Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to Lengthen Pants Tutorial by Handmade Boy

Hello Project Run & Play readers! I'm Kelly and I blog over at Handmade Boy. I'm here today to share with you how to get a bit of extra life out of your child's pants. 

If your kid is like mine, about this time of year, every pair of pants is getting a bit too short. It's still chilly out, but warmer weather is just around the corner so you hesitate spending hours sewing up all new pants. And going out and spending money on some from the store isn't very appealing either!

So, how about a little trick that takes less than 30 minutes and you can add all the length you want! Are you with me? 30 minutes is all it takes to end up with pants that look like this!

So much better, right! I'll show you how I did it!

First, try your child's pants on and determine how much length you would like to add. Don't forget to add seam allowances! Then, take your short (and in my case, wrinkly) pants and turn them inside out and press them. Fold them in half with one leg on top of the other and decide where to cut them. I am lengthening the Peek-a-Boo Pier 49 Pants, so they have a button tab for rolling up. I cut them about an inch and a half above the button. If I didn't have the button, I would cut them a couple of inches above the knee. You want to avoid a seam going across the knee. That wouldn't be very comfortable.

Mark the front and back of the bottom pieces if you like.

Measure the width of your cut.

Take that measurement (in my case, 8") and then add a seam allowance for both sides. I use a 1/4" SA, so I added 1/2". This gives me a final measurement of 8.5" for the width of my panel. As you can see in the first picture, I needed quite a bit of length! I wanted to add about 5.5", so my panels are 6" tall. (I added 1/4" SA on the top and bottom.)

Cut 4 panels to the dimensions you determined you needed. Mine are 8.5" wide and 6" tall.

Take two of your panels and placed them right sides together and sew the sides together. You will want to finish the edges if you are using a woven fabric or other fabric that frays.

Turn your panel right side out and press. Now, slip it into the bottom of your pants, right sides together, lining up the side seams and matching the raw edges. Pin or clip into place.

Sew together and finish the raw edges. Press the seam up.

Topstitch the seam into place. I found it easier to do this if I folded down a bit of the length first and then slide the piece under my machine. Just be sure to keep the folded section from slipping under the area you are sewing.

Now, take the section of pants that you cut off, and turn it right side out and slip it into the bottom of your pants right sides together just like we did with the panel. Be sure to line up the side seams and match up the raw edges. Sew together and finish the raw edge.

Again press the seam up and topstitch into place.

That's it! Repeat with the other leg! 

Look, mom! Pants that fit again!!

You can do a fun color blocked look like I have here, or pull out some scraps from the original project so your panels match. You can also use this technique to repair pants that have holes in the knee. Simply cut the pants above the hole and then below and replace the length loss with your new panel. While you are at it, you may want to double up that front panel so the holes don't come back quite so fast. ;)

So what are you waiting for? Go grab those short pants from the donation pile and make them last just a few months longer!
Thank you Kelly! That was so practical! You can follow Handmade Boy on Facebook and Instagram.

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  1. You are a Rock Star Kelly! I love this and will be putting it to use very soon....maybe with shorts!?!

  2. So simple but I never thought of it. Brilliant idea. Thank you for sharing :-)

  3. So simple but I never thought of it. Brilliant idea. Thank you for sharing :-)

  4. Exactly what I am after!! Thanks for sharing your easy to follow instructions.


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