lurex threads i allowed myself to be tempted into buying at last year’s Knit and Stitch show in Harrogate, which i was starting to develop a plan for. I liked the rows of stitching around the hem of my blue jeans, and the black ones had a similarly wide hem, so basically this was an opportunity to add a bit more sparkle! More on that later…
Anyway, the work itself was SLOW, and LONG and ultimately sometimes a bit DULL. But i only had to look at what i had done so far to motivate myself to keep going. Here are the blue ones almost halfway done:
I decided on these to stick with what i’d already done, with hearts on the right leg and stars on the left. The above picture is from the back. Here they are finished:
You can see how on each leg the appliqued shapes go in a sort of swirl around from front to back or back to front. On the black ones i followed the same rough pattern, and this time i took the time to draw on with tailor’s chalk the boundaries of the ‘swirls’. I also mixed it up a bit with the hearts and stars, and used slightly more colour variety (added in some more black and whites, and some purple).
I think all the colours really come into their own on the black, maybe more than the blue. i also made use of some of those sparkly threads i showed you earlier…
All around the waistband and fastening (just following the stitching that was already there) and in multicoloured lines around the bottom hem! i did go over the white stitching on the hem of the blule ones too, though the effect is a bit more subtle. If you can call anything about these jeans subtle!
So there you have it! two pairs of completed Crazy Pants. If i were to do this again i’d consider taking them apart at the seam and sewing the bits on by machine. However, i do think hand sewing helps stop the stretchy sock fabric getting distorted (i am not brilliant at sewing stretchy stuff by machine) and it is actually very therapeutic despite my moaning. In fact, i have gone on to make another couple of pairs of Crazy Pants (though none as crazy as these) and done them all by hand, so i can’t be that bothered!
I am thinking of doing a similar thing on a short demin skirt to wear with tights for winter – i still have lots of socks left!
What do you think? Do you share my opinion – that the Crazy Pants are kitsch and lovely? Or are they a bit too Crazy?! Should i bother doing a skirt? xx
ps sorry for the super long post, not too dull i hope!