Another hot Chicagoland summer is quickly approaching and, unlike her mommy, The Robug will want to spend as much time outside as possible. However, the inevitable complaints about the heat and having to wear clothes outside (“But moooooooomy, is too hot for cwose! I wanna pway outside nakies; I’n not wearing anyfwing”) always drive me to create age-appropriate, minimalist clothes I can force bribe get The Robug to actually wear and keep on. Add to that my addiction to Crackterest Pinterest’s ceaseless supply of project inspiration, and you end up with something like these shorts.
I found this tutorial for double-tie wrap pants at indietutes and instantly pinned it because, come on, don’t they look like the most comfortable pair of pants in the world?! I’ve been meaning to make a pair for myself and, once seeing Robug’s, the Daddy Man has been demanding a pair. So, needless to say, these have become a favorite for everyone and everyone doesn’t even have a pair! The problem I faced was the tie closure in the back–there is no way I’m going to untie and retie the shorts every time Robug has to go potty; plus, a simple tie closure is not playground friendly. But, I did not want to change the style in any way; I really like the completely open legs and the general simplicity. So I didn’t change it, I simply adapted the back closure: elastic “ties” and some snaps! 🙂
Following the indietutes tutorial and taking into consideration the suggestions from the comments, here’s what I did:
On the fold, I cut two rectangles of fabric that measured 11 7/8″ wide and 13″ long. I got these measurements by taking:
For Robug, the math looked like this:
Next I cut a pattern piece for the crotch. I simply used a pair of pants from Robug’s wardrobe for shape and placement. Put this piece on the fold and cut out the crotch on each piece.
Unfold both pieces and line them up, right sides together, at the crotch.
Sew the crotch together. I used a 3/8 seam allowance.
Now complete the bottom hem of both legs by folding over and pressing 1/4″ and then folding over and pressing another 3/4″. Sew the final seam of each hem down. Then complete the waist for the front of the shorts by folding over and pressing 1/4″ and then folding over and pressing another 1/2″; sew this seam down as well.
Time for the fun modifications!
Fold over and press 1/4″ of the back waist; then fold over and press another 1/2″. Open up the 1/2″ seam you just pressed and, at the center, add a piece of interfacing that extends 3″ from the middle on each side for a total of 6″ and is just less than 1/2 ” wide (see the picture). Press on your interfacing. Then, add a piece of scrap fabric the same size as your interfacing right on top of the interfacing (in the picture the piece of fabric is actually two and is placed under the interfacing so that you could see it).
Here you can see the scrap fabric from the step above on top of the interfacing. And what we’re going to do is add a total of six snaps, three on each side of center. You want to attach the socket sides along this waistband as well as to be sure you are attaching your snaps on the 1/2″ of fabric you are folding over so that they are “invisible.”
Fold the 1/2″ back down and you’ll have your snaps on the inside of the waist without being seen on the outside.
Sew the waist seam down. In order to get close to the snaps I used a zipper foot.
Then finish the side edges by folding over and pressing 1/4″, fold over and press another 1/4″ and sew down the seam.
Here’s what you should have:
Now we need to create two “belt loops”.
Take a piece of fabric about 1″ x 3″. Fold the 1″ width in half and press. Then, open it back up and fold each side in just short of the crease and press; fold it back in half along the first crease you steamed. Sew the long open edge and then cut the piece in half to create your two belt loops.
Fold in and press the raw edges of the belt loops and then sew them onto the shorts on each side of center, about 2″ from the center seam. Make sure you sew the loops on at the top and bottom so that the sides are open for the ties to pass through.
Then take the back waist (the side with the snaps) and attach whatever you want to use for ties. In the tutorial, Vegbee used bias tape; I upcycled an old drawstring I had from an old pair of pants. Make sure you attach a tie to each side of the back. To attach mine in order to reinforce it, I laid the string along the waist, placing the raw edge where the side seam is. Sew this tie down about 1/4″ from the raw edge and then about 1/4″ from that line (so you’ve sewn it twice). Fold the tie back towards the edge of the fabric, using the second line of stitching for your crease. Then, fold the loose raw edge of the tie in over the first line of stitching; sew the tie down a third time just to the right of the first line of stitching in order to catch the raw edge under the rest of the tie and to keep the tie in place (I tried to explain that as best I could–I hope it makes sense).
Now for the front “ties” that help to accommodate child wear. Cut 2 pieces of 1/2″ elastic to 3 1/2″ long. Cut two pieces of fabric to use for casings that measure 6″ long and 1 1/2″ wide. Take the two fabric pieces and fold it in half, right sides together, and press; sew a 1/4″ seam along the long edge; trim. Then, take your elastic, line it up with one short edge of the casing and sew them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance; trim. Using something like my chopstick here, turn the casing and elastic right side out, pulling the elastic through the casing from its secured edge all the way through the opposite open end. Take 1/2″ of fabric from the open end and pull it past the elastic. Fold over 1/4″, press, and then fold over another 1/4″ and press; pin. What you should end up with is the bottom piece in the right picture that has the end pinned; the folded over edge should not have any elastic in the fold–the edge of the elastic should be at the very edge of the fold.
Take the pinned side and line up the folded edge up on the side of the shorts. Attach each strap by sewing about 1/8″ in from the side of the shorts (make sure to catch the fold-over) and then again about an 1/8″ in from the covered-edge of the elastic as pictured.
Then, using a safety pin, completely pull the casing over the edge of the elastic, pushing the casing fabric towards the shorts so that you have the tip of the strap (see picture). Take the stud of the snap set and attach it to the tip of the fabric (see picture above).
And here’s what you get!
All you have to do is attach the snaps in the back and an adjustable elastic waistband is created. I cross the straps in the back and snap the left strap to the right side and vice-versa. You still have ties in the front, but the loops keep the ties in place so nothing falls off, gets wet (eeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww), etc. All Robug has to do is untie the front and can pull them down just like pants, and all I have to do when she goes potty is retie the strings (which, right now, is no different than having to resnap or rebutton her bottoms like I do now–we’re still working on that skill…). What’s also great about the loops and the elastic straps is that I can tie the strings a little loose and the shorts still stay on and can still be pulled on and off. I also don’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions on the playground 😉
Robug LOVES these shorts and has asked for more, so I’m supposed to “woak on it, mommy” lol. So, yeah, I’ll be busy. I’m also planning on making a pair of pants in a cotton gauze for her as well as mommy and Daddy Man. Here are some pictures of the shorts in action:
These are so easy to make, so cute, and so cool for those hot days. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will help the best I can. Happy sewing and, as always, thanks for reading!