31 July 2009

Apron Pants Tutorial

(er, I do own an iron but I'm working with linen here)

I have to face it: fall is coming and I've gotta think pants. But little girls don't like pants. Hmmm... here's a tutorial to make what a toddler may be convinced is a skirt with pantlegs.


Start by cutting out a basic, elastic-waist pair of pants. Most of you probably have a pattern (or twenty) on hand that you can use here.
Lay out the backs and fronts of the pants and sew up the inner leg seam as shown. You will have one section now that is the front, and one section that is the back. (I always mark one section with a little nick or a basting thread in a bright color so I can identify them later. This is important as the back has a little more room for your child's derriere.)

Now open up the pieces you've just sewn and press the seams. Lay one on top of the other. See that big horseshoe? Sew that up.
Turn the pants right side out and you'll have a pair of pants in the making! Turn them wrong side out again and sew up the side seams. Either serge or zigzag stitch the top of the waistband, but don't do anything else to the waistband yet.THE FUN PART: THE APRON

You need a square of fabric appx. 18 x 18 inches for your apron (I am making a pair of size 3T pants. If your pants are significantly bigger, adjust your apron accordingly). Fold the square in half and iron along the fold. The fold should be at the bottom of the apron.
Place your apron fabric over the hip of the pants. Using a ruler, draw a slanted line on both sides of the apron fabric so it is slightly triangular, following the line of the pants as a rough guide. You don't need to be precise here, but make your apron slightly wider than the pants.
Cut off the two edges you've just drawn. Turn inside out and sew up the side seams. Turn right side out and press. You should have something like this:
Now is a great time to embellish. What little girl wouldn't like some ribbon and a some fabulous buttons and a monkey and a seahorse and copious ruffles and... you get my point. I added some applique flowers similar to the ones I put on my bleached denim skirt. First lay out your embellishments, then when you are happy with the layout, sew them on. Make sure your bobbin thread is the same color as your apron so that when your little one flips the apron up, all your friends see your admirable stitching.
Next you are going to position your apron over your pants to find the correct length for your taste. Mine hangs just past the inseam. There's no rule here. Make several pairs, all different if you'd like.

The last thing to do is attach the apron to the front of the pants, add a casing for the elastic, and insert the elastic. It's harder to explain than it is to sew. Hang in there, you're nearly done:

Fold down the top of the waistband to form a casing large enough for your elastic to go through, plus another 3/4 inch. Iron into place, but don't sew it yet. Your apron has one unfinished edge: the top. Make sure it is level and either serge or zigzag it. Now fold that top edge under about 1/2 inch and iron. Position the apron so that it folds right over top of the casing you just ironed onto the pants. The apron should fold over only slightly. The casing for the elastic is going to sit under this. Using a straight stitch in a color that coordinates, sew all the way around the top of the pants to attach the apron.
Now pull your apron all the way up, exposing the pants where the casing for the elastic will go. Sew a casing for the elastic, just like you always do, but be careful to keep the apron out of your way.
Measure the elastic that you will need, pin it at both ends so it can't slip into the casing, and thread it through. Make sure that your elastic is not twisted and sew it together where it comes out. It is a good idea to also stitch the elastic into place at the side seams so it cannot twist over time. Pull your apron back down. Your pants and apron will be gathered slightly.

Hem your pants to the desired length and YOU'RE DONE!

For a super cute look, wear the pants rolled up to the knees too.


Laura Gerencser said...

This is really cute! My niece would love these!!

Millan said...

Love this idea!
And thank you, I received the Pay if forward package from you today, I really love it all! I´ll post about it on my blog later today or tomorrow!
From Millan in Sweden

casserole said...

Brilliant!! Mama and little girl both get what they want.

I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


Lola Nova said...

How sweet! Thanks for the tutorial.

michellejohnnie said...

Awesome idea. I featured this at Grab my "feature" button.

Anonymous said...

Soooo adorable!! I love the buttons and decorations you added too. I will be making some of these for my triplets! I love dresses and girly things but it gets so cold in Iowa during the winter-this is a great solution!!