Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sew Tutorial - Toddler Pants

Looking back through the last few week's worth of posts, I realized I've neglected the crafty side of my blog. Poor A Grey is having some acid reflux problems which are impeding my creative process. But today, I found the pictures for this tutorial, so I thought I'd share.

In preparation for potty training boot camp, I sewed pants for Gwenny out of an abandoned wool shirt of Tim's. If you can find an 100% wool shirt at a thrift store (especially if it's Smartwool), by all means, use that to make wonderful moisture wicking pants that can be used to contain accidents during potty training (retail between $40 and $70). By washing the wool sweater in hot water and machine drying, it will felt - perfect for overnight protection.

If wool shirts are scarce, this also works with jersey/interlock/abandoned t-shirts. I realize that little girl pants only cost about $4 on sale at Target, but they cost about $0.10 to make out of an old t-shirt or $1 out of a cute patterned interlock. Having control over the fit is especially helpful for me as Gwenny has the Ellis "big booty with short legs" build which is only compounded by the cloth diaper.

So, here it goes... Toddler Pants Tutorial

You will need:
1 old wool sweater or 1 t shirt (can get two pairs out of a large) or a 1/3 yard of stretch fabric (jersey, interlock)
18" of 1/4" baby elastic
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine with zig zag stitch

The easiest way to start is to take a pair of pants that already fits and use it to create your pattern. However, you can look at the picture below for the basic shape if you're brave.

Stretchy pants are made out of 4 pieces of fabric: left front, right front (mirror images) and left rear, right rear (mirror images). The only difference between the front and rear pieces is the measurement from the inseam (crotch) to the waist band along the center seam. The rear pieces are taller to accommodate booty and diaper.

Here is the basic shape, shown on top of the pants, so you can see how it lays:

After you have traced the general shape front and back (don't worry about left and right - we'll take care of that in the next step), you will need to add in your seam allowances. On the side- and in-seams, a 1/2" will do (none of these materials fray, so you will not need to use french seams but you could serge). For the cuff, add 1". At the waist, add 1 1/2" to accommodate the elastic band.  Also, if you want to size up, add a 1/2" to all edges per size increase. This is also the time to adjust to your child's build (i.e. I made the center seam in the back a little longer and left the legs a little shorter for G; exact opposite for long and lean Baby A).

Fold the fabric in half (a t-shirt/sweater is already folded). Lay out the pieces as shown. 

You will cut through both layers of fabric, creating 2 sets of mirror images (left and right) for a total of 4 pieces.

Here comes the sewing (about 30 minutes worth):
Pin and sew the front pieces together along the center seam, wrong side (WS) to WS. This will create one piece of fabric for the front of the pants.
Do the same with the rear pieces.
Iron the seams flat.

Pin and sew the two inseams together WS to WS taking care that the center seams of both pieces are lined up.

Pin and sew the outside seams together on both leg pieces. Your pants should be taking shape now.

Hem the legs by rolling the cuffs 1/2" then ironing. Repeat the 1/2" roll. Iron again and sew around the cuff.

For the waist band, roll waist band 1/2". Iron and sew with a zig zag stitch. Fold again 1". Iron and sew  using a zig zag stitch. Leave a 1/2" gap to insert your elastic band.

Insert elastic into waistband (if you've never done this, attach a safety pin at one end of the elastic, push it through the fabric channel and inch it along until you've pushed it all the way through). Adjust the length to cinch the waist slightly (you're just removing any gaps, not holding up the pants). Tack down the elastic with a close zig zag stitch on both ends. Then finish the waist band by sewing the 1/2" opening closed.

Turn right side out and iron. They're ready for a crawl around the nursery floor.

Playing outside in her pink pants

P.S. You can use the same technique to create yoga pants for Mommy too. Check out this tutorial to see how.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your thoughts are important. I love to read them.


Related Posts with Thumbnails