Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Little Man Cargo Jeans

My little man was in need of some new pants. He grows like a weed and clothes don't last him very long. When I looked at baby jeans, even the cheap Wal-mart ones were ten bucks a pair. Sorry I don't want to spend $10 on a pair of pants he's only going to wear for a few months. So I decided to make some instead.

I have a whole box of pants in my basement that look like this:
I've been saving jeans, khakis, cords, any pants that have holes so that I can one day cut them into squares and make a "jean" blanket. But I got to thinking,
#1- am I ever really going to get to that blanket,
and #2- it's probably worth more to make little pants out of them and save $10 bucks then to make another blanket to store in a closet already full of blankets.

So I went to work cutting and sewing. I started with a tutorial I found on Made, and adapted it. Here's what I came up with:
Little Man Cargo Jeans!
I love how they turned out and now I'm going to show you how to make them. And I'm going to apologize now, a couple of my pictures turned out a little blurry. Sorry, but I didn't notice until I was uploading them.

First we have to make our pattern pieces. Lay out a pair of pants that you already have on some paper and trace them. Add 1/4 inch for seam allowances, 1 1/2 inch to top for elastic casing, and 1 inch to bottom for hem. (I traced mine a little bigger than that because these pants were getting a bit small.) You will need to trace the front leg and back leg of the pants because the back is always a bit bigger to allow room for their bums.You should end up with two pieces- a front and a back. Now measure how far up the leg you want the "cargo seam". (I'm not really sure what the technical word for it is.) Draw a dotted line where the seam will go. Now draw a line 1/4 inch away on both sides.
These lines mark where you will cut your pants pieces. Cut the bottoms section of the leg to the top line, and the top section of the leg to the bottom line. That way when you sew them together they will meet in the middle at the dotted line.
Now cut out patterns for your pockets. (Sorry this picture randomly doesn't have a background, oh well.) You will need three pocket pieces- a J shape for the front, a square for the cargo, and a, well, a butt shaped pocket on for the bum. Remember when sizing how big you want your pockets to at 1/4 inch to all sides for seam allowances.
Now that we have all our pattern pieces, lets start cutting. First cut your pants apart. Cut the inside leg seams them up the center front and back. You will have two pieces with a front leg and back leg attached on the outside leg seam. Cut your front pieces out of the front leg, and your back pieces out of the back leg, making sure to match the outside leg of the pattern to the outside leg of the pants. (You don't have to put your pattern right on the seam, it's just a guide to make sure you face your pattern piece the right way so you get one right leg and one left leg.)
Now cut out your pocket pieces. You need two of each out of the jean material, and two of each out of a thin cotton for the pocket lining. Make sure your front "J" pockets are cut mirror image of each other. You don't want two going the same way. I just used some scrap material I have for the pocket linings.
Now we have all our pieces cut, lets get sewing. We're going to start with the cargo and back pockets. Sew the lining and the pocket right sides together with 1/4 inch seam, leaving a gap at the top of the pocket. Clip the corners. (I trimmed the seams but realized I didn't really want to after so don't trim the seams. Just clip the corners.)
For the front pocket, pin the lining on right sides together. Now only sew along the two long sides. Leave the ends open. And clip the curves.
Turn your back and cargo pockets right side and iron. To close the top, sew one line close to the edge and a second 1/4 inch away. I also did a double line of stitching down the middle just for looks. You don't have to do this or if you want a different design do it now.
Turn your front pockets right side and iron. Do a double line of stitching only on the inside curve- one line close to the edge and second 1/4 inch away.
Set the pockets aside for now and lets start sewing the pant legs. Lay the bottom section of the leg right sides together on the top section. Pin and sew with 1/4 inch seam. You should have four sets of these- two front and two back.
Press seam toward top section of the leg and top stitch close to the seam. And again 1/4 inch away.
Pin your front pockets to the front leg pieces. Match the raw edges with the top of the pants and the OUTSIDE leg seam. Baste stitch along raw edges to hold pockets in place. Stitch in place along the outside curve of the pocket. Once close to the edge and again 1/4 inch in. This should form a pocket.
Now match the front leg pieces to the back leg pieces along the outside leg. Pin and sew with 1/4 inch seam.
You should end up with two pieces that look like this.
Now place your cargo pocket centered over where the "cargo seam" and the outside leg seam meet. Pin in place. Sew a double line of stitching around the sides and bottom of the pocket- one close to the edge and the second 1/4 inch away.
Pin on your back pocket. Make sure to leave enough room at the top for your elastic casing. Sew your double line of stitching around the sides and bottom.
Fold your legs over, right sides together, and pin the inside legs together. Stitch with 1/4 inch seam.
Now turn one leg right side out and one inside out. Slide the right side out leg into the inside out leg so right sides are together. Match raw edges of crotch seam together and pin. Sew with 1/4 inch seam.
With pants inside out, fold down top edge 1 1/2 inch, pin and sew to form elastic casing. Make sure to leave a gap to insert elastic. Run elastic through casing and sew ends together (sorry I forgot to take a picture). Then sew up gap.
Turn up the bottom hem 1 inch. Sew with a double line of stitching.
And voila! You are done with your very own designer set of little man cargo jeans!


WobiSobi said...

This is a really great tutorial.. Love this Idea. thank you so much for visiting my blog.. thank you for following I am going to follow you also. Hugs Anne.

Val said...

Only you would make jeans for your little man and not only jeans, out of old jeans you used to wear. Very impressive. If only I had your stamina and creativity.

Michelle said...

Wow! What a great idea! I have the same bin of old jeans waiting to be made in to a quilt. I need better sewing skills!! Thanks for linking up with DIY for Under $5!

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

Awesome tutorial! I am sew (har har) impressed! So thrifty! Stopping by from too cute tuesdays...a little late sorry.

simplydesigning.blogspot.com said...

Wow. What a great idea. And a great way to recycle and save money too!

If only I could sew very well... :)


kara@elements-interiors.net said...

WOWZERS! I wish I could sew!!

Thank you for linking this up to WHASSUP WEDNESDAY!

Hope to see you next Wednesday:)


DANA said...

You made it into the finals at Saturday Mornings! Here is the link:


Voting will begin tonight! I will send you a button to display and prizes will be announced when voting starts! Good luck!

My Garden of Eden said...

You are simply AMAZING!!! Wish I had mad sewing talent like you!!! Thanks for linking up!!


DANA said...

Voting started tonight! Remember, you are one of finalists for Best of March 2011 at Saturday Mornings! Congrats again, there were over 700 entries! Here is the link to the voting area, and be sure to grab your button on the right sidebar at the very bottom to display here and drive your readers to vote! Good luck!


Amy Gilman and Emily Lee (Sisters of the Wild West) said...

great tutorial. Please come and link up at our Sister Sunday Link Party.

Erica {B is for Boy} said...

Great idea! I am featuring these on my blog B is for Boy. Check out the post here: