Pirate Costume: The Pants

pant1I’m making a pirate costume for my granddaughter for Halloween this year, and it requires a lot more pieces than last year’s superhero costume, so I’m piecing out the blog posts, one by one. Today, the scarf and pants.

The scarf is really just a big triangle with a narrow hem, so not much to say about that. I suspect it will be worn as a head scarf, but it could be worn at the hip, as well.

I’m using McCall’s Costumes pattern 4952, which comes in both adult and kid sizes, but making variations to the pattern to suit my own purposes. For the pants

  • I’m changing the elastic waistband casing to an exposed elastic waistband, which also eliminates the need for the wide lace-up belt. I’m thinking a 3 year old would be fidgeting and fussing with that belt.
  • I’m cutting off the pant legs to mid-calf height and making a sawtooth border that looks a little more pirate-like.

Exposed Elastic Waistband

There are many, many tutorials on the web about how to sew on an exposed elastic waistband, so I did a few tests on some scrap fabric before making the finished product. I ended up folding down the top edge of the pants on the original casing mark, then sewing the elastic band on the outside (wrong side of band to right side of pants). I sewed with a regular straight stitch, stretching the elastic between pins as I went. I found having a pin every 2-3 inches works the best for stretching as you sew—less room for error.  I sewed the first row at about 1/4 inch from the  edge, and then a second row closer to the edge. Of all the tutorials for making such a waistband, this one seems the best: Circle Skirt Tutorial. Just ignore all the skirt steps.

I used a 2 inch knit elastic for the waistband, which is a little more stretchy and softer than the woven elastics, and overlapped the ends so it would be about 2 inches less than the waist measurement. Trusting long distance measurements requires a leap of faith, and I’m already second-guessing what to do if the band is too big.

SawTooth Edge

I had to make up my own method for the bottom edges of the pirate pants, but I luckily had a pattern for a sawtooth border in a bunch of holiday craft templates, so I didn’t have to draw it freehand. I wanted the hem to be as finished as possible, instead of a raw edge that would fray badly, so I started by cutting the pant legs 2 inches longer than midcalf and then turning up and stitching that hem. On the inside, I marked the pattern with a washable fabric pencil and stitched on those lines. Then I pinked the edges, which actually left the lower points of the sawteeth with the original fold. The pinked edges are raw, but all-in-all, I think it will hold up pretty well.

Now it’s on to the vest and blouse.

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