If you live somewhere it gets cold, like I do, then you know the importance of having lots of good, warm winter clothes for those colder months! Living in Alaska, I am especially aware of the need for warm winter clothing, for both myself and my children. Browsing through the racks at the store for warm winter clothes for babies, toddlers and kids might seem like a good idea until you see the price tag! Children’s clothing can be very expensive, especially for how little fabric is used on the actual item! If you have even the most basic of sewing skills, you can easily make some good, warm clothes for your little one this winter!
An existing pair of pants that fits your child well
Fleece (How much you’ll need depends on your child’s size. Estimate based on the length of pants they’ll need)
3/4″ Woven Non-Roll Elastic (You will need 2-3″ less than what your child’s waist, or wherever you want the pantline to fall, measures)
Always backstitch at the beginning and end of each stitch. All seams are 1/4″. If you need additional help or more visual aid, check out the step-by-step image tutorial.
Turn the existing pair of paints inside out, and fold in half, the backside of the pants facing up. You are cutting the backside of the pants. Be careful to line it up so all seams for that side of the pant are visible and everything else is folded under. Pin the pants to your folded fleece. Cut around the pants, leaving 1/2-3/4″ between where you are cutting and the pants. Cut approximately 3″ above the waist line, and approximately 1 1/2″ below the leg opening. This is to allow for a hem, and elastic casing.
Unpin the pants from the fabric and fold in half again, making sure the front side of the pants is facing up. Again, ensure that all of your seams are visible and that the rest of the pants is tucked under. Cut around the pants, leaving approximately 2 to 2 1/2″ above the waistline, and 1 1/2″ below the leg opening. The extra amount left for the waist line should be slightly less than what was left for the back.
Place one front piece and one back piece right sides together and pin the long straight edge, and the shorter straight edge (up to where the crotch should be). Repeat for second leg set. Sew along all four straight edges.
Pin hem on leg openings approximately 1/4″. Sew this hem very slowly to ensure you don’t accidentally sew the leg hole shut.
Turn one leg right side out and stuff it inside of the other leg, lining up the crotch and pinning. Sew along this area. When you are done sewing, pull the leg out of the other leg. Your pants should be inside out.
Pinch the crotch to determine which side is longer. The longest side will be the backside of the pants. Use two pins of the same color (such as white) and pin the top down approximately 1 to 1 1/4″ inch, leaving about 2″ between the two pins. Pin the rest of the casing down with a different colored pin (such as yellow). Sew beginning at one white pin, all the way around and stopping at your second white pin. You should have a hole to thread your elastic through.
To determine how much elastic you will need, measure around your child’s waist where you want their pant line to fall. Subtract 2-3″ from the number you get and cut your elastic this length. Put a safety pin through one end of your elastic and use the safety pin to help you weave the elastic through the casing you created. Be very careful to keep your elastic straight all throughout the casing, or you may have to redo it. Once your elastic is woven all the way through the casing, overlap the elastic and sew it to itself, backstitching and re-sewing several times to ensure it is secure.
Stretch out your casing around the elastic, and then sew the remaining casing (where the hole had been to weave your elastic through) down. Stay close to the edge and make sure you aren’t sewing directly on the elastic.
Turn your pants right-side out and admire your handiwork! Your pants are now done and ready to wear! You might consider sewing a small piece of ribbon inside the backside of the pants to help you remember which side is front or back without having to pinch the crotch and figure out which side is longer every time!