9.03.2011

baby pants tutorial.

i think babies wearing pants are adorable. i mean, i think all babies are adorable, but when you put them in pants, you up the ante. naturally, i wanted to put pants on my little guy, but i balked at the craziness of buying miniature pants that will only fit for a few months. i figured i could sew some, but my internet search did not yield exactly what i was looking for, so i created my own pattern. i am posting it here with a tutorial, in the hopes of saving you the trouble of creating your own pattern. i appreciate you using this pattern for personal use only.


this pattern is for basic elastic-waist baby pants. they are not the "super easy" single pattern piece pants, rather proper pants that have two pattern pieces. a front with a dropped waist for a better fit and a back with extra space to fit a diapered bum. the pattern is sized for 3-6 months, but it can be easily re-sized to fit your baby (see below for a little information about changing the sizes). if you have a serger, i recommend using it for steps 2, 3, and 4.

materials: 1/2 yard of lightweight fabric and 17 inches of 1/2" elastic. [choosing fabric: cotton or cotton flannel are both good. knits stretch, so sewing is more difficult. horizontal stripes need to be matched during cutting and sewing, which makes them a pain in the neck, but not impossible.]
 
directions: (click on images to see them larger)

before you start, print out the baby pants pattern. in the print box, under "page scaling", select "none." it should print in landscape mode on 4 pieces of paper. put the papers next to each other without overlapping the edges. make sure to match up the lines - there might be a slight gap where the printer created margins, but that is okay. tape the pages together and cut them out.

put the pages next to each other without overlapping papers. there might be a slight gap due to printer margins.

step one. fold your fabric right sides together and lay your pattern pieces on top. the bottom edge of each pattern piece should be parallel to the grain of the fabric. pin the pattern pieces in place and cut out your fabric.

step 1. cutting fabric.

step two. take the pattern pieces off the fabric. your fabric should already be right sides together. pin along the center seams. sew. press the seams (serger: press to one side. regular machine: press open).

step 2. pin and sew front and back center seams.

step three. make sure your fabric is right sides together. you do not want extra fabric at the top or bottom edges, so in this step pinning is important!! pin the top and bottom corners of one side. then match up the rest of the side and pin. repeat this for the other side. sew down both sides. press.

step 3. pin the top and bottom side corners. then pin the rest of the side.

step four. lay the pants down flat, making sure the sides are actually on the side. this might sound stupid, but unfinished pants can be a tad deceiving, so just check! the side seams should be on the sides, and the center of the waist should dip down in the front. again, you do not want extra fabric at the bottom edges, so pinning is important. line up the seams in the center of the crotch and pin. pin the two bottom corners. now pin the rest of the inseam. sew. press.

step 4. match and pin center seams and bottom corners of inseam. pin the rest of inseam and sew.

step five. create the casing for the elastic. turn the pants inside out. turn the top edge down 1/4" and press. now turn it down 3/4" and press. have a seam gauge stashed in your sewing box? pull it out and use it...you will see, it will make this step easier. pin the edge, with the top of the pins at the top of the pants. this is probably the opposite of how your brain wants to pin this edge, but when you get to the sewing machine you will thank me, because you will be able to take out the pins while sewing. if you have a label, sew it on before you sew the edge. if you have a tag that goes in a seam, you can tuck it under the edge before sewing. sew along the edge all the way around the waist, but stop 1" before you get to your starting point. this will leave a gap that you will use to thread the elastic into the casing.

step 5. elastic casing at waist. fold & press 1/4". fold & press 3/4". add label. pin elastic casing.

step 5. sew the bottom edge of elastic casing.

step six. thread your elastic through the casing. make sure the elastic is flat inside the casing (you do not want to find a twist after closing the casing) and overlap the edges of the elastic by about 1". sew  the two ends of the elastic with a zig-zag stitch. now finish sewing the casing by closing the 1" gap you left when sewing the edge in step five.

step 6. thread elastic through casing. overlap elastic ends by 1". join elastic ends with zig-zag stitch. finish sewing the elastic casing.

step seven. hemming the pants. turn the pants inside out. fold the hem up 1/4" and press. then fold it up 3/4" and press. again, ignore your brain and place the pins, so that the top of the pin is sticking out the bottom of the pants leg. now turn the pants right side out and sew along the edge. if you like, you can do a second line of stitching for decoration. repeat on the second leg.

step 7. hem. fold & press 1/4". fold & press 3/4". pin. sew hem.

step 7. optional: sew a second hemline. nibble baby toes.

congratulations, you have finished your pants!!!

finished pants! big enough to fit a diapered bottom.

a delightful modification is to add a different fabric at the bottom of the legs. if you want to do this, you need to replace the bottom of each leg with a different fabric. do this BEFORE you start assembling the pants. remember that 1" of the bottom is turned under during step seven, so if you want a 1" strip of a different fabric at the bottom, you actually need to cut a 2 1/4" strip (1/4" seam allowance to attach to the leg, 1" turned under when hemming, and 1" visible). you also need to cut 3/4" off the bottom of the pant leg and then attach your colored piece to the bottom of each leg. the sew the pants as usual.

pringle modeling pants with a different-colored bottom edge.

altering the pattern to fit your baby. if the the pants are too short/long, just extend/shorten the bottom portion of the legs. if the pants do not rise high enough to reach the waist or go up to your baby's chin, extend/shorten the waist portion of the pattern piece. if the pants are not wide enough or too wide, extend/shrink the side of each pattern piece (note, if you are adjusting the width, you probably need to adjust the length of your elastic).

need help?? if you need assistance or if something does not make sense, post a comment or send me an email at pickelswimming@gmail.com

credits: when creating this pattern, i consulted the following sites: wabi sabi baby, made, make baby stuff, and sew mama sew.

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