Sunday, December 4, 2011

DIY Training Pants

I have decided to get over my trepidation about sewing with knits. I've actually been working on this project for more than a week, what with research and such. Did you know that many sewing machines have a stretch stitch? I do! And I even know how to find it.

A lot of the techniques I found on sewing with knit fabrics involved me spending money on more sewing machine accessories, something I am not really into right now. So I didn't try using a walking foot, which probably would have helped, or a ball-point needle, which I don't feel like I really needed.

I decided to start out with a project that I wasn't too invested in the outcome of. Recently the little man has been chatting away about the contents of his diaper, and we've been exploring the idea of potty training him. I never really intended to make his training pants, but the ones in the store are a little pricey and I found what looked like a fairly simple pattern, so I thought I'd give it a go. I dug out some old shirts and knit receiving blankets and dove right in.

My first try looked like it would fall off of a six-year-old. I think that was the fault of my fabric and not the pattern- it didn't seem to bounce back and I think it might have been too old. Even so, for round two I modified the pattern to fit a smaller child. The Little Man isn't quite two and has a little butt, and the pattern is sized for a three-year-old.

Round two turned out much better, as you will see.

The blue pants above are a size 2t from the store, while the striped ones are my creation. I think they turned out pretty cute! I used one receiving blanket, pieces of a stained yellow onesie, and a few scraps of Warm and Natural quilt batting for the absorbent part. All stuff I already had, which makes this project FREE!

The Verdict: A package of three pairs of training pants from the store costs about eight dollars- add tax and they run about three a pair. These took me more than an hour to make, and I think the ones I bought look comfier- I couldn't quite get the lumps in the waistband and legs to lie down and be nice. If you're really financially strapped (or just love making everything for your kids) this would be a good option, and the Home Sweet Homebodies pattern is great. As for me, I'll spend the three bucks and use my limited sewing time making things people will see.


  1. Well, I like the cherry striped undies better than the dull blue ones. Essentially, you got paid 9 bucks for the hour you spent sewing (of course all that research time was for free). Good idea and helpful to share links. love you, mama (ps - I never made you undies, just pjs.)

  2. I meant "cheery" as in being of cheer not cherry as in cherry red. Duh. Also, about stitching on stretchy fabric - using a walking foot works cause I would like to sew up a small hole in one of my tank/bra tops. Any advice would be appreciated. mama