Thursday, December 8, 2016

baby sweater pants! quick and easy tutorial

I have a giant bag of sweaters that I got at a thrift store for a quarter a piece last summer.  I have now made 3 pair of pants from the sweaters for my 1 1/2 year old and for my 2 1/2 year old niece.  You will need 1 adult size sweater, thread, a sewing machine, clips or pins, and scissors.  You could also do this easily on a serger but my serger doesn't like the sweater material.  She's very picky. 

I chose a nice primary red cashmere sweater from my big bag for this tutorial and I am using black thread so you can easily see my stitching (and because my machine was already threaded). The sweater had a few moth holes right in the center of the front and back but I will be using the sleeves and the neckband from this sweater.

My machine is a vintage singer 401 A (and I love it so so so much).

 (tag and moth hole)

I start by cutting off both sleeves at the armpit as close to the seam as possible.

Next, I decided that the neck band on this sweater would be perfect for the waistband of the pants so I cut it off, leaving about 1/2" away from the band to have a little seam allowance.
 If your sweater doesn't have a nice neckband like this, you can also use the bottom edge of the shirt.  Depending on how stretchy your knit sweater is, you will make the waist band to fit your baby's waist snugly.  You can also make a yoga style waistband that will fold over, but for this tutorial, I wanted to make it very simple.

 This is what I have left over from cutting the pieces off.  There is plenty of sweater here to make mittens or a hat or even a matching tiny baby sweater, so I will put this back into the bag of sweaters in my craft room (waste not, want not).

Now that all your pieces are cut, turn the sleeves inside out and you want to cut part of the seam of the sleeves off at the top so that you can make the crotch of the pants and sew the 2 sleeves together.  I just eyeball it to make it the right length.  If you aren't sure how much to cut, just put a pair of pants that fits your child well down next to it and judge from there how much to cut.  In my picture, my scissors are laying at the point where I will cut the seam off. The second picture shows the seam cut off and my little helper getting all up in my business (as usual).

Now, you should turn one of the sleeves right side out again and slip it into the other sleeve to match up the seams.

 Now pin or clip the crotch together and sew.  I use a straight stitch and then reinforce the seam with a zig zag stitch in the seam allowance. Then trim the seam close to the zig zag. (if you use a serger, you don't have to go to all that trouble, just serge).  I personally like this finish better than the serger for this type of fabric because it tends to ruffle with a serged edge.

 (isn't that a beautiful machine?)

Now you are ready to add your waistband.  Pull the pants out and keep them inside out, then slip the waistband upside down into the pants so that the right side of the waistband is facing the right side of the body of the pants.

You want to pin at the seams and sides.  You will have to stretch the waistband to fit the top of the pants, which should be a few inches bigger. I pinned mine in 4 places.  Then you need to stretch as you sew this on so you don't get any accidental pleats.
Again, sew with a straight stitch, then a zig zag in the seam allowance and then clip the excess off.  I am sewing right on the very edge of the cuff.

 stretch so that the waist band fits the opening in the pants.  Sew with the inside of the pants facing up unless you have a long free arm machine.  The second picture shows the waist sewn in with a straight stitch. The pictures below are my zig zag stitch and the finished clipped seam.

Now the pants are done! Wasn't that quick and easy?
Now take a few pictures of them in action:
 Maxwell is wearing them with the bottom cuffs rolled up.  He has plenty of room to grow and these will probably fit him next winter as well.

Let me know if you make some upcycled sweater pants!

No comments:

Post a Comment