Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Scrap-busting Toddler Undies

Now I totally understand that many of you may be thinking 'Life is WAYYY too short to make kids' undies'. And it's very likely that if you actually have a toddler, you'll probably have less time and energy to make toddler undies than someone who doesn't have a toddler knocking about. But as I've mentioned previously, I have a real interest in seeing how much of my children's clothing needs I can meet using my own sewing skillz (with a healthy dose of hand-me-downs and secondhand). And with potty training looming, it was time for me to get making...


The same issue of Ottobre design magazine that featured the scrap-busting vest pattern handily also included a simple little pants/knickers/undies pattern. Indeed, Winter 6/2013 is one of the best issues, IMO, there's heaps of patterns in there that I hope to get round to trying at some point. 

My initially thoughts were to trace the size 92 which would correspond to her current height, but after comparing some of the shop-bought pants I'd already bought Dolores in a pre-potty training panic, I decided to go for the 98. The pattern suggests using either picot elastic or making binding strips for the leg openings. I planned to use fold over elastic because I have plenty of suitably narrow FOE in my stash. I also wanted to use it round the waist edge, rather than regular elastic as indicated in the magazine, so I reduced the height of the front and back pieces to omit the elastic casing.  

Fabric and elastic:

Here's where the real fun began! Hunting through all my knit scraps (of which I have two large tubs), I was able to find lots of small pieces of t-shirt-weight knit to use up. I love the idea of turning these little space-wasting scraps into useful items and eeking every last bit of value out of the initial cost of the fabric. And making my daughter's undies out of bits I already have lying about has got to have a lower (although far from zero, sadly) environmental impact than buying packs of new mass-manufactured undies from a shop. 

I've talked a lot about fold over elastic before, the most comprehensive of my posts being 'Fold Over Elastic: What the Hell is it, Exactly?', where I mentioned that FOE can be bought in a range of widths, although typically is about 2cm wide. Recently, Claire found and kindly sent me some packs of narrower (about 16mm) FOE in pastel shades in a Tiger shop, which I thought would be pretty perfect for the task. I also had some of this awesome rainbow FOE in my stash but I can't remember for the life of me where I bought it. On a couple of the pairs of undies I also used some little iron-on decals that I've had in my stash for over a decade.  


Although I think this batch of toddler undies look really cute, there are a few problems with them. The main issue is that, whilst I usually find Ottobre pattern sizing to be spot on or eversoslightly too big, these pants came out a bit small. In fact, after a recent growth spurt they are a bit too tight and another batch is required. She's been wearing 'big girl pants' for a couple of months now, these five pairs plus three pairs of shop-bought ones, but I was kind of hoping my efforts would see more use. My fault, I guess, for getting carried away and making five pairs instead of one and assessing the fit before I carried on.

I also found them to be super high-waisted, the leg openings are a bit small and the crotch area is too wide. In the near future (like, when I finish writing this post), I'm going to trace the size 110, lower the height of the waist by 2cm at the back and 3cm at the front, then narrow the crotch by about 1.5cm in total, which will simultaneously make the leg openings wider. I'll apply the FOE (or I may try picot) a little more loosely, and with all these things combined I'll hopefully end up with toddler pants that are slightly too big and therefore should have months of wear in them.


Jeanne said...

Your toddler undies are wonderful, and you will never be sorry for the time taken to make them. I have been making family underwear from toddler to adult for forty years, it wears better, fits better, and much longer because the cut of the hand made ones is better than commercially made.

I have made most of the toddler ones using cotton ribbing, or stretchy double knit on the legs. It is a softer fit than elastic, better coverage, for playtime outdoors.

I have used a Quick Sew pattern, adapting to each childs size and shape. A great source of cotton knit is from t-shirts.

I have enjoyed your blog for such a long time, congratulations on your "tread gently on the earth" way of life. Jeanne

Knitwitsowls said...

These pants are awesome! I'm not sure I could have coped with potty training and making pants x

marieke (circle meets line) said...

I love them! Too bad they don't fit.... :( This IS the best Ottobre issue in my opinion as well. I keep coming back to it! Thank you for your review on the undies. I am wanting to try them, exactly because of the high rise. My girl has a big bottom in comparison to her otherwise very slender body type. RTW hardly ever fit... I think these might be perfect! And now I know what to look out for! Thank you!

nogysbaby said...

Where can I get this pattern?

Miriana said...

If you're potty training - make lots!

Miriana said...

And 04/2013 is a pretty stellar issue - lots of good basics, especially for slightly older kids. My daughter is about to get her third version of the dress on the cover.

Knitlass said...

Awesome - love that rainbow foe, but shame they are a bit tight (there is nothing worse than too tight pants really, is there?)

Mother of Reinvention said...

Aww, these are just so cute. What a lovely way to use up tiny scraps. I really like Ottobre but have only seen the Women's ones as Sprogzilla is too big for the children's one. Fab patterns. Xx

Kathryn said...

These are so cute Zoe! Too bad they're getting too small already. I just had to buy some boys pants as although we'd been given some hand-me-downs from his cousin (which didn't get used as they were too small) they weren't really enough for potty training purposes (unless I want to be washing every night, which I don't!). I'll need to try and find a pattern for boys pants. Such a great way to use scraps!

The bewildered Sewist said...

Love the scrap busting idea! I'm new to sewing so I'm doing a lot of blog reading and now am following you too. I can imagine developing a large scrap collection too as I can't bear to throw anything away

Jo said...

I totally love this concept. Life is actually too short to look in your cupboard and root through a load of scraps every time you want some fabric so I am right with you on that one. On my first girl's first day we washed and hung up 14 pairs of wet knickers, 7 the next day, 5 the next and so it went over the week down to none on Friday! She was 2 - So stick with it. I am off to check out Winter 6/2013 on the back issues as I am a lover of Ottobre, the patterns and everything about them. Jo x

Knitlass said...

Hold up people - the new issue of Ottobre has pants!! Whoop whoop. I did a happy dance when my copy arrived today. Boy briefs and boxers and pants for girls too...

Christals Creations said...

Love them. I made one pair of adult sized from a flo jo pattern but these are way more fun.

Unknown said...

تعد شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة من افضل الشركات داخل المملكة العربية السعودية ،
تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
ان خزانات المياه من المصادر التى تعتمد عليها المنازل والبيوت فى المملكة العربية السعودية وتنظيف خزانات المياه من اهم المهمات التى تقدمها شركتنا فى مجال التنظيف حيث تقوم غسيل خزانات بالمدينه المنوره بالاعتماد على ماده الابوكسى الخاصه بتنظيف الخزانات فهذه افضل المواد
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
تعمل بمثابه الخل للقيام بازاله الطحالب او الرواسب او القيام بازاله الاوساخ من الخزان والتمتع بخزان نظيف وخالى من اى تلوث او اى امراض ويعتبر الابوكسى افضل مواد عزل الخزانات لحمايته من التهريب والتسرب والحفاظ عليه نقيه نظيفه خاليه من اى ميكروبات فعند اتصالك بنا تقوم غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة بارسأل افضل الفنيون المتخصصون فى تلك المجال الذى يعد سهلا وصعبا سهلا بالنسبة انه عملية تنظيف عادية وصعبا لانك تقوم بتنظيف خزان تقوم باستخدامه فى جميع مستلزمات المنزل من استعمال شخصى وادمى وفى الطهى فلابد من المحافظة على صحة الفرد من خلال طريقة التنظيف
تنظيف خزانات بالمدينه المنوره
وكيفية تجهيزه للاستعمال مره اخرى يوجد لدي غسيل خزانات مع العزل والتعقيم تخفيضات كبيرة وعروض تصل الى خصم 30% من قيمة التنظيف.

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