Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tutorial: Last-Another-Season-Kids'-Pants

No matter how much I tell my kids to stop it, they keep growing. If only we all had such an excuse for acquiring new clothes. To top it off, my boys often don't get fatter, just longer. Hah, wait until they're 25 and all those gingerbread men start to show on their waistlines.
Whilst I'm not sure my 8 and 9 year-olds would go for this solution, I'd inflict it freely on anyone of preschool age.
Just grab some fun, contrasting fabric and make those pants legs longer.
oh yes, it's that chenille again
Here's what I did with this pair of my nephew's jeans.

These old favourites are size 1. Nephew is four and a half. Baby pants tend to be big around the waist and backside to accommodate nappies/diapers. Once kids are toilet trained, some clothes take on a whole new life again. These jeans also have that fabulous adjustable elastic in the waistband.

The turn-up cuffs were worn, so I chopped them off.

Measure the leg bottom width, double it and add 1 inch for seam allowance.
6.5 inches x 2 = 13, + 1 inch s/a = 14 inches

Cut 2 rectangles of fabric, the width calculated above, and depth of extra length you need in the pants, plus 1.5 inches for seam and hem.
obligatory cutting mat shot

Fold cuff fabric in half, right sides together, and sew up the side seam with 1/2 inch seam allowance. I zigzagged the raw edges separately so I could open them out, to reduce bulk when hemming.

Slide inside-out cuff over jeans leg and pin edges, right sides facing. Line the cuff seam up with the inside leg seam.

Stitch all around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I then zigzagged the raw edges together.

Turn the cuff down and top stitch, catching the seam allowances underneath. Start at the inside leg for a neater finish.
here is where my little old free-arm Husqvarna would come in handy, except it's at the repair shop

Turn the hem under twice, pin and sew, starting from the inside leg.

Repeat for other side. Give it a press and you're done. Admire silly pants on your cute child!

Here are some well-worn ones I made last winter. I bought Clem some new size 3 track pants but the waist was far too big. So I took his size 1 track pants, with perfectly fitting waist, and lengthened them.
when I used a thinner cotton fabric, I doubled it and sandwiched around the bottom of the pants leg
The red chenille pants (I'm going to have to buy shares in a chenille factory somewhere) were made from a Japanese sewing pattern book. I've made this pattern three times and I love it. Just threw them into this photo to record for posterity. Clearly I have no problem dressing my child like a Muppet.

- Jane x


  1. I just turned some of Rory's size 2 pants into size 3 and we might even get next winter out of them too. I've got 2 more in the pipeline too. What a great idea. Thanks, Jane.

  2. Awesome Gillian! Yay for silly pants! I am so pleased someone found this useful. It's not exactly rocket science so I wondered about posting it but I have enjoyed loads of useful, simple ideas on other people's blogs. I haven't had to buy Clem a single new pair of pants this winter! (although some are getting thin on the backside... hmm... any creative ideas there?)

  3. I just popped over via Gillian's blog and I think this is a fantastic idea for prolonging the life of kid's clothes

  4. I will be doing this to all my toddlers pants as she is for a size two but 1's are too short, great idea!


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

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