Pirate Pants! (aka quick tute for kids ‘wrap’ pants with super easy applique)

I totally forgot to take pictures of the fabric layout when I first started.  Sometimes I just get ahead of myself.  🙂

My daughter has been invited to her first birthday party and its a pirate theme.  All the kids are supposed to dress up in pirate garb so I decided to make a pair of pants for her to wear.  I had made these before based on a tutorial I found on Blueprints blog, by VegBee.  I loved the look of wrap pants and they seemed like they would be uber cool for warm weather but the only downside was the idea of tying and untying the waist for potty breaks, not to mention this was not something she would be able to do on her own.  So when I read VegBee’s idea to make them elastic waisted (and to stitch the sides down to prevent bum peekaboo) I knew I had to make a pair.

She has long grown out of those first pair and I thought a new pair for this pirate birthday party would be perfect.  So here’s what I did to make her pirate pants:

black broadcloth
elastic for waist
scrap of iron on interfacing (white)

First step was to cut out the pant shape.  To determine how big I needed to cut each piece I borrowed a pair of her pants and measured the waist all the way around.  This was how wide I needed to cut each leg.  I then measured the leg, added about 1/2″ for hemming and 1 1/2″ for turning down a casing for the elastic.  This was how long I needed to cut each leg.


I cut two rectangles this size and laid them on top of each other.  I then folded in half width wise.  I wanted a curved hem so I trimmed off the bottom corner into a slight curve (a sharp curve is harder to hem).    Next was to cut out the crotch shape.  To do this I used her pants again as a template.  I folded the pants in half and laid them on the fabric.  It’s best to use a pencil to mark the curve at this point.  The front and back can be the same shape, these are pretty easy fitting pants.

DSC_0245pant diagram

Open out the rectangles and hem the sides and bottom.  There will be a ‘U’ shape cut out in the middle which is your crotch seam.  Lay the rectangles on top of each other and sew the crotch seam.  I did a french seam but serging or zigzagging the seam would work just fine too.

pant diagram2

This next step is kinda hard to explain so forgive me if it’s a bit unclear.  Once the crotch seam is sewn you need to stitch the sides together.  To do this match your center front and center back.  Overlap the sides by 2 to 4 inches (it’s really up to you) and baste them together at the waist.  Next stitch down the side along stitch line of the hem of the overlapping side.  You only need to stitch down a few inches, I think I did about 5 or 6 inches.

pant diagram3

Next I turned down the casing for the elastic.  You can either stitch a button hole at the center back or leave an opening to insert the elastic through.

After stitching the casing I applied my applique.  This was quick and super easy.  Take your scrap of white iron on interfacing.  Cut out a skull and bones.  Iron them on. Done!  I have my doubts this is a very durable applique but I figure it will probably last long enough for the party.


Insert your elastic and the pants are done!  Cute, simple and fun to wear.


Some thoughts on this project:

This is most suitable for light to medium weight fabrics.  If the fabric is too heavy, like a stiff denim, it will not gather at the waist properly and may cause the legs to be stiff and odd looking.

You can leave the corners of the sides of the legs as is instead of rounding them off.  Or you could scallop them or add trim, or use bias binding to finish them.

This looks cute in a print as well.

Recycle fabrics from old pants or skirts to make these, saves on buying fabric, but if you are making this for a little one anyhow, you probably only need slightly less than meter or yard.


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