Tuesday, May 10, 2011

11. Kids Pants using Recycled Materials

Have some fabric scraps leftover? Favourite jeans have holes in the knees? Don't throw them away, use them to make these adorable kids pants.

They're simple to sew, and you only need a small amount of fabric to make them. Plus, they're so fun and unique - your little one won't see another kid wearing them.


1m cord, drill, or denim fabric
Old t-shirt, shirt, or some fabric scraps
Thread, pins

Here we go...

If you want to make a few pairs of these little pants it's worth buying a pattern for some straight leg children's pants and making a 'block'. This means that you glue the pattern onto cardboard and then cut out your pieces so that they're tough and sturdy and can withstand being used over and over. It also makes it easy to draw around the pattern with tailors chalk rather than using pins to stick the pattern to the fabric which can be a time consuming process. When I was making these pants to sell I had blocks in sizes 0 - 3 years. Look for a pattern that is only two pieces - a front and a back, this makes it easy and quick to sew.

Once you have your fabric pieces cut out of your main fabric grab your scraps and see what parts you can use by placing your pattern on top of the laid out fabric (or shirt). You want to cut two pieces for the hem of both legs of the pants, or you can make a panel out of a t shirt print like I have done here:

To place the contrasting fabric on the hems fold and iron both straight edges (top and bottom) and then pin onto your main fabric. I like to use ribbon along the top edge because it defines the print and keeps everything tidy:

Once your hems are in place sew your side seams matching the fabrics along the hems, or as with my pattern (which is one piece) I just fold it. Follow by sewing the inner and crotch seams. Make a casing for the elastic by folding down the waist and sewing, leaving a gap to thread the elastic through. Finish with the hem seams.

If you have a fav old pair of jeans you can't bear to throw out this next project is for you!

First step is to remove the back pockets. You can cut them out as you won't be using the top part of the jeans. Next step is to unpick the inner leg seams and crotch. You should now have two pieces than you can open out. Lay your patterns on top lining up the jeans outer leg seam of the jeans in the middle of your pattern piece and the bottom/hem of your pattern along the hem of the jeans. This makes the jeans hem the hem of your kids pants - it looks great and saves you sewing the hem. Add the pockets as knee patches for crawling babies - great for padding and they won't wear through! Older kids jeans look great with the pockets on the sides or back of the jeans. Sew them up as if for normal pants.

The best part about using adult jeans to make these kids pants is that you can use really good quality denim that is often lacking in kidswear. The jeans above are made with recycled Wrangler and Diesel jeans that would have otherwise been thrown out.

Happy sewing!

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