I have a little Niece who’s been wearing plenty of pairs of pants I have made her, here are the links if you want to check them out! Upcycled Footed Baby Pants, Contrast Baby Pants & Baby Track Pants. But I also have another Nephew coming soon ♥ Yay!!!
I have made him a newborn pair of merino baby leggings out of one of his Mother’s old merino tops which had gotten holes in the sleeves. With a second top of hers to upcycle I need to make another pair for him!
I didn’t share the first pair or even take a photo (might be able to get one of him wearing them soon enough!), so I thought I’d better make up for it this time! I have drafted my own simple pattern in a Size 3 to 6 Months +, with a long leg length. You can always roll the cuffs for a while, or make them shorter! With merino being so stretchy I’m sure it will fit until it is too short, and this little one’s parents are rather slim and tall.
What you’ll need
Fabric – I’m upcycling a top but you can use bought fabric if you like. It doesn’t have to be merino but it will need to stretch!
Elastic 25mm (1”) – 42cm (16.5”)
Overlocker – not essential but does make it easier (don’t worry if you don’t have one I’ll give instructions for both!)
Pdf Pattern – Size 3-6 Months + – Here is the link to Download the free pattern!
Step 1 – Print and tape your pattern
As always make sure you print the pattern using the ‘no scaling’ or ‘actual size option’. My patterns are based on A4 size but should work on any size paper if printed in actual size. Measure the 2.54cm (1”) square to check whether it has printed correctly!
Cut out all your pieces and tape the bottom of the leg on. The red lines indicate where they meet up. The photos say it all really!
Step 2 – Cut your fabric
If you are using new fabric skip these first few pointers and cut as normal!
For upcycling a top, first cut up the side seams, and all the way around the sleeves. Cut as close to the seam as you can.
This is what you should end up with. Keep those sleeves!! I’m brewing up a plan for those, will add a link here when the blog post is up!
Now you can fold the back of your top in half lengthwise to create the fold to cut the pattern on. I leave the shoulders attached, but if you find it annoying feel free to cut them.
Notice I have put the pattern as high up as possible, this is so that there is enough room at the bottom to cut the cuff pieces. You will probably find that the back is big enough but front with a lower neck is not, so be careful and check before you cut! Repeat this step with the front of the top to cut the other half of the pants.
I prefer to use weights rather than pins, I find it soooo much easier! No pins pulling at the fabric and it’s way faster…both big pluses in my book!
Cut your cuff pieces, making sure the grain line is running in the right direction, these need to stretch.
I cut mine on the fold and cut them in half afterwards, you can cut them completely separately if that works better for your fabric layout.
That is the cutting done!!! You should have a front and back which are exactly the same (how much easier is that!) and two cuff pieces.
Step 3 – Sewing Sides and Inseam
These pants are really simple to sew, first of with right sides facing pin the sides and inseam. Overlock (or sew with an overlock stitch/or zigzag), I have only allowed for a small seam allowance so no need to adjust it for overlock only.
For a bit of a closer look
Step 4 – Cuffs
Fold the cuff in half with the right sides facing and overlock (or sew a straight stitch is fine as you are sewing with the grain so won’t stretch anyway).
Fold the sewn cuffs over to make a double layered tube, and with the pants around the right way place over the leg so all the raw edges line up.
Line up the inseam with the seam in the cuff. I do like to stagger the seams slightly otherwise it will get too thick in one spot.
Spread the gather evenly (there should only be a small amount) and pin in place, then overlock (or zigzag/overlock stitch).
That’s the cuffs finished! Pretty quick!
Step 5 – Waistband
First off I like to overlock the waistband, if you are not using an overlocker you can overlock stitch/zigzag it.
Now you need to cut your elastic, if you haven’t already. You will need 42cm (16.5”), and then zigzag the ends together.
Finished it will look like this,
If you want to add a tag then now is the easiest time! Just pin in place and stitch on. Remember that the waistband will be folded down so it will seem upside down.
Pin the elastic into the waistband, I like to do this with the right side facing out pinning onto the inside of the band. You want to pin it just under the edge so that the elastic is covered after sewing. Here is what it will look like afterward pinning, followed by the steps to get there. I often find it easier to see what it will look like finished, then the instructions make more sense!
Pin the seam at the centre of the back of the pants, then fold the elastic in half to locate the centre for the front and mark with a pin.
Repeat to find the middles of each side. You want a little more gather at the back then at the front to allow for nappy room, so in turn you need a little more elastic at the front than at the back. To do this evenly I move the side pins back a little to allow for this. Yellow pin is the centre, purple pin is where I will match it with the side seam.
Repeat that for the other side too. Once the sides are pinned hold them together to work out the centre of the front of the pants and pin to the centre of the elastic.
After that pin halfway between each two pins so that it is pinned in 8 places in total. Stretch the elastic to match the pants and pin in the centre. And there we are, hopefully they look like this!
Sew elastic on close to the edge using zigzag. I sew overtop of the overlocking. You will need to stretch the elastic as you sew so that it matches the fabric. I like to do this with the elastic underneath.
That is the elastic secured! Now it’s time to fold the band over and pin in place for the final round! To start turn your pants inside out, and fold the elastic over, pin in place stretching as you go to make sure it is even.
Again using zigzag and stitching close to the edge (on the overlocking) sew around the band stretching as you did earlier, to flatten any gathers before sewing over the area.
And there you are finished!! It seams like such a long tutorial for something so simple but at least the instructions should be thorough!!
Working on some merino all-in-ones too, hopefully not too far away!