General ramblings

A mend…

July 28, 2013

Hubby is not a regular swimmer, but we do try and take the Smalls for a splash around, and swimming shorts are really a necessity for this.

So when the elastic in hubby’s swimming shorts gave up the ghost,

Swim1

I was a little concerned that he wouldn’t really be that keen on secondhand speedos, and decided to have a go at fixing them.

I thought that replacing the elastic would be pretty straightforwards, and would just be a case of snipping into the waistband, removing the perished elastic, and replacing it.

Not so.

The elastic is sewn into the waistband rendering it impossible to remove.

I took them along with me to the Big Mend several months ago, were it was pointed out to me that I could just sew new elastic around the INSIDE of the waistband-genius! Why I needed someone else to point this out to me, I am not sure…
Hubby did however then slightly complicate the issue by saying he still wanted to be able to use the drawstrings.

So I duly dug out some elastic, and measured it around hubby’s waist and got sewing.
I computed that I needed to use a zig zig stitch for elastic, but I thought it had to be a very tight zig zag, whichย I did, and hubby then tried them on…
They were no better-arrrgghhhh!
Cue lots of very tedious unpicking.

I then lost enthusiasm for the job/hubby doesn’t go swimming very often/other things got in the way and they got left. And left. And left.
But hubby has now started taking the boys quite a bit at the weekends if I am working, and was getting increasingly concerned he would be banned from the pool for indecent exposure if the drawstring gave out.
So I gave it another go.
And as with most things you put off fearing they are going to be a huge pain in the bum, this really wasn’t so bad, and took about 10 minutes. So if I had just got on and had another go months ago, I would have saved myself all that guilt and feeling bad every time I saw them silently berating me from next to the sewing machine.
I used wider elastic,

I think this came with the lovely little box of stuff when I was donated a darning mushroom!

I think this came with the lovely little box of stuff when I was donated a darning mushroom!

and a very shallow zig zag.

Swim4

I also used the zipper foot to enable me to leave the drawstring unstitched.
The hardest thing about sewing with elastic is trying to pull/stretch it while sewing without pulling your actual sewing-any handy tips?

But they are done!

PMSwim6

Not perfect by any means-more than a little bit of Wonk,

Swim5

and they could have done with being a bit tighter again, but I refuse to unpick it, and they are at least functional for the last month of My Make Do and Mend Year!

I suspect that new swimming shorts might be quite high on hubby’s list of things he wants to get-still going to check out E-bay first though before hitting the shops ๐Ÿ™‚

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16 Comments

  • Reply Jane Hanbury February 14, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I have a mend to do from … months ago still waiting by the machine and I too wondered how to go about it. So pleased I have seen your post. I shall get on with hubby’s PJ bottoms toute suite. Great stuff.

    • Reply Jen February 24, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks Jane!

  • Reply Daddy Fix It July 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I can confirm that mend worked perfectly and there were no embarassing clothing malfunctions whilst swimming at the weekend….. Daddy Fix it

    • Reply Jen July 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Robyn July 29, 2013 at 11:57 am

    The tensioning of the elastic while not stretching the item itself is indeed tricky. Try sewing in short bursts – use your left hand behind the foot to steer the fabric from behind, and the right hand holding the elastic tensioned but NOT in contact with the fabric heading through under the foot. Wrapping the elastic round your forefinger can help you keep a grip, and also removes the temptation to sew a longer amount at any one time than you can easily control. whereas normally you sew with both hands working in a co-ordinated way, when sewing in elastic I’ve always found that you need them to work separately!

    • Reply Jen July 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks so much Robyn. I will try this next time!

  • Reply Hazel July 29, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I had a pile of clothes that needed rehemming, seams mending etc. When did I mend them? 9pm the night before we went on holiday…
    Had to laugh at second hand Speedos- a few years ago we went to a swimming pool on holiday in France with a lovely Dutch family we’d met. We didn’t realise that swimming shorts are not permitted in French municipal pools but the lady at reception saved the day for hubby by producing a pair from what must have been their lost property stash….LEOPARDSKIN print briefs that Rod Stewart would have been proud of! He walked very carefully from the changing rooms to the pool. And we laughed for the rest of the holiday. Sadly, it was before camera phones ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply Jen July 29, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Leopard skin secondhand speedos-wow, he must have REALLY wanted to go swimming! What a holiday memory ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply helen marshall July 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    well done with the shorts-everything i do id wonk so dont worry about it! Just had to tell you i made your ice cream and hubby has declared it is THE BEST ICECREAM HE HAS EVER HAD!so thank you so much for inspiring me!Also do you think it could be done with evaporated milk as ive run out of condensed? i made cookie dough and mixed it through mine and added mini smarties xxxx

    • Reply Jen July 29, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Awesome! Sounds great with the cookie dough and smarties ๐Ÿ™‚
      Not convinced it would work with evaporated milk-not thick enough. But you could always try..!!

  • Reply booketta July 28, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I feel guilty as I am putting off making OH’s PJ shorts, started before our last break but can’t find the enthusiasm to pick them up again. I think you may have inspired me, roll on tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Jen July 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Yay! Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Antonia July 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Love that hubbie is prepared to model his mended swim shorts. Will he be available for catalogue work any time soon…..?!

    • Reply Jen July 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      I’ll ask him Antonia…!

  • Reply Hilary July 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I have had the same problem with my hubby’s boxer shorts! Useless elastic that’s sewn in. I did same as you in the end just sewing on extra elastic. About to do the same to a long skirt that’s been at the bottom of my mend pile for sooooo long. Best place to look for how to do something is def. You Tube, I have looked for lots of other mends/ alters on there.

    • Reply Jen July 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Glad it’s not just me being stubborn and refusing to throw these things out!
      I always forget about YouTube-thanks for the reminder.
      Happy mending..!

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