Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tutorial - Easy Pants or Shorts for Boys or Girls

It's been a little while since I've done some sewing that wasn't for a paying customer or a gift... so I decided to sew Miss Daisy a little pair of light summer pants! And just had to add ruffles to the bottom!

I've been hitting the local op-shops a little more of late. It's been a few months since I've gone and I was pleasantly surprised. Miss Daisy was delighted to find some 'licensed' toys that were from programs on TV and books she's been reading! All for 50c or $1.00, a fraction of their original price I'm sure!

Oh, and I found myself the most delightful knitted blanket, ready for our move soon to a slightly cooler climate! It made a lovely addition around the campfire on our recent camping trip!

Another great find were some vintage bed sheets and pillow cases. I always peruse the linen section in the hope of finding some cute fabric or retro print that would be perfect for a future sewing project. Well, let's face it, it would probably join all the other thrifted bed sheets in my sewing cupboard, but they eventually get a new purpose in life!

This one I loved. Such a feminine pattern, so I decided that I'll sew a few projects over the next week or so and use up the whole sheet! (Stay tuned!)

My first project to repurpose this vintage bed sheet is this cute pair of ruffled pants for Miss Daisy. This pattern could easily be adapted for little boys and I see a future of adding cute pockets and other trim! It was so easy I decided I'd put up a little tutorial - go on - make some, they're easy AND addictive!


1. Make your own pattern: Find a pair of pants which are a good fit for your child. Fold them in half and lay against the fold on your fabric. Leave around 1/2" seam allowance on each side and trace around the pants (you could do it onto paper to keep the pattern for next time!) Remember to stretch out the elastic at the top to get the full waist measure. Cut your piece from your fabric.

You will need to cut out another identical piece on the fold. Leaving you with two identical pieces. 

2. Pin and Sew: Open out and lay your two pieces together (right sides facing each other) and pin down the top curved edge on both sides. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance and overlock or zig zag stitch to secure. (Click on pictures to zoom in)

3. Pin and Sew: Still with right sides facing bring your pant legs together and your seam to the middle (as shown). (They'll look a lot more like pants, that should be a giveaway!) Pin the inside legs and sew/overlock edge again using a 1/4" seam allowance.

 4. (Optional) Ruffled Ankle Trim: If you're making them for a little boy you can hem the bottom of your legs by simply folding over one edge about 1/4" and press then fold over and press again to create the bottom hem and press flat with a hot iron. Then continue to making the elastic casing for the waistband.

If you're making a pair of pants for your little girl what better way to finish than with a ruffled anklet! You will need to cut off a little of the length on your pants to allow for the extra length in the ruffle (Ask me why I know this! *afterthought* The joys of making up a pattern as you go!)

Cut two pieces of your fabric about 1 1/2 times the length of the ankle opening of your pants. I made mine about 3 inches wide with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Fold over one edge about 1/4" and press then fold over and press again to create the bottom hem and press flat with a hot iron.

5. Top Stitch: On the right side of fabric, top stitch the hem in place. (I did a double stitch in an accenting blue cotton)

Once top stitched, fold in half and join ends together with right sides facing. Sew together to create a band. (see picture below)

6. Basting Stitch/Ruffle: Without backstitching at the start or finish sew a basting stitch (longest stitch setting) around the top of your anklet piece. Leave cotton on both ends to pull and create your ruffle. 

 7. Sew anklet and pants together: The picture (above right) will help you here. With your anklet piece inside out and your pants right side out (so right sides together) match up your edges and pin. Sew/overlock to piece together. Repeat on other leg. Turn down and iron if desired. I like it left un-ironed as it ruffles out better that way!

Let's pause to re-direct Miss Daisy to her felt board and then carry on quickly with the pants! (See the cute drawstring bag I made for it out of an old t-shirt!)

8. Casing and Elastic: Turn pants inside out and fold down 1 1/2" from the top to create a casing for the elastic, leaving a small opening for threading your elastic through.
Attach a pin to one end of your elastic (and hold onto the other end!) and thread it through your casing until it pops out the other end. Remove pin and sew ends together and then sew up remaining gap in casing. (I put the elastic around Miss Daisy's waist loosely end to end then cut it about 2" shorter to get a good length of  elastic.)

And there you have it! A completed pair of ruffled pants!  

My little super model was having a bit of an off day - but you get the idea! 
Some nice light summer pants! I can also picture these in some fleece for winter or that cooler climate I was talking about earlier! 

Let me know if you make a pair! I'd love to see your pictures! 

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