Little Fox has been cloth diapered since her first day out of the womb, mostly because the I’m stubborn, and because she was born at home.
I could probably write an entire series exploring the difficulties of cloth diapering, but the one that’s been bugging me lately is pants and cloth diapering.
You see, all of those adorable little baby jeans just aren’t made to fit over the extra fluff you get from a cloth diaper. This means you end up sizing up sooner, which leaves you with pants that are too long for bitty legs and waistlines that don’t stay up. This is especially exacerbated when your little is petite – tall and thin – just like her father. (The handsome fellow in the photo below is my girlfriend’s little boy – the lucky recipient of some longies that I needed to make to take photos of for this tutorial! Used with permission, of course!)
Mama’s sewing skills come to the rescue! After finding a great pattern, I sewed up a quick pair of fleece longies for the wee she-beast, and we now have adorable fleece pants that fit beautifully over her fluffy bum, as both pants and longies/a water-resistant barrier (if we choose to just use a flat, fitted, or prefold).
Want to make some of your own? Head over to Katrina’s site and pick up her fleece longies/shorties pattern in whatever size your babe needs (don’t forget the waistband!) then come back here to learn how to put them together.
Choosing Your Fleece
So…when picking your fleece, you should not choose a blizzard/winter/glacier or similar fleece for your longies or pants. They’ll work fine and repel if you need them to, but the issue with these fleeces is that they pill like crazy. Seriously, it’s bananas. You’ll have cute pants, and then, poof, 3-4 washes later, pill city. It’s heartbreaking to see your hard work get all messed up like that. They’re certainly wearable and functional, but not as nice. Just food for thought.
Amazon.com has an extensive selection of anti-pill fleece for very, very good prices! Check out their anti-pill fleece selection here.
Tutorial for Sewing Fleece Longies
The best part about these? They’re so quick! They come together in about 30 minutes, and possibly less than that once you get the hang of them. Fleece is also readily available at your local Joann or Hancock’s, and can be bought on the cheap with a coupon, though it’s often on sale for a pretty sweet price. Check out the remnants bins, too, for a great deal.
Start by gathering your materials and cutting out your pattern. You’ll need: anti-pill fleece (or comparable) for the pants and waist band, thread, scissors, and a sewing machine or serger. Cut your pieces so the stretch is hip-to-hip (fleece stretches selvedge-to-selvedge).
Cut out all of your pieces, two leg pieces and the waistband, making sure to cut one leg the reverse of the other.
This is important because the pants have a higher rise in the back to accommodate extra fluffiness. Make these as long as your baby needs them by measuring baby from crotch to heel. I often cut my waistband out of a contrasting fabric for fun. If you don’t know how long to make the inseam, this chart has some numbers you can use, just remember to add a seam allowance! I use a one-inch hem allowance for the legs and 1/2 inch seam allowance the rest of the way.
|Newborn||5.5 inches/14 cm|
|Small||7 inches/18 cm|
|Medium||9 inches/23 cm|
|Large||11 inches/28 cm|
|X-Large||13 inches/33 cm|
Fold each leg right sides together and align the legs of your pants so the crotch point and bottom of the leg meet. Pin (or don’t, if you dare. Lazy SheBeast doesn’t.)
Sew with a 3/8ths inch seam allowance (or serge those suckers) from the crotch down to the bottom of the pant leg. Repeat for other pant leg.
Flip one leg right-side out and stuff it inside the other leg (so the right sides are together), matching up the middle seam and front/back rise. Pin (or don’t).
Sew with a 3/8ths inch seam or serge the rise/crotch all the way, taking care to keep the inside leg seams matched up. If you sew them, I recommend sewing a second seam line just inside the first for durability. Flip them right-side out and admire your pants!
Take your waistband piece and fold it the short way, right sides together. Sew/serge the edge to create a continuous piece.
Fold your waistband the long way so the seam is on the inside and you have a double-layered waistband.
Match your waistband seam with the seam at the back of the longies (the higher rise part) and pin it into place (of all the things I do the lazy way, I always make sure to pin the waistband). Find the exact opposite centerpoint of your waistband and pin this to the front seam.
Sew/serge the waistband onto the pants. Stretch the waistband to fit the pants as you go. I generally hold one of the center points and pull it taught to ensure I stretch it evenly.
Fold in the bottom of your pant legs about one inch and pin into place.
Topstitch/hem the bottom of your longies with a 3/4 inch seam allowance (or your chosen seam allowance). I like to use a zig-zag stitch with fleece because it allows the fabric to stretch a little, like it naturally would. I used a complimentary red thread for this argyle pair.
Now trim your threads, step back, and admire your handiwork! Aren’t they fabulously adorable? And fantastically fast to make. I just love them! I’m raiding my fleece stash to make Fox a bunch of these in every color combination because they’re just so fun.
Pro Tip: to keep your longies lovely, wash them inside out. This helps prevent pilling, which even anti-pill fleece will do.
If you like the fleece longies, but don’t have the time or inclination to make them yourself, I offer them in my Etsy shop, Made by Mama Fox.
Have you made longies with this (or another) tutorial? Link up here and share!