Thursday, October 10, 2013

Soft pants

Since I've sewn several pairs of lounge pants, the son doesn't like jeans any more.   The lounge pants are really sewn to be pyjama pants but since he wears them around the house all day, I call them lounge pants.  At his age he could probably get away with wearing them to school and around, but they are silky and thin, so I say lounge pants only. We've gotten away from jeans during the summer, but with the weather cooling, he is resisting the jeans and only wants "soft pants".   Well, have you ever found decent sweatpants or gym pants at the thriftstore for a boy?  Usually they are stained, snagged, torn, etc.  What is a thrifty mom to do?

I always buy nice flowy jersey dresses for the fabric to make shirts, leggings, palazzo type pants, etc.  But the material seems too thin and stretchy for a boy.  So I decided to check out the men's section to see what I could find in the way of "quality" winterwear.  I found nice thick sweatshirts (not the cheap type), thick knit shirts and pyjama pants, polo shirts (that nice waffleweave type material).  I basically went crazy.  I found some really nice fabrics and some interesting colors.  I plan to make a ton of winter pants for both kids.  I also found several stripe print polo shirts that I plan to make into pants for the daughter.  I am so excited!

Here is the first pair I've made so far.  These are for the son.  Notice the little I that ended up right around the crotch.  I for Izod.  That was not planned but I just rolled with it.  Adds character.  I have to laugh.  He could care less.  I guess he could turn them around and let it hide under his buttcheek.  I told him it is I for Intelligent.  Maybe I'll try to work harder to avoid that next time.

Here are the steps and missteps.

Nice quality sweatshirt, really thick and soft.  Green tags were half off that day, so double score!

 First I cut off the waistband to use as a guess what?......Waistband.

Then I just used a pair of his own sweatpants for the pattern.  Notice I let the waistband hang off and am still right on the edge of the fabric (which I will need to hem).  Yikes!  These pattern pants are a little long so I am just going to risk it.  Worse case, I end up using the waistband or the arm cuffs to make leg bands for more length. 

*Note to self, extend life of too short sweatpants using legbands.  More likely, fix sewing screwups with legbands.

Notice at the last minute, I remembered to turn the sweatshirt inside out before cutting.  Whew, close one!

 I left a little seam allowance up the side and left the waist straight cut since it will be attached to a waistband.

Same thing for this side.

 I trimmed away the seam on the waistband so I'd have less bulk to work with and besides, the serger will be finishing that edge nicely again.

Here they are, all serged up.  Now I must say, typically the back on pants are cut a little bigger and with a longer stride than the front to make room for the butt.  But I couldn't see much of a difference between front and back in the pattern pants.  That and the fact that these are forgiving sweatshirt knit and for a bootyless boy, I didn't fret over making adjustments for the back pieces.  I will not be able to get away with that for the daughter.  Baby got back.

And here is the waistband attached.........backward. Oh well, I never said I was perfect.


Here is the waistband, attached correctly.

Since the waist only took half the existing shirt waistband, I cut it so it would have a finished edge on both ends.  Then I decided to just slightly overlap them where they joined so I could run a cord through and call it a day.

Then I came back to reality.  I had visions of rethreading those darn things over and over and also remembered that cords aren't really safe for kids.  So I ran a piece of elastic through and stitched them up like this with an X.....not exactly professional but basically unnoticeable.

And here is the waistband completely installed.

And all that is left is to hem the bottom.  I just flipped under and stitched with a stretchy zigzag so it would have some give.  No need to roll under because I don't want the bulk and knits don't ravel.  By stretchy, I used the zigzag that looks like it is elongated, and appears to be a straight stitch on fabric.

And that's it, pair number 1.  So nice and soft, actually too warm for the odd weather that we had for a while there, but now that it is cooling off, the son is super excited to wear them.

And I am left with half a waistband (enough for another pair), a neckband, and two arms.  Those arms are big enough to make a pair for a baby.  Hmm....

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