Friday, April 27, 2012

Tear away stripper pants: Part 2 - How-to

So on to the how to actually make tear away stripper pants:  This is just how I did it.  By no means the only way just mine.  I did you McCall's Stitch 'N Save pattern #M5504.  Pictures are forth coming.  Have to find my card reader, sorry.  Here is the link for converting jeans into stripper pants.

"What do you need":
Made from scratch:                             Pulling from the closet:
Fabric                                                  Pants
velcro (hook and loop) sew-on           Velcro
snaps                                                    snaps
elastic
bias seam tape (optional)
pants pattern

1:  Measure.  You need to know your fit.  This is true even you are tearing up a pair of pants to turn into stripper pants.  How much room do you have for the velcro/snaps?

2: Decide on your style.  You starting from scratch or pulling from your closet?

3: Hit the fabric store. 
     My purchases: McCall's M5504, Sew-ology Hook & Loop sew-on in Black (3/4 in. x 36 in.), 3 yards of fabric


4: Lay it out/cut it out.  I made the M5504 in medium to get a tighter fit.  Remember that if you are going to use a fabric with a pattern you might need more to match the direction.  If I had been making the shorts to be the final product I would have matched the lions up but it's prototype to I just laid it out and cut.

5.  Sew the front to back and then the inseam.

6.  Starting thinking.  You would normally sew the outer seam next but you don't want to do that this time since you are tearing away at the outer seam.  This is where the pants become stripper pants.

7.  Bias tape the outer seams.  I did this to add some strength; after all, there will be a lot of pulling on this area.  I had some single sided bias tape here and that is what I used.  I also liked that it help with the hemming since people will see this once the pants are off.
You can see the seam tape I added.


8.  Make the elastic casing on the back.  There will be holes on each side so that you can add the elastic later.  I saved this for after the seam tape so that the waist also had the extra reinforcement.

9. Fold in the front outer seams about an inch.  I did this to add extra reinforcement.  The pants get pulled forward so it's my thinking this area needed all of the reinforcement it could get.  So it will be a double layer of fabric under the velcro/snaps.

10.  Make the casing for the draw string in the front.  Again you'll have the holes on the sides and the middle for the draw string.  Same thing here do it after you use the bias tape and doubling of the fabric.

11. Hem it up.  You could save this for after the next step but I hate it when gatherings get in the way.  If you do them here everything is flat.  Again this is after the bias tape and fabric doubling is done.

12.  Add the elastic and the drawstrings.  I added the draw strings without much thought.  They are adjustable so I didn't really need to measure.  The elastic I put in and sewed on one side only.  I pinned the other end so that I can measure how much elastic we needed.  I hate elastic and I hate ripping out seams so better to wait and get it right the first time.

13.  Time for velcro and/or snaps.  (I used a combo of both. I used snaps at the waist to give a bit more reinforcement and with the elastic I wanted something with a bit more weight. It also means I left the snaps off until after the fitting.) Leave the side with the pin for the elastic undone at the waist so you can measure out your elastic first and then you sew it up.  I used one inch pieces of velcro placed about one inch apart down the legs.  We haven't done a test run yet so this might change.  I sewed the velcro on at the top and bottom.  After a test run I might go back and sew the sides of the velcro if they need more reinforcement.
close up of the snaps and velcro

14.  Try it on and get the elastic measured and sewn. 

15.  Add the waist snaps.
Full length picture.

16. Strip away.