Saturday, July 8, 2017

Making pants from your own pattern

                 I had been terrified of making clothes that I would actually wear out in public for so long. For some reason, I just knew that my outfit would fall apart as soon as I walked out the door. Well, after several years, and the fact that my attempts at pajamas had held up, I gave it a try. So far there has not been an issue. Hopefully, I'm not jinxed now. I have been having a blast making little pants and things for Ella now. The poor baby got her mommy’s hard to fit figure. Apparently, most people have longer legs than us. There are not a ton on patterns for pants, that I could find, that fit smaller babies. What I did was make my own.

Ella has been working on her modeling face.
                I took some of her pants that fit and folded them in half with the front panel completely flat on a large piece of paper. I used freezer paper which is nice and sturdy for repeated use. If you are making a pattern for yourself, or just have a pair that is larger than the paper, you will want to tape 2 pieces together or use butcher paper.

                Trace around the front panel and add 1/2” for your seam allowance on the sides. For the elastic casing on top and the hem on bottom, you will need to add an extra inch. You can trace with a permanent marker directly on the paper or use specialized tracing paper and a tracing wheel. It will make a small dotted line on your pattern paper and you don’t have to worry about marking on the pants by mistake. I traced the dots in marker so it would show up in the picture.

                The pair that I used did not have a separate back panel so I only had to trace on piece to be cut on the fold. A lot of pants will have a different piece for the back panel. These will have to be cut in pairs that mirror each other with seam allowances on all sides. Once you have the panels traced, you can cut out your pattern. The amount of fabric will very based on height. For an adult 3 yards is usually enough. Ella is small enough that she can get away with a little under a yard. 

With the pair that I have, I only had the 2 sides to cut out. If you have 4 pieces, sew the side seams with right sides together pairing front panels with back panels. You can finish the seams with a serger or by zigzag stitching in your seam allowance and trimming the excess. Lay the leg pieces together with right sides together and pin what will be the crotch section. Sew up both sides and finish seams.

Lay the piece flat with the inseam together and pin. Sew from the bottom of one leg along the edge to the bottom of the other leg. You now have a mostly complete pair of pants. Fold over the allowance at the top for the elastic casing and stitch closed leaving a gap about an inch and a half long. Using a safety pin insert the elastic and work it into the casing. Connect the ends and stitch them closed then finish stitching the casing. Try the pants on to make sure that the hem will be the right length, mark the length, and hem.

Flip the pants right side out and you are finished. I stitched a little bow on the front as decoration but you don’t need it. These are a simple pair of pants but you can do this with any piece of clothing. You can lay the garment flat and trace along the seams and then add your ½” allowances. For each part of the garment, you will have to do your best to position the panel as flat as possible. Some will be more difficult than others. Sleeves will have to be traced in 2 steps, first one side and then the other. The front can differ from the back so be aware. Everything takes practice. Have fun and make something amazing.


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