City Pants


I fell in love with this cityscape fabric at Dry Goods Design in Seattle last December; it was the end of the bolt, and I immediately thought of boy pants. When I realized that it matched the jersey fabric that I used for this hoodie, I was all over it.


Here’s the problem with me and fabric: I get distracted by these lighter “quilting” cottons that look awesome because of their prints. I know I should be making pants with bottomweight fabrics like twill or denim, but it’s so hard when there are so many great prints out there!

As a result, I definitely had to add kneepads to them (again). But I wanted a kneepad different from the one on yesterday’s pant, so I went with a more classic oval shape. And then I wanted some pouch pockets on the front. And then I thought, why not use the tuxedo stripe to cover up the side of the pocket? And then…well, they ended up a bit short, so I added cuffs, too.


These pants should really be called “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” pants, not City Pants. Seriously, Rae. They are a little Crazytown. But strangely, because the print is so subtle, all the “extras” I added blend in pretty well!


Pattern: I made these pants with the same pattern that I used for both the brown pants with the tuxedo stripe and the Saffron Pant, and I am making good progress on getting this pant pattern ready for the pattern shop. It will come in nine different sizes (2-10) and has a ton of options for customizing, as you can already see. No surprise, since I can never do a pattern the same way twice. Rae-DD. It’ll be a good staple. Sign up for the newsletter on the sidebar if you want an update when it’s ready.

Let’s talk about pant patterns. This pant pattern is a TWO-piece pant, meaning there are two main pieces, a left and a right. The Big Butt Baby Pants and my free Newborn Pant pattern both fall into the TWO-piece pant pattern category, as well (though the B3Ps have an extra rear diaper panel). The other kind of pant pattern you see most frequently is a FOUR-piece pant (2 fronts, 2 backs), like Dana’s Kid Pant (a pattern which I know she also hopes to develop in multiple sizes, for sale eventually. Yay!! You can never have too many good pant patterns, I say!).


Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages, to be sure. You can’t put certain kinds of pockets (like the side pockets you might find on a pair of jeans) on a two-piece pattern, and it is more difficult to get a flared shape without a side seam. But my big love affair with the two-piece pattern stems from the fact that it’s super fast. Since I make a TON of clothing for my kids, that counts for a lot. You can still do fun things like tuxedo stripes and pintucks and pockets with a two-piece. But I like a four-piece pattern to really be able to play with the shape of a pant (like a skinny jean, for instance), so having both types in your pattern collection comes in really handy.


Anyway, these pants were made with a two-piece pattern, which is really very simple. But it’s also very easy just to add things to make them more interesting. To illustrate, here’s how I added the pouch pockets (see also yesterday’s post on adding the tuxedo stripe):


(1) Cut two pocket pieces (mirror image) and two pocket linings.
(2) Pin each pocket piece to its lining, right sides facing. Sew together along the curved edges only (BUT! if you won’t be able to cover up the side edge with a tuxedo stripe or side seam, sew that side too, leaving just the top open).
(3) Turn it right side out.
(4) Press and add stitches along the top curve (optional).
(5) Pin it to the pant leg so that the side will be covered by the tuxedo stripe piece (sneaky, right?!?!). Then sew the pocket to the pant leg along the bottom curve.
(6) Sew the tuxedo stripe down, and finish the pants. You can fold up the top of the pocket right into the waistband to finish the top edge!


Here’s my little rock star, rocking his new pants.


Celebrate the BOY 2013

This post is part of Celebrate the BOY, a series of boy sewing posts hosted by me and Dana of MADE. Check out my Celebrate the BOY archives for more boy sewing posts.  Here’s what we’ve done so far:

DAY 1: Rae: Saffron Pants and Color Roundup / Dana: 5 Steps to the Basic Tee
DAY 2: Rae: Little Bit of Color Hoodie / Dana: Pants Roundup
DAY 3: Rae: Hoodie Tutorial / Dana: Kids Shorts/Pants with Back Pocket Tutorial
DAY 4: Rae: Show your Stripes Turtleneck / Dana: 13 DIY Fabrics
DAY 5: Rae: Stripes Roundup and Celebration Garland / Dana: Favorite Tee Shirt Buddy Toys
DAY 6: Rae: Fox Tee / Dana: Big Stick Jammies
DAY 7: Rae: Bold Prints Roundup / Dana: Beach Robe to House Robe Remix
DAY 8: Rae: City Pants / Dana: we be jammin PJ roundup

22 thoughts on “City Pants

  1. These are awesome, I so wish I had more time to take part in CTB week this time but I am commited to a quidditch costume for book week dress up day on friday and its taking all my spare time, with costume, capes, wand and broom. not to mention a golden snitch!!

    I just had a little woop! for joy when i was checking out your other posts for the week again, clicked back to home and todays post was up!! YAY, excitement isnt the word.

    I love the CTB series as I only have boys and stitching for them in UK with very limited material sources is tough, thankyou so much to you and dana for bringing these great add on ideas for basic patterns to really spice up my boys wardrobes.

    Keep it up ladies ;D xx

    • ps. were these amazing outfit combos planned weeks in advance or is it just testament to your creative genius they all seem to coordinate perfectly??

      • haha, there IS a fair amount of planning…before CTB I make piles of coordinating fabrics and try to make things that will go together.

        I think it’s a good idea to do this when you’re sewing for kids anyway, as that way they can’t go wrong pulling things out of the closet, right?

  2. Yay! Love the shout out to Dry Good Designs! They are amazing and frequently make me spend more money than I intended to!

  3. Love these crazytown pants! All the “party on the bottom” outfits work so well on E, too. Oh yeah so when I sew leggings for the little gal I often take them from 4 piece to 2. Just quicker that way.

  4. the pants are gorgeous! I can’t see the knee pads, I think is good.
    And rain boots rocks!!

  5. Just when you think E can’t get any cuter. Love his dance moves. Those pants are so crazy and cool. I like the Rae-DD comment. 🙂

  6. OH my word! I don’t know who I love more, your son or the pants!
    It looks like you will be turning out a pretty fabulous pattern soon.

  7. Rae, these are seriously some rad a$$ pants! I’m sold on the tuxedo stripe. And your model is hysterical! I love having two girls, but you make me want to have a boy too!

    • That term was actually coined by Karen LePage (of “Sewing for Boys” fame)…I laughed so hard the first time she came up with it. And now I use it all the time. It pretty much sums me up, in a nutshell.

  8. These are too cool for school Rae! I think this version is my favorite and I really love that print; E rocks!!

  9. Oh my gosh is he fight dancing?? That is so rad! hahahah. I love these. I have a few pairs of tuxedo stripe pants to make Vince for kindy. Definitely on trend here!

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