Someone just asked me yesterday how old my baby Max is and I mumbled something about him still being 10 months, then quickly corrected myself to say 11 months….and then realized he’ll be a one-year-old on the 3oth of this month. ONE!!! I’m still trying to figure out how babies grow so quickly. Ack! But Max is nowhere near walking. In fact, he doesn’t truly crawl yet. He’s still army crawling….and dang it, he’s so fast! But none of my kids walked by age one, but Max seems especially disinterested in walking—-and I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with having 4 older siblings who LOVE to dote on him!
Even though the weather is warming up, this little army crawler of mine still needs baby leggings on those chubby legs of his, to keep them from getting all rashy and irritated from crawling around. So instead of buying more pants, I dug into the fabric stash, and made his some super cozy Harem-Style Baby Leggings….with a cute little Kangaroo Pocket!
And let me just tell you…..these are perfect for the early crawler/walker! Or even bigger kiddos who are constantly jumping and wiggly and sprawled out all over the place!
***Yes, I’ve included the template I made for Max, which is a size 12-18 months. But I’ll also show you how to make your own down below.
I know all of you who were in middle school in the 90’s and had a pair of “Hammer Pants” are shaking your heads in disbelief that this style has made a come-back! (Haha….yep, I had a pink pair with kittens on them! But wow, mine had so much extra fabric in the mid-section and hung down to my knees.) But believe it or not, they’re back. And you know, I kinda love how perfect and roomy they are on those diaper bums!
I made these with a thin and stretchy jersey knit….so they have added stretch to them, and could be worn year round! And since the fabric is more fitted down on the legs, they don’t get in the way of walking, stretching, karate kicks, or whatever else! :)
I haven’t ever used cloth diapers…..but I imagine these would be IDEAL for those big cloth diaper bums. Because yes, even while Max is sitting….there’s plenty of room!
But enough chatting—you’ve got to see these Harem-Style Baby Leggings in action!
They’re perfect for baby yoga poses (or twisting around to find a ball, ha!)….
They’re great for sprawling out on the floor while playing….
They are also the perfect attire for escaping onto the other side of the “forbidden gate”. (You guys….this kid has heightened senses when it comes to this gate. When it’s left open, Max darts over to it faster than anything I’ve ever seen. Then he looks over his shoulder to see if I’m coming, laughs, and then sprints down the hallway as fast as his little army crawl will carry him!!)
Max has jeans, cotton twill pants, and even sweat pants…..but nothing seem as comfy as these Harem-Style baby leggings. And even though they’re stretchy, straight leg knit leggings (like my Super Simple Baby Leggings tutorial) just don’t seem quite right on this chubba-wubba. I know some little boys can pull it off….but I didn’t really like them on any of my boys. However, these Harem-Style baby leggings look absolutely darling on girls too!
Just look at the stretch of those pants…..doesn’t it make you want a pair for yourself?!?!
Though I make some exceptions for special occasions…..I mainly pick comfort when it comes to baby clothes. And now I need to make about 5 more pairs of these Harem-Style baby leggings, so we can just keep them on a continuous rotation for Max!
Good grief I love this baby boy! And man is he fun to sew for these days! :)
Okay, are you ready to make a pair for your own baby/toddler/grandkid?
SUPPLIES for Harem-Style Baby Leggings:
- Jersey Knit fabric, main color
- Jersey Knit fabric (or ribbing), secondary color
- 1-inch wide elastic
- Template for 12-18 month size, if needed —>HERE
- If you need to make your own template, use the Boho Leggings Tutorial
- Sewing Supplies (here’s a list of my favorite sewing supplies, in case you need a few ideas)
***Check out my Sewing Terms 101 post, for additional help.
If you need Max’s same size, click on the 12-18 month template up above. (Or you can use the templates and either size it up or down, depending on the size you need.) Otherwise, head over to the Boho Leggings Tutorial, and create your own templates, based off a pair of existing pants.
Cut out your template (be sure to place my templates on the fold) and cut out 2 main pant pieces and one pocket piece.
Then, in a contrasting color of knit fabric, cut a waistband piece that 3 inches tall and 27 inches wide. Then cut 2 leg cuffs that are 4 inches tall and 7 inches wide. And lastly, cut 2 strips for the pocket openings that are 1.25 inches tall and 4 inches wide. (***Make sure that the main stretch of each of these strips of fabric goes left to right when pulled….so that it will stretch around the leg, around the waist, and around the curve of the pocket. If your fabric stretches equally up and down as it does left to right, it doesn’t matter.) (***Also, if you’re creating your own pattern, you’ll need to experiment with the measurements of each of these pieces.)
Okay, time to sew!
Grab one of your strips for your kangaroo pocket opening and fold in half lengthwise, with the right side of the fabric facing out. Line up the raw edges of the strip with the curve of the pocket opening. Pin one end of the strip to one end of the pocket opening, overlapping the strip over the end by about 1/2 inch. (Overlapping at the end just a bit will make it easier to sew on your knit fabric, and will help to eliminate jamming.)
Then slide under your presser foot and using a zig-zag stitch, sew a few stitches to get started. Then, pull your strip of fabric ever so slightly and begin sewing along the curve a few stitches. Pause, adjust along the curve, pull the strip again just a bit, and sew a few more stitches. The reason you pull just a bit, is to help the fabric curve a little better….will will help it lay flatter later on. Trust me! :) (But you don’t want to pull it too tight…..or it will pucker way too much.)
Once you reach the end, backstitch a few times and that’s it. You’ll have extra fabric at both ends…and that’s on purpose. It just helps with starting and stopping while using knit. And when you’re done, this is what the slight pull of the fabric will cause….this curve to the fabric.
And here’s a peek from the back side.
But once you turn the raw edges to the back of the main fabric, that slight pull creates this nice curved edge. Pretty sweet, right? Now, repeat with the other pocket opening.
Now, press these down flat with a hot iron and steam (without pulling and dragging) and then stitch right along the edge of the curve, keeping the raw edges along the back right in place. Then trim off the extra fabric from your strips.
Now, turn your pocket over and fold down the top edge, the side edges, and the bottom edge…1/2 inch. Press/steam flat.
Pin your kangaroo pocket to the front of one of your main pant pieces, centering it from left to right and 1.25 inches down from the top edge.
Stitch the pocket in place (with a straight stitch) along the top, sides, and bottom…..nice and close to the edge.
Now, place your two main pant pieces together, with RIGHT sides together, and stitch along both sides. Use a zig-zag stitch and 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Now, open one of the pant legs with the right side facing up…..
Then grab one of your cuff pieces, fold it in half lengthwise with the RIGHT side of the fabric facing out…..and then line up the raw edges of the cuff along the bottom raw edge of the pant leg. (Overlap the ends of the fabric beyond the width of the pant leg….this will help you as you’re starting and stopping.) Use a zig-zag stitch to attach the cuff, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Trim off the extra fabric from the cuff. Then repeat with the other cuff and pant leg.
Now, fold the cuff down so that it hangs below your main pant fabric and then line up your pants again with RIGHT sides together. Sew along the inner arch of the pants, using a zig-zag stitch and 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Lastly, the waist band. Cut a piece of one-inch elastic that is the same measurement as your child’s waist, plus 1/2 inch. Then, sew your elastic into a circle, by overlapping 1 inch….securing the ends with a zig-zag stitch.
The way I made the rest of waistband and attached it, is exactly like this 30 Minute Stretchy Tube Skirt tutorial. But here’s a few pics, to see the actual pants come together.
And just like the skirt tutorial linked above…..the waistband is attached and done!
To get it to look nice and pretty…..be sure to press/steam flat.
And that’s it!
A super comfy pair of Harem-Style baby leggings……ready for action!