6.23.2009

easy peasy underneathy

Hey, have I mentioned that I am making Smootch's underwear from Birdie Boy's outgrown jersy knit baby pants? Baby pants are made to fit over diapers, which also conveniently fits a preschooler's bottom just about right. This method works well with jersey knit pants in size 9 months and bigger for your average size preschooler, and outgrown leggings or tights (in natural materials) also lend themselves well to undie-conversions.

Oh, and it's the easiest, quickest thing to do ever. Much faster then shopping anyway (which is why I started doing this when I realized that part of the reason why Smootch wiggled so much was because her underwear were too tight. O0ps.)

You've got your baby pants. You got your scissors. Now cut off the legs, leaving about 3/4 - 1" for an elastic.


All that needs done is to stabilize the leg seams (no need to gather, they'll be snug enough.) Pull out your clear elastic (or regular elastic not wider than 3/8"). Use a zig-zag stitch to secure the elastic to the raw edge of the wrong side around the leg opening. I usually do not measure out a length but just start sewing from one seam around, pulling the elastic slightly to prevent the jersey knit from stretching out as I sew, and then cutting the sewn elastic free from my roll once I reach all the way around.


To finish, fold under the sewn elastic and top stitch around the leg opening to secure.

Done.
These fit a bit like what they call 'boy shorts', which suites us all good over here considering my little girl has absolutely no sense of modesty when wearing her twirl skirts. And Smootch assures me they are very comfortable and double very well as pjs bottoms in hot weather.
Now, to figure out what to do with the little legs left over from the baby pants. The Man suggested I use them for baby clean up after meals (we also seem to need more of those) but there are too many sweet fabrics to let them go like that. Will have to come up with something...

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24 comments:

  1. So fabulous :) I'm not sure they'd fit my preschooler (she's almost 4, and a solid 5T with wide hips) but SUCH a cute idea!

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  2. I love this! So clever. I think my boys are at the right ages for me to be able to try this!

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  3. Is there enough fabric to make mittens for colder weather?

    The underwear is cute, and a smart idea

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  4. Your daughter is a bit older than my daughter and your son is a bit older than my son, so this is a perfect thing for me to try, as many of your other tutes have been - so thanks!

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  5. What a clever idea. I'll have to give that a go. Hmmm, and I'm thinking something a bit 80's for the offcuts .... legwarmers!

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  6. I am a long time stalker.

    thanks so much for this idea! You are right, so great under skirts!!

    I love your site!!

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  7. Great idea! Now I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for those at the thrift shop. Thanks.

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  8. Brilliant!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-preschoolers-panties-from-babys-pants/2009/06/24/
    --Anne

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  9. very cute! are the ankles of the pants too small to turn these into poofy sleeves on a tank?

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  10. such a great idea. wish i could sew

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  11. Brilliant!!! I actually use the legs of my kids old jersey knit pants to make headbands for myself and my girlie. Now I can use the leftover bum bit for underpants.
    Again I say, BRILLIANT!

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  12. Nice! We like the bloomers pattern from Weekend Sewing, ourselves, also very workable for immodest children and as shorts by themselves--it's an odd, sort of ethnic-looking combination, when Willow dresses herself in a t-shirt and bloomers for the day.

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  13. Thanks all!

    I'll let you know what happens to the legs... I see the pile being quicky depleted come time for winter sewing.

    Speaking of bloomers, I have a serious hankering for pirately, ribbonly sorta capri length bloomers. A project for soon, yes?

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  14. Great I was thinking of how to make my girls paints into shorts. Her legs are a 5t but her waist is still a 4t.

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  15. I've been using cut-off legs to make baby doll pants for my little one's dolls.

    Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas!

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  16. To me the leg scraps are screaming "fun contrasting ribbing for knit clothing!" You know, if you're into that kind of thing.

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  17. those little leg ends look like a good size to make mittens. I know with the way kids loose things and run in and out in the winter, there are never enough mittens or gloves.

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  18. maybe you could make mittens out of them?

    LOVE your blog by the way

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  19. Love this! I linked your tute @ owensofyorktown.blogspot.com -- Thanks for the awesome idea!

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  20. you could use the leg warmer pieces for carrying a toddler in a backpack carrier where the pants always ride up, also slice it along the seam add a small piece of salvaged elastic from hubby's old long johns to the cuff and it is a pull on bib.

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  21. I love it! From the scraps, you could make baby quilts to keep for your future grandchildren. Your kids will have fun remembering those fabrics from their childhood...

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  22. Cute idea! I actually used the legs first and wondered what to do with the rest of the jammies!
    We had gotten a very small puppy in December, which in central Canada, means she needed a sweater. I cut the leg off a pair of jammie bottoms and cut two holes to accomodate her little legs (with the seam running under her tummy center) at the cuffed end and tapered the thigh end so it was longer on the back and shorter under the tummy so she could still tinkle! I finished off the raw edges on the sewing machine. It worked perfectly and as she grew, I upsized the jammies! Now I can make knickers out of the leftovers!
    Great, practical ideas!

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