DIY: Toddler Long Underwear

Last week I was inspired by Melissa at Adventure Tykes, who wrote an article ‘Clothing Tips for Winter Fun‘ for Women’s Adventure Magazine.

One of the things that I struggle with the most is outfitting our toddler for the trails and staying on budget. Sometimes I have to get a little bit creative…and that means upcycling some of our old outdoor clothing into useful pieces of clothing for our toddler.

In no way do I consider myself “crafty” or a “sewer”…in fact if you’re a seamstress you have my permission to head back over to Pinterest because my sewing methods are pretty barbaric and may make you cringe.

But, recently I discovered that even with my mediocre sewing skills I can transform an old poly-pro top into a pair of long underwear for my kiddo. Here’s a quick tutorial, the best news…it only took 25 minutes.

What you need: A sewing machine, scissors (I don’t have fancy sewing scissors so I just use kitchen scissors), thread, elastic, a safety pin, stick pins, and an old poly-pro (or any material of your choice) top.

Find a template, polar bear PJ bottoms worked for me.

Step 1: Search your kiddo’s closet to find a template. I used a pair of PJ bottoms.

Line up the bottom of the poly-pro top with where you want the seam for the cuff of the long underwear bottoms.

Cut around the template, I left a few inches at the bottom to give my kiddo room to grow and a few inches at the top where the waistband will be. The extra few inches makes room to fold, sew and add elastic.

Step 2: Place the outside (smooth seams) of the bottom cuffs together, pin, and sew. You’ll notice that my cuts aren’t perfect and straight. That’s okay, it’s a base layer and doesn’t need to be pretty!

Step 3: Sew along the crotch and the outside of the legs. Stop sewing two inches from  the waist.

When you’re done sewing, fold the waistband down a few times and sew along the bottom edge of the waistband.

Be sure to leave room for the waistband!

Step 4: Measure elastic for the waist, and use a safety pin to thread it through the loop that you just created by folding and sewing the waistband. Sew the edges of the elastic together and then sew up any gaps that were left when you created the waist but don’t sew over the elastic, to ensure that the elastic remains stretchy you’ll need to hand stitch the fabric over the elastic.

They ain’t pretty.

Step 5: Cut off any lose threads. Flip the long underwear right-side-out. You’ll notice that there is plenty of room to accommodate a diaper, and the long underwear is tight (but stretchy and comfortable) and will fit nicely under a fleece mid-layer.

Step 6: Dress your kid and take him or her outside and think about how much money you saved by simply recycling an old poly-pro top.

So easy!

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User Comments

  1. Gaylyn Weant |

    Wow! I am impressed!

    • Rebecca |

      Well…you probably shouldn’t be! Let’s just say that my attempt to sew a top for our kiddo was way too much of a flop to put up on the internet 🙂

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