Friday, May 27, 2011

Pants for boys, take one (oops!) and take two (success!)

I have been cleaning out my closet lately, and several of my immediate-post-maternity-pants thankfully made their way to the goodwill box.  However, while noticing that my son's ankles are poking out of almost all of his pants again (and shorts weather still seems woefully far away in this neck of the woods), I thought it might be time to recycle something for him.

I hadn't made big-boy pants before, and there are so many great resources online!  For the pants I made, I referred to this site, which is full of great tutorials (the link is to the basic pants tutorial).  For the jeans, I really only used this tutorial as a reference, since I had to work with existing seams/etc.  After seeing how the jeans turned out, I followed the tutorial to the letter for my second pair of pants (and they turned out much better!)

First I attempted some jeans.  My old jeans were at one time pretty slim-fitting on me, so the legs weren't that much bigger than a pair of The Boy's pants.  I thought it would be fun to keep the original hem and seams intact as much as possible to give them a less homemade look.

One nice thing about buying cheap jeans (I knew I wouldn't be wearing them for long--I think I paid $11 on clearance at Target for these) is that the denim is nice and lightweight, which makes for easy sewing.  Also, since the knees had a little wear, I decided to make the front of The Boy's jeans out of the back part of the legs.  (The slightly-worn knees ended up being the butt of the new pants, which is a little funny.  I thought I might put pockets on there.)

So, here's how the jeans turned out.  Inadvertently skinny.  I thought, The Boy is a cool enough dude to pull off this look.  The hubs was officially Not Sure about these pants.  Then I tried them on The Boy.  He was not a happy camper.  I guess he's not the skinny jeans type after all.
Mom, can  I take these off yet?

Snug.  Maybe I'll save them for Little Sister?
This happened because even though the original legs were wider than regular little boys' pants, you need to allow extra width for the crotch, so in order to get that curve where I needed it, I had to make the legs skinnier.  So, if you're making old jeans into new, I would forgo reusing the seams and just cut the whole thing out of wider-legged pants.  It was nice to have the hems done though (esp. for jeans), so if that works out for you, go for it!

My second try was much more successful.  These comfy pants were made out of a pair of lounge pants that were somewhere inbetween sweats and yoga pants.  Nice weight for boys pants.  I did err on the side of caution though, and these are a little too big--although that's not really a problem as he will certainly grow into them.  It doesn't help with our current pants shortage, though.

Here's how they turned out:
Ahhh, much more comfortable!

The back (alas, a bit too long)

Wiggle room


Who, me?  So coy.

Definitely couldn't do this in the jeans.
I like the slightly flared-leg silhouette of this pattern--I linked to the basic pant above, and from there you can also find tutorials for flat front pants and pants with pockets, among other things.  Will definitely be doing it again!

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