Making a Pattern from a Pair of Pants

original pantsI have a really cute pair of toddler girl knit pants that have been sitting around for a year. There is only one lonely pair and I have two cute little girls who would love to wear them! I would like to eventually make a second pair in a different color knit but I have put that project off for another day.

Doodles - Flower Toss Turquois

Doodles – Flower Toss Turquois

In the meantime, I already had some really cute corduroy fabric I picked up from JoAnns that I wanted to make into pants for the girls.

I decided that since I will eventually need a pattern for the second pair of knit pants, I would go ahead and try to make one. Then, I could use it for the corduroy pants as well.  I had my first experience making a pattern with the knit shirts. It was not exactly easy but since I had more experience making pants, I figured I could handle it. Actually, it turned out to be pretty simple.

First, I traced one of the legs (not including the ruffle) on to a large piece of paper and then added my seam allowance.

pants laid out to tracepattern traced out

Then I measured the length and width of the ruffle, added in the seam allowance, and wrote those dimensions on my pattern. I did not do a pattern for them because they are basically large rectangles. Notice I wrote them out incorrectly at first. I forgot to double up the length measurement so they could go all the way around the leg! Very important for pants to actually enclose the leg, I think. 😉 Luckily, I caught it before I cut!

measuring ruffle

final patternThen, I laid out and traced my pattern on the fabric while trying to match up the lines of flowers on the fabric. I knew the large flowers would never match up at the seams but I thought it would be less distracting if the lines of flowers did.

tracing panelscut panelsThen, I sewed them together pretty much the same way I did these pants. Except this time, I added the ruffle.

In the end, I failed miserably at trying to match up the design because the fabric’s pattern is actually pretty complicated. I wasted an extra yard of fabric doing this but I learned a valuable lesson, some fabrics just don’t need to line up. I think they turned out pretty cute despite it!

finished pants

pants on N

Oh, and one last thing… I just couldn’t help myself and made some shirts to match!

flower shirts


Big Boy Pocket Pants

calder in pants 4Just sharing some big boy pants I made for Calder. As usual, I used the pants tutorial from MADE. I was obviously inspired by her striped pants. I love them and I need more striped fabrics NOW!!!

finished striped pants

I tried really hard to keep those lines straight! Can you find the seam in the photo below?find the seam

Here are a few more photos just for fun!

calder in pants 1

I wish I could remember exactly what he was telling me here!

calder in pants 2

Anything, even cereal bars, can be an airplane if you just use your imagination!

I also made this cute little plaid pair too. I have found that her pattern is a little too low rise on my kids so I added an extra inch to the top on this pair. Hopefully, there will be no more diapers peeking out when he bends over!

brown pants

I really had fun with the lining of the pockets. It shows along the edge but I consider it a happy accident. I want to do piping all around them on the next pair!

pocket liningaccidental piping

It is getting warmer every day. It has already been in the 80’s quite a bit and cold days are over here in San Antonio so pants might go on hold for awhile. I see lots of pairs of pint-sized shorts in my future though!

Triple Ruffle Pants

By far, the one thing I have sewn that gets the most attention are the triple ruffle pants I made for my girls. Every time they step out of the house wearing them, I get tons of compliments and inquiries as to where I bought them. I get the biggest rush when I get to say “I made them”!girls with TRpants

The pattern is from Foo Foo Threads on Etsy. I already owned the fabrics from that unused stack of single yards I bought back when I first got my sewing machine. I needed a pattern that I could make twice while only using three different yards of fabrics together and this one was perfect.

Here are the fabrics:

They are all Michael Miller fabrics but they are a few years old so they may be hard to locate.

  • Multi Gnomes
    black gnomes
  • Multi Handy Gnomes
    green gnomes
  • Black Summer Mushroom

The pattern came with a .pdf with photos to walk you through the construction process! Perfect for someone like me still trying to figure things out.

Since I bought the pattern and tutorial, I do not want to give away too much about their construction. I can talk about my mistakes though since there were plenty of them. I might also add that none of them were the fault of the pattern or tutorial!

3rufflesMy first mistake was that I only made 3 ruffles for the first pair instead of six (three for each leg) and then panicked because I was afraid I didn’t have enough material left. Luckily I did!

ripping ruffle hemThen, when I prepped those six ruffles, I hemmed both edges! I have NO idea what I was thinking when I did that. I then had to pull out my seam ripper and take half of them back out. Ugh!

I also have had to reopen and close the waistband on both pairs because either I measured my kid’s waist wrong or they both shrunk overnight!

Because my daughters have different size waists and leg lengths, I made each pair to fit a specific girl. Of course, even though I let them choose which fabric they wanted in the beginning, they now want to wear the other’s pair! I just can’t win!

I will say the scariest part of the whole process was getting to this point…

whole pants

and then doing this to them!!EEK!

cut pants

It was all worth it though. Check out the movement these pants have!M chasing ballM on trikeN riding bike

Pants are Sooooo Easy… and Appliquéd Shirts to Match!

heart drops and pantsMy girls keep growing by the minute and outgrowing their pants. The weather went from hot to cool almost overnight last year and I found myself without enough cold weather clothes for my kids. I then remembered coming across a kid’s pant tutorial once on a blog I regularly read, MADE . So I pulled out some fabrics I had sitting around, printed out her free pattern and got to work. I decided instead of making both pants at once I would do one at a time. That way if I messed up, I wouldn’t ruin both pairs at the same time. Believe it or not, I didn’t need to worry! Her tutorial was so easy to follow and the pants so easy to make, that I whipped them up in no time! I was very pleased with myself but the best part was my husband’s reaction when I showed them off and he looked surprised and said “You mean you actually made those?” He was as shocked as I was.

Dana also has some other cute pant tutorials available on her blog and I have plans to make more soon! My kids need some new clothes and I am not sure if I can justify paying for pants ever again!

Here is my fabric list:

Both fabrics were 100% cotton and from Brother Sister Design Studio which I found out is a private label brand for Hobby Lobby.

  • -Phyllipa Lattice
    green fabric
  • -Ainsley Swirl
    brown fabric

Now all I needed was matching shirts! I bought two long sleeve pink shirts at Target and the cutest appliqué design called Hanging Hearts from Hang to Dry.  I used an extra layer of the fabrics for each heart. Then after the machine finished sewing, I wet and ran my fingernail along the edges to fray them. I used some of the same fabrics as the pants but also used some from a quarter bundle from Joann’s, so I have no idea what they are called (sorry!).

hearts appliqueUnfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the process because I actually made them before I decided to start blogging about my sewing. I promise I will do some appliqué tutorials in the future!

Here is a close up of the finished appliqué. I think it turned out pretty cute for my first shirt!