Take and old sweater, sweatshirt, or long-sleeved t-shirt and recycle it to make pants for a baby or toddler. Since we are just using the sleeves, this project goes really quickly... I did it in 30 minutes!
Old sweater, sweatshirt, or LS T-shirt
**Washer and (preferably) dryer (only if using wool shirt - it is best to felt a sweater)
Pattern or pair of baby's pants
Elastic (~1cm wide and enough to go around baby's waist)
That oughta do it. Let's start!!
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Step 1: If Using Wool, You Need to Felt the Shirt
If the shirt contains more than 60% wool, it needs to be felted.
Turn it inside out
Wash in hot water
Dry in dryer if you have one.
I don't so I washed mine with the diapers twice (80degC) then dried on the radiator
I found this site to be very helpful:
Use Old Wool Sweaters and Blankets to Make Felt
Step 2: Cut the Sleeves
Make sure shirt is inside-out.
Lay your pattern or pair of pants on the sleeve so that the inside seam of the pants lines up with the seam of the shirt.
Cut around the pattern or pants. BE SURE TO LEAVE ~3CM FOR THE WAISTBAND!!!
Using the piece you just cut, lay it on the other sleeve. (Think mirror image)
Be sure to make sure seams line up the cut other sleeve.
Step 3: Pin Pieces Together
Voila! Now you have all the pieces you need. Making sure the pant legs are inside out, pin the crotch pieces together. Start at the bottom and pin up one side. then do the next side. If the 2 pieces don't line up exactly at the waistband it isn't a big deal. If the fabric is stretchy, just make it work - assuming they aren't off by too much. Otherwise, just cut off the extra.
Step 4: Sew Together
Again, starting at the bottom, sew the pieces together. I used the presser foot to determine the seam allowance (width of foot). Since I was using stretchy wool, I used a small zig-zag stitch to bind the pieces then a large stitch to "serge" and prevent fraying.
Step 5: Make Waistband
Roll the waist band to the desired width and pin all around.
Sew using a straight stitch very close to the hem line. (make sure your thread matches the fabric here.) BUT LEAVE A SMALL OPENING FOR THE ELASTIC!
Using a safety pin (or your prefered method) thread the elastic through the hole.
Sew the elastic ends together to make the desired waistband opening. (when sewing the elastic, be sure that it isn't twisted. Not Comfy)
Finally, close the elastic opening.
FINISHED!!! Since we used sleeves, no hemming the bottom or anything!
Also, on a side note, if the shirt was wool, these pants serve as soakers for washable diaper users :)