By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog “Life Sew Good”.
I used to be afraid of my serger. I mean, I loved it and was so proud to have one (that I bought off Craigslist!) It took me months before I even figured out how to use it. I didn’t realize there were different stitch fingers, which changed my stitches from being wide to short or small enough to make a rolled hem. It’s amazing how important those little manuals are. I finally took a class because I knew there was so much more to my serger; I just didn’t know what!
So, in celebration of National Sewing Month, dust off that serger, pull it out, and make this super simple project for a small child you know. If you don’t have a serger, you can totally still do this project; I recommend that you use a walking foot if you have one to keep your fabric feeding through your machine properly. As you may know, knit is stretchy, so you just have to be careful when sewing that it isn’t stretching. Go slower than usual!
Here’s the project: recycle an old t-shirt and make pants out of it. I’ve seen this before here and have always wanted to try it. I hope you like my “serging” version! It makes it all a breeze.
Here’s what you need:
1. Lay out your T-shirt flat. Fold “sample pants” in half and lie on top of fabric, placing the bottom hem of the pants on the bottom hem of the t-shirt. Trace a 5/8” seam allowance all the way around . The top you want a 2” seam allowance for the waistband Personally, I wanted the pants wider legged than my sample pants, so I just drew my line wider at the bottom. Repeat on other side of t-shirt.
2. Cut out pieces.
3. With right sides together, using you serger or sewing machine, sew from the bottom of the leg to the crotch on both pieces. DO NOT SEW THE CROTCH YET!!!
4. Now, turn one leg RIGHT SIDE OUT and one leg keep INSIDE OUT. Put the RIGHT SIDE OUT leg inside of the other leg. Yes, one leg should be inside the other leg, right sides together. Make sure you line up the crotch all the way to the waist.
5. Serge/sew starting at the waistband on one side, down toward the crotch, then up the other side—it looks like a big “U.”
6. Pull the inside leg out and you should see something resembling pants! Serge all the way around the top of the waistband. Then, fold the waistband over 2” and sew (I used a sewing machine for this) around, leaving about a 2” opening to insert the elastic. ***If you do not have a serger do this: first, fold over the waistband ½” and press, then over 1 ½” and press again. Sew a seam close to the bottom of your fold, leaving the 2” opening to insert the elastic. If you want to topstitch around the top of the waistband, now’s your chance!
7. Cut elastic. General rule of thumb is the waist measurement minus 2”, but I would check it on your little one first! Attach your very big safety pin to one side of your elastic, then feed the elastic through the waistband. Sew the elastic back and forth several times to secure it.
8. Finally, sew your waistband closed and viola! Pants!!