Friday, January 21, 2011

Elsa's New Pants

This is your only warning, this post may contain over-the-top cuteness pictures.  Read at your own risk.

So last Wednesday (January 12) I started a pair of pants for Elsa.  I have had the pattern for a while, I've been drooling over it for like...EVER...and finally told myself there are no sewing police and I can sew whatever I want whenever I want (true there are proper ways to do things but no one is going to shun me for sewing a pair of pants instead of a jacket or t-shirt).  So I cut the pattern out and started.  

I knew that this was a time intense project and that I didn't want it relegated to the bottom of the 'will get to it later when I want to pick out a hundred seams' pile.  No, I wanted to finish these.  So I only worked on them as long as I could stand, never more.  I took the seams s-l-o-w-l-y and purposefully and in a week (probably only 4 nights of serious sewing) I had them completed.  I nearly danced a jig in my living room.  I squealed when they fit...oh, I just can't stop the flow of pride and joy in my accomplishment.

So onto the pictures!
I love the back pockets!  They make her little bum look super cute!  Wish the picture was better.

See the sleeve, isn't it cool?

Pretty Heart

A quick little applique heart.

I told her to 'work-it' and she really hammed it up good!

I hot glued a pearl button over the snap-closure for prettiness.
I love the pockets and I love the hand on hip pose she has here too.

When I finished these on Wednesday Elsa wasn't big on wanting to put them on or have me take pictures of her.  However, I had to know if they fit so I made her wear them for the rest of the evening.  Of course we had to show them off to everyone at church and she LOVED the attention so yesterday she was eager to wear her pants again.  She was also fully amenable to a photo shoot bribery involved.

So here is all the information on the pattern:

Pattern Source: Ottobre Design Fall 2009
Pattern 12, "Tulip" Corduroy Pants size 86cm
Fabric:  Home Decor Fabric remnant from JoAnn's (don't laugh, it was cheap, pink, & the right weight to test out the pattern, though I did feel like Maria from the Sound of Music)
I also use some cotton fabric I had in my stash for the binding & lining for pockets and for the applique patches.

The pattern has a fly-front zipper.  I just want you all to know how simple it is.  Really, it took me more time to sew the pockets together than it did to put in the zipper.  EASY PEASY.  I actually think it takes as much time as an elastic waistband when you factor in the time it takes to thread the elastic through, sew the elastic together and then close up the seam.  I did have to go get a pair of Elsa's jeans just to see the finished result in 3-D for me to really grasp it.  I would totally be willing to do a tutorial of putting in a fly-zipper if you like (though I'm sure someone else has already).


* I didn't add a seam allowance to the pattern because after reading this post by Made by Rae where she mentioned that the patterns seemed huge on her babies I thought to measure the pattern pieces and compare them with Elsa's measurement, minus the seam allowance I would take, and knew that I wouldn't need the seam allowances.  I wish I had added a seam allowance width to the waistband. 

* I tried to do the pin tucks for the back pockets but the fabric didn't like it so I opted for a big pleat.  I also lined the back pockets with cotton because it seemed the easiest way to finish the edges of the pockets.  

* I omitted the adjustable waist and opted for a snap closure instead of a button (this was mostly determined because I wanted to be done and didn't want to do a buttonhole which would take time).  

* The heart appliques are also my design as the fabric I used frays really bad and so there were a couple of holes.  I repaired the seams but stabilized the side seams with iron-on interfacing and then put the heart applique patches over the weakest parts.  I personally think the hearts add to the pants but you could go without if you don't like them.  I also omitted the belt loops.  

Would I make these again?  In a heartbeat!  They were so much fun.  I didn't use a serger at all (though it would have been handy) and I loved the yoke for the back, the top stitching and how the flare is above the knee on the front but below the knee on the back.

Now, if you need pictures to understand directions I wouldn't recommend Ottobre patterns to you.  They are definitely geared toward the intermediate to advanced seamstress because they only had pictures of the fly-zipper directions (and not that great either).  Also, there is no cutting direction pictures.  So you're on your own.  You are supposed to add a seam allowance to the pattern pieces but as I mentioned above I didn't do that and found them to fit perfectly.

When I make these again I will use appropriate apparel fabric.  Stay tuned for more.


  1. REALLY CUTE PICTURES AND PANTS! :) She is CUTE and getting so big! You are really good at sewing, love your projects!

  2. Oh my goodness, Buffy, these are SO cute!!! And Elsbeth only makes them look more adorable! :)


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