Easy To Sew Baby Pants (Plus: How To Do Lettuce Hem Without A Serger)

These adorable pants are super easy to make! They can be for sleeping or lounging, and are really cute made with flannel or jersey/interlock knit fabric (you can use any type of fabric, really). I just made a pair for a friend who just had a baby, so I thought I would take some pictures to show what a quick and easy project it is! I'm going to show you two versions - a plain/boy's version and also a girl's version which has a ruffled elastic waistband, lettuce edge hem and a bow.   Note: the lettuce hem can only be done on stretchy fabric.

I used some Doodles fabric from JoAnn - 1/2 yard is more than enough.  MAKE SURE TO PRE-WASH!!!  It washes up nice and soft.  You will also need elastic that is 3/8" or 1/2" wide - I used 14" for a 3-month-old size.  I used satin ribbon for the bow, but you can even use a button or flower or whatever you have handy.

Here is the plain/boy's version in flannel (sorry about the wrinkles, I pulled these out of storage!):

I made my pattern piece based on a pair of my son's pants that fit well. I traced it onto cardboard so that it would be easy to re-use. To make your own pattern piece just slip one pant leg into the other, and trace, adding a 1/2" seam allowance to the crotch and inseam, add 1" to the hem, and an extra 1.5" to the top of the waistband for the elastic casing. Note that the outside of the leg (hip to hem) is where the fold is (no seam allowance needed).  This picture is just an example - I didn't measure the seam allowances as you can probably tell.

Or you can copy these measurements:

This pattern piece is for size 3/6 month, and it just so happens the front/back and inseams are the same length, as are the waist and hem - which means it doesn't matter how you place the pattern piece because the waist can be the hem, so long as the graphics are going up/down.  If you modify the pattern for bigger sizes this won't be the case (the inseam will be longer) so cut carefully.  If you would like me to give measurements for other sizes, just leave me a comment!

You only have to cut two pieces for these pants - the left side and the right side. Normally for pants you would cut four pieces -left front, right front, back left, back right- and contour the waist and crotch to accommodate curves.  But babies don't need much extra room in the bum - plus this way you don't have a side seam interrupting the pattern.

cut 2

Now we can start sewing - yay!

If you're sewing on knit then put in a ball point needle and set your machine to zigzag or elastic stitch.

First open your pieces and place them right sides together. Pin and sew from the waist to crotch on each side, as pictured below - these are the front- and back-center seams. Use a 1/2" seam allowance.

So now they are attached like this:

Now we're going to sew the inseam. You need to rearrange the fabric so the seams you just sewed are aligned, and -voilà- there's your little pant legs.

Pin and sew the inseam, starting at the hem of one leg, pivot at the crotch and continue down the other leg. It helps if you first press open the front and back seams so they are flat when you sew across the crotch.


Now let's make the waistband...  I'm going to tell you a secret.  Sometimes I don't tuck in the raw edge on waistbands and hems - some fabrics like flannel and knit don't fray like others do.  Shhhhhh.  Feel free to do it the right way if you like!

For the boy's version... Fold the waistband down 3/4 - 1" and sew about 1/8 - 1/4" from the raw edge, leaving a 1-2" opening.  Thread the elastic, stitch the ends together and sew the opening shut.  You should have this:

For the girl's version... Fold the waistband over 1.5" and sew 1/2" from fold all the way around.  You do not need to leave an opening, this step just helps the waistband ruffle.  

...girl's version, continued...  Now sew 1/4" from the raw edge, leaving a 1-2" opening for the elastic.

...girl's version, continued...  Now thread the elastic, stitch ends together, and sew the opening shut.

Turn your work right-side-out and admire!

As you can see, I also added the bow at this point.  I'm not really a bow-making expert but this was pretty simple.  If you would like instructions, kindly leave me a comment below :)  I thought it would be too much info for one post, since we still have the lettuce hem to conquer...

Let's hem these bad boys!

Or not.  If you're using jersey/interlock/knit you don't need to hem if you like the look of it as-is.  

Still want to hem?  OK...

For a straight hem... Turn the hem under to desired length and stitch.  You should have something like this:

For the lettuce hem... Sew with a very short zig zag stitch along the edge while stretching the fabric in both directions (pull the fabric behind the presser foot away from you, and the fabric being fed into the presser foot towards you).  >>More on that in a minute<<  When you sew on the stretched fabric, and then the fabric relaxes back to its normal shape, it curls like this:

Cute, right?!  So here's the scoop on lettuce hem...

I practiced different methods on a scrap beforehand, including the shortest zig zag (0.1) with a normal presser foot on single AND double thickness* as well as with an overcasting foot, and also the shortest overcasting stitch (1.0) with the overcasting presser foot.  What I ended up using was the shortest overcasting stitch with the overcasting foot.  I like that the overcasting foot helps you sew exactly along the edge of the fabric - the fabric butts up against a guide in the middle of the foot and the needle (zags?) just off the edge of the fabric:

I like the raw look and that you can see the fabric through the stitching.  The shortest zigzag, on the other hand, looks nice like satin stitching, but it was a little too heavy for this light knit.

*the double thickness idea came from this post where you fold the hem, zigzag along the fold and then cut the raw edge away...

I just love these little pants and I hope my friend does too!  I'm going to be making some in linen and cotton twill for some everyday pants for my son, and I'll post some pix.  

I'm also going to break in my new Speedball screen printing kit to make a matching onesie, but that's another post...

>> UPDATE: Here's how the screen-print turned out, see how it matches the owl in the pants.  My photo emulsion didn't turn out perfect, unfortunately...  but I love the design.


  1. They are so cute, And easy!! Would you happen to know the proportions for a sz3 toddler? Thanks for posting this!

    1. I think the best thing to do is to trace a pair of pants that size to make your own pattern like in the photo of the striped pants. Although the crotch should really be more curved than what I have. If you make the you add a few inches to the waist measurement you should be ok. Just remember to add seam allowance! And always go bigger than you think, I have learned this the hard way :) Thanks so much for you comment!

  2. I just made these pants for my granddaughter following the guidelines you listed using minkey dot fabric; however my lettuce stitching did not turn out as well as yours.....I would love the size chart you have for her as she grows until she is big enough for me to buy patterns.
    Also, I just love the ease of making these, thank you for posting!!!

    1. The material has to be stretchy for the lettuce hem to work, so I don't think minky will work but it would still be cute with a straight hem! I will work on the other sizes - maybe if will be my first PDF download! Thank you for reading and your comment, I hope you will give it another try with a knit fabric :)


Comments are very much appreciated!