Ottobre Charles Jeans

My ever growing 4 year old has a problem. He can’t keep pants up. Belts, elastic, buttons… It doesn’t matter. Like many little people he has the eternal issue of exposed underpants or worse, the embarrassing butt crack. He is always tugging at waistbands and I am always making excuses for his ill fitting attire. Clothing should never inhibit movement or make a person feel inadequate, especially a child. So I turned to my favorite and trustworthy source of amazing child sized patterns.

Ottobre Designs to the rescue!

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

I first made this Charles pattern last summer in a red stretch denim, but I made assumptions about his size and sewed up too large pants. By the time he grew into them, the waist was too big. I ended up ripping the back seam and removing 6″ of elastic from the back waist band. It wasn’t enough and they still hang a bit loose. So why did I use this pattern? It is a stretch denim jean with skinny legs, front and back pockets, interesting pattern blocking on the front leg, and the option of an adjustable elastic back waist. The pattern is phenomenal, and this time I would be precise about measuring! Careful construction provides comfort and movement!

I couldn’t source a stretch denim in fun colors. I went for comfort over durability and found a couple yards of stretch bottom weight in a bright green and cobalt blue from JoAnn’s. In the green below I added 1″ to the crotch rise, front and back. It provides ample coverage as you can see!

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

The back pockets are simple and I couldn’t resist using fun printed ribbon to make a tag. The pockets have a sharp top angle that I thought was a mistake, but once applied and put on a little boy rump, they are well balanced.

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

The waist came out perfect! On top of the 8″ of elastic added to the back waist band (the pattern suggested 10″ but I really need these to fit), I added button elastic inside the casing to help snug it in even tighter. It is perfect! His waist measures at 24″ but the pants measure at 20″ when the elastic is not stretched out. My boy is skinny and tall but really, kids have funny bodies. I am pretty sure his head circumference is as big as his waist.

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

He is actually very happy about this make (an unusual occurrence unless there is super hero fabric involved) and I believe he will like wearing them. Instead of making the front leg three pieces, I just added the middle piece on top thereby creating a durable knee patch, top stitching the piece to the front leg. Awesome! More durable!

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

The blue pair are gorgeous, precise stitches, perfect seams! However, after making the green pair I changed the pattern again. I added only .5″ to the back waist and curved it down to meet the front side seam. I made fake front pockets too, just for fun.

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

It may be hard to tell, but I ended up shortening the legs by 3″. Well, actually what I did was just make a huge, giant folded cuff I can unpick so these pants can “grow” with him!

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

This waist picture shows you the elastic waist application. I have made elastic waists for years but I have never done both an elastic waist with the channel of adjustable button elastic on top. It is brilliant, and should he ever grow wide again, I can always just loosen it. I wish you could see how cute these are in person! I took my time, listened to the same audio book again (The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern) and made sure my top stitching was slow and steady. These darn jeans look professional, dang it.

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

Well, professional except for the little tags I kept sticking everywhere.

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

I bribed traded him one strawberry yogurt for these photos. I think he got the better deal.

otter charles jeans by bird and bicycle

It is KCW, and if I didn’t have halloween costumes lined up and a Myrtle Dress to sew for a sewing social in November, I would make him even more! I love it when a pattern works so well! Thank you Ottobre designers! The Charles stretch jeans are perfect!

PS: If anyone can source stretch denim, a true med-heavy weight denim in fun colors, please tell me!

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16 thoughts on “Ottobre Charles Jeans

  1. I buy all my denim from Pacific Blue. They have stretch denim and I’d be surprised if they don’t have great colors! I also found some awesome red stretch denim from JoAnns of all places!

  2. What a lucky boy! The fit looks great – and it’s clear you enjoyed doing all those details. If you find a source of good coloured denim, let me know – I’ve been wishing for some for years!

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