Greetings salamanders, creatures of fire. I’m sure your little elemental hearts are going to be all afire over my nearly-not-even-a-project that I worked on today. In short (yes, a pun. yes, intentional) I broke down and bought some cargo-style crops a while back. I thought of making them myself, but they were the right price and fit well enough. They are mainly dog-walking pants. I like all the pockets for the bags, phones, ipods, gentle leader and emergency energy bar. I sort of like cropped cargos with lots of zippers and strings hanging from them – and I don’t really want to make them. Not only do I not want to mess around with all those pockets, but I’ve never come across fabric that feels quite right. I like the sporty, lightweight stuff that most RTW crops are made from. So anyway, I bought them, but they were a little floppy legged and I did what any accomplished sewist would do. I fixed the flop with a couple of shoe laces. Behold.

*For poor salamanders who are unfamiliar with MacGyver, he was a super-rad crime fighter and lead character in the tv show MacGyver which started airing in the 80’s. He could fix anything. With a paperclip and duct tape. Most of my home decorating attempts throughout my 20’s were heavily based on techniques learned from watching that show and I still tend to go with the duct tape approach before actually obtaining the proper resources and/or tools. Think fashioning curtain rods from wooden skewers, duct tape and then coloring it with a Sharpie marker. Wow! What a great idea – and it just came to me NOW!!

OK, now behold!!

Yay shoelaces! Here’s the before picture. I hope you enjoy the return of the mirror photos. I was too lazy to go ALL THE WAY across the hall to take pictures in my normal spot with a tripod. And I don’t have any magical salamander assistants, so I just went back to my evil mirror-ways.


And here are my supplies. Crops and shoelaces.


Oh, OK. I also used a seam ripper. And in a few steps, a safety pin. Below we’re looking at the inside hem on one of the legs. After poking around a bit, I determined that the hem was just a turn-up-and-sew – no other interfacing or other obstacle for using the existing hem as a casing for my ties shoelaces. I just unpicked a few stitches on the inside of the hem on the outseam (the seam of the crops that is on the outside of my leg.)


Once I unpicked a few stitches, I stuck the seam ripper all the way in to make sure that everything was nice and open. There were a few stitches on the inside that I also had to pick.


Next, I ‘threaded’ the shoelace onto a safety pin. The safety pin will help me pull the thread through my hem/casing. If you’re a sewing newbie, this is also what I do when I’m pulling elastic through a casing.


In she goes!


I’m through! I pulled the ends to even them up – just so I’d be safe from losing my shoelace back in the casing! Now I’m off to try them on.


OK, I tried ‘em on and tightened the shoestring to about where I’d like to wear them.


I tied a knot about where I’d like to trim the shoelace. I probably could also melt the end, but melting off the ends of things sort of freaks me out. I went with knots.


Last step, snip off the shoelaces!


Before and after!


And that, my salamanders, is how I fixed my crops with a shoelace. While I still think they’re pretty frumpster, the original floppy legs REALLY made me feel like I should head off to shop at J.C. Penney (ok, I never shop at J.C. Penny… they may have super stylin’ duds for all I know.) The ties make ‘em slightly more bearable. And, after all, the pockets are stuffed with plastic doggie bags… See you on the flip side, creatures of fire!

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