Thursday, 29 November 2012

Bye Bye Baby Pants

These are the Basic Pocket Pants from the book 'Growing Up Sew Liberated'. Why Bye Bye Baby? Well my brother declared upon seeing the finished product that they looked like something the Bay City Rollers would have worn. I take that on the chin, they are a bit retro!

I bought a scrap remnant online from Nicole at Dots n Stripes awhile back. I couldn't help it, the gnomes and toadstool houses got me! There wasn't a huge amount but I thought I could use it as a trim so these pants were perfect.

I did my best to get the pictures of all the fairytale folk in the best placements. These pants have contrast trim on the leg cuffs, pocket bindings and waistband casing.

The method in the book calls for the bias tape to be sandwiched around the pocket pieces and sewn in one go. I will be honest, I have never had much luck getting this method to work for me (too many times have I turned a piece of work over only to find I have completely gone off the line underneath). So I attached it in 2 stages. First by opening up the strip and sewing it to the right side of the pocket (see above picture) and then by folding it all over to the back and sewing it in place (creating the sandwich of layers).

I just find I have more success and a neater seam this way.

I forgot to take a shot of them unworn, they went on more or less straight away!

My daughter is nearly 19 months and the smallest size for this pattern is a 2T. The length leaves plenty of growing room and the legs are of a baggy style so although the sizing is a little premature, they look pretty good.

I really love the contrast print. The gnomes are so cute. The fabric is from Stenzo by the way. The solid blue is a quilting weight.

Now I have one bugbear about the fit and given that they are too big for her at the moment I wanted to try and correct it on my next pair. Can you see how they pull down at the back on this photo? It is because of her nappy bum and the rise doesn't seem as if it has got enough length to accommodate this. It is really noticeable as she moves about and they come down far too much for me.

So here is what I did to correct the rise on the pattern......

Starting with the standard pattern piece, pop a bit of paper behind the crotch area and grab a pencil and a ruler.

Measure a line straight out from the point at the crotch. I drew an inch line to see how that looked and then decided a half inch would be better. (Sorry, I drew in pencil so is a bit difficult to see).

Then I drew a line trying to copy the same angle as the original, tapering back towards the leg again. On these pants I managed to get the line to meet back on the leg just by the notch.

After sticking it all down I cut out the new line.

And voila a new longer rise! I will get around to drafting a new (less patched) pattern piece soon else the look of it will drive me mad.

This is my second modified pair and as you can see the waist sits higher up when she is gettng all wriggly and dooesn't pull down nearly as much.


I didn't use the contrast fabric on the bottom cuff as to be honest I don't really like the blue I have used and chose to keep the legs plain in the end. I still used a cuff, just cut out a couple of strips in the main fabric instead.

Now I never registered this the first time I made these, but the contrast piece at the end of the leg serves a double purpose. In the method you attach the cuff from the inside and fold to the outside to be topstitched. Like I say, I missed this the first time but you are meant to take the cuff up past the stitching line about 1/2" so that the length can be adjusted once your little one gets a bit taller. Just unpick, drop the cuff down a bit and you have extended the life of your pants. Clever eh?!

Now that I have adjusted the rise, I feel a bit better about making some more of these. They are a quick and simple sew and range from age 2T to 5T. There are plenty of clever things you could do with them as well and they don't use much fabric. 

I will be making some warm lined versions over the next week as it is sub zero at the moment. Brrr.....


  1. I really like both of these, Katy - especially the bye bye baby ones (don't you just love brothers?)

    1. Thanks! Being the youngest of three (and the only girl) I have grown up with both brothers wit and wisdom. Sometimes there is more of one than the other! Still, they always made me smile!

  2. The pants look great! I pinned the "rise fix" as I often have the same problem with pants on my youngest. She has a much rounder bum than her sister and pants always seem to creep down on her when she sits.


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