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Altering a Children's Pant Pattern

Being primarily a quilter and bag maker I don't have a ton of experience in clothing pattern alteration. I like to make clothing for myself or children from time to time, but I don't do it much.

This month I finally got fed up trying to find pants or shorts that fit my 6 year old daughter. She is about a size 4 in the waist and a size 7 in height, she prefers to wear her pants high up on her waist, she doesn't like super tight pants, and refuses to wear adjustable waistbands because the rub her hips. That pretty much eliminates 98% of pants and shorts in children's clothing stores.

After doing some research I came across a great PDF pattern by Simple Life Pattern Co. called Emilya's Skinny Pants, Capri, and Bermuda Shorts. The pattern has step by step instructions and can be made in Pants, Capris, or Shorts. Overall the pattern is exactly what I needed, but I knew there was no way I would be able to get away with making a basic size 6 without the need for some alterations.

First, I made a simple muslin version in a size 6 waist/7 length. Because, my daughter likes to hike her pant's up past her belly button the crotch area was way too tight. After asking the designer for advice and doing a little more research I found a fantastic video tutorial by Professor Pincushion, How to Alter the Crotch Length in a Pants Pattern. This video tutorial is exactly what I needed to solve the problem. After making the adjustments to the crotch length per the video tutorial I made muslin version of the Bermuda shorts. This time they fit absolutely perfect with a little room to grow.

Fabric: Vintage FloraMiniature Hills Metal, Spot on Natural Pearl, Shimmering Plume in Frost.

We spent about an hour picking out fabrics that would work with her shirts and we went a little overboard. I somehow ended up making four pairs of pants and six pairs of Bermuda shorts! But, they actually come together very quickly especially if you make them in an assembly line fashion. 

Fabric: Sprinkle in Peaches & Kona Cotton in Eggshell, Ephemera & Spark Double Gauze, Take Flight in Marine & Kona Cotton in Azure,Cacti Fun & Limestone Feel in Pitaya, Seed Puff in Jonquil & Netorious in Cloud Silver, Unknown Flannel & Kona Cotton in Punch,

She has been wearing a new pair everyday and gave me the super duper stamp of approval. That never happens! I am hoping these will last her through summer or longer.

Overall the pattern was fantastic and I am really glad I took the time to learn about some pattern alteration techniques. I definetely want to continue to learn more about clothing alteration in the future!


Alyssa Lichner

Alyssa Lichner

Creator of Pile O' Fabric

Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.