Now that you’ve mastered Basic KID Pants let’s mix it up even more. Let’s give the pants a sophisticated face lift by adding a FLAT Front.
Don’t worry. This might sound complicated, but it’s easier than you think.
The pants are just like Basic Pants but they’ve got a hidden surprise….
Gathered in the back:
Flat in the front!
They’re super easy to make and gives your pants a grown-up look. It’s my favorite way to sew pants and shorts.
And speaking of shorts….
Some of you have asked if the Kid Pants Pattern can be used to make SHORTS. You betcha!
I used this exact flat front pattern to make Owen’s Put Me in the Zoo outfit here.
Okay, let’s get started!
We’ll be drawing from previous Kid Pants tutorials for this Flat Front version (click on the images below for complete tutorials)
If you’ve already printed our Basic Pants pattern, you’ll notice the dotted line marked “Flat Front”. We’re finally going to use that!
So, fold along the dotted line and use this as your updated FRONT pattern piece. The concept is to make the front of the pants smooth and flat (not gathered). By shortening the pattern piece along the dotted fold, we’re able to do that. The back of the pants, however, will stay the same–gathered,with elastic strung through it.
Okay, time to cut fabric.
You probably know I love linen (and if you don’t, here’s some evidence). I’ve been itching for another linen BOY project. And this light-tan cotton-blended linen screamed out “casual church pants” to me. Perfect for my 3-year-old boy who keeps growing taller and taller.
So let’s go with a flat front pant and get started!
* Lay out your pattern pieces and cut fabric as you normally would (as outlined in the Basic Pants tutorial). Remember that your FRONT pattern piece is now folded along the dotted line!
* This linen fabric has a very loose weave, so the fabric was a bit see-thru. Thus, I combined the Lining Tutorial here as well–but I used an even easier method this time. I cut white cotton (muslin) pieces for my lining, pinned each lining piece to it’s matching pants piece, and basted the two together. You can do this by serging the two together, as I did, or by stitching the two together on a very wide stitch with your sewing machine. This helps the layers stay together and lay more smoothly at the seams as you sew your pants together. You simply want to keep the layers from shifting as you sew. This method works well when the lining is not a bulky fabric. If you’re using a thicker fabric, such as fleece, you’ll want to use the other method outlined in the Kid Pants with Lining tutorial.
When you’re done basting, you’ll have 4 pants pieces, all ready to sew!
Okay, follow the steps in the Basic Pants Tutorial to sew your pants together.
You’ll notice that the front of the pants are skinnier (less wide around the waist).
This is perfect! We want the front to be skinnier than the back:
Continue pinning and sewing. Pin the front and back of the pants together at the sides. The back will bulge out a bit. This is normal.
When the basic pants are sewn together, let’s finish off the waist.
Just as you did with Basic Pants, iron the waistband over–about an inch–so it’s wide enough for fit your elastic. Iron all the way around the waistband. Try to make the front as flat and smooth as you can, since we won’t be able to hide any puckers with gathered elastic this time. Just do your best, ironing and smoothing with your fingers to get it all even.
As you can see, mine’s not perfect either.
Okay, start by sewing only the back of the waistband in place. Sew it closed from one side of the pants to the other side. Cut a piece of elastic the length of the back (the elastic will end up being smaller than this but a longer piece makes it easier to sew in place when starting out).
Just as you did with Basic Pants, string the elastic through the waistband. Start at one side of the pants, go around the back, and it should come out the other side of the pants.
Now, sew the elastic in place. Sew right on the seam of the pants in a matching thread color, so it’s disguised.
Pull the elastic in the back so that it gathers up the pants a bit. Safety pin the elastic in place and try the pants on your little one to make sure the size is correct. If you don’t have a model to try them on….the finished waist should be the same size as your child’s waist–the same size as the Basic Pant waist. All we’ve done here is reduced the amount of fabric that’s gathered with elastic.
If the sizing is correct, sew the other side of the elastic in place at the side seam.
Trim both ends of the elastic.
And your back is in place! Now pin the front waistband in place and sew it down.
And you’re done! That wasn’t hard at all!
You can easily make Adjustable Waistband pants using this same method:
* Use button hole elastic (elastic that has recurring buttonholes already sewn into it), or make your own by sewing button holes on your elastic.
* Attach two buttons on the inside front waistband.
* Instead of sewing the elastic in place at the side of the pants, pull it through and attach it to the buttons you’ve sewn inside. Now you can cinch the waist tighter or looser by attaching the elastic at various buttonholes!