First of all I would like to state this was my first time EVER making pants.. It was a little bit of a learning experience but I think they turned out fairly well. Now I don't know about you but I like tutorials with lots of pictures, so I will include as many as possible about the pants :)
A little bit about the pants:
My husband has been politely reminding me that he would like some hiking pants for our toddler to wear for this upcoming hiking season... Since they are for a little guy they definitely needed to be water proof and warm.
So here goes.
Finding the Fabric:
Finding the Fabric:
Take your whole family to the fabric store! Ok maybe that was not my smartest idea but at least we made it out in one piece. I used sport fleece for the inside (Regular price $16.00/m but on B1G2) and a water resistant nylon for the outer layer (Regular $10/m but 20% off). I also picked up some 1 inch elastic for the waist (I think it was around $2.99 for a big roll). Now if you need to pick up some thread as well make sure it is polyester, cotton thread will not hold up as well to the weather.
Making the Pattern:
Making the Pattern:
First off you need to find a pair of pants that you want to use as a rough outline for your new pants. I used some super comfy sweats that my toddler loved to lounge in. While tracing your pants you also want to take into consideration what seam allowance you want. I went with a 1/4 inch seam. After a lot of research I concluded that you need to trace both the front and back if you want to get a more tailored, less boxy look.
I usually use wax paper or newspaper to make my patterns on, which ever is closest to me at the time :) As you can see the front is a little bit shorter above the crotch and the back sticks out a little more. If you are making these pants for someone in cloth diapers make sure to make the back stick out a little bit extra.
Cutting the Pants:
Time to cut out your pants! You want to cut 2 of each. I found it easiest to just fold the fabric in half so you only have to cut out each leg once. I folded them "right sides" together so then they are basically ready to pin in the next step. I also never pin my pattern down, just apply firm pressure to it and cut slowly :) Here are the cut out pants, the light blue is the outer layer, and the dark blue is the warm fleece
Sewing the Crotch
As you can see by the last picture my "Front" and "Back" pieces are still together, so all you need to do is make sure they are right sides together (which ever side looks prettier) and you are ready to start pinning
You want to start by pinning the crotch together. As you can see I went a little pin crazy, that many pins were really not needed but I felt like being safe instead of sorry. If you have a serger you may want to finish your loose edges after you sew them. I don't have one (yet) so I just used a zig-zag stitch on the nylon. If you are working with fleece it's really not necessary since it doesn't fray but these are for a toddler to I wanted to reinforce everything.
Sewing the Legs Together
Open the back and front pieces and lay them on top of each other, good sides facing in. Pin along the entire inseam, then sew. Do this for the inside and the outside layer.
Making a Pocket
I was just about to sew the rest of the pants together when I decided that my toddler would certainly want some pockets! I then went hunting through the laundry pile to find my favourite pair of sweat pants to trace the pockets from them. I then traced the pocket outline onto paper, I guess I could of just put it on the wax papter in the first place but I wanted to be able to play around with the size a little bit before tracing it out . I also included about 1/2 inch extra for sewing it onto the pants
Then you want to cut out 4 of them
Then you want to pin them onto the nice side of the outer layer of your pants. Place them ugly side up. Lay the back and front on the pants on top of each other to make sure the two sides line up... Hard to explain so I'll just add a picture :)
Then sew the pocket into place, the red line shows you where to sew. Do this on all 4 parts.
You will finish the rest of the pocket while sewing the outer seam of the pants shut.
The Outer Seam
Lay the pants open and pin the back and the front together along the outer seam. For the inner pants this will just be a straight line. For the outer layer you will need to flip the pocket pieces inside out, then sew where I drew the red line. You can also see in the picture I placed the pins on the pants the opposite way you normally would, since these will be used in the rain a lot I was trying to put as few pin holes as possible
Putting the Pairs Together
Now it's time to sew the two pairs together! Put the inner layer inside, you want the two ugly sides to be against each other. I found it was easiest to start pinning at the waist. Once the waist is pinned just give the pants a good shake, you want to make sure the inside layer is going to lay flat. I then sewed the two waist pieces together.
Next is sewing the casting to make the elastic waist. I used 1 inch elastic so made the casting 1 1/2". To make sure it was even all the way around I used a wooden skewer with a mark on it, it's the first thing that came to mind to use :) Just pin in place and then sew around leaving a one inch gap to put the elastic in.
Next pin the pant hems together the same way you did the waist
Here's what they look like before being hemmed
The Elastic and Hem
To put the elastic in you will need two safety pins. Pin one side of the elastic to the opening on the pants, then use the other pin to help you feed the elastic through. I then just tied the elastic in a knot so I could test the size on my toddler. Once you have it adjusted to the right size sew the elastics together and snip off the extra. I chose not to snip off the extra elastic or close the 1 inch opening so I could go back and adjust the pants if necessary
While the pants are on your toddler you may want to check how high you need to hem the pants. I folded them partially inside out and then folded them hem down, found it was easier this way.
Enjoy The Pants!
I'm really happy with how the pants turned out! They have already been tested on several outings and seem to be a hit!
I've never been a fan of this step, but oh well :P