National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line

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It’s Day Sixteen of National Sewing Month! Don’t forget to visit our blog every day to enter to win our daily prize from Coats & Clark. Find the contest rules and enter below. Also look out below for details on how to receive additional entries for our National Sewing Month grand prize from BERNINA! Too see the daily blog posts, projects of the day, and more National Sewing Month details, click here.

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We are so excited to welcome Sabra from Sew a Straight Line for today’s National Sewing Month post!

 National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line
Hi, I’m Sabra from Sew a Straight Line. As a mom of three boys, all of whom I sew regularly for, I’m always on the lookout for cool techniques I can add to my sons’ clothing. In my experience, the best way to spice up a boy pattern is to add a funky, yet functional element. Pleated knees not only look cool, they enforce an area of the garment that normally wears the fastest, giving longevity to your homemade wardrobe. It only takes a couple of extra steps to add this detail to clothing, but pleated knees totally change up the look of jeans, making them modern and fun.

This pleated knee trick can be applied to any pant pattern: boys, girls, adults. Whatever you got, you can pleat those knees!
For my tutorial, I’m using Blank Slate Pattern’s W Pants. But like I said, any pant pattern will do.

Begin by cutting your front piece of the pattern at the knee. Most patterns will be marked at this area as a “lengthen here” point. Lay your top pant piece about 4-5 inches above the lower pant piece. You can use a ruler or other straight edge to make sure you keep the sides of the pant pieces in line.

 National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line

When you cut that front piece, you’re going to go out at the extra knee area about 1/2 inch at the sides. See picture below.

 National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line
After cutting, start making your pleats across the knee, pinning in place.  National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line

Continue pleating and pinning the entire length of that extra knee area. Press.

 National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line

Top stitch about 1/8 inch from the fold of each pleat.

 National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line

Now just sew up the pants following the regular instructions from your pattern.

 National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line
And you’ve got some rad pants that are unique, hip and extra durable where your kids need it most.

 National Sewing Month 2013: Pleated Knees from Sew a Straight Line

I’d love to share more of my sewing ideas, tricks and tips with you.  Come check out my blog at www.sewastraightline.com and be sure to check out the Project:Boy area for tons of masculine-sewing inspiration!

Happy Sewing Month!

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To be entered to win our daily giveaway for today, leave a comment on this blog post telling us…

Do kids clothes wear out faster than adults?


OFFICIAL RULES FOR DAILY CONTEST
  • There is a maximum of one entry per person. The entry will be based upon a comment left on this blog post. Duplicate comments will be deleted and are not tallied.
  • Winner will be selected at random from the comments on this blog post below.
  • You have until tonight, September 16th, 2013 at 11:59p EST to leave your comment on this post. Comments posted after that will not be counted.
  • Contest open to anyone 18+ in US and/or Canada.

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Comments

  1. Johnya Morgan says:

    My husband is harder on clothes than any kid. Kids usually outgrow their clothes before they are completely worn out, whereas my husband can kill a pair of jeans in less than three months!

  2. Michelle Vega says:

    Kids definitely wear out their clothes faster, especially boys! This is an awesome way to try to extend the life of the one piece of clothing that tends to wear out before it is grown out of! Thanks for the tutorial!!

  3. I know kids clothes do wear out sooner, but I usually try to ck them out and reinforce buttons and ck seams and such. Love the Bernina machines, my 96 year old Nana had a Bernina that I had the pleasure of sewing on only a few times but am hooked on Bernina.

  4. It seems they sure do!

  5. Lorna Kay Roberts says:

    I’m to the point where I no longer make jeans for my kids, they are all grown now. I made my share of saddle back and front saddle jeans. I have 7 sons, and I kept them all in jeans since they were way too skinny for regular levis from the store. I am into my quilts and embroidery work now.

  6. Bonita Anderson says:

    What a great idea- love the pleated knees. Yes, I think kids are harder on clothes than adults… but if they are still growing, they may grow out of them before they are worn out.

  7. Sharon Thompson says:

    I don’t think that kids wear out clothes as much as they outgrow them. I feel that active adults wear them out faster!

  8. don’t know. A lot of adult clothes are pretty flimsy.

  9. Thanks the the chance to win this machine!!

  10. Judy Strigel says:

    I think the pleating will give extra material on the knees where my sons and grand sons seem to get holes first. Too much play with farm toys and trucks. Like the idea!

  11. Beatrice Todd says:

    Yes, only if you them cheap. But if you buy quality clothing like Crazy8 or Gymboree, then kids clothes can last longer than Adults. I appreciate the chance to win.

  12. Depending on the kid but most kids outgrow their clothes before they wear them out.

  13. Cindy Martin says:

    I believe kids’ clothes wear out faster because they are rougher and tougher on them!

  14. I would love to win a new sewing machine! I do a lot of sewing for the grandkids (7) for thier birthdays and always make them something special for Christmas. My machine is about 15 years old and starting to finally wear out! Hoping it lasts till after the holidays!

  15. Sharlene Andoe says:

    My husband can ruin a pair of brand new jeans in a few hours when he is at work. My experience in the past with children’s clothing has been that they out grew their clothes before they were ever ruined. Thank you for a chance to win the Bernina sewing machine.

  16. Dorothy Harp says:

    Both could be rough on them.

  17. Kids clothes absolutely. More wear and tear on knees and elbows.

  18. Lynn Clogston says:

    Kids wear them out faster, but adults kill them with spilt coffee!

  19. No, children’s clothes don’t wear me out I feel that adult clothes wear me out more simply because they are bigger.

  20. Donna Stanley says:

    Kids will wear them out faster but only if they haven’t outgrown them first.

  21. Vin R Davis says:

    My hubby is harder on jeans than anyone I know. He goes thru 3-4 pairs per month, sometimes more! A sewing machine is just what I need! Pick me, pick me!!!

  22. Vicky Williams says:

    New sewing machine? What a wonderful treat!!! Pick me!

  23. Marlene Wheelock says:

    New sewing machine – looks great! Looks like it would really make a project fly-by! Please, please, please – pick me!

  24. My kids grew out of most of their clothes before wearing them out. My husband & I, however, wear our clothes for years, usually until they are unwearable!

  25. I think kids wear out clothes faster through wear and tear, but adults go through clothing quicker because they get tired of their wardrobe faster.

  26. Ginny Parker says:

    That is so interesting! My stepson is an autobody man and he wears out his knees so fast…I must do something like this!

  27. I wouldn’t say they wear them out faster, but they accumulate more stains :)

  28. amanda lostaglia says:

    With my husband being in the army he is pretty hard on certain clothes, surprisingly shoes mostly. My kids just outgrow their clothes before they can run to many.

  29. OH my gosh I love these so so much can’t wait to try it

  30. Marty Browning says:

    Adults usually wear the clothes out faster than the kids since they usually out-grow theirs. Most of us adults keep our clothes forever and just sew up the holes or save it for yard work.

  31. Kids do wear their clothes out faster than adults I think. I would have loved to have known this great sewing tip when I had four boys growing up! Winning this Bernina would be a wonderful gift for this grandmamma of a brand new baby boy! Thanks!

  32. Terry Davis says:

    If we consider the number of times a garment is worn before we call it worn out, I would say kids clothes and adults clothes last about the same. Kids just have smaller wardrobes usually which means their clothes get worn more often. Hence, kids can usually get two siblings of wear, while adults can get ten years. :-)

  33. Carla Brewer says:

    No kids clothes don’t really wear out quicker than adult clothes, if they are made of good quality material and made right they should last through several hand me downs. When my children were young I made all their clothes, and I made all their dolls and stuff dinosaurs for my son. Boy did my machine get a work out. I still own that machine and I bought it new in 1975, I would love to win a new sewing machine to last for the next few decades of my life (if I am lucky enough to live that long)!! ha ha

  34. Leah O'Connor says:

    My daughter is hard on clothes. I made her a dress at the first of the summer. She wore it once and I had to repair it. I will have to try this on a pair of her jeans. I bet she’ll like it. Neat idea.

  35. Tina Bennett says:

    It’s according to the fabric and the child. Many families hand clothes down. So :) well made clothes can last many years.

  36. Chiara aldridge says:

    I dothink kids clothes wear out faster than adult clothes do.

  37. I think kids are harder on their clothes than adults are.

  38. this is brilliant my friend!

  39. Gail T Duke says:

    My 8 year old grandson splits the knees out of everty pair of pants we buy him. I am going to try this method as an insert to repair the spoiled jeans he has already split out. Wish me luck!

  40. Janie Smith says:

    When our son was young, it was a race between him and Dad to see who could wear out jeans first. Wish I had known about this trick back then. Hmmm. Now I’m wondering if Dad would like some jeans with pleated knees.

  41. Diane Antle says:

    I have found that some kids are harder on clothes than others, my daughter never wore out anything and then my son came along and I couldn’t keep the knees in his pants! Would love to win a new Bernina machine!

  42. Husbands and kids for sure would benefit from this ! It is quite interesting and definately worth putting away for future use.

  43. Robin Harsh says:

    My kids outgrew their clothes before they needed any mending more serious than a loose button. Now I’m forever fixing split seams, ragged hems and broken zippers. It’s time to teach them how to DIY!

  44. I am always doing repairs on my husbands clothes, once he finds something he likes and that fits well he wants to wear it forever. “Honey, can you fix these?” is something I hear very often!

  45. Carrie Clifford Bishop says:

    I would enjoy sewing with this machine very much.

  46. I freaking LOVE this idea. So original and awesome. Thanks Sabra!

  47. Of course they do! Kids are really rough on their clothes – whether they are crawling throgh the dirt or attacking their clothes with scissors.

  48. Adults maybe depending on occupations or activities but Sun1 blew out the knees of his pants until he was a teenager.

  49. barkerbrowne@hotmail.co.uk says:

    My husband and niece run a close race when wearing out clothes. I take pockets off the back of jeans and stitch them over knee holes when they appear – next time I do this I will pleat those pockets before stitching them on! what a great trick, thank you.

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