Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Three seam split crotch pants and FREE pattern

Split crotch pants are a popular choice for babies and toddlers when practicing EC (elimination communication). When the baby is held in a squat or an older child sits on a potty the pants split at the crotch to allow for elimination without having to pull the pants up and down.

Here are instructions to make a pair of split crotch pants by sewing only three seams. Hopefully these instructions are simple enough so that anyone can be successful!

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

Here is a pic of what the pattern pieces look like cut out and taped. I cut out the largest size:)

Some people have had trouble figuring this out and hopefully this helps!



By choosing a fabric that doesn't fray (come apart in the wash) you can get away with not hemming the split area and the bottom of the leg. Good fabrics to choose are fleece or some wool fabrics (flannel for example). These fabrics don't fray, will repel the pee (not absorb it) and can be repeatedly hung to dry until they are soiled or become smelly at which time they can be easily washed. You will also need at least 22" of 1/4" or 1/2" elastic for the waist band. I used a sewing machine to sew my pants but you could absolutely do it by hand by using a straight stitch. All seams have a 1/4" seam allowance.
Fold your fabric in half and line the pattern up along the fold so that you are actually cutting two of the pattern with one of the edges attached. These pants do not have a front and back so you don't have to worry about which is which when putting them on.

SEAM #1 and SEAM #2: Sew along the inner leg seams, use a 1/4" seam allowance.
Lay the pants so that the two pieces are facing each other. Open up the leg pieces as shown.

Hint: You can see that I serged the edge of the crotch area. I did this to make reinforce the fabric. It is not necessary but if you want to do this with an ordinary machine you can use a zig zag stitch.
Keeping the bottom layer of the right leg on the table, lay the bottom layer of the left leg on top.
Lay the top layer of the right leg on top of the bottom layer of the left leg.
Lay the top layer of the left leg on top of the top layer of the right leg.

If this sounds confusing, its actually not. Basically you are just alternating sides. It doesn't actually matter if you start with the right or left as long as they alternate.
SEAM #3: With the leg pieces overlapped, roll the waist down 1/4" and then roll that down another 3/4" so that you don't see the raw edge. I overlapped the flaps (horizontally) so that the total circumference of the waist was 20". My son's waist is 17" so the extra 3" leaves room for the stretch of the elastic. Start this in the split area of the waist and pin once you have rolled. Then pin the sides as well. When you sew remember to leave an opening to fit the elastic in.
Using a large safety pin, thread the elastic through the elastic casing. Remember to hold onto the end or you will lose it into the casing as you push the pin around!

Try the pants on your baby so that you know exactly how tight to make the elastic. I usually cut a length of elastic the exact length of my son's waist and then overlap 1 1/4" when sewing the ends of the elastic together.

You can sew the two ends of the elastic together or simply pin them using a small safety pin and tuck it back into the casing. This will allow you to adjust it later as you child grows. You can sew the gap in the waist seam closed if you wish or leave it open for future elastic adjustments.
Here are the completed pants.

If you choose to finish the leg hems, just fold up the hem by 1/4" and then again by 1/4" so that the raw edge is hidden, pin and sew around.
Here are the completed pants with the legs hemmed. It gives a more finished look but its not necessary if your fabric does not fray.

You can also partially sew down the overlap seam so that the pants only open when you hold your baby in the classic position. This makes the pants more discrete and warmer for the winter months. I only sewed down 2" (measured from the waist seam) because if you sew down too far the pants don't split enough, especially in the rear.

68 comments:

  1. Great tutorial!
    I just used it to make a pair of 1-seam split crotch pants for my 2-month old. I used the sleeves of an old fleece sweater.

    I didn't try it on her yet bc she's sleeping but it looks ok...for a prototype .

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  2. update on the 1-seam pants:
    The concept of using sweater sleeves works, at least for small sizes. I have to work on the shape of the opening. right now it does not cover my baby's butt enough.
    I use a folded piece of flannel or prefold diaper inside the pants and tuck it under the elastic waistband. To potty I pull the front of the insert down through the crotch opening and hold it up in the back. It's very convenient!
    I just need to modify the shape and overlap of the upper part to ensure better coverage of the insert and act as a waterproof barrier in case of a miss.
    Thanks for posting these great tutorials!

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  3. Wow! Thats such a great idea!

    If the pants don't cover her butt enough its probably because the overlap is too small. Try making the wings of the pants (top) longer so that they can overlap more. Might be hard to do with the sleeves? You can also try sewing down the overlap a little to make the pants more discrete.

    You could even use a wool sweater.

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  4. Hiya, what age is the pattern for? I would like to make one for my 6 mo. Thank you!!!!!!

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  5. When you download the pattern you can see the different sizes. You might consider making a 0-6m or 6m-1T depending on how long you want the pants to last.....Hth!

    Rebecca

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  6. Thank you for the tutorial...I just made a pair of split crotch pants from a recycled turtleneck. I will be making more recycled clothes for my little EC'r soon!

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  7. thanks for the tutorial and pattern, i made a pair for my 9 month old son from an old pair of pants.

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  8. I am hoping to make a pair of the pants. I have printed off the pattern but can't figure out how scpp#1, scpp#2 and scpp#3 go together. Please help I'm sure I will feel very silly when you tell me.

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  9. I will add more info to make this less confusing as soon as I can!

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  10. I can't work out how to put the 3 bits of the pattern together either! I feel like a complete idiot. Please help! Thx Penni

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  11. I had added a pic of the pattern pieces all cut out and taped. Hopefully this helps you all out:) Thanks for visiting!

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  12. Thanks!
    I was trying to match the lines :)

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  13. yes thanks you I don't think I would have worked that out! Can't wait to try them out! :-)

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  14. What size paper should the pattern be printed on? The computer automatically put it on a standard size page but it seems small.
    Thanks

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  15. Yup, it prints on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. If the pattern is too small for your little one you can photocopy it and enlarge it by 10% or 20% (or larger). Or you can just add length to the rise or inseam.

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  16. I have now made four pairs for both my toddler and infant. It is super easy and they work great! Thanks for the pattern.

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  17. Your welcome:) I'm so glad it works for you!

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  18. I just made some for my 2 month old! So easy! I think on the next pair I'll make the crotch part whoooop a bit more across for better butt coverage while seated but could've been how I cut it out--didn't use pins cuz I was lazy. :-Þ
    I bought 3 yards of fleece and I did not need nearly that much--I'll have plenty to make for each size she grows into.

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  19. I was wondering how much material you would need to do this pattern... it doesnt seem much, but i dont want to get too little... say for the largest size?
    Thanks!!

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  20. I think that a 3/4 yd would be fine. :) Have fun!

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  21. Just whipped up a pair for my 20 month old as she is starting toilet training. So easy and they look great. Now we just have to practice the squat and it will be smooth sailing, well I hope.

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  22. That is great to hear! I hope it goes well:)

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  23. This is just what I've been looking for - thank you! I can't wait to try it out.

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  24. So easy! I finished my first pair of pants with my toddler being around (which means something!). He is almost 2, so I used the XL pattern. It fits perfect, but: it doesn't open very well in the butt, so that would be an accident waiting to happen. Do you have any suggestions what to change?

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  25. You could always cut the back portion narrower so that it overlaps less? I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the pattern:)

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  26. going to do that. the smaller size (L) I just finished probably doesn't cover his front or back, he is napping now, so I have to try that later. And then off to a third one with cutting the back overlap!

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  27. This is fantastic. Whipped up a pair in no-time out of old receiving blankets. I left the legs unhemmed, and just rolled them up so that I could adjust as he got taller.

    Thank you!

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  28. if you want to have the bottom cuffs hemmed w/o doing it yourself... use an old pillowcase! Take out the seam along the short end, fold it so the long seam is in the middle, align the pattern on the folded sides making sure the bottom of the pattern lines up with the hemmed portion of the pillowcase. Easy!

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  29. That is a fabulous idea, thanks!

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  30. I made a pair of these last night for my crawling age baby and they fit great! I used soft baby elastic (1/4") and fastened it with one of those plastic drawstring thingys so I can adjust the size as needed.

    I was hoping to fasten his training pants over the split pants, but because I used a thick fleece for the pants and my son's trainers are slim fitting, it doesn't really work. The material of the pants bunches up and looks uncomfortable, and I'm afraid the pants will get in the way of the trainers soaking up any accidents. So I put the trainers on under the pants and take the whole lot off at potty time. It has the advantage that I can tell quickly when he is wet, unlike with normal fleece pants, so they are still useful for us. I would be interested to hear what others use (if anything) for back-up with the split crotch pants.

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  31. Just made a cute pair of Christmas pants for my DD! Thanks for the pattern!

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  32. LOVING this super-easy pattern! I whipped up 2pr for my 5 month old daughter in less than an hour. THANKS!

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  33. Thanks so much for the great pattern! Just made a pair tonight. One question -- why do you alternate the wings when making the waist rather than tucking on side in and the other side out -- that seems more intuitive to me. Perhaps I will pin and try it both ways.

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  34. Hi, I just tried to access the pattern but got a blank web page...any tips? or could someone email it to me?

    Thanks!
    tandiwe76 on DS

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  35. It works for me!

    If you send me your email address I can send you the file.

    info@appledumplinggear.com!
    Thanks!

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  36. These are great! Going to try to make some for my 22mo. We haven't been ECing, but I'm going to jump start for potty training. GO straight to diaper free.

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  37. Why do you alternate the wings when making the waist rather than tucking on side in and the other side out?

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  38. You can overlap the flaps anyway you want as long as they extend past each other so that they provide coverage when the baby is standing. Hope that helps!

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  39. Thank you so much for posting this pattern - it is great! I made a small stash using old t-shirts and they work so well. It keeps our son warm and pottying easy!

    I hope you don't mind, but I wrote about it on my blog and linked to your site (http://mwpoplin.com/blog/2013/7/24).

    Thanks again!

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  40. Thanks! I'm glad the pattern is working for you!

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  41. These pants are exactly what I have been trying to make! I was so excited to find your pattern and tutorial, but when I printed the pattern, it doesn't match the one you have shown in your pictures. I checked it many times, and it is different. It doesn't quite line up and is shaped differently too. I'm not sure what I am missing.

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  42. lol! Nevermind! I just had one of the pages turned the wrong way. yeesh! Glad I got that figured out! ;)

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  43. I just made a pair for my 7 month old son from some wonderfuly soft organic wool! It was super fast and easy!! I made the largest size (XL) because he weighs 20 lbs already and is in 12-18 month clothes, so I just hemmed up the legs about 3 inches and pinned the elastic in the waist to fit him (like you suggested) so that the pants will be able to grow with him.
    I do want the opening to overlap a bit more, so it will protect from leaks even when sitting down. So I think I will try making flaps larger in the next pair I make.
    I will make three or 4 of these so I will always have a dry one handy. If one gets wet, all I have to do is air it out and it will be fresh as new again! I will use them somewhat like a wool diaper cover, since I EC him casually and never am able to catch all his misses. :)

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