I came into possession of this pair of adult jeans with a busted out seat. Not a whole lot could be done to restore them, but I liked the pocket design and the wear pattern of the denim. I decided to see if I could make a pair of pants for Eli with them without first creating a freezer paper pattern. I figured if I truly botched the experiment I was only out a pair of pants destined for disposal anyway.
First I took a pair of Eli’s current pants and folded them in half showing the back pocket. I laid this on the
sacrificial donor jeans and traced around them with my trusty soap sliver.
I then added a seam allowance… here I would remind you to refer to the title of this post… no measuring, I just moved over a bit and marked a new line. I also extended the length quite a bit for good measure.
After cutting this piece out I flipped it over upside down onto the other leg, traced around it and cut it out.
I repeated the process with the front side of the pants. Refold current well-fitting pants to front side, place, trace, added seam allowance, cut, flip to other side, repeat tracing and cutting.
Now I sewed the front and back pieces of the pant legs together. They didn’t match up too well at the bottom, but I had included enough fabric down there that in the end it just wouldn’t matter.
I chose brown thread to match the brown trim on the pockets but found after I top stitched the side seams the I didn’t have enough thread for the rest of the project. Why didn’t I run out for more thread, or redo the top stitching with other thread? How soon you for get the title of this post!
The pockets from the original jeans were then pinned in place on the side of the pant legs. These were then sewn on following the wear lines left by the original thread. I realized here I was glad to have run out of the brown thread; the natural color is much nicer!
Sew up the inside seam of the pant leg. In your rush don’t forget to sew on the second pocket first. Being lazy (or at least distracted and forgetful, a.k.a. sleep deprived) can result in double the work. Hello seam ripper!
Turn one leg inside out and insert one leg into the other so that the right sides are touching each other.
Trim the legs so they are even. I lined up one of the guide lines of the ruler with the side seam to get a straight across cut.
I grabbed another pair of Eli’s pants to find the length. I matched up the four corners point of the crotch seam and then marked where the leg ended on the new pair of pants. See, no tiresome measuring!
This is the point where I appear to have forgotten to take pictures. (See what happens when you choose to learn from a lazy person? You have no one to blame but yourself!)
Ahem… Anyway, I turned the pant legs inside out and then turned up the leg until the soap mark appeared at the very bottom edge. Then I tucked the raw edge in so that it appeared that it had been turned up and then turned up again. This way there is enough material that as Eli grows I can take these out and lower the hem a bit. That and I wasn’t made to measure. Then I sewed around making sure I caught the raw edge on the inside. The second leg was then sewn to match the first.
Now onto the waistband. I use 1″ elastic. In this case it was elastic I salvaged from an old pair of shorts some time ago which meant I spent nothing on these jeans! I cut the waistband strip out of fabric from an old dress… 3″ wide and I got the length from the width of the top of the pants doubled and with 1/2″ added for seam allowance.
This is the one time that being exact with the seam allowance mattered as these fabrics don’t have much stretch and need to match up to be sewn together. I’m loving this handy-dandy tool I bought during my quilting days and recently rediscovered.
Once joined fold the loop in half by bringing the top edge down to meet the bottom edge leaving the seam allowances on the inside.
Since I did no math or measurements in the beginning I now had to adjust the height of the pants with the added waistband. The original height of the fabric went up to the top of the waistband of the pair of pants I traced onto the blue jeans, but I had added no extra fabric for folding over and inserting elastic into as I knew I’d be adding this type of a waistband. I decided to trim off the inch that would be the new added waistband, but leave 1/2″ for seam allowance where they would be sewn together. (In the end, the pants don’t quite rise as much as I think they should. In an effort to avoid old man pants I ended up with something closer to Joey Fusco, Jr.pants… well, not quite THAT bad, but next time I think I will not trim and just add the waistband to the existing height of fabric.)
Once again I forgot to get pictures for a brief interval of time in which a fair amount ws accomplished. In my post on Knee-Pleat Pants I have this part well described and photographed if the following steps leave you feeling befuddled.
Pin the folded ring of fabric around the top of the pants with the folded edge down. Sew all the way around. Zigzag or serge the raw edges. Top stitch just below the waistband.
Open up the inside seam of the waistband to pass through the elastic.
Attach something to the elastic to allow you to easily pass it through the waistband. My usual trusty diaper pin was no where to be found so I used this key chain thingy instead.
Overlap the ends of the elastic by about 1″ and sew together. Check first to make sure the elastic isn’t twisted inside the waistband. Sew up the back seam of the waistband and the Shamelessly Lazy Toddler Jeans are finished!
He finally wore himself out chasing his wagon down the hill and then pushing it back up. I didn’t ask him to lie down on the sidewalk, but when he did I was able to get some not-so-blurry photos.
It lasted for a moment.
And then the moment was over.
The final analysis? I’m pretty happy with the way these turned out. I’m very happy with how easy and quickly they came together. Oh, and you can’t forget that delightful quality of being free! Next time I will make the pants have a higher rise at the waist and be a bit less full in the front. Neither of these are super big problems with this pair of pants though, especially as his shirts generally cover both imperfections. He’s getting plenty of wear out of them already!
Thanks for reading!
I’ve been featured!
Here’s where I’m linking up.