Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Basic Pants that'll last for quite a while

Have you been following along with all the fun Celebrate the Boy projects on MADE and Made By Rae?  If not, you really must go catch yourself up on all the goodness going on over there.  Even if you don't have a boy.

Wait, what?  Even if you don't have a boy?  


Obviously I don't have any little boys of my own to sew for yet, but that hasn't stopped me from soaking up all the awesome projects being shared in the Celebrate the Boy series.  Like most patterns and project ideas, a lot of what's being/been shared is certainly adaptable for little girls too.

And I must admit that I am thrilled to have so many not-so-overly-girly projects to be inspired by.  I've never been into princesses and pink and all things girly.  So while I do definitely dress Olivia in her fair share of pinks and purples, she also wears a lot of neutrals and blues and reds too.

So, even though I don't have a little boy to sew for, Celebrate The Boy is right up my alley.  Because, in a lot of ways, it could really even translate to just plain ol' Celebrate the Kid.  Because all kids--girl or boy--are playful and dirty and fun.  :)

Oh, and did I mention that I'm going to be sharing a BOY project with you a little later in the Celebration?  Keep your eyes peeled for that.  :)

Aaaaanyway, last night I finished my first Celebrate The Boy project!  I made this simple little pair of pants for Olivia using one of my favorite (but ripped) pairs of pants and Dana's Basic Pants pattern and tutorial.

I wanted to try the pattern just the way it was, even though it's size 2-3T and Olivia's still wearing size 18 months.  I figured I'd get used to the way it went together before I started messing with the pattern.  And it was great!  I especially love that this pattern fits more like store-bought pants since the front pattern piece is shorter than the back piece.  Really, it makes such a difference.



Dana's Basic Pants pattern and tutorial are wonderful.  But, of course, I added a few of my own personal touches.  :)

Alteration #1: Buttons
First, I added some of my buttons to the front.  I just sewed them onto the front once I was finished (right through the elastic and everything).

Buttons available HERE in my Shop.

I love the way this simple addition makes the pants look more like "real" pants (i.e. pants with a button and fly).  But, unlike, "real" pants, these pants are much easier to get on and off.  And since these pants will fit Olivia until she's well out of diapers, I'm sure easy on/off pants will come in handy for potty training.

Alteration #2: Bias Tape
The second addition/change I made was to finish the casing edge with bias tape rather than serging (since I don't have a serger) or folding the raw edge under a 1/4".

Despite my sloppy stitches here (remember, this was my "tester" pair, so I made some minor mistakes along the way--it's okay) I really think the bias tape adds a fun professional touch.  I think it would be fun to use printed bias tape or fun, bright colors.  It's the little things that count, right?  :)

Oh, and that tag is just a t-shirt scrap folded in half.  Super easy.

Alteration #3: Clean Cuffs (i.e. more bias tape)
My third addition to these fun pants was arguably a very minor and unnecessary detail, but it makes a huge difference in a lot of ways.

I knew these pants would already fit Olivia around her waist (especially since she's wearing cloth diapers that are slightly bulkier), but they're waaaaay too long for her right now. But no biggie.  I figured we could just roll them up until she grows a little taller.  Only problem?  As I mentioned already, I don't have a serger, so I had just finished off the inside seams with a zigzag stitch.  Which is fine if nobody's ever going to see the inside, but it looked a little ratty when I tried rolling them up.

So... ta-da!  Enter the bias tape!  (Again.)  I sewed some strips of bias tape part way up each side seam so that, now, when we roll up Olivia's pants, it just shows a nice finished seam!  And I really like the extra little bit of style this adds to these fun, simple pants.

And not only does it add style, it adds a longer life to these pants.  Because now we can just roll them up!  So she can start wearing them right away and they'll probably fit her until she's 3, depending on how fast she grows.

Want to do the same?  Here's a quick how-to...

Step 1: Make your pants using Dana's Basic Pants pattern and tutorial.

Step 2: Roll up your pants
With your pants right-side out, roll up your pants as high as you'd like.  Use a safety pin to mark how far up you want your bias tape to go.  (In other words, how high up you want to roll your pants will determine how long your strips of bias tape will need to be.)  I ended up marking mine at about 7".

Step 3: Turn your pants inside out.

Step 4: Pin bias tape in place
Fold the raw end of your bias tape in just a little so you'll have a nice clean edge at the end of your piece.

Measure up as far as you want your bias tape to go and begin pinning bias tape in place.  I wanted my bias tape strips to be 7" long, so I started pinning mine 7" away from the bottom hem.

When you pin your bias tape on, make sure it doesn't go past your existing seam.  You don't want to sew into the pant leg, you just want to cover up your seam allowance.

Pin down the length of your side seam until you reach the bottom of your hem.

Once you reach the bottom of the hem, cut your bias tape about 1/2" or so past the hem.

Fold the raw end of your bias tape under, just like you did when you started.

Pin in place.

Do this for all four side seams (both side seams in each pant leg).

Step 5: Sew bias tape
Go ahead and edgestitch your bias tape in place, making sure that you're only sewing into your seam allowance and not into the actual pant leg.

I found that it's easiest to start sewing on the end that's partway up the pant leg, rather than started down at the bottom hem.  This way things are less bulky when you start and you'll be able to maneuver things better when you get to the bottom hem where it is a little more bulky.

And you're done!

Now your child's pants will be more wearable fun for a longer time and for both cold and warm seasons!

"Behyee button?"

Love these pants!  (And the kid inside.) 
Have fun making your own pants!


dana said...

cute! I love how you added buttons to the front. Fun twist! And good idea with the bias tape too. Thanks for sharing with me!

Unknown said...

Love the bias tape edging!

Bree said...

Cute! I love the extra detail of the bias tape on the inside of the legs. That would be a fun place to use printed tape to add some extra detail.

Kathy Haynie said...

What a classy, casual kid...just like her mom. What a great pants pattern!

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

Super cute! Nice job.

Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

i love the bias tape addition Katie! way cute :)

Liz said...

Cute :)

Bryan Lewis said...

She looks so much older when she wears "real" pants...

Whitney said...

Those pants are so dang cute. I LOVE them. I have never sewn pants before (too scared).

ashley said...

Olivia's hair is getting very cute... it almost looks like a wispy little a-line in these pics :)

ashley said...

I hope that didn't sound like it wasn't cute before... you know what I mean!

Lauren @The Little Things We Do.... said...

olivia is so adorable in her little pants! great job katie poo!

Anonymous said...

these are great! can't wait to try some pants for my babes... i will definately steal your bias tape idea! :) Erin

Unknown said...

SO CUTE!!! and that is way smart to make them so she can grow with them :)

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