Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sew Easy Toddler Pants

Boy am I excited to share this. I'm almost as excited to share it as I was to make it. It's such an easy sewing project that even if all you know how to do is sew a straight stitch, you can do it. Believe me when I say I am a novice seamstress. I'm so novice that seamstress seems an exaggeration.

Plus, as an added bonus, as long as you have thread, you don't have to make a trip to the fabric store for anything. That means this project is FREE! Oh, and did I mention it's green too?

Here's how to turn a worn-out, even torn, pair of your husband's boxer shorts into a pair of cool cotton pants for your toddler. Pants that your toddler can wear as pajamas or even for playing around. With a little snip-snip and a few more stitches, you can have shorts instead... even shorts for your older kids*.

Here's how:

1. Start with the old boxers. (I knew there was a reason I hung onto these fun prints.)

2. Find a pair of purchased pajama pants or unstructured shorts/pants that fit to use as your pattern. Fold the pattern pants in half, pulling the crotch piece outward. Lay the boxer shorts flat. Align the straight edge of the folded pants along the side seam of the boxers. Like so:

3. Now using the pattern pants as a, well, pattern and allowing about a 1/2 inch for seam allowance, cut through both layers along the crotch curve from hem to elastic waist (or vice versa).

4. Set aside your pattern pants. Flip the newly cut piece over to use as pattern for a mirror image. In other words, line the straight edge up with the side seam of the boxers on the opposite side. Cut again through both layers of the boxers. Set aside excess fabric. Now you should have two pieces of fabric (the front and back of the pants/shorts) that are mirror images.

5. Open them up and lay them one on top of the other with the right side of the fabric touching.

6. Pin the crotch curves together and stitch just the curve from waistband to point. Remove pins. (Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end. This novice always forgets.) Repeat with other piece.

7. Now for the switcheroo. Align the seams you just sewed on top of each other. They should start to resemble pants with the inseam open.

8. Pin the inseams together one leg at a time and stitch those. I did just one long stitch, placing my needle down and turning the fabric to move to the next leg.

9. Remove the pins and turn right side out. Woo-hoo! Pants!

It's super easy. Each pair took me less than 20 minutes including figuring out how to do it. My idea started when I googled "How to sew baby pants" and I found this tutorial from Rookie Moms on turning an old t-shirt into kid pants. I just altered it a bit for the old boxers I had laying around and got away without purchasing or sewing an elastic waistband.

I gotta tell you, re-purposing old boxers almost makes me feel like SouleMama. Almost.

(*To turn them into shorts, simply cut the leg to desired length and hem.)


Amy said...

Reusing the elastic waistband is genius! I have been bookmarking tutorials for making cute little girl dresses out of men's long sleeve buttondowns, but haven't found time yet to try it out. Maybe L and M can just be outfitted in J & A's castoffs!

Heidi said...

You amaze me. Would so love to do this, but I don't even own a sewing machine (not to mention have the first clue how to use one). Hmmm...maybe a lesson and a visit to Gram's house? :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Aren't you clever!
Can you do a tutorial on how to make jammy pants out of tighty-whiteys now?

Suzanne said...

I'm impressed! This actually does seem doable. Thanks for the tutorial!

Miche said...

Oh that is such a cool idea!!! And I think the sewing level is something I could tackle with my limited skills. Very awesome!