Kim Becker {aka MommyKnows}
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DIY Cashmere Pants for Toddlers { Under $5 } – Upcycle Cashmere Sweater Tutorial

in DIY / Tutorials, General

Check out Georgia’s new cashmere pants.

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Pretty cute eh? Even better, they cost me less than $5 and they are 100% cashmere! The best part –> I made them myself out of a thrift store sweater.

I am going to show you how. I want to apologize in advance, if I make errors in terminology etc.. This is only the 3rd or 4th time that I’ve used a sewing machine. I probably shouldn’t be showing anyone how to make anything with a sewing machine. The good news is, if I can do it, so can you!

Note: the sweater was washed and dried at least twice (hot wash, cold rinse, hot dry). This felts the wool.

I loosely used instructions found in this book. I am not so great at following instructions, even when I know nothing (like today), I tend to do my own thing.

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Lay a pair of pants that you know fit your child on top of the adult sweater. This is your pattern for the new pants.

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I used a pair of pants of Georgia’s that were actually getting too small (just in length), so I left about 1″ at the bottom for extra length. I am going to used the band of the sweater as the bottom of the pants, so I can avoid hemming. I pinned the pants to the sweater in about 1/2 dozen spots to keep it from shifting around.

cashmere pants { under $5 }
Cut the pants out, adding about 1/2″ on the sides for seam allowance. Leave about 2″ on the top for the waistband. You probably won’t need this much (I didn’t), but it will leave you some leeway.

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Cut out the second half of the pants, on the other side of the sweater. This time use the first set of legs you cut out and make the second set exactly the same size.

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You should now have two identical sets.

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Sew each set from the waist to the crotch. (see red line on photo)

Note: I was a bit worried about using a patterned fabric. In the end the stripes helped me keep the pants lined up. Unfortunately, it wreaked havoc on my camera. My apologies for the nasty photos.

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Now unfold the two pieces. You should have front and back sides. Put them together with the ‘right-sides’ facing each other and pin the inside seam together. Sew them up –> from hem to crotch to hem. (see red line on photo).

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Now pin and sew each outside seam.

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At this point I put the pants on Georgia to determine exactly where I wanted the top of the waist to be. Leaving the pants inside out, I folded and pinned the waistband. I left enough depth for my 3/4″ elastic. I then sewed the pocket for the elastic, creating the waistband at the same time.

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I had quite a bit of left over fabric around the waistband. As this fabric won’t fray, I trimmed the excess. It looks so much neater and will most likely be more comfy to wear.

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I meant to leave a gap, so I could put the elastic in. I even marked the start and stop points, and then sewed right over them. It’s a good thing I used felted cashmere, it doesn’t fray. I cut a small hole and using a safety pin I threaded the elastic through.

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Once through I overlapped the elastic by about one inch and sewed it together. I was going to sew a nice neat rectangle, but the sewing machine got away on me. You can see above that my sewing skills are HUGELY lacking.

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They turned out pretty darn good anyway. My diligent pinning paid off and all the stripes line up nicely.

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Georgia really likes them. She wore them all day.

Do you have any good ideas, for upcycling clothing? If so I want to know.

MK xo
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30 comments… add one

  • Jenn B March 26, 2009, 10:50 pm

    nice! i made a few recycled sweaterpants for use as cloth diaper covers for grace, but it never occurred to me to just have some for ‘regular’ pants (& i don’t have to be picky about material for it!). GREAT idea! :) it’s also on my mental ‘to-do’ list to make a skirt inspired by you a few weeks (months? i forget) back….i’ll get around to it someday.

    Jenn B’s last blog post..To Do Lists

  • Hannah March 27, 2009, 12:21 am

    CUTE!!!!!! They look adorable. And what a great idea, using an old sweatshirt to make pants. Genius. Is there no end to your talent??

  • jenB March 27, 2009, 12:31 am

    I am amazed and impressed and good for you! I am also impressed you found a 5 buck thrifted sweater! I need to get out more.

  • Amanda @ Mommy's Idea Book March 27, 2009, 6:27 am

    Looks like you did a super good job considering you haven’t used a sewing machine very much. Very impressive!

    What a great idea using the sweater to make your daughter a pair of pants. I have a little girl too and I’ll definitely have to remember this one.

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book’s last blog post..How to Easily Keep Track of Your Monthly Bills

  • Emily B. March 27, 2009, 6:40 am

    *love*! They’re great. Stylin’, frugal, comfy, handmade. My favourite things. Well done!

    Emily B.’s last blog post..See Kai Run at the Hip Hippo!

  • onesies March 27, 2009, 7:37 am

    Nice outfit for your daughter. Great idea.

  • antof9 March 27, 2009, 7:42 am

    All I can think right now is that *I* want a pair of these pants!

    Brilliant, and I love your step-by-step instrux :)

  • Mik March 27, 2009, 10:18 am

    Very impressive, one of our stylin’ grand daughter’s would love those, good idea and something I may have pass on to our kids.

  • Jennifer March 27, 2009, 11:03 am

    Oh, you SO rock, lady! I just found your blog from a tweet, and I’m all over it. I can’t wait for a party so I can make that candy sushi – I’m definitely sharing the idea with a friend. You do such a nice job with the pictures, too. You have a new fan :)

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Fiber Friday Giveaway: The Dark Side Has Cookies. And T-Shirts.

  • Carey March 27, 2009, 11:05 am

    Very cute!~
    I wanted to do something like this after your last post on felting wool sweater. They came out really nice. I fi ever get around to doing this, I will let you know.

    Carey’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  • Naomi March 27, 2009, 1:11 pm

    Those are super cute! If you happen to find a frighteningly large sweater, I’d love to have a pair in my size…

    Naomi’s last blog post..ZRecs/Sheraton BlogHer ’09 Giveaway

  • Madeline March 27, 2009, 2:34 pm

    Nice! I don’t own cashmere anything so she’s one up on me already.

    Madeline’s last blog post..Fruit Strips 101

  • gorillabuns March 27, 2009, 7:42 pm

    even with these easy directions, i’m totally bound to screw up making these cute pants.

  • debbie March 27, 2009, 8:33 pm

    So cute and thrifty! You are my hero.

    debbie’s last blog post..I thought I could do it since it was only five little questions

  • jafer March 28, 2009, 7:16 am

    Wow, you made that seem really easy. However, since I can’t even consistently master sewing a hem straight, I guess I won’t be trying to make my own pants any time soon. Good job, though!

  • kim March 28, 2009, 8:34 am

    again, pure genius!

    kim’s last blog post..tiny babies make winter better

  • kategvt March 28, 2009, 7:56 pm

    u go girl! these are awesome! i’ve been missing the blog…we put down our i’m in a rhyming fog… ;)

  • Cindi March 28, 2009, 9:23 pm

    I can’t even sew a button on! You are truly amazing. I love the last picture of Georgia sitting in her cashmere pants smiling. Great job!

  • angelina hart March 29, 2009, 12:17 am

    these are so cute! and reminds me i actually packed a few old wool sweaters to hat and glove making that i better get to soon!

  • lace March 29, 2009, 12:54 pm

    Aren’t you crafty lately. I have several crafts sitting unfinished. Not feeling the craft love lately. My idea of a craft for the girls is to hand them a pack of stickers.

    Love the pants.

  • carrie March 30, 2009, 3:52 am

    very very cool!

    carrie’s last blog post..absent-minded professor

  • Alex March 30, 2009, 6:24 pm

    Mommy knows, indeed. Cute things you did there:)

  • Deb March 30, 2009, 7:06 pm

    Wow, for someone who is a ‘beginner’ with a sewing machine you sure pulled off some gorgeous pants.

    Here’s my upcycling: my FAVOURITE wool sweater was getting a bit small on me (ARGH!) and I hadn’t the heart to donate and risk it being unappreciated. It is a thin, merino wool turtleneck sweater. So I cut off the sleeves, hemmed the armholes, took in the sides (left the bottom hem and the neck) and voila:

  • Baby Nursery Bedding March 30, 2009, 8:04 pm

    Those pants remind me of my velour jump suits I used to be so fond of. Nothing like comfort and style with the same outfit! I agree with the above commenter, the last picture is precious!

  • tyler March 31, 2009, 5:27 pm

    awww.. that’s so cute.
    thanks for this tutorial

  • Baby Diaper Cake April 1, 2009, 7:10 pm

    I am very impressed! I just love your site the way you put all the pictures to go with every story.

  • Shannon @ Lullaby Baby Carriers April 1, 2009, 9:36 pm

    Way to go! I’m currently teaching my 14 year-old stepson to sew a little – he keeps asking me to make his pants thinner in the leg or other such adjustments. So he now knows how to thread the sewing machine, do a straight stitch and and zig zag, hem his pants… I’m so proud of him! I think it’s a great skill to have. I often remake favorite old shirts or whatever by using them as a pattern. Go for it! It’s fun and so rewarding!

  • kategvt April 5, 2009, 6:28 am

    between the sushi and this you are just so creative. poor james just gets coloring books while i clean.

  • Anna April 14, 2009, 11:04 pm

    I love what you’ve done, I don’t know how many unfinished sewing projects I have. Just found one that I cut for myself in March of 2008. I go with patterns but this is very quick and neat.
    I love your blog.

    Anna’s last blog post..Should a government ban spanking?

  • horsegames September 3, 2010, 3:26 am

    that is innovative and they look comfortable too and they are cheap.

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