Winter's here and that means snow! Which of course means the kids want to be outside. Snow pants are a must, but good, toasty warm ones can cost a lot (especially if you have 3 kids like me). So I thought up an easy way to make those cozy, designer-style, insulated snow/ski pants for less than $25. And did I mention they can be made in under 1 hour?
- 1yd Anti-pill/Micro Fleece, which makes a cuddly, hardwearing lining.
- 1 yd Thermal Batting, (traditionally used for making hot pads). It adds the critical insulate so the warmth stays in & cold stays out.
- 1 yd PUL (polyurethane laminate), a laminated polyester traditional used for making cloth diapers - ideal because it's waterproof.
- 1 yd One inch wide non-roll elastic, which resists rolling & twisting to keep cuffs and waistband in place
- Pattern for pajama or loose fitting elastic waist pants*
- Sewing Notions (measuring tape, rotary cutter/shears, safety pin, pins, sewing machine)
*1 yd is enough to make up to about 8yrs old sizing. If you want to make a lot smaller or larger, follow your pattern's yardage guide & adjust accordingly.
All these materials can be found at chain fabric stores and using the coupons & sales can make them very affordable. Personally, I find the best selection of PUL prints & and fleece; colors is online though, so checking out diaper sewing shops will find you some amazing prints and for solids. Fabric.com has some too.
The pants pattern I used had a single piece for each leg. If yours has 2 (a front & back), just overlap the side seams by the amount of the seam allowance to make a single leg piece - it saves time! Since these will be going over regular clothing, choose one size up from the pant size usually worn on the sides of the pattern for the best fit (leaving waist & length the usual size). Cut folded fabric so there are two pieces of each of the thermal batting, fleece and PUL:
Now layer a piece of thermal batting over the wrong side of the PUL:
Fold with the right sides of the PUL facing and stitch down the side. Trim the seam allowance and repeat on other leg:
Turn one leg right side out and insert into the other leg so the crotch areas are lined up. Pin together and then stitch. Trimming seam allowance again.
Repeat with other leg and again using just the fleece to make lining. I also sewed a tag onto the inner backside of the lining at this point so it's easy to know which way is back.
With right sides of outer & lining facing (and fronts and backs matching up), insert the outer pant into the lining and pin together the waists.
Stitch together with a .5 inch seam allowance, leaving a two inch gap at the back for turning.
Pull the lining out and it should look like this:
Now stuff lining into the outer pants and stitch waistbands together 1.25 inches from the top seam to form the waistband casing:
Measure the wearer's waist and ankles. Cut elastic for waist and insert into gap and work around with a safety pin:
Sew ends of elastic together and sew gap in fabric closed. I did this by hand with a ladder stitch:
Now fold the raw edges of the cuffs inward .5 inches and pin:
Stitch cuffs together .25 inch from edge, leaving a 1.5 inch gap.
Repeat step for making the casing, inserting the elastic and closing the gap. Pull them on and they're ready for the snow. And they total rival the high end brands that cost $50+ in terms of warmth & keeping water out.
You can have them made & the kids out playing in the snow less than 60 minutes from hearing the words "Snow Day"!
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