It seems like it has been forever and a day since I’ve had a tutorial to offer. But today I’ve got a quick, easy and ever so useful sewing project for you, so let’s get started!
Eli has been needing some new warm pajama pants. He pretty much refuses to sleep with any covers over him at all so with cooler weather around the bend (or at least I dearly hope so, November and tomorrow we’re supposed to hit 91 degrees) I wanted to make him something nice and snuggly. I’ve been doing most of my sewing reusing fabric from old clothing, requiring limited expenditure to support my habit other than thread and elastic. By making yoga pants I don’t need any elastic at all, I can further make a dent in my overwhelming pile of clothing to be repurposed and I can make super comfy clothing at the same time.
Here’s how you can do it too.
1) Find an old knit long sleeved shirt from which you can use the sleeves as pant legs. The bigger your child the larger the shirt required. Eli is 2 1/2 and wears 3T pants and I was able to use men’s size large for these pants. I made one pair from a t-shirt and two from heavy sweat shirt material.
2) Place a pair of pants that fit your child well, folded in half, on a shirt sleeve. Trace around the crotch and across the waistband adding a little extra space for seam allowance. I didn’t measure but it was about 1/2″. I used an existing pair of yoga pants here so I folded down the waistband before tracing. If you are using a pair of pants with an elastic waistband to trace you may want to make the top of these pants 1/2″ shorter as you will be sewing the yoga waistband onto them later.
3) Turn one sleeve inside out and fit the right side out sleeve into it so they are now right sides together. Pin all the way around what will be the center seam. Sew with a zigzag stitch.
4) Turn the pants right side out and set aside. Now it is time to make your yoga waistband. Measure around your child’s waist, subtract 3″ and divide by 2. This is the width of the two pieces of cloth you will need to cut out to form the waistband. The height of the rectangles should be 15″ regardless of the size of the child. (A great source for this complete with diagrams is here at the Sew Mama Sew blog where you will find a tutorial for a yoga waistband skirt.) Using ribbing or a super stretchy t-shirt cut out the two rectangles making sure the stretch goes from side to side.
5) Sew up each side with a zigzag stitch. Press seams open.
6) Fold the tube in half so that the two raw edges are matching up and the seam allowance is sandwiched in the middle.
7) Slide the tube over the pants so that all three raw edges match up along the top of the pants, and the folded edge of the tube is hanging down. Because the tube will be more narrow than the top of the pants, stretch the tube so you can pin it around the top of the pants. I find it helps to pin the two sides first at the side seams of the waistband. Then stretch it out from side to side and pin the center points at the center seams of the pants. Then pin twice between each of the first four pins.
8) Sew all the way around with a zigzag stitch.
9) Flip waistband up and top stitch all the way around with a straight stitch.
If the sleeves you chose to use were in good condition you’re done!
If however they were like the sleeves of the two sweatshirts I used the cuffs will be ratty and dirty.
10) Remove the cuff from each sleeve.
11) Use one of the cuffs to cut measure the amount of fabric to use for your new cuffs. I used the same shirt I used to make the waistband. (This shirt gave enough fabric for two waistbands and four cuffs.) Open up the old cuff to find the length of fabric for the height you want enough so that you can double the fabric over as you did the waistband.
12) Sew up the side of the new cuff and attach it to the leg the same way you attached the waistband. (Steps 5-9)
Now you are done… the pants are ready to be worn!
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