Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Altered Little Boy Jeans

My cousin's little boy is a bit chubby and short legged, so they always have quite a hard time finding clothes to fit him. If they buy larger sizes and hem them, the cuffs are always much to wide, since they have to be shortened too much. So, mostly he wears sweatpants.

My aunt wanted me to make him some jeans to fit, so I got some stretch denim and started altering a pattern.

To begin, I picked a pants pattern that fit his hip measurement, knowing that the elastic waist will take care of the waist fitting. I used a pajama pants pattern because I couldn't find any others the right size in my stash and only Butterick were on sale this past weekend, so there wasn't any better choice for buying a new one, so I don't know for sure that the crotch will sit at the right level, as those seem rather low on the pajama patterns, but it's a start and I can make adjustments after I send these and he gets a chance to try them on.

I had to shorten the pattern about nine inches. To do that, I traced the entire pattern in the correct size onto that pattern papery stuff with the grid printed on it. I could also have used brown paper or tissue paper. Then I folded along the "shorten here" fold-line, using the grid to make sure it all stayed level. After that, I used my ruler to draw a new line from the crotch point to the new cuff. I had to do this to have an even line to follow, since folding will cause a jog in the original line.
To make them look a bit more like store bought jeans, I used gold-colored "denim" thread for all the topstitching and did the hems with the machine so the stitching would show. I used elastic about an inch shorter than his waist measurement for the waistband, and made sure to put a tab of bias tape in the back so they'd know which side is front and which is back.
I finished the seams with pinking shears, but I'm thinking next time, I might set the serger up instead, since that did make lots of fuzzies and frays. Or I could have used the edge finishing or zig zag stitches on my machine.
So, today I'll get them all packed up and sent out, so she can try them on him and let me know if there are any more adjustments to do. Then I can use the same pattern to make some more jeans for him, adding pockets (or Thomas the Train decorations... I've been told he'd love that), or dress pants, if I can find some stretch twill that will work.

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Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Very very cute! Have you ever tried using a blue jean seam? My MIL taught me one using a 5/8 inch seam sewing wrong sides together so the seam is on the outside, then fold and tuck one half of the seam wrapping the other around it, press flat and stitch two rows. I like a straight stitch seam though. Less work! :)

Melonie said...

They turned out adorable. And now you've got a cute PJ pant pattern for him as well. Might be fun around the holidays if you could find some flannel or something!

ALSO: re: your comment on Followers (and no, I totally didn't take it as pushing - I just forgot to SAY this...) if you'd like a second entry on the contests but are already a follower, just leave a second comment saying something like "I'm already a Follower, gimme my second entry". HAHA Or whatever comes to mind. You're creative. ;-)

I didn't automatically enter everyone who was already following because I don't want them to "win" something that's no prize to them. LOL

Bethany said...

Jennifer, I've seen that finish, it's also called a flat felled seam, but I've never done it, and honestly, it's a bit more work for little boy elastic jeans than I'd want to bother with. If the pattern had an outer seam, maybe I would try that. I would like to try it for some pants for myself sometime.

Melonie, thanks for the info, I'll head back over and enter again!

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