Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tutorial? What tutorial?

Did I say something about a tutorial for last Wednesday? I totally meant this Thursday. Now you know how I do math-- a week plus one=right on time. So here it is-- the tutorial for my super-easy, super-comfy, totally rad Naptime Pants. These require just about one hour and only the most basic sewing knowledge-- if you can turn on your machine and passed Kindergarten (ie-- handle scissors) you will succeed. Happy sewing!

Cutting out your pants:
1.) Download and cut out your pattern pieces and the directions. These will tell you how to determine your sizing.
2.) Lay the sheet RIGHT SIDE UP on a large, flat surface (I used my living room floor.)
3.) Starting at the decorative (wider) hem, fold the long edge of the sheet over so that you have a double-thickness rectangle that is the correct width for your size. (I made a M, so my rectangle was 16” wide.)
4.) Measure the length of your pants according to the sizing chart. Mark and cut out the rectangle, keeping fabric folded. Repeat. You will now have two rectangles of fabric. (I'm 5'4", so for my pants I made the rectangles 44 inches long.)5.) Lay the rectangles out so that both legs open to the same direction.
6.) On the open side of your rectangle, measure the inseam length, mark and cut. (Again, for my pants in a size M, I measured UP 26” from my hem, marked, measured in 2 inches and cut out a rectangle of fabric that is 26”x2”.) Repeat. (In the photo, I've already done the next step, as well. Don't fret. It will all be explained!)7.) Lay pattern piece A on the open edge of one rectangle 6 inches down from the top of the fabric (the top of your rectangle is the cut edge, not the hemmed edge.) Pin in place and cut out around pattern, cutting all the way up to the top of the fabric. Repeat for the other rectangle.8.) Cutting at a downward angle, trim the small piece of fabric between the “J” you just cut out and the inseam. This will cause the fabric to form a point. (Because I'm goofy this step is shown in the above photo.)
9.) Important: Now turn one of the rectangles over, so that the rectangles are now open on OPPOSITE sides. Lay pattern piece B onto the top FRONT edge of one rectangle. Pin and cut through ONLY THE TOP LAYER of fabric. Repeat on the other rectangle. This is going to create the FRONT of the pants—the longer side will be the BACK when they are all put together. It should look like this when you are finished.Sewing your pants:
1.) Make sure your pants are folded so that the WRONG sides are together. Working on one rectangle at a time, sew the inseam together (the longest, straight part of the open edges) using a 5/8” seam allowance. Finish the seam (either by overcastting, zig-zagging or using pinking shears). Trim seam. 2.) If you've never sewed pants before, this is definitely the trickiest part to visualize-- and it's even trickier to photograph. Just remember that you are trying to make sure the RIGHT SIDES of the fabric are touching.
After you have sewed up the inseams on both pairs of pants, turn ONE leg right-side out. Slip this leg into the other leg, matching the seams. This will create one long tube with the right sides of the fabric touching. The top of the two rectangles will form a U-shape. Pin the edges together, sew, finish and trim the seam. 3.) Pull the legs out, and turn the pants wrong-side out. Using your iron, turn down and press the open edges ¼”. Now fold the pressed side over another inch and press. This makes a little tunnel with a nice finished edge, which is called the “casing.” It is where your elastic will go. This photo shows how the edge should look when you get to the front (lower) part of the pants.4.) Stitching just above the bottom fold of the casing, sew all the way around the pants, stopping about 1” before you get to the end. This leaves space for you to work the elastic through.
5.) Pin a safety pin to one end of your elastic. Thread this end through your casing. Sew the two ends of the elastic together using a zig-zag stitch, trim, and sew the opening you left closed.
6.) Put on your new pants, marvel at your thriftiness and amazing vintage style, and get yourself promptly off for a well-deserved nap!

(The fine print: I'm so happy to share my ideas with you-- but of course, since they are my ideas only I can market and sell them. Make as many pairs as you like, but please don't reproduce my designs for retail sale. I would love for you to share this pattern with your friends-- but be a sweetie and send the link to my site instead of my printed pattern and directions. Thanks so much for playing nicely!)


Joy said...

This is great! Thanks for the tutorial, Melissa!

Turtles To Start said...

adorable!! can't wait to try this...

Melissa said...


Lisa said...

I took a sewing class in the fall, we made pants, mine turned out ridiculous. They look like clown pants, my teacher was over generous in the size department, and freaked out when I tried to cut them to a smaller size. I might have to try your tutorial, little intimadated though to try again. I'm such a perfectionist, when I fail the first time, I'm bad at trying again!

Tricia said...

I love those! Thank you for the tutorial.

Michelle said...

OMG I LOVE these - can't wait to get started. Just came across your link via oneprettything :o) M x

casserole said...

Great tutorial!! How did you know I needed a new pair of lounge pants? (I can't call them naptime pants because I wear these kind of pants all day long...) I posted a link to your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:…-naptime-pantstutorial-sew-a-pair-of-naptime-pants/2009/04/05/

kirstin & jordan said...

I bought a vintage sheet today at Goodwill that is begging to be tranformed into comfy jammies now! Great tutorial.
I'll be linking!

Molly said...

Hi! Thanks for the tutorial. I made these last week and they turned out so cute!!! One question, though. In step 1 of the sewing, when you sew up the inseams, shouldn't the fabric be folded so that the RIGHT sides are touching? Again, thanks for the tutorial. My daughter loves the pair I made for her!

Peggy said...

What a great idea! Jammy pants... hmm I'm thinking comfy pants. depending on the print/fabric, worn with a black sweater or long sleeve T and a necklace, a serious cute outfit! IN fact I have some wonderful linen which i've been dying to make into this style pants!