Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Comfy Newborn Cuffed Pants - Free Printable Pattern

I've got a baby shower to go to this evening.  For years, I've used my old standby of burp clothes as my go-to baby shower gift.  I decided I'd branch out a little this time and make my favorite newborn church outfit, which includes my favorite Comfy Newborn Cuffed Pants.
(You can click here for the template to make your own Tiny Guy Tie Onesie.)

I made several pairs of these pants for Anson and LOVED them.  I love cuffed knit pants on newborns because they're so comfy.  The cuff keeps the pants from sliding up those skinny newborn legs (or sliding way down past their feet) and also offers a place for those tiny baby socks to cling to.

I had a problem when I went to make a new pair as a baby gift for a friend because I never blogged about it and I couldn't find the pattern I made anywhere!  Then I discovered I had a pair already cut out, so I was able to remake the pattern, and I'm posting it this time so I'll be able to find it next time I need it.

Continue Reading for Free Pattern and Instructions.
I love babies in bold colors and stripes...which can be hard to find in newborn sizes.  I always keep my eye out for fun colors, stripes, and patterns on shirts when I'm shopping garage sales and thrift store with these pants in mind.  Sometimes I get lucky and there's a fun pocket or other detail in the original shirt I can take advantage of.

Or I've personalized the bum in other fun ways...

These pants are also great, because they leave scraps that can be used to make appliques for coordinating onesies...I'm such a sucker for matchy-matchy baby outfits.

  • Adult (or larger size child) T-shirt to cut up.  (You can also use knit yardage as well.  You'd need about a 13 inch length for newborn pants.)
  • Baby pants in the size you want to make or this Comfy Newborn Cuffed Pants pattern.
  • Thread, scissors, pins, sewing machine...the typical stuff you use for every sewing project.
Be sure to print this pattern ACTUAL SIZE!

You can use any kind of T-shirt type knit that you like.  Regular T-shirts work great.  The extra stretchy knits with a little spandex in them are extra comfy.  I used fabric with stripes for my pictures because it helps illustrate the directions a little better.  If you use stripes you want to be careful to cut things out straight with the stripes.  If you're new to sewing clothes, you may want to try a solid fabric for your first time and move to stripes after you've had a little practice.

Also note that knits have a "right" and "wrong" side to the fabric even though it can sometimes be hard to tell which is which.  If you stretch the fabric slightly it will curl toward the "wrong" side of the fabric.
I started my making a pattern.  I had a pair of pants that was a favorite when Seth was a baby, so I knew it was a tried-and-true fit.  Cut the hem off your T-shirt.  (If you're making straight pants, with no cuff, it's best to keep the hem though.)  Lay your T-shirt out so it's smooth and flat.  Then fold it in half down the middle.  This should give you a fold to cut your pants out on that has 4 thicknesses of fabric.  Fold the baby pants in half, and lay them so the side of the leg lines up with your fold.

The gathering at the waist and cuff makes the side looked curved, but it's really straight, so we you're cutting your pants out, you just pretend that side is straight.  You'll want to cut the fabric about 1/4-1/2 and inch past where the cuff starts for a seam allowance and cut it leave extra fabric at the top the width of your elastic (about 1/2-1 inch wide.)  DO NOT CUT ON THE SIDE WITH THE FOLD.  This should leave you with two pieces of fabric...one to form each leg piece.

You will also need to cut two pieces of fabric for the cuffs that are 5 1/2 inches by 7 inches rectangle.  Fold the rectangle in half "hamburger style" to bring the two 5 1/2 inch sides together and pin.
Sew with 1/4 inch seam.

Fold in half with WRONG sides together.  (Picture shows fold in process.)

Repeat for second cuff, and you'll end up with two pieces that look something like this, where the raw edges are at the top and the bottom edge is a fold.

Now you're ready to start working with the legs.  Fold each piece of leg fabric in half RIGHT sides together and pin.  (Double check which is the inseam and which is the bum with the pattern or the pants you're using...they look really similar in newborn pants.)
Sew the inseam with 1/4 inch seam.  You can use a straight stitch (which is what I used here because my machine doesn't like doing zigzags on knits), but I've found a small zigzag works even better to give the seam a little more stretch.  Repeat for second leg.

Turn ONE of the legs right side out and leave the other leg wrong side out.
Slip the leg that is right side out inside the wrong-side-out leg and pin the crotch seam.
Sew the crotch seam with 1/4 inch seam.  Again a straight stitch will work fine, but a tight zigzag will give it a little more stretch.

Stitch a second time inside your first seam in the crotch area to make it extra secure since this is the seam that will be stressed the most.

Cut a few notches, being careful not to cut the thread in your seam to make this seam stretchier and more comfortable.

Now we're ready to attach the cuffs.  Turn the pants inside-out.  Mark both the pants and the cuff into quarters.  With the cuff inside the pants, match the quarters and pin.

To sew, begin by securing by sewing back and for a bit.  Then to sew the cuff on, you will need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the cuff to match the width of the pants leg.  This will be a lot of stretching for the cuff, but it will make it...just barely.  Sew with a straight stitch or tight zigzag.  Repeat for the second cuff.

Now all that's left is the waist.  If you've got the child in front of you that you're making them for, then you should measure the child's waist.  In my case, Anson hadn't been born of I'm making these as a gift, so I cut my elastic to be 14 1/2 inches long and the size worked for Anson.
Sew the elastic together so the ends overlap about 1/2 inch.  (This will leave you with an elastic ring 14 inches around.
Mark quarters on the elastic and on the waist, similar to what you did for the cuff.
Begin by securing the elastic with some back and forth straight stitching.
Then switch to a WIDE zigzag stitch.  Sew along the top edge of the elastic with a wide zigzag while stretching your elastic to match the fabric.  You need to sew this with a zigzag because that allows the elastic to stretch with the fabric to allow for an even wider opening when needed.

Sew all the way around the waist, stretching as you go.  When you get back to the beginning, secure with some back and forth straight stitching.

Fold the elastic over one time and pin again at the quarter markings.  This is also the point where you may want to slip a tag in to mark the back of the waist (but this is not necessary, since the front and back are essentially the same on these pants.)
Sew again with a wide zigzag, secured at both ends by some back and forth straight stitching and BE SURE TO STRETCH while you're sewing this part too.  This time you'll sew at the lower edge of the elastic (basically right on top of your last stitching.)
And you're done!
All ready to go on a cute little bundle.

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  1. They certainly look comfortable. And I LOVE the chromosome shirt :)

  2. That will be a welcome baby gift! Very clever and a good way to reuse old tee shirts.

  3. Polly, these are so cute! I'm so glad you were able to remake the pattern. And now it will never be lost again! I have recipes stored in my blog drafts just so I don't lose them :) I suppose someday I might actually post them.

  4. These are fab - would love for you to link them up at this week's The Friday Baby Shower

  5. These are super comfortable looking. I love all the different colors that you made. Right now we don't have any newborns in the family but I am pinning this for our readers and for the future.
    We have a growing list of boy sewing project on our blog that we invite you to check out. Great job!
    With Love,

  6. wow i love these! totally pinning for when i have another baby!

  7. What a great idea! Our site has a Pattern Party that begins at the 1st of each month. I’d love for you to check it out and link up. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Polly, Great tutorial!!! Thanks for sharing at For the Kids Fridays! I've pinned this one! Love these cute little pants!!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern! My friend is having a baby today actually, and I was looking around for a little something fun to make for him! Adorable!!
    -Kim @ www.twotendesigns.com

  10. so cute - I just blogged and linked to your tutorial

  11. Hello! Thanks for the pattern and the tutorial. I made one pair for my baby and they look great! :)

  12. Thanks for a great tutorial. I've also used the ribbed cuffs on woven pants for baby boys to make it easy to adjust the leg length.

  13. I am wondering what size of elastic did you use? I keep looking and can't find it.

    1. I think I used 3/4 inch elastic, but anything 1/2 inch to 1 inch should work.


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