I’m so excited to be a part of a surprise virtual baby shower for one of my favorite bloggers, Abby Rudakov from things for boys. She’s been such an inspiration to me and through our blogs, we have formed a sweet little long distance friendship…I’m in California and she lives in Australia. We’ve always had the feeling that if we were ever to meet in person we’d be crafting and drinking wine into the wee hours of the morning…except we have kids and live thousands of miles apart. A couple other wonderful blogging mamas and myself made Abby some homemade gifts for her soon-to-be-born second son. I chose to make a pair of pants (I know…surprise, surprise) out of the sleeves of a cashmere sweater. I added a couple little felted patches to the knees and crocheted a trim around the hem to give it some extra character and love.
I’m going to give you a quick and easy little tutorial on how to make a pair of these cashmere baby pants.
You will need:
- a pair of soft baby pants to use as a guideline (“pattern”)
- a cashmere sweater (“fabric”)
- elastic for waistband
- matching thread
- sewing machine needles for knit fabric
As you can see, the first thing you do after you have felted your cashmere sweater is to chop off the sleeves…CHOP, CHOP!
Next you want to turn the sleeves inside out and line the baby pants “pattern” on the cashmere “fabric”. I wanted to make these pants slightly bigger than the ones I was using as my pattern, so I gave it a bit more length and width than I needed. Normally, if you use a 1/2″ – 5/8″ seam allowance for the inseam and an extra 2″-2 1/2″ for the waistband, you should be fine.
(Cashmere is rather slick and so your cuts may not be exact on both pieces. At this point, once I’ve pinned the two pieces together, I trim the edges to make sure the cuts are more accurate. Sweater material is pretty forgiving, so you can gently tug it here and there to make a good match up.) Sew from the top waist to the crotch on both sides and open up the pants so that the crotch seam is now in the center and it looks like you have two unsewn “legs” on each side.
Pin the pant legs together, matching up the crotch seams and bottom hems. Sew up the length of the leg starting at the hem up to the crotch and then back down the other leg to the hem. You can reinforce the crotch seam if you choose. Notch out the curve of the seam with a few little notches, making sure not to cut too close to the seam.
To make the waist band, fold over the top edge of the pants, leaving about an extra 1/2″ for the size of your elastic. I used 1″ elastic, so I folded over 1 1/2″. Sew this down all the way around the waistband of the pants using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 2″ opening at the center of the waistband to insert the elastic. (This is my favorite part…) Get out your favorite extra large baby diaper pin and thread the elastic through the 2″ opening, being careful not to twist it. Figure how small you want the waist size to be and then sew the two ends of elastic together. Lastly, sew the waistband closed at the opening and turn the pants right side out.
I chose to add the patches as an after- thought because I thought the pants could use a little extra something. I trimmed the bottom hem with a simple single crochet stitch, just like I do on my coffee cuffs .
Hopefully this tutorial was straight forward enough for those of you who have never made a pair of pants before. There are so many other wonderful resources on the internet for these types of patterns. The first time I made a pair of upcycled baby pants, I followed a simple pattern found in Amanda Soule’s book, The Creative Family…just to give her props, since I modeled my instructions after her tutorial.
As for the other wonderful gifts being made for Abby, go check them out and see!! Here is a list of where to find them and the crafty ladies behind them.