Big Butt Baby Pant Trickiness

I have been so thrilled by the response to the Big Butt Baby Pants Sewing Pattern.  Overwhelmed really.  It’s hard to explain to people who aren’t a part of the online sewing scene how supported I feel by everyone who reads my blog, sends me an encouraging email, or buys a pattern. So I just need to share that here and say thanks. And then on top of that you guys post your pictures which is just so much fun for me to see. It just blows me away.  I mean, how awesome are these?

Row 1: 1. Linen big butt baby pants, 2. kcwc 2, 3. Liberty for Target Big Butt Baby Pants, 4. Big Butt Baby Pants,
Row 2: 5. Deer Butt, 6. KCWC: B3P pants close-up, 7. Big Butt Baby Pants Back view, 8. big butt baby pants and kimono set,
Row 3: 9. babypants4, 10. Her ginormo-booty makes me laugh, 11. open open open, 12. big butt baby pants,
Row 4: 13. 031, 14. big butt baby pants by Made by Rae, 15. Baby pants, 16. Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants 12m – 2T

As more and more of you have made these, I’ve gotten a few (very sweet) emails asking how to get that crotch to be less wonky.  For those of you who have made these pants, you probably know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t made them, there’s sometimes a bit of puckering at the bottom of the rear panel. It really doesn’t show up once the pants are on the baby, but it’s still a little annoying.  Here’s a picture of a pair I posted earlier this year that illustrates what I’m talking about:
 see it there, that little pucker at the crotch?
As I worked on samples for the pattern, I found I was able to solve this problem just by stretching the fabrics out a little while sewing the leg seams (as explained in the pattern), but that doesn’t always seem to work for everyone.  So I wanted to put together a quick post to show you a method that might help avoid that crotch wonkiness altogether. You’ll need to own the Big Butt Baby Pants Pattern for this to make any sense, so open up your PDF, grab your pattern, or buy one here!

This fix involves a slight change in how you sew the rear seams, which is the very first part of the sewing instructions. Turn to page 3 to where it says:

Sew Rear Seams

In step 1 of the pattern there is a diagram which shows you how to line up your panels by overlapping the dots. Go ahead and line up your panels just like that.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO CHANGE: There’s also an arrow in that same diagram pointing to the very edge of the center of the rear panel (right where it lines up with a corner of the main panel) that says “Start Sewing Here” and we’re NOT going to do that. So just ignore that pesky little arrow.
Instead, skip the first 1/2″ from the edge (shown in red in the new diagram below) and start stitching at the black dot (see below), sewing up toward the waistband as shown by the black dashed arrow in the diagram below and rotating the rear panel as indicated in the pattern.  Repeat for the other rear seam.
Leaving that 1/2″ unsewn at the bottom of the rear seams is going to give the rear edge alot more flexibility when it comes time to sew the leg seam.  Here’s how the bottom of the rear panel will look (more or less) once you’ve sewn and topstitched both rear seams:
The rear seams shown from the right side (above) and wrong side (below)
I got a little too close to the edge on the right seam in the picture above; I probably should have started a little further up, but whatevs.
Now you can continue sewing the front seam and leg seam as instructed. You should find that you have enough flexibility to be able to sew the leg seam without puckering. Note that the edges might not line up as smoothly in shape this way as the corners stick out a little more.  It’s still very important to center the front seam on the center of the rear panel so that everything lines up properly, and it never hurts to pin excessively:
One more thing: make sure that as you sew the leg seam that you “catch” all the ends of those rear seams. Since they now begin 1/2″ away from the edge and the leg seam allowance is 1/2″, this shouldn’t be difficult, but if you don’t you’ll get little holes at the ends of the seams.  Here’s what it should look like when the leg seam is finished:
You can see that I didn’t catch the top stitching on the left rear seam, but that’s OK since I got the seam itself.

If you find that sewing the rear seams like this makes the front of the pants longer than the back or vice versa (causing there to be a little extra on one side at the cuff), just trim it off so that it’s even.  Occasionally when the top fabric stretches more than the fabric on the bottom, I end up with a little extra, and that’s what I do. Campy? Yes. But that’s how I roll, people.

I do want to say though that this usually only happens when my rear seam allowances are a little off.  In this case the legs did come out the right length (yay!):

at this point you would finish the pants up as instructed in the pattern
the finished product (these were also blogged here)
I really hope this helps some of you create a better-looking pair of baby pants. Feel free to leave a comment on this post if you have other helpful hints or information others would find useful.
And as always, please add your pictures to the Big Butt Baby Pants Flickr Pool so we can all enjoy your cute creations!

39 thoughts on “Big Butt Baby Pant Trickiness

  1. This is totally golden. You've inspired me to make *still more* pairs of these. I'm glad you addressed the issue of one leg ending up longer/shorter than the other, because that was happening to me and I wasn't sure why!

  2. I've been making the same slight change on the last couple of pairs that I have made and have had great results:)

  3. Can't wait to get my pattern! I will have a Big Butt sewing frenzy over the holiday break! Thanks for all your hard work..I love your blog!

  4. Thanks so much. The pair I made really bothered me with that pucker. I'll try again next week using this method.

  5. Weeeee! Thanks for including my pants in the mix! 🙂 Hey, how cool would it be to have a pattern for big people? Not that I need any more attention to my bum, but it would be cute!

  6. last night I accidently sewed using the new way..but as soon I realized that, I ripped the seams open and sewed like the instruction…the puckering puzzled me..tonite i am going to ripped the seams again..!hope this time it works!

  7. Yeah! Thanks a million for this post! It really helps. I also ended up with a pucker, but thought the pants were so cute anyway! Now my next ones will be even better! 😉 Love that selection you show. I'll be posting mine this week. Thanka again!

  8. Thanks for this post, but also thank you SO much for the pattern. I have been making my own trousers for my son since he was about 6 months old due to finding it impossible to find trousers that fit over his nappies.

    Now i'm about to have no2 (like any day now!) and my son is just about to turn 2 so i've been using your pattern to make trousers for both of them, which means that no2 can go into washable nappies from the very beginning.

    so thank you! It's a great, quick pattern and it's made my life alot easier. 🙂

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. I made my pair of BBP this weekend and loved them. I have several more pants planned so I'll be sure to try this trick. So many pants and cloth diapers just don't mix, thanks for this awesome solution. On top of it Olivea is a very tall baby and things were always too short. So thank you for the great pattern; I love making her pants!!!

  10. Thank you for posting this!! I've been meaning to ask about it. Now, please, please, please do a tut on those adorable pockets!! My little boy needs some on his pants! (BTW, this is currently my favorite pant pattern! I love that it fits over the cloth bums!)

  11. I pretty much taught myself to sew with your bag patterns- and now that I'm expecting I can't wait to make lots of baby pants!

  12. This is great Rae! Seeing this just reminded me I have a friend who cloth diapers and just had a new baby a month ago. I've been wanting to send her a handmade gift…these will be perfect! and very practical (especially for a 3rd child – 3rd girl no less).

  13. Thank you so much for this!!! I purchased the pattern a couple of weeks ago, but the pucker bothered me so much that I stopped sewing the pair that I was working on. I was so sad too because the pattern looks so adorable and is very practical for my cloth diapered baby girl.

  14. i still haven't made the big butt pants, WANT TO though! those are all so super cute!! i still, however canNOT get over the cuteness of those chambray pants on your punky daughter. SO CUTE! maaaaaybe by spring i can get some finished for my punky gal!

  15. Nice. This is super rad. I'm excited to dive back in and make another pair with these instructions. And thanks yet again for featuring my little bear pants!

  16. Ha ha. The first pant I ever drafted for my baby did NOT have a big butt. I didn't know WHAT I was doing. Needless to say it ended up in the scrap pile.

  17. Thanks for this Rae! I ran into that problem with the first pair I tried and might have gotten a little discouraged for the time being. I'm anxious to try the pattern out again!

  18. I so thought you were going to say start sewing that seam in the opposite direction. After making a half dozen pairs & ripping out a few seams, I started sewing the butt panel from the waistband end down to the crotch, no pinning, just keeping the edges together & easing it through the curve. Works great for me!

  19. Thanks for this awesome update! I had a little bit of puckering when I made my first pair, but they still look amazing. I love this pattern!

    I made a pair out of ivory linen with ruffles on the butt. I can't wait to post a pic!

  20. Oh, THANK YOU! I hadn't even gotten around to asking you for tips — I just figured I was a crappy sewist and I'd figure it out by the time I was 50 — but this will really help me finish the pair I started last week!

  21. Thank you! I just bought the pattern today and whipped up my first pair tonight (for my baby girl who is due in a few months and who will be cloth-diapered). They're super cute little pants, but I did have the pucker problem. I'll try this for the next pair. Thanks also for commenting on the cuff being a little longer on one side. That happened to me even with the pucker pants. I'll feel better now about just hacking off the extra to even things up.

    Awesome pattern! I didn't even realize that I would have trouble fitting baby pants over a cloth-diapered butt. I feel like I'm ahead of the game here. 🙂

  22. Thanks for that I've just finished making my second pair, this time using your update, it's great! Thanks too for selecting my picture from the flickr pool. Hope to have some more to post soon!

  23. Maybe this is obvious to everyone else but I just started sewing a few months ago and am making my first pair. I cut the main panels identically–is that a mistake? Should they be mirror images? It seems like one of my pant legs is going to be inside out and I don't have enough fabric to redo. Boo.

  24. Hey Brooke!

    Yes, you'll need one left leg and one right leg, so they need to be mirror images. Whenever patterns call for "cut 2" they mean you need to fold your fabric in half and cut two pieces out (since one half of your fabric will be upside down after folding, you'll get two mirror images).

    And I've said it in the pattern but I'll say it again: Always always always make a test pair of pants before using your favorite fabric!

    Hope the next pair is better! 🙂

  25. Hi Rae, this pattern is so cute 🙂 I just wondered what kind of fabric you are using in your demo on this post? Is it denim? It looks so soft though? Thanks!

    • Hi Claire! It’s chambray, which has a denim look but is about the weight of quilting cotton and nice and soft!

  26. I still love this pattern after I don't know how many I've made. I definitely appreciated the pucker fixing advice. And most of the time I have to trim the bottom of the legs holes before adding the cuffs and then they come out perfectly even. I've made these for friends and they just love them. They tell me they always get complimented and asked where they got them. Thanks again for creating and then sharing such a cute and easy pattern.

  27. I made my first pair of pants using this pattern and they turned out great!! I loooove that they fit my 4-month-old cloth-diapered baby and don’t cut into his pudgy little belly. I didn’t head the warning about making sure the right side of the fabric is facing the right way when sewing the second panel, but it didn’t matter in my case because I was sewing a trial pair using two old ribbed tank tops that looked the same on both sides, except for the existing hem at the bottom of the shirt. I LOVE THESE and they make me feel like I can sew! LOL 🙂 Thank-you for the B3P pattern!

  28. i am new to sewing (which will be clearly evident by my following question…)
    and in step #6, 9, etc the directions say to “trim seams 1/4″ and clip”- what’s the diff?

    beyond that (which i have just kinda ignored) the pants have turned out so fab! i even made some super cute pj pants for my little love muffin out of the stacks of flannel receiving blankets from the newborn days. (FYI: it takes 2 of them for 6-12 and 12-18 mos size. i did the 2 main pcs in one fabric and the little panel plus ruffles for the legs out of the second)

    love the big butt pattern!

    • Hi Sunni – When you trim/clip curved seams, they become more flexible for the wearer! 🙂
      So glad you’re enjoying the pattern!

  29. Hi Rae. I just purchased the pattern! I used the newborn pant tutorial, but my baby is no longer a newborn 🙁 he has an older brother and I would like to make a matching pair, but he is almost 4 and wearing 4t. Have you had any luck with enlarging the pattern to that size?


  30. Hi Rae. I never heard about altering the pattern to a 4t size without diapers (I have been having problems with my email).


  31. Ok, so I’ve come up with a really neat way to make it look like there is no pucker! When pressing your rear seams to top stitch press in the opposite direction so that your big butt expander piece is being tucked under the leg fab 1/4 of an inch and if you have that pucker you can tuck it in a little more to make it look even!

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