Toddler jeans, no pattern

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Since we’re running a little short on girls pant here, I decided to sew a few pairs.  I find patterns from the big name pattern companies don’t fit well and the sizing often isn’t right.  Buy the time I sort through my patterns, try to figure out what will fit, and compare the pieces to pre-made clothes to try to gauge if it will actually turn out the size and shape I’m looking for- it is much quicker just to make my own pattern!  So, here I copied a pair of jeans that I know fit well.

pants front

The photos I took while I made the pattern were too dark, so here is how I did it, but the pattern is already made.  The jeans need to be carefully folded to get the inside crotch seam as flat as possible.  Then you just trace all around the pants as they are folded.  Since the back waist is higher than the front, you need to guess or fold the back down so you get the front waist line.

pants back  patern

Then you carefully fold the jeans the other way.  Since I’m making a pattern that is one piece per leg, I position the outside of the leg on the line I made when tracing the front.  It is hard to see, but there is a place down the side of the leg where the boot cut shape of the jeans makes a gap.  There isn’t an exactly straight line down the outside of the leg.  I ignored this making a slightly fuller leg, but it could easily be sewn to make a more fitted and flare look.  Special care must be taken to get the back crotch seam to lie flat when you trace it.  It is very hard to accurately get the full width, but you want a good fit, so be careful.

patternOnce you have the jeans traced, you need to add a seam allowance all the way around.  I use 1/4″, but you can use your preference.  Also add a fake fly to the front seam, like so.  You need to add 3/4 inch at the waist for elastic, add whatever width of elastic you plan to use.   Finally, add an inch or more for the hem on the bottom of the legs.  That’s it for the pattern.

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Cut 2 of the pants pattern, and I cut out 2 rather large pockets, but they will “shrink” with a box pleat in the center and turning down the top edge.  (Sorry- bad pictures!)

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I sewed the pleat, about 1 1/2″ wide, stitching about 4″ down from the top and only about 1″ up from the bottom, then pressed it flat in a box pleat. I like to use pockets with a curved bottom. I turn in the edges by surging around the outer edge and cranking up the differential feed as I go around the bottom curve so that the tight surging rolls in the edges, and then it is very easy to press them in.  The top edge of the pocket is folded over the front- to the right side, then back up again.  After the edges are surged this is turned so there is a nice edge finish on the top of the pocket.  Everything is pressed.

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I top stitched the top edge of the pocket, added the flower button, pinned it to the middle of the pant leg and sewed it into place.

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The fake fly is stitched like so.

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Press and pin the fly so it lays flat to the left.  Top stitch it, being carefull to catch all layers.  Sew the back crotch seam, right sides together.  Sew the leg seam, up one leg and down the other, being careful to match the center seams.  Sometimes the back part of the leg seam ends up longer than the front due to the wider curve of the crotch in the back.  Sew with the back part of the pants down so your feed dogs will help pull up the difference, if there is any.

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Hem up the bottom of the pants legs.

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Measure elastic around the child.  I usually make the elastic about 1″ smaller than their waist measurement.  Then the ends are overlapped about 3/4″ and that seems to be a good fit.  Mark the half way mark of the elastic.  Starting at the back seam and stretching the elastic evenly to line up the half way mark with the front seam, zigzag or surge the elastic to the top edge of the waist.  Turn it down and top stitch, stretching as you go.  Press.

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I sewed a flowered button on the waist and at the ankle, and that’s it.

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