Monday, April 19, 2010

LoLo Tute: Little Pants from a Mama Tee Shirt

(This tute is inspired by this one from KoJoDesigns)
Look! Pants! Bet you’ll never guess what they’re made from! (Umm…or if you read the title of this post, I guess you could totally guess.)
*gasp* That’s right! How did you know?! I found this shirt for just a few dollars at a Banana Republic outlet last summer. It didn’t look like it would be particularly flattering (hello wide with horizontal hot pink stripes!) but it did look like a really fast way to get nearly a yard of decent quality patterned jersey! (It’s nearly impossible to find decent jersey in our local fabric shop.)
I took a pair of leggings that fit my daughter well, and traced them out on the shirt. They just barely fit on either side of the deep scoop neck.
To make your “pattern”, set the pants up so that the two legs are matching each other, as seen in this photo below. You’ll end up with one straight side, and one side with a cute little “nose”. If you’re not going to add a separate waistband, add two inches to the top to fold over at the end to make a casing for a drawstring or elastic. Make sure you lay the pattern down once with the nose to the left, and once with the nose to the right, cutting out two of each orientation (with your fabric wrong sides together). You’ll end up with four pieces. (That strip on the left is the bottom waistband from my shirt, which seemed like the quickest way to get a waistband onto my pants! If you are cutting your own waistband, cut a strip of jersey that is as long as your Little’s waist, and about 4” wide. This will be folded in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, when you stitch it on later.)
To stitch your pants together: grab two pieces with opposing “noses” and stick them right sides together. Stitch from the tip of the nose up to the waistband. Repeat with the other set of leg pieces.

Once that is done, open those sets up and lay them right sides together, so that they finally look like a pair of pants. Now you’re going to sew from one cuff, up that leg, through the crotch, and down the other leg to the other cuff. My fabric was this really thin, curling sort of jersey, so I pinned the snot out of it before I sewed it. (Yes, really. Just go with me on this. It was a lot of pins.) After you’ve sewn up the inseam, match up the outer seams and sew those as well. Now you really have something that looks like pants! Even up the bottoms, but don’t hem them until you’ve tried them on your Little.
Once that was all done, I slid my pants up into my waistband piece, raw edges matching, and sewed it on. (This can be a little confusing if you’ve never done it before, but picture this – your waist points north, your cuffs point south. Turn your waistband piece so that the raw edges point north and the folded edge points south. Then just slip your pants inside of it. You’ll sew in a big ring all the way around your pants.) If you added extra inches at the top of your pattern, fold your waist down once to hide the raw edge, and again to make your casing. Stitch it all the way around, and then snip two small holes in the front and use a safety pin to scootch your drawstring through. For easy easy drawstring, braid together three long strips of jersey. For more details, see here.)
To fancy them up a bit, and to firmly declare a Front and a Back, I cut a little butterfly out of a piece of cotton in my stash and used Steam a Seam to stick it to the pants leg. I didn’t even stitch around it…but I will if I see the butterfly start to flutter away!
And there you have it – pants for a little girl! These would also make great PJs.
I didn’t add a drawstring in this shot, but after seeing her wear these pants a few times, there will definitely be a drawstring added. I’m tired of seeing her little undies peeking over the back waist!


Myrnie said...

I keep seeing these tutorials, and I have flashbacks to when I sewed the stocking linings inside out, the doll's hair to the wrong side of her face (the inside of her face)...I just...I just.... :)

Alison said...

Those are adorable. I am going to share this with a friend that sews. Maybe I can get her to sew the things I try to repurpose. Thanks for the ideas

Su said...

You are right, it is hard to find decent knits.

Hey, I argue with my kids with regards to which is front and which is back ALL the time. That butterfly is indeed a good way to cut short the argument.

m.o.M. said...

Clever as always!

I ran across this site:

and thought of you. Read her "about" section.

Take care and keep the great ideas flowing!

Simone said...

Awesome and so cute. I'm sure they're super comfy.