Don't you love it when abstract ideas meet inspiration? Well that's how this project came about. I'd been pondering about making a little pair of knicker-bocker-type pants for Hannah that were based on a little pair of gorgeous Sprout-brand pants both my girls wore when they were babies. I loved them, and was so sad when I had to finally admit they were too small, and take them out of Hannah's draw. They were lacey and girly and just plain cute! I just knew I needed to make a pair in a bigger size, but I couldn't choose a fabric, and the design just hadn't come together in my mind.
Then, one day when I was perusing blog-land, I came across this adorable free pattern by CINO for a cross-stitch fox t-shirt. And in that instant, this whole project came together. I knew I had to make this little fox top, and that I had finally made up my mind on the fabric for those pants. It was time to cut into my stashed fox fabric (you might have seen me previewing it on Instagram and Facebook) ... and here's how the little outfit turned out!
I love this little outfit almost as much as I loved those original little baby-pants, and we've had some great comments from people when Hannah's worn this outfit too. My favourite was from a school mum who knows I sew, and asked if I made this outfit, then went on to say that she loves my handmade stuff because it's just so different from anything you can buy in the shops ... for me that's pretty much the highest compliment a crafty Mummy can receive, and what makes that even better is when my kids ask to wear their Mummy-made clothes. Melts my creative heart, and I'm determined to squeeze as much into these years where they love what I make, before I suddenly become the dorkiest, most uncool, embarrassing person in the world to them and they just can't wait to go shopping to buy the exact same clothes as their friends ... dreading that day, huh!
Anyway, you can find the pattern for this little fox cross-stitch here, and this was lots of fun ... a 1-evening job and I just used a store-bought tank top, and stitched whilst watching TV. Super-effective!
And if you want to make your own Foxy-Loxy Lacey Pants, with their little lacey pockets of cuteness, this is for you ...
- 1/2 metre / yard fabric ... this is a printed cotton poplin (1/2 metre was sufficient fabric for Hannah's size 4 pants)
- Shorts pattern, or a pair of short / pants that fit to make your own pattern (I used the Kids Shorts Pattern by Made, which is my go-to shorts pattern, but you could always draft your own pattern very simply like I did here).
- 1 metre / yard lace or your favourite trim
- 1 yard 1/4" elastic for the waist and legs.
- The usual: Sewing machine, overlocker / serger (if you have one), coordinating thread, scissors
And here's how I did it:
1. Measure your munchkin from their waist to just below just below their knee, and add 2 inches, then take your shorts pattern, and cut the front and back pieces out, extending the length to your measurement +1" for the hem. So, for Hannah, her measurement waist to below-knee was 16". Her pattern pieces therefore measure 17".
2. Grab a scrap of paper, and draw a pocket pattern as per the one below (you could make it a little bigger if you're making a much bigger size)
... then cut out the pocket pattern and use it to cut two pockets from your fabric like so ... you might like to fussy-cut to make a feature of your fabric if you're using a cute one like these foxes. I decided on a sleeping fox and a sitting fox ...
3. Finish the edges of your pocket pieces with either an overlocker / serger or using a zig-zag stitch to stop the pockets fraying on the inside. The using your iron, press the top edge to the wrong side by 1/2" and the other 4 sides by 1/4" like so ...
4. Flip your pockets over the the right side, and attach a piece of lace to the upper edge, using a single row of stitching at the top of the lace. This will sew down the top fold at the same time. Press the over-lapping edges of the lace to the wrong sides of the pockets.
5. Grab the back pieces of your pants, and lay them flat on the table, with the curved edges in the middle like so. Then arrange the pockets in the mid-upper section, making sure they are level with each other so you have level pockets in the end. Pin the pockets in place, then topstitch them around the sides and bottom, approximately 1/8" from the edge, and ensuring the folded under edges are tucked under. It's also a good idea to back-stitch at the beginning and end to give the pockets extra strength.
6. Now you can assemble your pants as per the pattern instructions ... if you've drafted your own pattern, you simply sew the two back pieces right-sides-together at the top curved seam, then the same with the front pieces. Attach the front to the back right-sides together at the inner-leg seam. Then, right-sides-together sew the 2 side-seams, and you'll end up with assembled pants like this ...
7. Now for the waist ... press the top edge to the wrong side by 1/4", then fold over another 1" and pin in place. Starting at the back seam, sew the waist-band down as close to the edge as possible, making sure you leave a 1" gap at the end of your stitch-line to allow space for threading your elastic. Then, again starting at the back seam, sew a second row of stitching 1/4" from the top edge of the pants to make your top ruffle.
8. Using a safety-pin, thread your waist elastic through, overlap by 1/2" and sew ends together...
... You can then stitch across the gap to enclose the elastic.
9. Repeat this same process with both leg hems, but before threading your elastic ...
10. Pin and sew in place your leg lace/trim approximately 2-3" from the bottom of the hem. If your using a less-busy fabric, you could even do 2 or 3 rows of lace at the base of the legs ... cuteness plus!!
11. Then you can insert a length of elastic into each leg which is long enough to comfortably go around your child's calf ... Hannah's leg elastics were 10".
... you now have a cute little pair of knicker-bockers that look like this ...
... and this ...
... and coupled with her fox top, like this ...
... and when she's about to jump of the garden wall, they look like this!
These are really comfy versatile little pair of pants that are great for playing and pre-school and generally Hannah-ing around. I can see a few more pairs of these in Hannah's future! Hope you like them too!