Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pants that show your mood?

It's true.  At least part of the time.

The backstory is this: while at Joann's many, many moons ago with my sister IL and mom, we happened upon this great crab fabric.  I hadn't planned on getting anything, put could not resist when S held it up for inspection.  She and I decided to make pants for the kiddos - and since Lise couldn't go with us that night, I picked up a yard for her, too.  That way all the young cousins could have:

Yes, that's right.  Pants that warn everyone just what mood you're in today.  And for K and bug's new teachers at 3K, that is probably a good thing.

I don't really have an actual tutorial for you, because I was making these babies assembly line style and taking photos proved confusing to me... who can only focus on one task at once when sewing and even then still makes mistakes much of the time.  I figured this was such an easy, already done to death type of pants tutorial that I didn't need to do one, too... but then I felt bad not having an actual tutorial for you...

In any case, I have an illustrated instructional for you.  Made entirely on picnik, so the quality is AWESOME.  (The sarcasm, too.  Again I demand the need for a universally accepted SARCASM FONT.  Bloggers, unite!)

Ahem.  Here's how you make some easy breezy pants, much like these:

Begin by finding a pair of pants that fits as you like it.  Fold them in half, and they will resemble the picture below.
 Take your fabric and fold it in half also.  As you will be drawing on this, it's probably good to fold it wrong side OUT.  And because you need a visual of fabric being folded in half, here you go.
 Now the pictures get interesting.  Lay your folded pants with the STRAIGHT side along the FOLD in your fabric.  Trace around your pants, giving yourself about 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Cut this out.  When you unfold the leg, you should have a shape similar to the bottom drawing.
 Repeat this step again, so you have another leg piece that looks exactly the same.

Now, fold your leg pieces back up, right sides TOGETHER.  Sew along the green dashed line.  In other words, sew from the point down to the bottom - so the inseam.

Once you've got both inseams sewn, you can sew the legs together.  Keep the pieces right sides together.  You'll take the FRONT of the pants and line up the curves and sew them together.  Then you'll take the BACK of the pants, line up the curves and sew.  In the picture, the front of the pants is a solid blue line and the back of the pants is the dashed blue line.  Obviously it's a little difficult to show you this process as the drawing is 2 dimensional and your pants are not.  BUT, the front curves are sewn along the green dotted line, then the back curves along the orange dotted line.  You'll line them up where the large dots are, pin all along the curve and sew.
 And now they actually look like pants.  Take the top of the pants and fold them down a smidge - iron.  Then fold and iron again, about 1/2 inch - 1 inch.  Pin this all around the pants.  Sew the casing, leaving a gap between where you began and where you end.

Now, you just measure out some elastic to fit your waist.  Use a safety pin to slide the elastic into the casing.  Yes, that gray thing is supposed to be elastic - the dotted gray line is INSIDE the casing. Feed it all the way through, then sew the ends of the elastic together with a zip zag stitch.  Finish by sewing your gap shut.
Then all you have to do is hem!  

I wish I could show you how I did the cuffs, but I have no idea.  I really don't.  I do know that the pants are hemmed first.  I also know that the cuffs are made out of fat quarters.  They are double-ply.  They are sewn on there, not hot glued, so that's progress.  And they are all attached by a different approach.  

Basically, I cut a length of the fat quarter to fit around the leg of the pants, sewed the short ends together to make a tube, then folded it in half width-wise with the right side of the fabric facing out.  I pinned it on and then sewed the unfinished edge to the inside of the pants.  Essentially.  It was something like that.  mini's are slightly different in that I didn't sew the short ends together - I wanted there to be a cute little split in the cuff.

The cuffs are sewn so they can be folded up or left down, depending on the look you're going for.  I actually love the length of K's pants with the cuffs down - kind of like clam-diggers.  Here they are modeling their cuffs both folded and unfolded.  Although mini looks like she's about to run a race.

Now, if you are looking for an actual tutorial for easy pants, I would like to direct you to:
1. MADE.  This pants tutorial is awesome.  And you can do flat front pants too!
2. Make It and Love It.  Ashley breaks down leggings EASY-STYLE.  And you can make them less clingy and use her same tips.
3. Delia Creates.  She just did an awesome how-to about altering ridiculously baggy pants to fit your skinny dude.  And that is ALWAYS an issue.
I know there are tons of others out there too.  Those are the ones I thought of off the top of my head.

And even in their "crabby pants" they take the time to hold hands like good best buddies do!

I did learn that I always, always, always measure incorrectly.  Next time I make mini pants I'm automatically subtracting about two inches from the elastic measurement - no matter my misgivings.  And I do believe I will increase the rise on bug's future pants, you know, so you can't see his monster underwear as in the photo... I also learned that K is my go-to modeling guru.

She was turning, standing, sitting, crossing legs, jumping, running, and striking poses - whatever I asked her to do!  The other two weren't nearly as cooperative as this little star!

 Perhaps it was the Snickers bar I promised her... 

Hey, wait, where are you going???

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!


Tawny said...

Adorable! Love the crabs!

Thoroughly Modern Mom said...

This is so cute! I can't wait to try this out. I followed you over from the weekend wrap up party.

Sew It Sherry said...

How cute. I just love the second last picture. So adorable.

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