Pimp those baby pants!

Sorry if that is just too inappropriate. I just get so tired of the word “embellish” sometimes. Plus it’s totally cracking me up this morning to see the word “pimp” and “baby in the same post title. MORE COFFEE RAE!!!

So today I promised to show you how to add pockets and binding to the newborn baby pants (free pattern found here). I’ve been getting lots of requests for a post on how I make my pockets ever since they debuted on the Big Butt Baby Pants (see this picture).  I really like this method because you a) start with one piece of fabric per pocket, b) don’t have to press and fold teeny little edges and c) it’s completely lined.  Oh and did I mention that it’s also the EASIEST. POCKET. EVAR. ???

For the newborn pants shown above you’ll need to cut two rectangles of fabric 4″x7″ each.  For the Big Butt Baby Pants I use that size for the newborn size only. I usually cut 4.5″x8″ for the medium sizes (3-12 months) and 5″x9″ for the larger sizes (18-24 months/2T).  And good grief you can use these pockets for just about anything just by cutting an appropriately-sized rectangle: the length should be roughly twice as long as the width for pockets that are square or nearly square, just remember that you will lose 1/2″ on the width and length for seams.

Fold your pocket in half lengthwise:

Stitch with a 1/4″ seam around the sides that don’t have folds, leaving a 2″ gap for turning.

Clip the corners of the pocket:

Turn right side out and use a pencil or turning tool to poke out the corners.

Press the pocket flat.

Place the pocket roughly in the center of the pant leg and pin in place.  It’s easiest to do this before you sew any of the pant pieces together.  When I’m making Big Butt Baby pants, I usually slide the pocket slightly toward the front side of the pant (see this picture).

It’s important to make sure that the hole is not at the top of the pocket (see red pen sticking out?).  Since you’ll be sewing three sides of the pocket to the pants, you want to make sure the hole is on one of those three sides.  I prefer to have it on the bottom so that the folded edge of the pocket is on top.  Personally I think that looks neater.

Sew around the pocket on the sides and bottom, backstitching a few times at the beginning and end to make sure it stays put.

Repeat for the other pocket. Ta-da! Pockets finished.

Now let’s look at how to add a contrast binding to the cuff.

I cut two rectangles of fabric 3″ wide and twice as long as the finished cuff is wide plus one inch (only one is shown above).  When you fold it in half, the folded piece should be 1/2″ wider than the finished cuff.

Next press the strip in half lengthwise, fold the raw edges into the center crease, and fold/press in half once more.

Starting just before the inner leg seam, pin the binding strip so that one half is inside the pant leg and one half is outside, keeping front and back of the binding as even with each other as possible. The edge of the pant should be all the way down in the binding crease.

When you get back to where you started, fold under the raw edge and pin as shown:

Using a zigzag stitch, sew around the edge of the binding.  The wider your zigzag, the more likely you are to catch both front and back in your stitching.  Repeat for the other leg.

Wocka-wocka, those are some fine lookin’ pants!

I really need to start a miscellaneous photo pool for random Made By Rae stuff, since I’m already getting emails from you guys with newborn pants you’ve made that are so fantastic they need to be shared. Plus there’s felt letters, spring ruffle tops, etc.  Will work on that and get back to you!

18 thoughts on “Pimp those baby pants!

  1. Hey Rae, I love my big-butt-baby-pants. Fo' real, they're great. I wonder if you could help me figure out how to make the leggies a little bit narrower, though? For my little girl, they are super wide. Can I just take a little out of the "front" and "back"? Or will that make things wonky? Maybe it's lame to even ask, and I should just try it. But with three 5 and unders here, I really need everything I sew to be a success to keep my sewing mojo going strong.

  2. I think using 'pimp' and 'wocka-wocka' in the same post is somehow trippier than 'pimp' and 'baby' LOL.

  3. Am I missing something? I follow your blog and have made a couple of things. I am getting involved with my local children's hospital cheer guild and wanted to chat with you about some pattern modifications and I cannot seem to find any email information. My fault I'm sure.

  4. And here i've been, hemming and turning the three sides of my pocket pieces under for years like a fool. Seriously, this tip will change my life!

  5. Hi Rhonda: rae DOT made AT gmail DOT com…and you're right it's not that easy to find…it's sortof hidden in my "about me" section on the sidebar.

  6. i personally feel that "pimp" & "baby" go perfectly well together. especially if you're using "pimp" as a verb. & i had a grande starbucks this a.m., so i'm in a sane frame of mind 🙂
    ps: my world has officially been rocked by the way you make those pockets.

  7. Hey.
    I do my kids pants the same way! The only thing I do different is I put the "binding" trim on the pants before I sew the legs together. My machine doesn't have space for cute little kid hems. It almost always comes out even and kids move too fast to really notice. I love the zig zag tip! I really love your blog. Thanks 🙂

  8. Rae, that's so smart, to use a zig-zag stitch. I just added binding to a pair of baby pants myself and had exactly that problem: it was nicely stitched in the front, but I "missed" the back side in more than one place.
    Thank you for such a simple and yet so clever solution!


  9. I have a baby due in April so I just made a bunch of these pants out of my husband's old t-shirts. He never cleans out clothes that don't fit so there were enough good condition t-shirts to make about 10 of these pants. And with using the existing hem of the shirts for the bottom of the pants I saved myself a whole step! Also did I mention that I got them all finished in one evening, with a 2 year old running around? Double score!

  10. LOVE these! Thanks so much for the pattern and the dress up ideas, I'll be linking. You rock!

  11. Hey Rae! I’m new to sewing and came across your blog, am trying the newborn baby pants with these extras. Your directions are so clear and the photos really help even new sewists like me. Thanks so much!

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