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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pants into a Toddler Skirt Tutorial

 This tute will work well for kids between the ages of 1 1/2 and about 3....4 pushing it....as you must have a pair of wide legged pants. The ones I used were a double XL and worked out well for my two year old! You also need 3/4" elastic. Make sure to get  your child's measurements, the waist to hem and then the waist all the way around. minus 2 inches. Keep those measurements handy somewhere.
To begin, start with a wide legged pair of pants. These ones my neighbor gave me one day when I saw she was getting rid of clothes, I asked her if I could go through them. Don't they have just the cutest little border!
 Lay your pants out flat and measure up the center of the pant leg from the bottom going upwards, the length you measured earlier plus an additional 2 1/2 inches. Cut straight across. Repeat on the other pant leg.

You will now have 2 tubes from the bottom of the pant legs. Cut each tube open cutting only one seam on each pant leg. Remove the excess bulk on the seam by carefully trimming away. ( It will be too bulky otherwise when you sew it up later.) Lay both  pieces out flat.
With both pieces laid out flat this is the time when you need to 'square up' the two pieces. Make sure your side edges are nice and straight and that your top of the fabric is nice and straight. Because these pants were made wider at the thigh and tapered in a little bit, the top of my fabric came to a point in the center when I laid it out flat. That point is what needs to be trimmed down to be in line with the rest of the fabric.
Place both pieces of fabric, right sides together and sew or serge down each side. If you sew it with a regular machine you may want to go back and zig zag your edges so to prevent fraying. Don't have a sewing machine???? This whole project can be made by hand with just a needle and thread!!!! What fun for tweens to make for their siblings!
Serge or zig zag the top edge of the fabric now all the way around.
Everyone it seems has their own way of marking off or folding over fabric to make a waistband casing. This is how I like to do it. I mark with a washable fabric marker, 3 inches down from the serged edge. I make small marks or dots every so many inches all the way around on the wrong side of the fabric. Then I fold my fabric down and have the serged edge meet at the spots I marked. Iron in place all the way around the skirt. So you should now have a 1 1/2" of fabric folded over to the inside of the skirt. If you're not using a serger fold your fabric under 1/4" , press and then fold over the rest of the way continuing pressing around skirt to make a 1 1/2" casing.

Now sew that folded piece down all the way around on the edge using a straight stitch leaving a 3 inch opening.
Move your fabric over now to the other edge of the folded piece. This is the actual piece that is now the very top of the skirt and sew another straight stitch about 1/8"  over onto the fabric. Also called top stitching. This helps keep the elastic from rolling once inserted. Sew completely around. No need for an opening here. This is a finished stitch.
Take your elastic and cut a piece to the measurement of the childs waist minus 2". Insert elastic using a safety pin. Be careful to not let the other end slip through. I always pin the other end of  the elastic down to my skirt using a straight pin.
When elastic is fully inserted, pin the two ends together of the elastic and gently work the elastic around to make sure it is evenly placed throughout the skirt and that it didn't get turned anywhere inside the casing. Sew the two pieces of elastic together using a zig zag stitch. Sew the 3" opening shut and you're done! No need to finish up the bottom , as you used the end of the pants so they should already be finished! A cute little upcycled summer play skirt!
 *This skirt does end up with four seams, however, this is simply a tutorial for upcycling pants into a skirt. It is not meant to be a pattern for a boutique skirt.*Have fun with it and send me your photos! Sadie is wearing hers to dinner tonight, as we're going out to eat with family I haven't met before!


Belinda Berling said...

So cool! You are amazingly talented!!

Care said...

Your daughter is so very cute! Great skirt and tutorial. Thanks!

poppyseed's mommy said...

That is so cute! I think I'm gonna go through my closet and find something to make this with. Thanks for the tutorial!