My mom originally gave me this receiving blanket back in 2006 when PZ was born. It came in a pack of 4 from Target. It’s Carter’s brand and is 100% cotton with little giraffes, elephants, and lions on it. We used it with the birth of my second daughter, Q last July and subsequently loaned it to J for the birth of her daughter back in February. Needless to say, this blanket has been napped on, peed on, dragged around, dropped in the dirt, and washed a hundred times. When my friend returned it to me last week I was torn. I knew none of the resale shops would want it and we didn’t need it, so I was planning on taking it to Goodwill before I got the great idea to turn it into some awesome pajama pants for Q.
I figure I’m not the only Mama with a a little sentimentality and a lot of faded, well loved baby blankets. So here’s my first sewing tutorial. I apologize about the crazy lighting in the pictures. I’m blaming it on the fact that it was 9 pm and we have horrible lighting in my house. If I’d waited for a good time during the day to make this tutorial, it would be a VERY long wait. There are also a ton of pictures. If anything is unclear, please ask me and I’ll try to explain.
How To Turn A Receiving Blanket Into Kid’s Pants
A well-loved receiving blanket
A pair of your kiddo’s pants that you like the fit of
This took me about 45 minutes to make, but you could lessen that time a whole bunch by cutting corners and not ironing, hemming, or zigzagging your stitches. The pants won’t be as nice though.
This is my blanket. It’s 30″x40″. If you want to be really cool, iron your blanket before you cut. Fold the blanket in half lengthwise.
Cut your blanket on the fold so that you have two identical sized pieces. PIECE 1 and PIECE 2
Take the pair of your kiddo’s pants that you like (we’ll call these your “pattern pants”) and fold them in half, pulling the crotch seam out front so you can see the curve. Put the back against the folded edge of PIECE 1. Leave a couple of inches at the top and bottom for your waist band and hemmed cuff.
Cut next to the pants all the way up the leg and over the crotch seam. About halfway between the crotch and the waist, veer off toward the top of the blanket. This will leave you lots of room for your elastic waistband later. Now you have the SIDE A of your pants. (The part under the pattern pants. The other side goes into your scrap pile.)
If your fabric is darker on one side, fold SIDE A so the light side is up. This makes seeing where you are cutting easier. If your fabric is the same on both sides just cut carefully. Place the folded edge of SIDE A against the folded edge of your PIECE 2 and cut following the edge of SIDE A up.
Now you have SIDE A and SIDE B.
Put the dark sides of SIDE A and SIDE B (also called Right Sides) together.
Start cutting at about 1 inch from the top and angle up to the other corner. This gives your pants more of a seat so the back waistband will be slightly higher than the front. Use a marker if you need to put a dot at the top center edge on both SIDE A and SIDE B so you won’t confuse your top from your bottom. (top being where the waist will be, bottom the leg holes)
With SIDE A and SIDE B still with RIGHT SIDES together, top stitch (just a straight stitch) from the top corner down the curve. Stop at the end of the curve. You don’t want to sew down the length of the leg. I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure to back stitch (hit your reverse button) a couple of stitches at the beginning and the end of each seam.
Now flip it and do the same thing on the other side. Top stitch from the top corner down the curve, resisting the urge to continue sewing down the leg.
Go back and zigzag stitch both of the seams you’ve just top stitched. (I do this with a 1/8 inch seam allowance). This will keep the seam fabric from fraying or itching baby. Once again, kind of hard to see, but this is my zigzag stitch.
Open it and twist. You’ve got a pants shape.
Put the leg edges of SIDE A and SIDE B together and top stitch from one end, right over the crotch and back down the other side.
Go back and zigzag the seam.
Even more of a pants shape.
Now for the waistband. Fold the top of your pants down (I did 1/2 inch) and press with a hot iron. Remember to make it the same measurement all the way around, not just leveled. You want the back to remain higher so your pants have a butt. Fold again slightly larger than your elastic band (my elastic band is 5/8 inch, so I folded the fabric over 1 inch) and press with hot iron.
This is what you should have.
Top stitch around most of the far edge (not the folded edge, but where the two fabrics meet) of your waist. Remember to backstitch a couple of stitches at the beginning and end of your seam. End the seam a couple of inches from where you began, leaving you room to put your elastic in.
Use your patten pants to judge how much elastic you need. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic to use as a pull.
Push the safety pin through the hole in your stitch and guide it all the way through your waist band casing.
Pull both ends of elastic so several inches are sticking out on both ends. Make sure you don’t have any twists in your elastic. Place one end of your elastic OVER the other (not pressed together) and zigzag stitch the two ends together. I like to go back and forth a couple of times.
Pull your waist taut, sliding the elastic completely into the casing. Top stitch the last few inches of the opening closed.
Almost done. Time to hem the leg. Fold the leg back (I did mine 1/2 inch) and press with a hot iron. Top stitch around the far edge of the leg opening. Repeat on other leg. Trim all your strings.
Turn your pants right side out and you’re done! Happy Mama and happy Baby, enjoy!