Jenn had offered to teach me to sew a few weeks back, but I confessed that I’m a) completely inexperienced, b) not detail-oriented and c) without a sewing machine. Not exactly a recipe for success. Then it turned out that her hubby hooked her up with a new sewing machine for Christmas. Meanwhile, my mom’s been offering to buy me one (despite points a and b listed above) since I graduated from college. So Jenn and I decided I’d inherit her old one—she gave me (slash my mom) a sweet deal—and sewing lessons were suddenly in the cards. I did a little Googling as we decided upon a date for this to go down, and ended up choosing reversible toddler pants as a first project. Jenn has made skirts and dresses galore for her Lil’ J, but never pants, so she’d get to explore some new territory, too, in the process of showing me what she knows.
We started with this online tutorial, which made no sense at all to my virgin eyes, but showed the end product I imagined (sans the super-ugly fabric. Sorry, lady). We did print the pattern that it linked through to, and then Googled around some more for other basic toddler pants tutorials, because the one we started with omitted some crucial steps (thus I didn’t feel quite so bad about being so lost). So if you, too, like what you see and want to make some reversible pants, I recommend you get yourself a good regular pants pattern to start with—the one from the tutorial is a little skinny in the butt for the diaper-sportin’ set—and pick up at the whole sewing the bottom seams together step. That’s what we did, anyway.
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I was just pulling the last of my elastic through the waist when Aaron brought Kaspar back from school; I hadn’t measured Kaspar’s waist before beginning, so I used another pair of his pants to ballpark-guess at it. This didn’t quite work out; I cut the elastic a bit too long, and Kaspar’s pants don’t stay up as well as they should, so I think I’m going to slash holes in the waistband for a drawstring. Other than that one glitch, though, the pants look fantastic, and fit like a charm. I also cut them significantly longer than the pattern suggested, figuring that, on the off chance this whole sewing thing worked out, I’d be pretty bummed to see my hard work get grown out of within a few short months (you know how these kiddos do). Now, Kaspar’s pants have ample cuffs, and can grow with him for a while. The double-layering that the reversible style provides also makes them ideal for winter—they’re warmer than a single piece of cotton would be. Kaspar ran around in his new pants all afternoon, engaging in his latest, thematically appropriate obsession with breaking into, and “driving,” our car.
Jenn, for her part, was also psyched to create her first pair of pants. The pair she made for Lil’ J are seriously cute in a way that only pink polka-dots can be. I think Jenn has plans to add ruffles and such—she can improvise when she sews, something I’m somewhat in awe of— and is going to blog about her pair, so keep an eye out there, and here, for photos of Lil’ J and Kaspar both rockin’ their respective reversible pants-wear.
Next on our list: cooking lessons. This time I’ll be the teacher. In fact, we’re coming up with all kinds of ideas for new skills we’d like to acquire, and we need a name for what will doubtlessly be a cascade of creativity and grandeur in this series of posts on our two sites. Let us know if you have any ideas!