Wednesday, July 3, 2013

DIY Kid Pants

Thank you for all the support and love! I look forward to writing an update soon. For now, here's a post I wrote before Tate's arrival...

Now that summer is in full swing in Austin, so are the mosquitoes. Henry must have the sweetest kind of blood or else he spends an inordinate amount of time outside or maybe his mom is adverse to using the kind of bug spray that actually works (no DEET for us) or perhaps he scratches bug bites and scabs more than the average kid.
Or all of the above!
I've tried keeping his nails really short, applying non-DEET bug spray religiously, using band-aids to prevent the scratching, and taking a more laissez-faire attitude and letting it all go.
So far, nothing has worked. Now it's time to switch to pants.
Of course Austin summers and pants are archenemies, but I am honestly out of ideas. I figured the only way to wear pants during a Texas summer would be to find them in a seersucker material. Since we try to facilitate Henry's independence as much as possible in our Montessori home, we also look for pants with an elastic waist  so he can pull them up and down with ease when dressing or using the toilet. And since we're on a tight budget as we prepare to drop back down to one income, we look for pants that are cheap, cheap, cheap.
The best option seemed to be to make them. Fortunately, I found this amazing, free pattern and tutorial (thank you, Dana, for putting so much goodness out into the world!). I was able to purchase four yards of seersucker (in blue and red), elastic for the waist, and new thread for less than $35. Since each pair of pants takes a 1/2 yard, the total cost for each pair is about $4.38.
When making the pants, however, I realized that I could only make two pairs out of each yard by running the stripes horizontally. I won't lie about the fact that I'm pretty disappointed that Henry will not look as stylish as Dana's son (with his vertical seersucker pants), but a budget mama has to do what a budget mama has to do. I simply couldn't justify doubling the cost of the pants simply to run the stripes the other way.
Oh well.
The process was pretty simple as far as sewing projects go. I used pinking shears to prevent as much fraying as possible along the seams (since I don't have a serger). The waist band was a little tricky since the pants are designed to sit lower in the front than the back. But overall, it was a pretty quick and painless process.

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on July 14. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Carrie said...

Wasn't sure if you had seen this hot spoon trick for solving itchy mosquito bites:

Abby said...

I love the horizontal stripes!

Congratulations on becoming a family of four :)

E. said...

Mosquitoes are the worst! I'm superprone to mosquito bites. Our garden has really bad ones and I've started wearing long pants (I have the REI mistral ones, which were crazy expensive even on sale, but breathe great in the summer) and a long-sleeve performance wear shirt to garden because I cannot take the mosquitoes. I'm trying to figure out natural alternatives to mosquito repellent but haven't found many yet. I think we'll be planting citronella plants when we get back from vacation.

I think Henry's pants look really cute even with the horizontal stripes. I hate it when I buy fabric and totally forget it is a directional material and I have to buy extra - there are 3 christmas stockings that are all the wrong way because of this!

Rachel said...

Glad to hear Tate's doing well.

One trick I've always wanted to try was getting XL adult clothes from Salvation Army and using that for cloth. I'll be you could get enough cloth for a pair of toddler pants from something off the dollar rack.

Angela Mae said...

I'm a big fan of the right kind of pants in hot weather. I live in the Pacific Northwest and despise heat. During our honeymoon on an island off of Cancun the best outfit I wore was a salwar kameez: despite being more fabric than any other hot weather clothing I'd brought it was by far the most comfortable (even more than my bikini!).

fuzzy said...

If you have neither a server not a zigzag, see a French seam by placing the seam wrong sides together, sewing a 1/4 inch seam, then turning the garment and seeing another 1/4 inch seam encasing the first. It's a little tricky to learn, but very strong and fast.
The alternative is to stitch the seam, then trim and zigzag it, if your machine has a zigzag.

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