Treasure Pocket Pants

Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe

Image courtesy of Amazon.com.

I’m excited to share my latest attempt at a sewing project from Sewing for Boysthe Treasure Pocket Pants!

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This was begun just before I landed on bed rest and it taunted me in it’s pile of pieces on the sewing table throughout the duration of my time down. Once I was cleared to get up I attacked it with a vengance as I really wanted Eli to have this pair of pants in time for Christmas. All told I spent about 3 weeks on it as it just takes me forever and many mishaps to sew up things according to other people’s instructions. I just keep reminding myself that it is all part of the learning process. And I did learn a lot… including how to make a faux fly!

Treasure Pocket Pants side panel 1

The side panels are pieced together from old t-shirts and other articles of clothing I had been saving exactly for this purpose for quite some time. To avoid having the knit fabric stretch too much during assembly I backed the assembled panels with muslin.

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I hit a bit of a wall during the construction of these pants in that the pattern pieces for the side panel above the pocket and the rest of the side panel were different widths. I measured and remeasured and wondered how I could be messing up so royally and yet be unable to find my error. I was very pleased to discover that I was not at all at fault (for once!) and that there has since been published a corrected pattern piece that can be downloaded and printed off the web. (www.sewing-for-boys.com/ updatesanderrata/)

Eli in Treasure Pocket Pants Christmas Day

In addition to the side panels, all the other fabric used to make these pants was reclaimed from old clothing as well. I really like that this one pair of pants helped make a bit of a dent in my stash of fabric for repurposing.

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This was featured!
A Jennuine Life Thrifty to Nifty Thursdays Feature
Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toesjembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Skip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can DoKeeping It Simple An Original Belle,

I Should be Mopping the FloorThe Dedicated House ,

A Round Tuit,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot GiraffeKammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party, A Jennuine Life,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous, Diana Rambles,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My HandsHello Weekend,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

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Shirt Sleeves to Child’s Yoga Pants

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!

I’ve been featured!

Creating my way to Success

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sundayjembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin,

Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Popcycle of Tucson’s 4th Ave.

Fourth Ave. in Tucson, AZ is an interesting place to spend some time poking around.  We tend to make a visit every time we are in town visiting family. There are funky shops, great little cafes and restaurants, and a large Value Village thrift store.

One shop in particular caught my attention on this visit. Presenting Popcycle.

As per the back of their postcard above, they carry “recycled, upcycled, green & sustainable gifts, accessories, apparel, & furniture.”

I liked these signs made with old license plates.

Here were a few whimsical robotish creations.

Notebook covers made from old vinyl records.

Monster-head design were in abundance around the store.

I’m not sure how comfortable these belts made from old car seat belts would be.

But they would certainly be more comfy than the cactus bikini… at least for the person on the receiving end of a hug.

Old door knobs… decorated hanging pegs?
 There were many more things but someone official told me they only allow a few photos per visitor. Ooops! I’d already taken more than a few so I stopped at that point. I suppose they have to protect themselves from people who get inspired and then make things themselves… especially if they have blogs and share ideas with other easily inspired sorts.
As my goal isn’t depriving them of their livelihood, but rather just sharing something that I find interesting. (‘Cause if you know me at all you know I love putting old junk to new use!) If you happen to be in Tucson you can find this store at 422 N. 4th Ave. (520-622-3297) or you can find them on the web at www.popcycleshop.com. It looks like they sell to wholesalers but not individual consumers online.
(It should also be noted that I am in no way connected with this store. They did not ask me to do this post nor are they aware of it’s existence – unless perhaps they google themselves someday. I am not receiving any compensation for anything I have written.)
Here’s where I’m linking up:

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady Porch,  Lil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately Artistic

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & MeHappy Hour ProjectsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and NonsenseOne Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,  Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes,

Petite HermineMy 1929 Charmer Blog

Mamas Need Slippers Too

This time I made something for myself!

The linen fabric was once my favorite shirt. I’m glad to be able to wear it again for a while. The soles are more leather from that old recliner that I used for Eli’s slippers here. The dark brown fabric is courtesy of one of my husband’s old shirts.

Happy feet!

Upcycled Slippers

My recent foray back into the world of baby shoes reminded me that Eli is needing some slippers for this winter. We don’t wear shoes in the house and when he wears socks alone he slides and falls on the hardwood floors. The only thing is that my baby shoe pattern has been long outgrown, so I set about trying to figure out how to draft a new pattern for upcycled slippers his size. (When I was almost done with this project Gwen of Gwenny Penny left me a comment that just enlarging the existing baby shoe pattern has worked for her, even for her 3 year old. Who knew? (Well, Gwen for one. Thanks for letting me in on the secret!) So while life could have been easier for me in the sewing nook this week, I still think I learned a lot.)

First, I took a pair of his current shoes and traced around them, later adding 1/4 ” for seam allowance.

Next, I measured the length and the width over the top front of the shoe.

I then used these measurements to draw my next pattern piece, free hand drawing the curve of the toe.

I measured around the heel and sides to get the length of the heel piece and also measured for it’s height. These then were drawn on the freezer paper with added seam allowances.

Okay, now I ironed the sole pattern pieces to the leather and cut them out. (This came from a neighbor-discarded broken recliner a few years back.) Repeat for the lining fabric. (In this case my brother’s old sweatpants. Thanks, Kev!)

I continued to cut both outer and liner pieces out for the back and the top of the slippers using discarded jeans and a men’s plaid shirt.

The next few steps I did in a series of stolen moments while Eli was awake but distracted with other things. It seems he was not the only one distracted, I forgot to take photos as I worked. I’ll just have to briefly describe.

* Put toe liner and top piece right sides together and sew along the straight line.

* Do the same for the heel pieces.

* Fold on seam, right sides out and press.

* Top stitch along straight edge of all 4 pieces, 1/4″ from the top.

* Sew the lining fabric to the top of the sole. I used a little Heat ‘N’ Bond between them to keep them from slipping.

(Sorry for the lack of photos. If this isn’t clear feel free to contact me.)

Next I took the top piece and the sole. I lined up the middle of the toe of each and sewed from that point down each side.

I attached elastic to one end of the heel piece by sewing back and forth a few times. I folded the top over to create a casing and stitched along the edge, being careful not to catch the elastic on the inside. Then I pulled on the elastic until the heel gathered and felt like the right amount of tension to hold the slipper on the foot without being too tight. (Unfortunately using this method I have no idea how much elastic I actually used.) Then I tacked the elastic to the other side as I did the first and trimmed it.

I lined the heel up around the back of the sole with the lining facing out and sewed it onto the slipper.

I turned it right side out. It looked a bit funny to me so I folded the top part back.

I had to wait for Eli to wake up from his nap to try them on.

He was pleased! They fit with a little room for growth. In the couple of days since I made these he has asked me to put them on him several times. Once on, he doesn’t try to take them off, so they must be just fine as far as comfort is concerned.

 

Thanks for reading!

Fluffy-bottom Sweater Pants Tutorial

Before Eli was born I sewed a lot of fitted cloth diapers using the Mama Bird diaper pattern. While cloth diapering saves a lot of money over using disposables, sewing your own also saves that initial investment that comes with buying your cloth diaper stash. In the end I found I needed more than I was able to sew so I have also used some gDiapers, prefolds, and a few Kushies that were given to me.

The main drawback I have found to cloth diapering has been that Eli’s pants don’t fit over the bulk of the diapers he wears. We also had trouble getting him to fit well in his car seat while wearing the cloth diapers. If we have another child I will research other trimmer brands and look for a new cloth diaper pattern. With Eli I am compromising by using the cloth diapers when we are home and using ‘sposies when we go out.

During the summer it isn’t any problem letting Eli go just diaper clad down below when we are at home, but now that cooler weather will soon be here I’ve been wondering how to keep him in cloth diapers yet still keep his legs warm. These pants are just for knocking about the house, not for out on the town wear.

My solution? Fluffy-bottom Sweater Pants!

I took a pair of sweat pants (made from the sleeves of an old sweatshirt) that fit well and trace them on the sleeve of a retired sweater.

Cut this out adding 1/4 inch seam allowance along the crotch/butt edge. No  allowance is necessary at the bottom of the legs as the existing cuff makes hemming unnecessary. I also don’t need any allowance along the top as I will be adding fabric for the elastic casing later. Trace this leg onto the opposite sleeve and cut that out.

Using the upper part of one of the sleeves cut a wedge shape as tall as is possible. It can be trimmed down later. This will be added to the back of the pants to make them nice and roomy. Here is the tutorial where I first encountered this idea. Turn one leg inside out and pull it over the right side out leg so that the fabric is now right sides together.


Sew from the crotch up one side to create the front of the pants.

Cut into the pants on both sides of the unjoined back pieces so the resulting area into which you will sew the wedge shape is more of a U than a V.

Add the wedge shape. This is where you will cut it to fit. Match it along the waistband edge at the top of the pants. Trim the bottom corner so that it will fit into the space length wise. Leave an extra 1/4″ at the bottom before trimming for your seam allowance. Sew from the waist down.
Repeat with the other side of the wedge. Then sew over the seam at the bottom of the crotch back and forth a couple of times to close the bottom of the U and to reinforce it.
Zigzag (or serge) to finish your seams. Turn the pants right side out.
Now measure the width of the top of the pants and double the measurement and add 1/2″ for seam allowances. Pick a coordinating soft fabric for the waistband. (I’ve done this with both knit and woven fabric.) I used 1″ elastic so I cut my waistband fabric 2 1/2″ wide (1″ + 1/4″ seam allowance, doubled).
Sew both ends together to form a large loop.Fold the loop in half the narrow way, wrong sides together. Pin around the outside of the top of the pants, the open edge of the loop of fabric toward the top edge. Place the seam where you formed the loop in the center of the back of the pants.Sew all the way around. Zigzag or serge to finish the seam. Fold the waistband up into place. Top stitch so the finished seam lies flat on the inside. I found I had made my pants a little short to rise and cover the bottom area well so I repeated this step with an additional piece of fabric.

Use a seam ripper to open the inside of the waistband to insert the elastic. Measure around your child’s waist and add an inch to determine the length of your elastic.
Attach a large pin to one end of the elastic and feed through the waistband.
Sew back and forth where the elastic overlaps a few times. Sew up elastic opening in the waistband.

Catch toddler. Insert one foot into each leg of sweater pants. Pull up to fully cover cloth diapered bottom. Step back to fully appreciate the cuteness. You’re done!
Here are a couple other pairs of sweater pants that I’ve made.
Clothes Upcycling Projects