As I mentioned in my 2011 Sewing Inspiration post I really wanted to make orange suspenders for Calder. He has since requested green as well. I love how stylish he is and that he gets so excited when I make something for him.
I attempted to buy suspender hardware from the fabric store but they were out. I'm not sure if that was because suspenders are the next hot item or if they don't really keep any on the shelf due to lack of demand.
Anyway, we went to the thrift store to find suspenders. We found an awesome pair for $1.45 in the toddler accessory section. The elastic was fraying a bit but I sure don't care, I'm not keeping the elastic anyway.
While I was at the fabric store I bought 1.5 yards of white 3/4 inch elastic and some Tangerine RIT Dye. Dying elastic is just like dying fabric and very easy. You can find a tutorial here on MADE.
Once you have your elastic washed and dry you're ready to go. Cut the hardware off ONE SIDE of the existing pair of suspenders. This is important because it will make it much easier to figure out how the adjustable part of the suspenders should go on.
Cut two strips of your new elastic measuring 25 inches each. My son is two and these fit great. I imagine since they are adjustable they will fit a 1-5 year old.
Keep the old suspenders around so you can get the angle of the back correct. Lay one piece of elastic on top of the other and angle them at the same point as the old pair. You'll want to leave 1/2 inch on the end so you have room to wrap it around the hardware and sew it closed.
Sew the diamond shape you see above into your suspenders.
Now you can attach the back hardware. It is pretty simple, just thread the elastic through and fold over the ends. You'll want to tuck in the very end so it doesn't fray. Sew two lines across, as close to the hardware as possible.
Now you're ready for the front. This is quite a bit harder to get right because the adjustable part is not self explanatory. I tried to take pictures of it so you can see it. And since you kept one side of the old suspenders you can use it for directions. So, you want to put the more minimal side through the elastic.
Thread around the outside of the thin part of the adjustable hardware.
Fold it over so the ends are to the inside. Sew two lines as close to the hardware as you can. You're done!
Be prepared to melt when you see your kid wearing them.
One added bonus is your suspenders work great as harmonica holders. Who knew?