There are so many cute knit fabrics out right now, with more to come in the near future (Michael Miller *squeal*). I thought I'd give you guys a simple project you can do with knits.
If you read this blog regularly you know I make a lot of things without patterns. It certainly isn't because I'm an expert at sewing (because I'm totally not). In most cases it is because I'm too lazy to trace and cut a pattern, or because I see something I want to make but can't justify buying another pattern. Most likely it will just sit unopened, which is really a shame.
I'm going to show you how you can make a pair of knit pants creating your own pattern! Don't be scared, it is really simple. Even if you are a beginner to sewing, no problem! You can even make them with a fancy foldover yoga waistband. The great thing about sewing with knits are that they are very forgiving so your pattern does not need to be perfect.
Now, if you have never sewn with knit fabric, just a couple of things you should know first.
- Use a ballpoint needle. If you don't have one it isn't the end of the world. You can use a universal needle, but your seams may eventually start to come apart. I'll tell you a little secret though, I have often used a universal needle and my clothing has held up just fine- through two kids even!
- Knit is stretchy and your seams may break if you use a regular straight stitch. Check your machine manual as you may have a few stitches built into your machine especially for knits. If not, use a small zig zag. This will allow the seam to stretch when your kids move and the threads won't break. I'll tell you another secret though, I often sew with a regular straight stitch using knits if it is on a seam that doesn't undergo a lot of stress and I have never had any seams break.
Here we go! What you do need for sure, is a pair of knit pants that fit your child and a large piece of paper.
Start by taking your pants and pulling the front seam forward as shown. Place on your paper and trace all around the pants other than the straight side on the right.
When I traced my pants I waas tracing them with the waistband included.
If you want to make a casing and just make them elastic waist you would want to add another inch or so to the top of your pattern so you could create the casing.
You also will need to cut a piece for your waistband. Measure your child's waist and cut a piece that is 75-80% of that measurement plus 1/2 inch for seam allowances. For instance my little girl's waist is 23 inches. 75% of that is 17.5 inches. Add the 1/2 inch and I cut a piece 18 inches by 8 inches. The 8 inch height was a random number I came up with thinking it would be great for the foldover waist. You could do any height but I would suggest not going smaller than about 2 inches.
I used cotton lycra for my pants and waist. If you are using anything other than cotton lycra for your pants (interlock or jersey) it is a good idea to use cotton lycra for the waistband if you want the foldever waist like mine. Cotton lycra has the best recovery and is stretchy so will hold your pants up!
Sew waistband to pants and remove pins.
Not only easy, but comfy too and perfect to play in!
You could also make them shorter and have capris, or even add a ruffle like these Ruffle Jeans.
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