Monday, February 28, 2011

padding the padded booty

Now that this baby is on the floor a good part of the day (sitting up eating toys, or rolling to the nether parts of the room), I have found myself down on the floor with him quite a lot as well. Aside from the fact that it's kind of hard on the floor, I have also noticed a distinct temperature shift. Have you been on the floor much lately? My, it's drafty down there.

So coupling the chilly floors with the fact that most of this boy's pants can no longer wedge over his thighs, the time had come for some new pants. Reversible pants, preferably (two pairs at once).

In true no-pattern form, I headed instead for his drawer, pulling out the one pair of pants still roomy enough for his thighs, and then to the fabric bucket for some scraps. The pants are essentially a large square with a little half circle cut-out on the bottom to create the legs, and a mild elastic waistband at the top. I stretched out the waist, laid them out on the fabric, and cut two pieces of green for the inside, and two pieces of striped material for the outside.

And just to be safe, I grabbed some leftover batting to pad them with. Doesn't that sound like a great idea? A fitted, portable blanket? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. You can never be too careful about a draft, after all.

And here's where we learn a lesson about not using a pattern, and about freehanding with scissors. It's hard to "measure twice, cut once" without measuring. So to compensate for the cut-too-short legs? Extra stripes for a cuff.

I sewed the outside seams of each pant together, creating a green pair and a striped pair. I then basted the padding to the inside of the striped pair, and sewed the two "pants" together at the waistband, leaving a small opening to thread in elastic. This meant, after turning the whole shebang right side-out, that I could stitch the half-circle on the inside (stripe/batting) pant with a machine, but had to finish the half-circle on the outside (green) pair by hand. I added the cuff like quilt binding -- sewing one side on with the machine, and then folding it over and hand stitching the other. I then machine stitched around the waistband about 1/2 inch from the top. To finish, I threaded enough 1/2 inch elastic through the opening to fit his waist without being very tight. I machine stitched the elastic ends together, slid them into the opening, and hand stitched the small opening closed.

[Phew, is that confusing enough? Clearly I need to take more in-process pictures next time.]

And just like that . . . two new pairs of pants.


And striped:

The only catch? I neglected to account for his cankles when I decided to add more bulk with batting. Technically he could use another half inch of width on each leg. At least. Either those cankles are going to have to shift to ankles in the near future, or these new pants will be headed to the Pass Along box sooner than hoped. But for now, they sure are warm and cute.

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