When I had my my first son seven years ago I bought everything brand new for him. Brand new bedding, bibs, diapers, booties, clothes, etc. Everything was crisp and clean and fresh out of a package from a store. Thinking back, it is overwhelming just how much money I spent. Over the years though, I discovered how much that I loved sewing and making things for babies. So much so that my twin and I eventually began sewing baby items and clothes for sale at our local farmer’s markets.
So when I became pregnant with my newest baby boy, I decided that I would only buy the items that I couldn’t sew or make myself. And if I did decide that it was something I needed to buy, the first place that we would shop was our friend’s hand-me-downs and the local thrift store.
So far so good; this baby is decked out in handmade and hand-me-downs galore.
The following tutorial is for my favorite baby pants.
Repurposed Baby Pants
One long-sleeved shirt you no longer wear. If you have a cloth diapered baby, as mine is, select a shirt with stretch, such as cotton jersey.
One pair of baby pants in a size that you wish to replicate for use as a model
Two feet of 1/2 inch elastic
One safety pin
Begin by cutting the sleeves off of the shirt. Leave the wrists of the sleeves as is, these make for excellent pre-made hems for your new baby pants.
Using the model pants as a guide, cut the sleeves two inches longer than the pants you are modeling them after.
Place the sleeves over the top of the model pants, lining up the hems. Cut down the inner seam of each arm until you are lined up with the crotch of the model pants. This will make two flaps that will become the body of the pants.
Turn one of the arm sleeves wrong side out. ( pictured on the left )
Tuck the right side out sleeve INTO the wrong side out sleeve, so right sides are together.
Line up the crotch centers of the pants and pin the wrong side out body flaps to the right side out body flaps that you cut earlier.
Sew the body flaps together making a continuous line from the left to right, making sure that the crotch is at the center. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
You can double reinforce the crotch for wear.
Turn both legs of the pants inside out.
Double fold over the waist band hem one inch each fold so that there are no rough edges, and pin.
Stitch all the way around the waistband, 1 inch from the top of the pants as shown, leaving a one-inch gap for threading elastic.
Attach a safety pin to one end of a two ft length of 1/2 inch elastic and insert the safety pin elastic into the one inch opening in the waistband.
Feed the elastic all the way around the waistband casing. Once you get all the way around and back to the opening, pull the safety pin back out.
Place the model pants over the new pants and cinch the elastic until the waistbands are the same.
Place a pin at that point, very close to the waistband, and use a zig zag stitch to secure the two pieces of elastic together. This makes the circle of the waistband complete.
Trim the excess elastic and tuck the rough edge into the folded-over waistband opening. You can stitch the opening closed now, or you can leave it open so that you can change out the elastic as your baby grows. To do so simply remove the old elastic through the opening and replace it with a longer elastic for a wider baby waist.
Turn the pants right side out and double check that the pants are the size of the model pair. Then put them on that adorable baby!
Laura Hooker is a full-time mother, wife, Registered Nurse, and sewing and crochet-a-holic! She came about this wonderful world of crafting at an early age, and finds much inspiration from her lovely friends in blog land. She really enjoys coming up with and displaying her own patterns and tutorials. She is married and has a seven-year-old little boy and a new baby boy that was born in the summer. You can find her at her blog, Ravelry page or her store of crochet and sewing patterns on Etsy.