Sewing Tutorial: Super-Cute Trainer Undies

It’s so exciting to be able to see the point on the horizon when our life will be diaper-free!  The Robug is asking for diaper changes and saying, “Hewp me.  Stinky.”  Seriously, I cannot wait until I no longer have to change diapers!!!!  And, aren’t I lucky that one of my best friends, Danielle of D Mac Knits, adapted Katrina’s Sew Quick Soaker Pattern for trainers.  These little things are so freakin’ adorable!!!  And, what makes them extra awesome is that they have a pocket so that you can stuff them when our little pee machines need extra protection.  I will be making some for The Robug ASAP, and we’ll use our current diaper inserts when we need them.  I’ll probably make some out of fleece with a jersey inner for nighttime use.  Plus, having the walking foot and ballpoint needles helps make these go together fairly quickly (see my post on this).  So, with no further ado, let’s thank Danielle (and, of course, Katrina) for letting me share her Little Bear’s skivvies and using her pattern to make this tutorial so you can make your own super-cute training undies!
Go to Katrina’s blog and print out the Original Pattern.  Make sure you print it out the right way so the the 1” X 1” square on the pattern actually measures 1” X 1”, otherwise you’ll be sitting there wondering what the hell you did wrong?! that these stupid things don’t fit and the measurements are all off!  (Yeah, that was me—I’m an rtard.)
Measure your own little monkey’s (or whatever pet name you have for your ankle-biter):
Thighs
Rise (measure how high you want the waist in the back to how high you want the waist in the front going between the legs)
Waist (this would be considered there you want the waistband of the undies to be)
*Hips (This is not required nor is it listed on Katrina’s pattern, but I measure this around the fullest part of the butt –not with a diaper-along the hips where you want the leg-hole to be and where the bottom of the side seam will be.  If you do this, you should just go ahead and measure the distance between the waist and the hip, too, since you’re already going through all this work :).  By taking these two measurements as well, you’ll get a really good, custom fit for your kid and it will make adjusting your pattern for a custom fit easier, but this is in no way required.)
TIP: I use a piece of string and 5 different colored markers and take the measurements all on that string, marking each one with one of the five colors; THEN I get out the tape measure and write down the measurements.  It’s a lot easier than struggling with a naked two year-old 🙂
Go to the pattern with your measurements and markers.  Trim your pattern and tape it together at the crotch.  WARNING:  This pattern uses ¼” seam allowances—if you are not comfortable sewing that small a seam, you will need to make the necessary alterations to this pattern.
Choose the size that best matches and make adjustments as necessary.  For example, Danielle’s Little Bear is a medium except in the rise, which is a small, so she simply cut on the small rise line and the medium lines for everything else.  The Robug, on the other hand, though she is smaller than Little Bear, wears an XL in the waist and thighs and a medium in the rise.  The medium rise, however, doesn’t give me a 3″ side seam, so I split the difference between medium and large.
Use the waistband and cuff pieces from Katrina’s pattern and be sure to use the correct sizes based on waist and thigh measurements.   Then, trim the waistband (4” wide) piece to match the width of the cuff piece (so BOTH the cuff piece AND the waist piece will measure 2.5” wide, but the cuffs are 9.5” long and the waist is 15.5” for Little Bear’s example).
Obtain from sewing store/internet/etc… the amount of 1” wide waistband elastic you need to make the number of undies you’re making (each pair will need a piece to match the length of the total waistband—so in this example, 15.5” long).
Use your pattern to cut out your pieces, cutting all pieces on the fold and laying out the fabric’s direction of stretch across the hips/waist
Cut 1 waistband, 1 waistband elastic, 2 cuffs, and 2 soakers.  Plug in your iron and set it to the correct temp for your fabric
Take your elastic and overlap the ends by ¼” and sew it together.  With this type of elastic, I like to sew a few rows in straight stitch and then go over it with a few rows of zigzag stitch.
If you want your undiees to have a pocket: 
Place the inside layer of fabric on the ironing board with the back on top.  Find the center and press under about ½”right in the center to create the deepest part of a curve, and then gradually decrease the amount of fabric you press under as you create your curve on your way back up to the waist.  Your curve should end about 1” before the side of the undies.
Sew this lip down with a zigzag stitch.  *I prefer to do this step with the right side of the fabric facing up, but you can just as easily do it with the wrong side up.  However, you want to be sure that fabric pressed under (the raw edge) is on the wrong side of the fabric so that when the undies are sewn together, the right side of the fabric is against your little monkey and the raw, pressed-under edge is inside the pocket, facing the wrong side of the outer fabric.

Take your two cuffs and waistband and place them on the ironing board and fold them in half lengthwise (as teachers say, the “Hotdog” fold-along the longest edge), with the wrong sides together, and press.
Take the cuffs and waistband you just ironed in half and unfold them and refold them the opposite way (the “Hamburger” fold-along the shortest edge) with the right sides together and sew along the short edge using a ¼” zigzag seam.  Trim any remaining fabric.  Refold both cuffs and waistband along the ironed fold with the wrong sides together (the seam you just sewed will now be on the inside).  Put the two leg cuffs to the side.
Take the waistband fabric and elastic and put the loop of elastic inside the loop of fabric, butting the top of your elastic along the ironed fold (see, this is why I had you iron it—it makes this step A LOT EASIER).

Stretch the fabric and/or elastic to fit.  Then, baste stitch with a straight stitch the long edge of the waistband closed, encasing the elastic.  Make sure when you are basting, you stitch right next to the bottom of the elastic, but try not to catch the elastic in the stitch.  You may need to stretch the fabric and/or elastic to sew the entire waistband closed.  If you cut correctly, you should have ¼” of fabric left at the bottom along the waistband.

Now, you are going to finish sewing these together using Katrina’s sewing instructions, just be sure you put your two undie pieces wrong sides together.  And, when you attach the waistband, have the waistband on top so you can follow your baste stitch to catch the edge of the elastic (yes, this time you are going to make sure you are sewing just a little over the edge of the elastic).  Be careful, if you catch too much elastic, the waistband will not stand up or be comfortable.
Be sure, as well, not to catch the opening for your pocket when attaching the waistband!
Please, if you have any questions at all, let me know!  Happy Sewing and a big, “THANK YOU!” to Katrina and Danielle.

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12 thoughts on “Sewing Tutorial: Super-Cute Trainer Undies

  1. Thank you for this! I’ve been googling for trainer pants tutorials and then I just stumbled over yours at the link party. Can’t wait to give it a try. My little guy turns 2 tomorrow and is starting to ask to sit on the potty chair about once a day. YAY!

  2. As always you do amazing work! I can’t wait till my two year old is diaper free…I am starting to get concerned since she needs to be for preschool next year. UGH. Yay so excited about this month too! Thanks for linking up 🙂

    1. Thank you! I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when I don’t have to wash diapers every other day anymore, lol 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and I dropped by your blog and am your newest follower! If you do any trainers, I’d love to see them–thanks!

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