This tutorial is eighth in the series focusing on sewing pants for children. Here's the story behind the series, the second part of the series is reversible pants, third part of the series is rumble-tumble coveralls, part 4 is two color pieced pants part 5 is lilly frilly ruffle pants and part 6 is skirt leggings and part 7 is Aladdin Pants.
An upcoming trip to Lake Tahoe and non-availability of Snow Bibs/Snow Pants in my daughter's size prompted me to make these snow bibs for her. I loved that I could make them very inexpensively from a pair of adult nylon pants and they held well in the snow. My daughter was warm and comfortable and had fun. Here's how I made them.
- Nylon waterproof fabric : 1 yd
- Coordinating lining fabric ( cotton woven) : 10 in X 10 inch
- Wide elastic ( 1 inch or more wide) : 1 yd
- Narrow elastic ( 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch wide) : 1/2 yd
Test the fabric: Highly recommended
Run it under the water in a sink and check if it feels at all wet after you remove it. If it does, that means its not suitable for outerwear in the snow. The main purpose of this garment is to protect skin from getting wet and if the fabric is not waterproof it will be useless. So spare yourself the grief and test it. The ideal fabric will have water running off of it without making it wet.
These pants are based on the Rumble Tumble Coveralls that I made earlier. If any of the step is not very clear to you, I highly recommend checking the coveralls tutorial here.
Sewing the pants:
1. Use the simplest PJ/pants pattern you have to make these pants. Keep the following things in mind while cutting these pants:
- Make sure you add half an inch to the width ( on each side) because you need these pants to fit over multiple layers of pants.
- Also remove any margin for waistband, because we will be sewing waistband separately.
- If you are making these out of another pants, make sure the hem of your pants fall on the original hemline. That would save you the time of hemming them again.
2. Sew the pants like you would sew any basic pants. First the inseams on both legs ( leave the bottom two inches or the length until the hems open ), then turn one leg right side out, insert into the other, align the crotch part and sew along the the crotch.
The pants are ready, set them aside while we work on the yoke and waistband.
Making the yoke:
Cut a semi circle with a 7 inch base from nylon. Cut another one of this from the lining fabric. Cut the wide elastic in two parts. Place them right sides together and sandwich the elastics between these two layers. Place the elastics such that they are about 2 inches apart at the top of semi-circle. Sew a seam along the circular part, making sure you're catching all the layers as well as elastic ends. Cut notches in the fabric along the seam. Turn out.
Making the Waistband:
4. For the waistband, measure around the top of the pants. Lets call this length W. Cut two pieces of width W+1 inch and length 3 inches, One from Vinyl (outer shell), one from interlock (lining).
5. Sew each of the W+1 inch pieces into a tube by sewing along the 3 inch side ( right sides together, half inch sewing margin). So now you will have two tubes of periphery W. Line up these tubes right sides together such that the seams are aligned.
Sandwich the yoke we had just made in step 1 between the two layers of the waistband. Make sure the vinyl side of the yoke is facing vinyl side of waistband. Sew along the edge, just the part where the yoke is.
Now decide what length you want your elastics to be, and where they would be positioned in the back, I recommend a cris-cross placement for a snug fit, but you could also do them side by side. Once you have decided the length and placement, pin the elastics and sandwich them between the right sides of nylon and interlock such that when we turn the waistband out they will be attached to the waistband without any twists. If you're not sure try to hand baste with running stitches and see if they turn out correctly.
Now that the top part is done ( except for the elastic at waist), sew the whole top to the bottom with the right sides of nylon together. Sew all around the waist and make sure you center the yoke at the front center of pants.
Now turn the whole thing right side out. Does it begin to look like a snow bib?
Top-stitch close to the upper edge of waistband. Now fold the interlock lining of the waistband on the inside and sew along its lower edge from the outside. In this seam leave two gaps of 1.5 inches on either side of the yoke. These will be used to insert elastic.
If you have made these from fabric, fold it once quarter inch, and then fold it 3/4 inch ( with a one inch gap) to make a casing. Now insert a narrow elastic in this casing. Sew both ends of the elastic together and sew the opening shut. Do it for the other leg too.
You need to layer your child with a pair of fleece pants or some warm pants beneath these pants because they're not insulated. They will do a great job of protecting your child from any wetness though. If you want to make an insulated pair of pants...you could use my reversible pants pattern with a layer of thinsulate sandwiched in the middle to provide warmth.