I made him some dungarees a few weeks ago (you can read that post here!). He chose the fabric himself and he had also chosen some more to make him some little trousers. I do have a pattern for trousers but I used that to make him these almost a year ago and they are now on the small side and far to short in the leg.
So instead I used a pair of his existing trousers as a template.
Trousers are usually simple in construction, for tiny people at least. So all I needed to do was cut 4 of the basic trouser piece shape and sew them up. Here’s how to do it!
How to Make Toddler Trousers When You Don’t Have a Pattern
1. Find an existing pair of trousers that fit your child well. Draw around them on a piece of paper. Remember to include a generous seam allowance. Stretch out the waist band so that you get some idea of where the centre seam will be. Make sure that you have allowed plenty of extra fabric at the top for casing for elastic.
Your pattern piece should look vaguely like this. If you are having difficulty, it is worth remembering that the side seams are usually vertical and run along the grain and the inside leg should taper towards the ankle a little bit.
Because Boy 4 was “helping,” he insisted that I used a 2 pairs of trousers, both of which were too small. This was something else to take that into consideration when I was making the template. The trousers were just about ok in the seat, just too short in the leg.
3. Take 2 of the trouser pieces. With the wrong sides together, pin along the longest edge and sew. Trim the seams and press. Or if you are feeling fancy, you might like to practise french seams. Instruction are here! Repeat for the other two pieces.
5. Starting at the middle seam, pin the inside leg, then sew it up. I usually start to sew at the middle as this ensures that the seams match! If you have used french seams in the previous steps, you will need to just do plain seams here because french seams don’t work when there is a curve!
6. To make the casing for the elastic, fold the raw edge at the top over by about 1 cm, then fold it over again and pin. Check with your elastic and make sure the casing will be wide enough! Sew, keeping close to the lower edge.
7. Cut your elastic. The easiest way to do this is by putting it around your child’s waist and cutting accordingly. You might have to wait until they are asleep though! Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing.
8. Wrestle your toddler into the trousers and mark where you need to hem at the ankles. Alternatively you could measure the trousers against them while they are asleep. Hem the trousers by folding the raw edge under, then folding again.
Having looked at trousers and trouser patterns again, I think I could make them better by adding a bit of a curve to the centre seam. For the moment though, Boy 4 is happy enough with his new trousers!