Bow-tanical Gardens (Shirt from Pants)

Fond memories — look at that print!

These were my favourite, go-to summer pants for the last three years. Because of my disability I can’t wear skinny jeans or anything too constrictive, so when harem pants became a summer trend I was totally on board!

I bought these ONLY pants because I fell in love with the print. I also bought the maxi dress version in pink, and, if I had had enough money, I also would have bought the jumpsuit!

wish I had this swagger

The first time the pants ripped I was busy painting faces for a swim competition (the team colours are emerald green and white so I thought they were perfect) — a parent had to tell me that they were split up the back. I sewed them back up and wore them carefully for another year. Then they snagged on something and tore a small rip — again, I sewed them back up. Last week when I was on a puppy walk with my friend Alice, I did a squat to pick up the pups’ ball and heard the seam go. Frig. When I got home and inspected the pants they were beyond salvaging. So I decided to use them to fashion a shirt.


One of the style prompts for the day was “bow-tanical gardens” and another was “just palmy”, so it seemed kismet!

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You might remember when I took a too-short dress and re-purposed it to create one of my favourite summer tanks — well I wanted to do that again. So, I cut the pant legs into rectangles, hemmed the edges and created bows, which I then affixed to a simple white longsleeve shirt pattern I had (making sure to measure where my bra strap would hit so that a bow would cover it).

I used the waist band to create a boho inspired headband and scrunchy. I decided to lean into the casual boho look with the matchy-matchy styling, pairing the top with my light-wash denim shorts and loose hair.


Because the pattern has flecks of a bright lavender-y purple, I decided to rock out my Kat von D long lasting liquid lipstick in “Ayesha.”


I really like the whole look — talk about mixing things up and re-wearability! I gave these pants a new lease on life (and promptly went out shopping for new harem pants before the fall trends hit the stores and summer is long gone! More on this next time). Tell me about your new spins on old items!


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