Sewing For Boys – The Pants Problems….

The weather will soon be cooler, and Liam will need pants to wear.  Shopping for pants for him has proven to be quite the challenge.  Why?  Skinny pants won’t work for him.    Ideally, some pull-on type of pants would be perfect so that he can get them on/off easily.  Have you tried looking for a pull-on pant that isn’t athletic wear?  They are almost impossible to find!!!

Naturally, I thought I could make pants for him.  However, finding a pattern that would fit was equally challenging.  I have many, many pants patterns from our favorite heirloom pattern companies as well as patterns from the big 4 companies and the Ottobre magazine.  Ottobre definitely has the most stylish clothing for boys and stitch them with plenty of the same details that you find on ready to wear garments.  But going through all my magazines and then tracing – ugh!

I have found that nearly all my pattern from heirloom sewing companies as well as the big 4 companies have “issues” – either the crotch ends up too low or the rise is way too high, coming above the belly button or both.  🙄  Also, the legs tend to be quite wide.

In the end, I decided to use a pair of Izod pants that I had purchased (the only pair suitable that I found) for reference.  With Liam’s measurements  and the sample garment, I made my own pattern.  Well, the first go at it was an epic fail!!!  😂  They ended up in the trash!  But, I stuck with it and the second pattern was a winner.

I used some royal blue poplin that was in my stash.  I didn’t spend time on many details since this was a test of the pattern.   I did add the same waistband treatment with the buttonhole elastic across the back.

With the sample finished, I tried the pants on Liam.  He wasn’t too thrilled with trying on clothes.  LOL!  But, we did manage, though you will need to excuse the silly poses – I love this funny boy.

Notice how the pants are below the belly – just like ready to wear.  Why can’t sewing patterns keep up with the style/trends that ready to wear have?  No children are wearing their pants up above the belly button!  Even when/if they try, the pants will slide down below the belly – it’s just the way they are built!

Thankfully, in spite of his antics, I could see that these were a good fit.  I had some khaki fabric in the stash and it was just the right fabric for some casual church type of pants for him.  The mannequin is a bit small for these pants, but you get the idea.  That said, this picture is the best representation of the color.

Pockets were added to the back.  I think I may make them slightly smaller the next time.

Pockets in the side seam were also added and a lighter weight fabric used for the pocket bag.

The pocket was edge stitched on the front and then extra stitching was added at the base of the opening for durability.

The inseam was edge stitched for both appearance as well as durability.

A mock zipper was added to the front of the pants and then a button above it to give the appearance of a button/zip closure.

I think these will work well for Liam – he will be able to pull them up and down easily but they still have the appearance of a dress pant.  Just like that, we’re ready for the cooler weather – whenever it wants to show up!

Are you ready for fall?  What are you sewing???


14 thoughts on “Sewing For Boys – The Pants Problems….

  1. Meg

    Love them! As a preschool teacher I am a huge fan of pants that encourage independence particularly in terms of the potty. He looks so handsome in his new pants.

  2. LynnSews

    I enjoyed the article, thanks for sharing. Despite the fact my son and grandson are well past these fitting & pattern issues – I so well recall having to do what you did. In fact, I saved what I had done to patterns back in the 80s for my son, just in case … well … turned out they also worked for his son!

  3. Shirley Clark

    He is just so dang cute! The pants look great! Once he discovers all those pockets will hold, you will be making a lot more!

  4. Carol Steanson

    I love it, do you know the best pattern for a new born overalls, or John Johns we called them in the south? I am expecting a great grandson in November and I want to make him some with bibs so I can personalize them. Thank You for any suggestions.

    1. Kathy Post author

      I would highly recommend the Jonny pattern by Children’s corner. It fits really well. I’ve made several of them. Congratulations!!!

  5. Lauren Lyles

    I’m so encouraged by your brutal honesty – how the first trial pair of pants ended up in the trash! But I must say you’ve hit upon a winner with this version; he seems thrilled, they fit to a “T” AND they were made by his grandmother. What more could a kid want?! Good job!

  6. Ginger

    You are such a great grandmother. I sewed many pants when my boys were younger. Take a look at Oliver+s patterns. They worked well for us.


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