Quick & Easy Kids Pants – Tutorial

You might remember this post I did a few months ago where I made some pyjama pants for Anna from some vintage flannel I had? I make most of my pjs, track pants and basic shorts using the same method, so I thought I do a tutorial and share! This project should take you less than an hour.

You need –

Fabric – the amount will vary depending on the size of the pants or shorts you are making. Anna is a size 3 and I usually go for 1/2 metre/yard. Any fabric is fine – I have used flannelette, but in summer I use quilting cottons. Knits are lovely and comfy too. For track pants I use polar fleece, thicker sweater style knits. You could even upcycle from thrifted track pants or jumpers (sweaters)

-rotary cutter and mat
-sewing machine (or overlocker, which makes the project even quicker!)
-elastic for waist (I use 1″ wide)
– pair of pants that fit your child comfortably (but are not tight)

Take the pants and turn them inside out. Fold them in half so the long leg seams are aligned. Fold your fabric and lay the pants down on top so the long leg seam lies along the fold, as in the picture below.

Use your rotary cutter and cut as shown by the pink lines in the picture. My pink lines are straight, but you do need to follow the curve of the crotch seam.

If you are making shorts – either use a pair of shorts for your template, or fold your pants up to the desired length.

Use the piece you have just cut as the pattern for the second piece. Fold your fabric again, lay your first piece down, still folded, and cut the second piece.

Open them out and you will now have two pieces that look like this:

Lay the two pieces right sides together. Sew then overlock or zig zag the crotch seams, as marked in pink.

Open your pants out to create the pants shape.

Pin your pants leg seams together then sew all the way around from ankle to ankle. Overlock or zig zag your seams to finish.

Create a casing at the top of your pants for the elastic. If you are
using your sewing machine, fold over 1/2cm, then fold over 3cm. (If
overlocking – overlock raw edge, then fold 3cm) Make sure your elastic
will fit, then stitch your casing, leaving a 3-4cm gap to thread your
elastic through.

Use a safety pin or bodkin to thread your elastic through. Once threaded, overlap the edges and use your zig zag stitch to secure.Pull the waistband so all the elastic pops up into the casing neatly, then stitch up the hile in the casing.

As you can see, I like to add a little ribbon tag onto my pants. Even though both sides are identical, I find people (*ahem* my husband) get confused if they are dressing the kids and can’t work out where the back of the garment is. So the tag helps. I stitch it in when I sew the casing.

The final thing is to hem the ankles of the pants. Before you hem, pop them on your child or compare with the original pair of pants you used for the pattern, to make sure you get the right length.

Anna & hoot

Feels like I only made these pink pants and the frog pants yesterday. I’ve had this tutorial on the back burner for ages – they were actually made several months ago for winter. Now it’s August, and Anna has worn both pairs every night. Soon we’ll be ready to get out the lovely light cottons and make some shorts in time for the warmer weather.

If you make some pants using this tutorial I’d love you to share! Tweet me, post a picture to my facebook timeline, send me the link to your blog or upload a picture to my Flickr pool! I love seeing what people make from my tutorials, it makes my day!

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Happy Sewing!

33 thoughts on “Quick & Easy Kids Pants – Tutorial

  1. Great tutorial Ros… Simple projects like this are my favourite! I love that pink fabric … but you probably could have guessed that I'd say that! 😀

  2. Oh My goodness that is such a fab simple tute to follow I actually think I may be able to make pj pants wooo hooo!!! Thanks so much


  3. because the two pieces are the same does the crotch area fit right? I know on regular patterns there is a difference in the crotch length from front to back?

    1. The crotch is roomy, which I like because these pants are meant to be for pyjamas or tracksuit / sweat pants. If you are after something more structured it's probably best to use a pattern. I have made several pairs of these pants for my girls and I haven't had a problem with the crotch length.

  4. My grandson is 11 years old and has Down's Syndrome. Commercially made pants do not fit him. Thanks for this great pattern that I have easily made to fit him comfortably.

  5. Wow…prior to this, i've never made any kind of pants, being a newbie and all but your 'pattern' made it soooo easy! Thanks to you, my son has a new pair of fleece pants! Much obliged.

  6. This is not only my first time sewing pants, but my first time commenting on a tutorial…! I just had to say thank you… what a great feeling to make my kids their Christmas pajama bottoms… your instructions were excellent :)

  7. Never having sewn anything on a machine, using your very easy method, I've made not one but 2 fleece pants for my little man. Now he wears them night and day…Thank you so very much!

  8. This is awesome, with just two days before Christmas and trying to squeeze in that last project, I appreciate so much the help and quick method!! Going to try it on my husband's pants too because our little ones get such a kick out of dressing like daddy!

  9. Thanks you so much for showing us how to make these pants – I had no confidence in sewing anything and after making these pants for my daughter – I'm in love my sewing machine again!!!

  10. Can you please tell me how I can make sure the waist area is large enough. If I am tracing around pants with a waistband, I am thinking that will not give me enough room to pull up over the hips….how do you figure this out?
    Barbra Ann

  11. Can you please tell me how I can make sure the waist area is large enough. If I am tracing around pants with a waistband, I am thinking that will not give me enough room to pull up over the hips….how do you figure this out?
    Barbra Ann

    1. Hi Barbra Ann, if you look at the picture above, I have made sure that I have cut extra room where the waistband is. The waist band will then be pulled in tighter when you insert your elastic later. The elastic will stretch so the pants can be pulled over the hips.

  12. Hello! I have made pants like this before, but I struggle with the elastic! I measure a piece of elastic around my son's waist, then I stick it in the pants and sew it together and the elastic isn't stretchy like normal elastic pants? Can you give me some more detailed instructions on the elastic part? Thanks!

  13. Hi! I just started attempting these and I have a regular sewing machine. I read it wrong and I didn’t do a regular stitch on the crotch first, I just did a zig zag. Will it still be ok?
    I greatly appreciate your reply!!!

    1. Hi Amy, thanks so much for your messages – your pants are gorgeous and they look so comfy! It depends on how big your zig zag stitch is. If you feel the seams are secure I wouldn’t worry. Otherwise just stitch again on the inside of the zig zag to secure everything – it won’t take you long! So glad you enjoyed the tutorial! Feel free to get in touch again if you have any trouble.


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