Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Child's Pirate Pants

Halloween Costume Series #3

DIY Child's Pirate Pants

As I wrote in my last post, my three year old is going to be a pirate for Halloween, and I'm making his entire costume from scraps from my own stash without spending a dime!

These are short pants that hit my little pirate just below the knee.  They have an elastic waist and elastic casing at the cuff.  I made them from a scrap of striped denim.  I bought this fabric about 12 or 13 years ago to make a maxi skirt from a pair of jeans.  Remember that look?  Oh, they were so cool at the time....  Anyway, who'da thunk all these years later the remnants of that project would make my own son's pirate pants?  
Oh, and I forgot to mention in my pirate shirt post that the white muslin I used was leftover from the newborn kimono I made to take my little Sweetheart home from the birth center three and a half years ago. Aww. (FYI, don't bring your newborn home in a long kimono, it gets in the way of the carseat buckles. lol)

What you will need:
  • preferably bottom weight material (though any will do, a bottom weight will last longer if your pirate wants to wear it a lot) about 1/4 yard to 1/2 yard depending on the size of your child.  
  • a pair of your child's pants to use as a template.  I used sweats because they are shaped more like I imagine pirate pants would be. 
  • pen, pencil, or other marking utensil
  • enough elastic for the waist and cuffs (should fit tightly around waist/legs without really stretching, you don't want them to be too tight)
  • thread
Step 1

Making your pattern

A few months ago I wrote a tutorial on how to make toddler PJ bottoms.  This is this same basic pattern, with a few little differences.  They are shorter, and they have an elastic casing at the cuff.  One other change I made was to simplify the pattern making part.
Lay out your fabric, folded in half, right sides together.  Place your child's pants on top.  Stretch out the waist band and mark onto the fabric, making sure you leave at least a 1/4 in from the top for seam allowance.

Then mark out the crotch seams: fold the pants, pulling out the crotch seam and trace it, then flip it and trace the other side.  Keep in mind that the left side, which will be the front of the pants is about an inch lower and shorter than the right side (the back).  Making the front seam shorter will make a much better all over fit.

Trace the side of the pants all the way down the leg to just below your pirate's knee, then add 1 1/4 inches for the casing.  Do not taper the edges of the casing, like I did, it will be easier to sew if it's straight.

Cut out the pants adding 1/4 seam allowance all around where you marked.

Step 2
Press the hems.  The waist should be pressed down 1/4 inch.  The cuffs should be pressed down 1/4 inch, and then pressed 1inch to make the casing.

Step 3

Sew up the front and back of the pants, finishing the edges and clipping the curves.

Step 4

Sew up the legs, make sure to unfold the 1 inch casing and sew to the end of the fabric.

Step 5

I really don't like casing elastic the traditional way, where you sew the casing and then thread the elastic through.  One of the reasons why I sew the waistband elastic like I do is because of this, but sometimes casing is the right look so I have to go with it.  This time though, I did it differently, and I think it's less hassle.  If you'd rather do it the traditional way, go for it, if not follow these directions.

Measure out the elastic for you pirate's legs.  Sew the elastic into a ring and slip it into the open topped casing.  You can pin it in place to keep from sewing on it.  Now, sew the casing closed by topstitching all around about 1/8 in from the top of the casing.  Easy, right?

Step 6

Measure out the elastic waist and pin it to the waist of the pants, seam in the back wrong sides together.  Stretch and sew all the way around the top and bottom of the elastic.  If it's wide elastic you may wish to add a third row of stitching in the middle of the elastic. (For a more detailed description of this process read my pajama bottom post)

Wow! Now you have pirate pants!  Don't they look nice? 
Come on back for posts 3 and 4 of my Halloween Costume Series for tutorials on how to make the pirate vest and boots.

If you missed them here are posts 1 (toddler truck costume) and 2 (pirate shirt).

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