Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tutorial: Baby boy trousers with front pockets

A friend of mine is expecting a baby boy any day now, and since I couldn't make her baby shower I wanted to make her something a little bit special.
Having really loved the KID shorts with front pockets that I made for my niece, I decided that it would be cool to make some baby boys trousers with similar pockets. The lovely rich brown corduroy came from my refashion pile. It's really thick and cosy and has a little stretch, making it perfect for this project.
I drafted a basic pattern using a pair of 3 month sized flat fronted trousers. I lowered the front waistband slightly for comfort and added a bit of room into the back for a bulky nappy (I'm not sure if my friend will be using disposable or fabric nappies so it's always better to have too much room than too little). Then I drafted a J-shaped patch pocket to fit. I haven't included photos or too much detail on the pattern drafting as I am no expert, but if you are after a 3-month sized pattern I will upload mine as soon as I get a chance... watch this space!
So here's how to make them...
First cut two pockets (opposites) from the main fabric and two from a contrast fabric. Since I was using corduroy I cut my pockets with the grain going horizontally so that they pop out from the trouser. Take your piping (if you want to use some) and attach along the curved edges of the lining fabric, right sides together. I use my zipper foot for this so that the stitching is as close to the cord as possible. Then place the main pocket and lining pieces (with the piping attached) right-sides together and stitch around the curved edges, over the stitches from attaching the piping. Again I use the zipper foot for this. Turn the pockets to the right sides through the end openings.
Next, with right sides together, sew the curved crotch seam of the front pieces and press. Repeat for the back pieces.
Now place and pin your pockets to the front. I did this by eye, but it's a good idea to make sure the pockets are equidistant from the centre/crotch seam. Trim any excesses at the waist and edges and then baste in place.
To attach to the trouser, topstitch around the outer curve. I did this in a matching thread, as close to the piping as possible, but if you haven't used piping, you may want to make the topstitching a feature by using contrasting thread and two rows of stitching).
Place from and back pieces right sides together and pin inseams and outer leg seams together. Then hem the bottom of the trousers to your desired length.
Next create the front waistband and back elastic casing. How much you fold over will depend on the type of elastic you use. I used 17.5 inch length of 3/4 inch elastic and for the first turned under 1/4 inch, then 1 1/4 inches. Press well (and pin if you want), then stitch close to the bottom edge of the back elastic casing only (do NOT stitch the front waistband. Thread the elastic through the back casing using a safety pin (I also pin the loose end of the elastic to the trousers to stop it pulling all the way through) (Please excuse the upside down photos... Picasa is doing weird things to my photos at the moment and haven't had time to figure out what's going on).

 Now secure the elastic to the waistband by stitching as close to the side seams as possible. Then you can sew down the front waistband. It's a bit tricky to get the front flat waistband to sit nicely, but  since there is no elastic going through this, it doesn't matter if the waistband is narrower in places.
And voila! You should have a beautiful pair of boy's flat fronted trousers with front pockets.

I decided to team them up with a shirt in the contrast fabric. I used the free Baby Boy Button Up Pattern by Jessica over at Me Sew Crazy. It's a great pattern, with clear instructions and has some lovely features like a back yoke and pleat. And for the cooler months coming up, it looks so cute layered over a long-sleeved vest or under a knitted sweater-vest.


Jiminy Sweater

In preparation for autumn/fall I have been knitting up a storm to ensure that my niece and nephew have some cools knits to wear once the weather cools down. My niece has already had a couple girlie cardigans which you an see here and here. The little guy has had a couple of sweater vests (here and here) but was lacking a proper warm sweater, so I made him a Jiminy by Rowan in Paton's Smoothie yarn in teal.
Rowan Jiminy Sweater
Rowan Jiminy Sweater
Although my nephew is only 7 months old, I decided to make the jumper in the 12-18 month size. He is really long/tall and growing like a weed so bigger is always better. What shocking is that the sweater doesn't look all that big right now... but the rib pattern has a lot of give in it so I think he should get enough wear out of it this autumn/winter.
Rowan Jiminy Sweater

Rowan Jiminy Sweater


Retro KID shorts

Not long ago a colleague gave me some fabric that she had been holding onto for years but never used. One of the pieces was a relatively heavy woven cotton fabric with a fruit and veg print. At the time I really didn't know what I would make from it, but I never turn down free fabric. But once I saw the KID short pattern from MADE by Dana I decided that the fabric would be perfect for a pair of little girl retro shorts for my niece.
KID shorts
I went for the flat-fronted version with front pockets and white piping. I lined the pockets with some purple polycotton which picks up the purple in the print.
My niece loves the shorts and chooses to wear them whenever they are clean. Unfortunately, she only owns a couple of t-shirts that don't clash with the colourful print, so some of her outfit choices are a little bit garish. But who cares when you are 2-and-a-half?!
KID shorts
KID shorts
KID shorts