Sunday, August 9, 2009

Eco FRiendly Sewing: making toddler shorts from your Jean Cutoffs





Sometimes the darnest things makes kids happy. For my dgs it was getting a pair of jean shorts from his sisters old jeans. Why? I haven't a clue..but he brought me my camera and said.".Granma Rowzzie take my picture..of my new pirate pants." I am now doing a tut for making these shorts...free no less.








I started doing this when my boys were little, ok that would be a loooong time ago but it still works today. Then it was from dad's worn out long leg jeans. Now it's new jeans fashioned from Grampa's old jeans. Amazing how important sharing old jeans can be.


Making pants:

Here's my homemade pattern for size 18/24 months. It should work if you print each page then tape the two together (Click on pic and Save as to your computer then print on full page). The two taped together should be 14 3/4 inches long. Use the crotch on both pages to line it up and please note the top of the pants has the elastic casing.


You now have a pattern for one leg. There is no front and back. Don't worry...Toddlers have diapers so that makes it easier to sew for them..plus they haven't had years to pack on the pounds around the derriere if you know what I mean.





Please note...this is cut on the fold! So when you are placing the pattern over the jeans make sure that the fold of the pattern is on the side seam. Lining up your seams from the old pair of jeans makes this easier.









Now carefully cut out the pattern remembering the longest side you do not cut. Now when you lay out the fabric it should look like this:


Now the fun part. Sewing .



1. Put the inside of the legs together wrong sides out facing you. Seam with 2.5 stitch length and denim sewing needle. I like to use two threads in the needle and one thread in the bobbin for greater strength especially with boys.





Hint: this is were I press my seam allowance for the waist. I have yours marked on the pattern and you can use it as a guide. Or you can create your own by marking 1 inch and 1/4 inch lines on cardstock making a line across and using this as your ironing guide. This does make it EASIER to sew your elastic casing later.




2. Turn inside out and press your seam. Pressing keeps your sewing looking professional.




3. Now you have two separate legs. To join them together turn one leg inside out. Put that one on the outside of the other and pull it inside of the other one. Now it looks like you only have one peice. It's kinda like a pants sandwich so now line up the two crotches and the seams. I usually pin this to keep my seams straight. Now seam the crotch which will be a curve seam two times. Finish your seam with either a zizzag stitch or if you have a serger, serge the seam .

4. Pin the Waist casing down. Starting at a crotch seam back stitch a few times to anchor your stitches then seam around the top. Remember to turn under the 1/4 so that your seam is clean. ( You can do it with raw edges for that deconstructed look.) Do not go all the way around the waist...you need to leave about 1 to 1 1/2 inches open to insert your elastic. Again finish the seam with a 3-4 back stitches to keep your seam from unraveling when you pull the elastic thru the casing.



The length of elastic needed for the waist is determined by measuring your sweet pea's waist and subtracting 2 inches. This pattern you need 3/4 inch wide stretchy elastic. ( I usually go to Hancocks and get mine off the big roll. It usually runs 30-40 cents a yard and works great for me.)



5. Pulling the elastic thru the casing.



To keep from twisting the elastic as I pull it thru I make two little marks with a pencil at the ends of the elastic on the same side so I can match them up when I go to sew them together. I also attach one small safty pin on one end of the elastic to pull thur and One BIG safety pin on the other end to keep from pulling the elastic thur by accident. Now insert your elastic and you will end up with two safety pins in the opening you left. Make sure your marks are on the same side either up or down.



6. Sewing elastic together.

For beginners I think the best method is the scrap of fabric butt joint.




Place a small scrap of cotton fabric under one end of the elastic. Take the safety pin out first.
Carefully stitch up and down the width of the elastic 4 or 5 times.
Butt the other end to the sewn end over the scrap of fabric. Take out the safety pin and do the same thing.
Carefully trim away the extra fabric being careful to NOT cut your elastic.
Pull your pants at the top and tuck the sewn circle of elastic into the casing. Now the elastic should disappear.


7. Stitch your opening closed. Try to match up your seams and remember to back stitch at the
beginning and end of each stitch to anchor them.
8. You should have a hem already made if you lined up the pattern at the bottom of the old jeans as in my pic above.

9. New refashioned jeans for a Sweet boy or girl.
ps. I've shared my sewing secrets with you and you've probably never heard of these before. However, they are tired and true. I use them all the time. If my humble attempts to share have left you confused...please don't hesitate to leave a comment and I promise to get back to you asap. Sewing is fun and can be energy conscious too. hugs rozzi

2 comments:

  1. How cool!!! I took sewing in home ec in high school, and always hope to get back into it. Love that he was so proud of his new pirate pants!!

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  2. Everything very well explained

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