I need to make a cute little blue/gold shot silk dupioni set for newborn, Baby Mae. My step-sister adopted Mae last week and we’re having a Baby Shower for on Sunday.
Disclaimer: These are not fancy couture creations…only quick and simple instructions I use when I’ve got to get them done FAST! Depending on your sewing skill, you can get these done within 1 to 2 hours at most.
So let’s get started on the simple silk pants…
1/2 to 3/4 yard of silk dupioni fabric
Matching COTTON thread
65/9 or 70/10 SHARP Sewing Machine Needle
Elastic (3/4 inch or 1 inch width)
*If you want your pants to be machine washable, wash the silk prior to cutting using baby shampoo. I prefer NOT to wash my silk as washing dulls the sheen of the fabric.
Start by ironing your silk dupioni fabric with NO STEAM (I actually empty my iron of any water just in case it leaks). Now fold it in half, matching selvage edges.
I can never figure out the right side from the wrong side of the fabric. I prefer to use the side with less noticeable “nubs” as my right side.
I traced off a simple ONE-SEAM infant pants pattern in size 6 months. Any infant pants pattern will work as long as it has no outer side seam.
Lay your pattern out using pattern weights. Using a sharp scissor or rotary cutter, cut out your pants pattern (double thickness).
Now separate the two pants parts. Take one piece and match the inner leg seams using the pattern notches. If you need to pin, use SILK PINS, not your regular sewing pins as they are smaller and don’t leave big pin holes in your fabric.
Now Serge the inner leg seam carefully removing the pins as you go (you could use a sewing machine, but the serger quickly cuts off the seam allowance, finishes the edges and seams it all together). Repeat for the other leg.
Press the inner leg seams from the inside as they were stitched, then press the serged seams to one side. Now turn the pants right side out and press the seam from the outside.
Onto the crotch seam…With right sides together, insert one pant leg inside the other (In other words…Take one leg and turn it right side out. Take that leg and slide it inside of the other leg which is wrong side out…LOL).
Match up the crotch seam. Pin it starting from the center point (where all your seams will meet). Stick a pin straight threw both seams. This method helps you get a perfect crotch cross section (the + ).
Now pin out both ways from this point.
Many sewers will then serge the crotch seam. However, I prefer to go over to the sewing machine and baste this seam as I’m pretty fussy about that crotch cross section and find this helps. Plus, if the crotch cross section isn’t perfect, I can use the good old seam ripper and redo it.
Back to the iron once again…give the crotch seam a quick press before putting it through the serger. It’s also the time to check and make sure there are no puckers in the seam.
Now we serge the crotch seam. Once done, give the seam a press the way you stitch it, then to one side and finally from the right side. A pressing ham is useful when pressing curved seams.
Over at the ironing board…turn your pants wrong side out and fold up 1 inch at the bottom of each leg. Press. Then fold in 1/4 inch to conceal raw edges. Press.
Straight stitch the hem on the sewing machine. I use my handy dandy “lace-to-lace” foot on my sewing machine. It has a flange down the middle. I move my needle over to the right and stitch. Give the hem a quick press.
This is not necessary, but I find serging the top of the pants helps with fabric fraying. Now turn the pants wrong side out again and fold down a casing equal to the width of the elastic plus 1/2 inch. Press. Then fold in 1/4 to conceal the raw (or serged) edge. Press.
If desired, add garment tags, size tags or fabric content tags BEFORE stitching down casing.
Stitch close to lower edge of casing, leaving an opening to insert elastic.
Cut a piece of elastic 2 inches smaller than the infant’s actual waist measurement. Insert elastic using a big safety pin (I’ve found those elastic “threaders” to be useless).
Lap elastic ends together and stitch.
Stitch casing opening closed. To prevent elastic from twisting, stitch down center back waistband.
And there you have it…simple silk baby bottoms!
Now to figure out a simple jacket or shirt to match…stay tuned!