These trousers are really handy, especially if you need extra room for reusable nappies. They are quick and simple to make. As well as being easy to take on and off, they keep tummies snug and warm. Both pairs featured in this blog are made from second hand skirts bought at charity shops. I hope you like them as much as I do.
For the trousers I have used cotton fabric. The fabric has a slight stretch, but this was a coincidence and not intentional.
The waistband is made out of cotton jersey with 5% lycra. The lycra is important to keep the band snug and stop it from sagging. If you use jersey without lycra you may want to put some elastic in the waistband as I have with version one.
This is the pattern I have used for both versions, although you can see in the photographs that they vary in size. Version one is now a perfect fit for my 21 month old, whereas version two still has to be worn with a turn up on the trouser leg.
The grid measurements are in inches. Add a 4/8 inch (or 1.5 cm) seam allowance and 1 to 2 inches for the hem. The trousers are 17 inches long without the waistband. The trouser waist measures about 24 inches. The circumference of the waistband should be smaller than the trouser waist (the trousers will be gently gathered onto the waistband).
To get your child’s waist measurement for the waistband, just wrap the cotton jersey fabric snugly around their middle. My daughter’s waist measures about 20 inches but I have made the waistband 18 to 19 inches in circumference. On version two the waistband is lovely and deep. It reaches all the way up to just under her arms, like an extra vest, or can be folded down over her tummy.
Cutting out the Trousers
Lay the trouser pattern on the four layers of fabric (right sides together then folded again at centre front/back) and pin. Cut out, remembering the seam allowances.
Sewing the Trousers
Sew the crotch and inside leg seam. Neaten the seam with zigzag stitch or, if you’re lucky enough to have one, an over-locker (serger). Next, sew the side seams. [If you are using a recycled skirt, you may only need to sew the tapered portion at the top.] Hem the trouser legs. [If you are using a recycled skirt use the existing skirt hem.]
Cutting out the Waistband
Mark out a strip of cotton jersey. For version one mine measures 19 inches long and 4 inches wide (half the finished width) plus 4/8 inch seam allowance all the way around. For version two mine measures 18 inches long and 18 inches wide (half the finished width) plus 4/8 inch seam allowance.
Sewing the Waistband
Join the waistband (right sides together). This will be the centre back seam. Fold the wrong sides together to form a band.
Joining the Waistband to the Trousers
With the trousers inside out, mark the centre front, centre back and both side seams with pins. Do the same on the waistband, placing the seam at the centre back. Pin the band onto the trousers at these marked positions. Pin together between these points. You can stretch the waistband slightly to ease the larger trouser waist onto it. Sew through the three layers (trousers one layer, waistband two layers) using a zigzag stitch keeping the waistband slightly stretched as you sew. Neaten and voila!
I hope to make another pair soon and take lots of pictures at key stages to illustrate these instructions. I hope also to attempt a video tutorial, so watch this space.