a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Make Baby or Toddler Pants from Shirtsleeves

    (You don't have to look too closely to see where I forgot
to tighten the elastic on one leg.)

This week I used a $1.00 thrift shop blouse to make a little one- piece sun-suit for our September-arriving granddaughter.

"What does this have to do with making baby or toddler pants?" you ask.

The blouse had 3/4 length sleeves with band trim across the bottom.  

I simply couldn't let all that sleeve material go to waste. 

Plus, the shape of the sleeve when I cut it from the rest of 
the blouse reminded me of the pattern shape for little pants.
I laid my "pattern" on the sleeves so 
the cuff bands of the blouse became 
the hems of the pants---another time-
saving step.  And I love how the little 
"slit" feature, originally on the cuff, looks
at the bottom of the pants. 

I was really excited when I saw how cute they turned out.

Then I realized I hadn't asked Dave to take before and during photos of the process!

I have tried to recreate it by cutting the sleeves out of a
blouse I had in my closet. It wasn't cotton and had short sleeves so the layout doesn't look quite right but I think it is enough to give you the idea.  
(Oops! I drew the line too close to the leg of the pants. 
Obviously a "do as I say, not as I do" situation!)
Step 1
Fold the sleeve in half. Fold the "pattern" in half and lay it on the sleeve fabric.  Important: Although my photo above does not show it---
you must be sure to allow extra length at the top of the 
pants for the waist band casing. Cut around the pattern allowing extra for the seam.Repeat with second sleeve.  

Next, I copied some illustrations from a baby pants pattern to give the visual direction.

Men's shirts would give you even more fabric to work with.  Since most children grow more in length than they do in "width" the longer sleeves on men's shirts would allow you to make pants for children, not just infants and toddlers.

Denim shirts would provide options of pants from the sleeves and --- skirts, vests, jumpers, shorts and more from the rest of the shirt.  

Now, if they would only make the buttonholes on adult clothing closer together we could utilize that part of the shirt also.  What a time- and effort-saver that would be!

Happy Sewing and Happy Thinking  ... 
of things you can do and things you can make do with.

I am Simply, Gail --- the creative cheapskate!

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