Guess who keeps growing? A couple of weeks ago I was given some very nice blue cordoroy so I made up a pair of pants for Little Boy using Simplicity 5284. See how much longer they are than his old pants? And - the pair that was fitting him best is thread bare in the knees. I hadn't realized his old pants were soooo short until he started wearing his new pants - so I went to Joanne's and got more cordoroy for a 2nd pair. Yup - winter weight pants, because even though the stores are full of summer clothes, it still feels like winter to me! I do have fabric for summer pants too, but first things first. My boy is so long legged and thin - it is much easier to just make him pants than to try to find something that even remotely fits - I always have to take in the waist on store-bought pants, but the fit still leaves something to be desired.
This is a GREAT pattern for pants, by the way! Easy, easy! My sister makes these for her son who is several years older than mine - lots of sizes included! Wouldn't they be cute for a girl with little rounded pockets edged with lace? Both of us put the pockets up a little higher than the illustration. A few tips from my sewing whizz sister... (and if she is handing out sewing tips - it is well worth listening!)
1) zig zag the outside edges of the pockets on all 4 sides
2) don't bother with folding the top edge of the pocket back and forth - this helps eliminate bulk on thicker fabrics (your edge is zig zagged anyway now so it will be fine)
3) when you pin the pocket down - don't spread it out perfectly flat - give the kids a little bit of room in the pocket to put their little cars/toys/treasures!
4) when sewing down the waistband for the elastic - when you get to the back - stick a folded piece of ribbon into the seam - like a tag - so the kids will know front from back - it helps to keep track of the back if you mark the pieces "B" with a pen along the top when you first cut out the pattern. You can get some of the cutest ribbon too!
5) when buying elastic - look for the extra long package and you will get enough for 2 pairs of pants instead of just 1 and it is almost the same price
And some tips from me:
1) I use an old pair of pants to mark off the waistline - crotch to waist, plus how ever many inches I need to fold the top edge 1/4" - 1/2", elastic space (the pattern calls for a narrower elastic, but my sister and I both use 1"), PLUS another 1/4" to allow room for the elastic in the casing and the stitching. For some reason - patterns tend to put the waistband up around your kids armpits!
2) when stitching the casing down, I set the needle position over to the left for about a 1/8" seam
3) I mark the elastic with a pen at my son's measurement and then cut it 1" longer - then I just have to line the other end up on the actual measurement line and sew them together (add 1/4" for bulky fabric) - this method seems to give me the best fit
4) my sister and I both evenly spread the fabric around the finished waist and then sew down the side seams - this helps prevent the elastic for getting twisted
5) nothing wrong with a 2" hem allowance - I folded 1/2" up and then the hem is 1 1/2" - so there is room to let these pants down
Some handy tools: I always use that little ruler with the sliding red button to mark my hems and waistbands. And - I prefer to use a bodkin instead of a safety pin to pull the elastic through - I fold the elastic 2X to give the bodkin something to hold on to.
So - did anyone notice that there is a 4" difference between the old pants and the new ones! The brown pants are 1/4" longer than the blue pants... just in case!
I also made him this roomy bag (19"X22") with a zipper on top - Simplicity 5535. He loves it - I am not thrilled. One night when he is sleeping I will take it apart and put on a zipper placket - it is only 2 more pieces of fabric and will give the bag a much better shape. But - in the meantime - it is done! I used a nice, chunky (toddler friendly) zipper and home decor weight fabric. I have left-over fabric to make him some smaller bags to go in the bigger bag. Also - since it is a B-A-G - why is it that you cut the fabric a bit too short for standard sized zippers? Just cut the bag a bit bigger to accomodate your zipper and you will save some aggrevation - it isn't like it is a fitted garmet where every inch counts. Oh - and I didn't use the contrasting fabric on top and bottom because I didn't want to cover up the great monster truck fabric!