Minimalist T-Shirt Baby/Kid Pants
By Bernadette Noll and Kathie Sever
Future Craft Collective
Last week we made some super simple and comfy yoga pants from a castoff T-shirt. This week we’re utilizing the same materials because, well, we all know the abundance of T-shirts in this world is somewhat overwhelming, and while we may not be able to wear all the ones we have, we don’t necessarily just want to get rid of them.
This week’s project is the minimalist baby/kid pants using an old favorite stripey tee of mine. I came up with this pattern idea when my oldest was just a wee toddler, and I have made dozens of them since. They are, without a doubt, my favorite baby pants to put on my kids for a variety of reasons. There is no front or back. They are easy to put on. They can grow with a kid: starting out as long baby pants, seguing into high-water toddler pants, and making the transition into first grader clam diggers as well. They are comfortable and styling, and can serve as play pants or jammies in any season.
To prove how simple these pants are, I have employed my now 11 year-old in the process, the very same child for whom these pants were first made so many years ago. She has whipped out more than a few of these and finds satisfaction in the style and also in the simplicity of it all. Just recently, she took an old college tee from a cousin and transformed it into baby pants for that same cousin’s new baby! The possibilities are endless.
Elastic We cut a piece of elastic off a castoff pair of boy’s Gap undies.
Step 1: Lay your T-shirt out flat.
Step 2: Just under the sleeves, cut straight across the body of the shirt so that you have a rectangle.
Step 3: Turn your rectangle inside out. Fold down the unfinished top about 1″. Sew it shut, creating the sleeve for the waistband. Be sure to leave a small opening to allow room to insert the elastic.
Step 4: Fold the rectangle in half, side to side, and cut a somewhat rounded half triangle, as shown in the picture. This is about 6″ from the bottom of the pants. As you’re cutting, it may seem like you’re leaving too much up top, but fear not. You will need that much to make the waistband and also to have a big enough bottom — especially for a diapered bottom. A diapered baby in low rise pants just doesn’t cut it.
Step 5: Now sew up the legs in one continuous seam, leaving about a ¼” seam allowance. Be sure to backstitch at each end.
Step 6: Feed your elastic through the waistband, using a safety pin as a lead. Cinch up the fabric as you go around.
Step 7: Once the elastic is through, sew the ends together.
Step 8: Sew the opening shut where you fed the elastic and ta-da! Super minimalist baby/kid pants fit for a variety of ages and sizes. Pictured above are the same pants for a 2½-year-old and a 6½-year-old.
Step 9 (optional): As you can see from the photo, the triangular cutoffs proved quite inspirational. When I went back into the studio, my daughter had already whipped up this matching bikini top, which thrilled her little sister to no end.
About the Authors:
Future Craft Collective is brought to you by Kathie Sever and Bernadette Noll. Kathie is an accomplished seamstress, creator of Ramonsterwear Custom Western Wear, artist, and mother of two. Bernadette is a writer, co-founder of Slow Family Living, and mother of four. They have found renewed energy in their collaboration and are continuously amazed by the ideas, inspiration, and a-ha moments that have come from this shared effort.