Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Non-waterproof tiny trainers with FREE pattern

This is a set of instructions on how to sew non-waterproof training pants with a hidden waterproof layer in the soaker pad.



New multi-sized downloadable pattern. Some download times are long.

I used a serger to sew these trainers but you could use a regular sewing machine and just use a wide and tight zig zag on all the seams. All seams have a 1/4" seam allowance.

The pattern fits my 5 month old (15 lbs, 17"; waist, 10 1/2"; thighs, 14"; rise).

The fabric for the leg and waist bands and trainer piece should be stretchy in both directions. I bought some from Joann's in the swim wear section, it is 94% cotton and 6% spandex. Definetely pre-shrink your fabric.
The soaker piece is made from 4 layers of flannel and one layer of waterproof material (I used ripstop nylon but you could use PUL). Use the soaker pattern piece to cut all layers the same size.

Hint: You could cut the soaker from the same material that the trainer, leg and waist pieces are from since it is 94% cotton and somewhat absorbant. This is the style of the JC Penny training pants.

Assembly of the soaker:
Here I have layered the 4 pieces of flannel and put the nylon on top. Use a kids glue stick to glue the waterproof layer to the top flannel layer so it doesn't slide around while sewing. The glue will wash out in the wash and doesn't get sticky on the sewing machine needle. Next you pin the 5 layers sandwiched together. If you have a serger, serge the top and the bottom of the soaker and then baste (I used a long, big zig zag) the sides of the soaker. You want the top and bottom finished nicely because this will be showing in the inside of the trainer but the sides will be serged when you sew the leg bands so if you serge it now you will get a double serged edge and it will have lots of cut threads (if you know what I mean).

Sew the soaker to the trainer piece by pinning it to the wrong side of the fabric with the waterproof side facing towards the trainer fabric so it will be hidden. I used a small zig zag to sew the top and bottom of the soaker to the trainer piece, no need to sew along the sides of the soaker.
Turn the trainer piece right sides together and sew along both sides. Take the waist and leg pieces and fold in half so that the right sides are together. Sew along one side.
In order to make the leg and waist bands you turn the piece right side out and fold it in half long ways so that the raw edges are beside each other.
Turn the trainer right side out. Pin the waist band onto the trainer piece by inserting it into the piece. The raw edges should all be beside each other and the finished edge of the band should be pointing down towards the bottom of the trainer. The band should be smaller than the trainer so that you evenly stretch it around the trainer. I use four pins to make sure that the band is evenly stretched around the waist of the trainer piece. I like to put the seam at the back of the trainer and put my first pin there, then opposite it on the front of the trainer and then one pin on each side of the seams of the trainer piece. As I serge I take out the pins so they don't go through the machine. You need to sew slowly and stretch as you go so that the waist band is evenly stretched.

On the left is the waist band serged as it looks when you are just done sewing. On the right is how it looks when you flip up the waist band, the finished look.
You basically do the same thing with the leg bands but it is a little harder because you need to go through the soaker but just go really slow and check to make sure all the layers are there and lined up. I only use 2 pins on the legs because they are smaller. If you are having a really hard time, try making the leg bands longer (larger) so that you don't have to stretch as much. After I made about 4 trainers I got really good at the legs!
On the left is the back of the trainer and on the right is the front.

They work really well but because they are only partially waterproof they need to be changed fairly quickly. They start to wick in the legs first (because that's where there is the least amount of absorbency).

11 comments:

Steph said...

I love your blog, keep posting those inspiring and motivating tutorials!

Just for reference, a cheap source of cotton/spandex is used women tee-shirts.

I had a pile that I was going to throw away or give away because they were too small or stained but now I'm turning them into training pants...or at least trying.

Green Mommy said...

I'm glad your enjoying my blog, it's so much fun to do:)

Reusing old t-shirts is such a good idea!

I was also thinking of using this pattern for plain old underwear. I'll post this when I get a chance.

Happy sewing - send pics when you can:)

Andrea said...

I have been a really big fan of Katrina's Sew Quick Soaker.... but I LOVE your pattern for these trainers! MY DD is 3 years old and has decided that she does not want to wear a pull-up at night any more but donesn't wait up at night to pee. My son is cloth diapered, she was cloth diapered so I've been looking for an easy to sew trainer pattern. Thanks! I also have a cloth diaper blog you might like to check out. http://countrybabymaine.blogspot.com

Green Mommy said...

Glad you like the pattern. Nice blog! The links you have are really great as well:)

Rebecca said...

How should I determine what size to make for my child? I saw the measurements for your child but I am unsure how to do these with a baby. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Green Mommy said...

Measure your child's rise, thigh and waist measurements naked and then compare them to the different sizes in the patterns. I guess it would be helpful to have a sizing chart - I'll work on that:)
Thanks!

Maine Mommy said...

I am also wondering about sizing for these. There are estimated ages on the pattern but my son in 21 lbs at 7 months so I would prefer to use measurements. Was your son in the 0-6 month size when you made them with the measurements you listed?

Lori Howlett said...

What a great pattern - thanks heaps! One question - I am thinking of making them without the PUL layer, but instead using hemp and/or bamboo layers for the booster part. Have you made these without the PUL layer? My plan is to have her in fleece or wool longies rather than normal pants.

I also used some old trackpants of mine which were a cotton/elastane blend. I am assuming that will work fine? I made a night time one (for under a wool pull-up cover) with body fabric of hemp jersey, but found I need to make the waist band smaller as it has some extra stretch to it.

Thanks again

Green Mommy said...

You can certainly do it without the PUL layer!

Yes, different fabrics have different stretch, you can certainly alter things like the waistband to make the fit better:)

whocg23 said...

I love this blog and this pattern! I just made my first trainer for my little man using this pattern. I was wondering however, if you had a size chart, even if it is rough.
One thing I did with my first was to add elastic to the waistband that I had made since it ended up bigger than it should have. I do like that it can be really easy to add elastic to these waistbands.
Thank you so much for offering this pattern for free!

Ben's Mummy said...

Thanks! Made a couple of these yesterday for my six month old boy. First time I've sewn anything following a pattern, so thanks for the clear instructions.