Alternate title, choose your own adventure pants!
Back to share this little method I used to create pants with a contrast cuff. I find that with my kids, they are typically growing up and not necessarily out. Toddlers, especially, seem to grow up and then lose their baby bellies in the process. So I created a pair of pants that can grow up with them, with a little variation along the way. A cute contrast cuff to be folded up until they grow into the full length. Also an exercise in ‘how to add a cuff when I only have a tiny bit of fabric available.’
First, decide how big you want your cuff. These are two inches. Then add top and bottom seam allowances to this, and make sure to change your pants hem seam allowance to match. I used 1/4 inch seam allowances. Take your cuff and iron one seam allowance up, like so… Next, line up the raw edges of both your pants bottom and the cuff, and sew. This both hems your pants and adds the cuff. We will hide all the raw edges in the nest step.Now press your cuff to the wrong side and pin, tucking the seam allowance under. And edgestitch that sucker down. The pattern I was using only has two pattern pieces, and therefore no outside seam edge. To clean up the look of the inside seam, I just folded and sewed the fabric to hide the raw edges. I sometimes do this to the entire seam when I want things to look nice and pretty on the inside. And, voila, you’re done and you have a fun little grow-with-me cuff to fit your toddler for more than a few months. If your kids are slow growers, like mine, these pants could fit for a few years. I think this would be cute to make with pants that could be either folded up capris or pants. When you are taking the time to home-sew, versatility and extended wear are always a big bonus.
Now go forth and cuff all the pants.
A portrait a week continues.
Inspired by Practising Simplicity.
This winter has had a lot of really cold temps, not entirely conducive for playing out in the snow. Last week they got some much-needed outside time. I’m not sure who needed it more, the kids or myself. This is the first year I can bundle them up and send them outside to play. Alone. This one snowshoed around the house for almost an hour with her big sister. She is so eager to be part of that magical big-kid world. The school-day mornings bring a lot of sadness in the morning when Daddy leaves for school with her brother and sister in tow… She has always been independent, hitting major milestones faster and more intensely than her older siblings. But it wasn’t until this week that I’ve stopped thinking of her as a baby, my baby. My last baby. Sniff.
I love sewing little handmades for little ones, and seem to be stuck on pants lately. I also seem to be stuck on not ever having the items made at the time of proper gift-giving event. Luckily, a one year old is pretty indifferent to gifts at all, so I got a free pass on this one.
This particular one-year-old needed some little pants made just for him. (A year ago I made him these! So tiny!!) For inspiration, I looked around at what the men in his life like to wear. At his birthday party, all but one of the men was dressed in some sort of button down flannel/check shirt. I really need to learn how to make a button-down for the Adirondack boys in my life, but until that happens, I used that inspiration in other ways. Three pairs of pants, three modified patterns. Dana’s kid shorts pattern, Sarah’s Hosh Pants, and Melly’s PJ Pants.
I kind of screwed up two out of three, and I’m hoping they all work. The Hosh Pants are the bicycle pattern and I sized up, but then I thought I should have maybe had actual measurements to work with and sized up a little more. I was surprised by how much I thought I widened the leg, but how skinny they actually are. Live and learn. I really like the look of them, though, and want to try to do a dropped crotch modified version out of knit. Someday…
The Kid Shorts-converted-to-pants pattern….I just…damned if I know. I think I sewed half of it upside down. As in half waist/half cuff. All I know is I ended up with a waist that might fit a (skinny) newborn and cuffs that looked about right. I went back in and added a strip of fabric to each leg, but whoa. They are rough (sorry W!). I’m hoping they work well enough to sleep in, though, because they were my favorite fabric combo. I’ll probably have to try them on him, and then take in the inseams two different amounts, because as I said, one is a cuff and the other is a waist. I think. Maybe… All that to say, sometimes you think you have this sewing thing down and then you realize, huh, you really can’t sew them in your sleep. Maybe an extra cup of coffee next time.
For the Lazy Day PJ bottoms, I thinned out the leg and these sewed up beautifully. I love the contrast waistband method, it was new to me and I loved how neat and tidy it sewed up. I used a brown gingham that is pretty sturdy and will make cute little every day pants. I sized up for extra-long wearing time, but until he gets a bit taller, I added a little peek-a-boo contrast cuff in there. Two pants in one! He’ll wear out the knees before he outgrows these, I think…
All fabric came from Jo Ann’s and it took me record time to pick them all out. I’m not sure exactly what that time was, fabric stores are like a 3rd dimension, they run on their own time. The point is, I’m progressing in this area. Almost enough to take children with me…(although I don’t ever plan on that). Jo Ann’s is a little like TJ Max. Utterly overwhelming with a garish combination of color and pattern. Jewels to be found, for sure, but my first instinct is to just turn and walk out. The only time I’ve ever found anything worthwhile at TJ Max is when I’ve been shopping with other people (looking at you, Tracy) and basically jailed in the place long enough to find a few items.
Once I learned to tune out some of the noise of so many fabrics and textures in one space, I love wandering around finding fabrics that jump out for the particular giftee I’m thinking of. For this little one-year-old, I wanted a bit of that plaid flannel, something that would work for a more modern every-day pant (the checks), and the flannel with hooks and fish were a must since I pictured him wearing them on a trip to his Grandpa’s fishing camp in Canada, an annual family tradition. I love winding meaning into the fabric choices, putting him in garments that tell a little story.
So now I’m wondering, how does everyone else choose their fabric? Do you gather inspiration before hand and have it all planned out, or do you just walk around aimlessly and grab whatever speaks to you? Do you buy fabric for each project individually, or in advance? Do tell…
It’s been light on the sewing around here…but that is allll about to change! Waiting on some fabric orders today and then really excited to dive in!
Today, another portrait from another week of 2014. Inspired by Practising Simplicity.
A portrait a week, inspired by Practising Simplicity.
I am really loving this project, and already nostalgic to think of looking back on just one moment each week for an entire year.
In this moment… she was making homemade valentines during a day of rest at home. (and I love the gap-tooth smile she sports these days!)
I made up a little shirt for my boy, who I thought may want to participate in a little Valentine’s celebration minus any hearts or flowers or…much color of any kind actually. I really need to buy some fabric in a color other than gray, no?
I also just wanted an excuse to dress him up in another shirt with pop-culture references decades before his time. I was close to his age when this album came out, so technically it’s a bit before my time, but I remembering rocking out to it on my walkman (or maybe a discman? 8track?) in middle school pretty clearly.
The pattern is Kate’s Recess Raglan, in a size 5, which gives this brand new five-year-old a little growing room. He really could care what was on it, he’s always happy to receive a handmade item. Mainly because photoshoots around these parts are paid in
Mama hugs and kisses, er, I mean candy.
I thought the shirt was fairly obvious, but my husband didn’t quite get it. I was going to put a red heart for the arrow to, well, be ‘shot through,’ but the customer said no. And the customer is always right.
So happy Valentines Day from me. From my little guy. But, mostly, from Jon Bon Jovi.
Today you are five! You really get it this year, you are excited about your party and asked that your birthday not be in the morning, but in the night-time. We don’t want to waste a perfectly good birthday on just getting up and going to school after all.
Five. Official big kid territory now. It is strange to think that last year I was lamenting the ending of your ‘three’s.’ Three. Five. A whole world of difference. This year you grew out of your night terrors (phew), but still haven’t settled comfortably into the idea that Mom and Dad have rules for you. Let’s just say, you doth protest. Your little boy sweetness faded into the background during your fourth year, but it peaks out just often enough to melt me. I need those moments since this was the year you refused to kiss me in front of other people (so, soon…really?). You are still a Daddy’s boy, loving to rough-house and play fight constantly. As in all the damn time. You will allow me to sub in if Daddy isn’t available, but neither of us are terribly thrilled with this arrangement.
You started school a few months ago, and you are mostly happy about this. You would not have wanted to stay home another year, but you love your weekends and vacations, and often wish it were summer vacation. This is painting a pretty good picture about how you’ll probably feel about school for years to come. You know, when it’s full time and all. Today you mentioned that you would miss your friends, and I realized you thought you would be going to Kindergarten now that you were five.
I love watching you figure out the world. You wonder how things are built, how structures work, where the water goes when it goes down the drain. You’ll look under sinks and see that the water has to go uphill, and you try to make sense of it all. You make connections that aren’t quite there, informing me that the Ipad is low on gas, wondering who was playing Candy Crush when the Candyland board is out, and referring to the kitty pool as a ‘cat pool’ and wondering where all those cats are, anyway. One day I noticed a full roll of toilet paper in the bathroom and realized you figured out how to change the toilet paper roll, which means you’re probably a downright genius, since there are many of your gender who still can’t figure out how that works.
Your sweetness appears when you see beautiful things, and Conner, you see them better than most. You loved putting each ornament on our Christmas tree, calling them break-i-ful. (Beautiful and breakable) You stop and stare at a beautiful sunset or cloud and make sure I see it too, and you smile when the sunshine sparkles on the lake. But I smile at you, because you are my sunshine.
Here’s to being five, Conner boy!
Mama and Daddy