Upcycled How-To: From Boxers To Little Girl Pants

Can I start with a clarification for our European friends? In the United States, “pants” are trousers. We call pants “underwear” over here… It’s another in a long list of words that don’t quite translate from [American] English to [British] English… 😉

And we’re off!

I whipped up this little slice of cuteness this morning…

…from a pair of vineyard vines boxers.

I mean, look at that cuteness octopus fabric. These were just asking to be upcycled.

Here’s how you do it:

First, cut off the waistband.

Smooth out one side of the boxers along the right side seam. Cut a leg form (basically a straight line half way up, followed by a curve and a straight line the rest of the way up). If you are not sure on measurements, take an existing pair of pants folded in half, and cut along the inside leg seam & crotch. Then snip off the extra little triangle scrap at the top back.

Then smooth out the other side along the boxers’ left side seam. Flip the cut leg piece over to the other side, and lining the side seams up, cut along its edge to form the second leg. Don’t forget to cut off the extra triangle scrap from this leg, too.

So now you’ll have two [open in the middle] legs. Cut the piece of elastic waistband to the desired length. My daughter’s waist is about 18.5 inches around, so I cut my elastic to about 18 inches, so the finished waist will be about 17.5 inches, perfect to slip on and fit without being too loose or tight. Set the waistband aside; we’ll come back to that.

Next, sew together the straight sides on each leg, right sides together. Do not sew the curve/crotch, just the legs.

Then turn one leg right-side-out and tuck it into the other leg, lining up the curved parts.

Join the two legs by sewing around the “u,” making sure to line up the crotch seams. It will look like this (above).

Pull the right-side-out leg out of the inside-out-leg (off, that’s a mouthful) so that the pants are inside out.

Bueno! Now all that’s left is to attach the waistband! First, sew the waistband into a closed loop, right sides together.

Then tuck the waistband into the inside-out pants, right sides together, and sew all the way around the waistband/pants, pulling the waistband elastic as you go (so that the 17.5″ waistband stretches around the approximately 24″ waist).

And that’s it! There you have it! A pair of beachy adorable octopus pants!

But why stop there??

To complete the outfit, grab a white t-shirt (cheap ones available at WalMart or Old Navy), a scrap of coordinating (or the same) fabric, and some heat-n-bond (love this stuff).

Cut out a square of heat-n-bond a little smaller than the scrap of fabric (the fabric will need to be just big enough to house your design to go on the shirt), and iron the heat-n-bond to the back of your fabric scrap. Then doodle your image on the paper backing of the heat-n-bond. Use a pencil so you can erase mess-ups… but no worries because this piece will be torn off after you’ve cut out your image, so no pencil marks will show. [Please note you are drawing on the back of your fabric, so the finished design will be reversed… so if you do a letter, for example, be sure to draw it backwards.] I did the octopus from the pants, a simple enough shape, right?!

I decided to cut out my design with pinking shears for a funky edge, but straight scissors are fine, too! Then just peel off the backing paper, and iron-on your image. Wheee!

Next, sew around your image (doesn’t have to be perfect!) to give it a little extra detailing and hold. I used pink thread here.

Then I gave the octopus two little clear beads for eyes, hand sewn on. Beady eyes have never been so sweet.

[Oh sure, sissy, NOW you want to model the outfit for me! Too late, Miss Busy!] I’d say we’re ready to comb the beach for shells! Bring on  summer!!

So, any of you going to raid those underwear drawers now?


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