d.i.y. day: sack pants and a dress…

i ran across this pin the other day and the boys saw it and said, “mommy, those are pants bags.  can you make us some?”  so, of course, i said yes.  the tutorial from her blog is pretty easy to follow and i made a few modifications, and i really like how they turned out.  the boys like them too.  in fact, they liked them so much, they insisted on wearing them to bed last night!


we took a trip to joann fabric and i let the boys pick their fabric.  jack jack chose a heatherd blue and harry picked this cool blue and green ikat print.  i steered them towards the lightweight knits and i chose to do the tutorial without the lining.  i also finished the necklines a bit differently.  the “back” became the “front” and i added button holes and buttons that i can move as the boys get bigger.  knowing what i know now, i would make the rise lower.  oh, well, next time.

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my sister-in-law is hosting a summer solstice party next weekend and we are all to dress like fairies or pixies or the like.  i think the boys look like peter pan’s lost boys in these jumpers, so i think we will add their butterfly wings and bows and arrows and call it the perfect outfit!

i didn’t take pictures of making the sack pants, however, i did take pictures of making the dress, which is a modification of the same pattern.  you just don’t cut out legs.  you just cut straight across and the finished dress will dip down on the sides.  instead of knit, i used pre-washed linen.  i don’t remember, but i think it was about 1.5 yards and i’m a solid american size 8/10 with a 34″D bust and a butt that the band queen would be proud of.

i laid out the pattern using the selvedge edge as my bottom hem so i didn’t actually have to hem the dress and because of this, and the fact that i used 45″ fabric, the dress came out pretty short in front.  it is longer on the sides but if you don’t like that, it is easily remedied by hemming the bottom of the dress evenly.  you can also buy more yardage and/or 60″ fabric so you can have a longer dress.  i will be making a maxi dress for my next one and/or a long version of the sack pants.

here is a quick-and-dirty version of how to sew this dress.  you should probably have intermediate sewing skills as i will not be detailing how to do certain techniques (such as french seaming.)

follow this tutorial to get your basic pattern and your basic sewing instructions – it’s in dutch, so use google translator to change it to english if you need to.  the boys had fun helping trace around me on the paper on the kitchen floor.  once you have your pattern, do not, do not, cut out legs.  just cut straight across for a skirt or fold up your pattern like i did in the picture.  because of how much fabric i had and how i needed to lay it out on the print (i did not match the pattern) i cut two back pieces (on a single panel – not on a fold) and stitched them together.  all my seams are french seams.  i think they just look nicer.

this is the front piece.  it is one piece that i cut on a fold.  i did not line up the pattern right on the fold because i wanted a little give in the panels for gathering at the neckline and so the dress is roomy.



sew the two back panels together down the center seam with a french seam.  then, fold over all, both front and back, neck and arm hole pieces 1/2 inch and hem.


this is a detail above of the side french seam below the arm hole.


when you seam the arm holes and necklines, you will get an uneven point at the corner.  trim this point off even with the top edge.  see above for detail of un-trimmed vs. trimmed.  the point on the left is un-trimmed and the one on the right is the trimmed one.


match up side seams from armholes down and seam.



this is what the sack dress looks like when it’s all seamed together.

fold over the top of the neckline (both front and back pieces) and seam, creating a 1/4 or 1/2 inch “tube.”  this is going to be where you run your cording for the gathered neckline.  i used just some plain, cotton twine, doubled over.  use a safety pin to run your cord through the neckline tubes.



just gather it up and tie on the side of one of the front sections.  you can have it tie in the back too, but i like a little off-set bow on the front so i can tie it myself.


at this point, because i’d been ironing it all afternoon and it was a bit stiff, i ran it under a cold tap and hung it up outside to quickly dry.  it will hang on your body better this way.  i don’t like to iron my linen anyway, because i’m lazy i like the way it looks.  i strung some little beads on the cording to jazz it up a bit.

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i used this neckline finishing technique (which is way different from the tutorial) because i like the control it gives me on the gather and – for the sack pants- it let’s me get my butt through the top to put the thing on and take it off.  of course, this last bit isn’t important for the dress because it goes on over the top anyway.  but, for the sack-pants-jumper, it’s invaluable.

i didn’t take pictures of making the sack pants, but, christopher took some of the finished project i made for myself.  yes, i made one for myself too.  christopher doesn’t like it on me, but i think it’s super comfy.  i like the look of changing up the direction of the pattern on the front and the back.

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and yes, my legs are really this white.

i hope you found this informative, empowering and  fun.  what will you be making?



p.s. please feel free to ask me questions. 🙂


5 thoughts on “d.i.y. day: sack pants and a dress…

  1. I love your sandals! Especially the brown ones.
    And I really like the back line of the sack pants and dress!
    I wish I was as fast as you, I’m working on a skirt and it’s already two weeks..
    You just seem to pop out a dress, two childplayingsuits and a sack pants for yourself.
    Where do you get your fabrics??

    1. Sjoertje, Thank you! I have been sewing since I was three years old, so I can usually crank out some projects pretty quickly. It helps that the weather is nice and the boys can play outside unsupervised! I go to Joann Fabrics for most of my stuff. They send out pretty good coupons. 🙂

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