Wednesday, October 23, 2013

kid's garb blitz : Rus Pants for 3 Year Old

So this was a pretty fun item to make. It took a few days of thought, but once I decided how to do it, this pair of Rus pants went together in a day.

The internet, unfortunately, is pretty sparse on this style of pant in terms of actually making them. I did find several great recreations, though, and in the end, I did located this site, which gave me the best idea for how the pieces of the pants should look, but I as still sort of on my own for determining exactly how to put them together.

The pants are made up of three primary pieces, as well as an additional piece added to the waistline. Two large panels for the thighs, two smaller, narrow pieces for the calves, and a square for a crotch gusset (sometimes referred to as a diamond gusset).

Because of my son's lanky measurements, the thigh pieces ended up nearly square. They fold around the outside of the legs, so that the seam is on the inside.

I wish I had a good mathematical way of figuring out this first measurement (from the waist point to the gusset insertion point), but truth be told, I ended up too low at first, then ended up too high the second time. Essentially, I measured from his waist in the front to his waist in the back between his legs, then divided that by 2, subtracted roughly half my gusset length (on the diagonal), and made sure to keep seam allowances. I believe the correct method is in that somewhere, but perhaps requires a little bit more precision in the math. I was able to correct my math with the waist band.

Regardless of the length it should be, the first step is to sew the front and back seams from the waist point to the gusset insertion point on both sides of the thigh pieces, sewing them together.

It's a good idea to knot the stitching off at the insertion end- it will help with getting good points on the gusset corners.

With the seams at the top away from you, fold one layer up at the knot point so that the two edges are perpendicular to each other. Lay the gusset onto this, lining up the edges.

Pin the gusset in place on the two edges. The pins at the top only go through the thigh layer and the gusset. The pins are acting as your third hand here, but make sure that the left most and the bottom most pins mark your seam allowance.

It's helpful to have an understanding of origami for some of these steps. In this next step, you're going to flip the work by pushing the right side underneath.

Once everything is flipped, you will be looking at what was the back side with the two layers still splayed and the gusset flat over them on the bottom.

Now, starting at the exact point your first seam ends, sew along the edge to your bottom pin. If you flip it back over to how you started, this is what you should see:

With it still flipped over (gusset up), start at the top, where the gusset point is, down to your bottom pin on the other edge.

Once again, it's a good idea to knot all the ends of your stitch lines to keep everything secure.

Now, flip it over and look at your handiwork thus far. Your point should be sharp.

You'll see at this point that your other center seam, on the other side of the thigh pieces, it sort of hanging out saying "But what about me?"

Center everything up, lining up the center seams. You now need to match the other side of the gusset to the center seam on the top.

I found that the most accurate way of keeping everything lined up properly was to pin the gusset point (accounting for allowance) to the end of the center seam, directly on the seam. This keeps it on center, and helps the gusset pivot a bit to accomplish the next bit of origami.

First, choose a thigh to compete. Line the halves of the thigh piece together, as you normally would to get ready to sew the seam, but focus on lining the side of the gusset to the edge of the thigh.

Start, once again, exactly at one already sewn end point. In the photo above, you can see the original placement pin in the bottom corner of the gusset. You will need to end as precisely at that point as possible to hit the center seam, without overshooting it, as shown below.

It's important to really pay attention to where you start and stop. When I started the previous seam, I didn't correctly start (I was a single stitch away from the end). Below, you can see on the back side why this was a problem. Not having them lined up creates an undefined point that will pucker.

Luckily, on this particular seam, I could use the end point I just established (where the pin was) and see it again on this side so I could be sure to line it up.

There's now just one more side of the gusset to sew. Above, the unsewn gusset edge needs to be sewn to the thigh piece edge in the middle of the photo. You'll be able to tell which edge to sew to because of the placement of the center seam.

It won't necessarily go exactly where it needs to, so use pins to keep it in the right place. And this is what it should look like when the gusset is all sewn:

With the gusset sewn, it's now time to move on to the inner thigh seams. Another origami moment. Start by lining the two edges of the thigh piece up, and grasp near the gusset point.

Fold all the seam allowances together, even pinching the gusset allowances upward in between the two thigh allowances.

With the seam pinched tightly near the gusset point, pull on the gusset with your other hand to get the seam allowance to run straight, with the gusset forming a triangle. Then pin into place.

Then pin the rest of the seam.

Again, when you stitch this seam, make sure to start or end exactly on the previously sewn end point. After doing the same thing to the other thigh, your gusset is in place!

At this point, I finished the seams by machine. I don't recommend that on small pants like these, though, since it can get pretty tight. I just wanted to get them done, but didn't want to skip finishing them.

I attached the waist band, completing it with some elastic, and attached the calves (also finished by machine). The photos of those processes are in the Flickr set. The resulting pants look like this:

They ended up a bit long in the thighs, which means they really overhang the calves, but that's not all that wrong for the style.

They are a bit tight, in that calves, and do take some work to get on over his heel. If I need to, I can open the very bottoms up and add a tie, but he'll probably be totally grown out of them before I need to go that route.

You can see more construction and finished photos in the Flickr set!

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