Thursday, December 24, 2009
Well this is a little later than I planned to post this...but apparently I am losing my mind because I thought I already did. haha Welcome to Christmas craziness at my house!!Start out with an existing pair of pants that fits your child/adult or one just a bit bigger if you want them to grow into it. I used newspaper print to make my pattern (which I discussed the many fab uses for here). So just lay your pants on the paper and trace around it. Be sure to add an extra 1/4" or 1/2" for your seam allowance. If you forget to do this, just add it when you cut the fabric out. When you trace around the pants, be sure to fold it as close to the original seam as you can. Also, make sure you do the front side and the back side. They may vary a bit.
Lay your pattern pieces on your fabric. Be sure you are laying it with the grain of the fabric, aka parallel to the selvage edge. That way it will be stronger and will give it a little more stretch. Plus it just doesn't lay right if you don't. Trust me on this one.
Pin it to your fabric so it doesn't slide around too much and if you cut it out with the fabric folded in half, you will be able to get both right and left front pieces and both right and left back pieces out of it.
Less cutting time equals more sewing time! Plus it just makes sense to do it all at once.
Now take your two front pieces and line up the right sides of the fabric together. The right sides of the fabric is where the print is. Go ahead and pin this to keep it in place.
Now, just line up the inseam part of the pants on your machine. Sew just that short section first. I used a 1/4" seam allowance but use whatever you are comfortable with.
Once that is sewn, do the same thing to the two back pieces. Be sure to put a pin or something in the front piece in the middle so you can keep track of the two pieces, since they will look almost exactly alike. Now pin all the way up the inseam of the legs of the two pieces, right sides of the fabric together. I usually start pinning at the crotch and work my way out on both sides. Just to be sure it lines up evenly there first. Sew together.
While you still have it put together, line up the outer legs and pin. Then sew those two together.
Now for the elastic waist. This is how I do it. I am sure there are other ways, but this is what works best for me. I fold down the top about 1/4" and iron it down. Then I baste/stitch it to keep it in place.
Then I put my elastic up to my pants and determine the amount I want to fold it over again. I used 1/2" non roll elastic for these so I did 3/4" of a fold. I have found that with the amount that is in the "fold" it gives it just enough room and doesn't make it too difficult to get the elastic in there. So go ahead and start sewing in the back of the pants. I usually just do about 1/8" or just a tiny bit more. Make sure you leave an opening in the back. So DO NOT sew it all the way shut. You need to be able to put in your elastic.Determine the length of elastic you need. I do this by estimating how big their pants are and also if I have measured them. Sometimes you can't measure them though so you can go off of how big the original pants are. Once you have this determined, cut it an inch or two longer to make it easier to sew together in a minute. Clip a safety pin on one end and thread it through the casing that you just sewed.Once the elastic is all the way through the casing, line up your elastic on top of each other. (Be sure it is NOT twisted.) Then using a zigzag stitch, I sew the elastic together so it makes a continuous loop. Now work it through the fabric, so that all of the fabric is not bunched up in one section. Sew the fabric shut so that the band of the pants is completely sewn shut.
Now onto the hem of the pants. While the pants are inside out, I roll up the edge to a 1/4" and iron it flat. Then roll it up one more time, another 1/4" to 1/2." Sew around the edge. I make sure I sew about an 1/8" to 1/4" from the inside edge of the roll. (furthest away from the bottom of the pants) This will make sure you catch all of the edges and that none of it will not be stitched down. Some people like to sew another hem around it so it has a double hem. I sometimes do, sometimes don't. I think just whatever you prefer here.
Wahoo! You have completed a pair of pants from your very own pattern! Yay! This is super easy to do and probably only took me at most about 45 minutes from start to finish. This comes in handy if you have the tradition for your kids to open up gifts on Christmas Eve and you give them pj's...which is what we started to do this year.
**These are also a very inexpensive gift idea. Less than a half of a yard of fabric for my baby and probably about 1/2 yard for my little guy. So for less than 5 bucks you have yourself a fun homemade gift.