The Big One swims year-round competitively.  Swimming in December and January, even in Georgia, can get pretty chilly.  His home pool has heating and air-conditioning, but with limited insulation, the building can be fairly drafty.  I took Monkey to a swim meeting in late January, and he was wrapped in his snow suit the entire time.  The Big One, on the other hand, had to hop in and out of the pool.

My Mom Made That: Summer Swim Leauge Button

At one of these winter meets, one of the vendors was selling towel pants.  What are towel pants?  Well, they are pretty much like pajama pants made out of towels.  They look super cool, and the vendor was selling them for $40.  Standing next to a shivering child, and knowing that both of the towels that we brought were wet, I caved, and bought a pair.

My Mom Made That: Towel Pants Tutorial

When we got home, I eyeballed them, and thought that I could probably make a pair.  I found a vendor on Etsy that even sells a pattern, and I acquired it for the hefty price tag of $4.  If you are interested in getting the pattern for yourself, you can find it here.  I read through the pattern, which explains how she made the pants herself, and realized that these should be a breeze to make.  The best part is… they ARE ACTUALLY EASY (AND CHEAP) to make!

All you need to make the towel pants are:

  • 2 bath-sized towels.  (I suppose if you were a really large man, you might need a bath sheet!)
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Marking Pen
  • 1 Yard of 1.5″ “No Roll” elastic (Again, if you are making these for an adult with a wider waist, adjust accordingly!)

Now I’m going to tell you how I made them, which is somewhat different than how the pattern from Etsy explained it.  I actually wanted an even simpler, quicker method than what she recommended. I also want to emphasize that she explained the details much better than I can, as I’m an amateur sewer.

I first folded my towel long ways, and pinned it together.  I used safety pins for this project, as I thought they would hold the weight of the towel better.  I held the towel up to my son, and marked about an inch and a half above where I wanted the pants’ waist to be.  I then took my son’s $40 pair of purchased towel pants, folded them in half and put the waist up at the waist part of the pants.  I then used an invisible ink marker to trace the shape of the pants.  I was using the fold of the towel to be the inside of the pants leg, so I’d only have one seam to sew.

My Mom Made That: Towel Pants (Step 1, cutting each leg out of a folded towel.)

I then carefully cut out the tracing on the towel.  I used this piece to cut out the second leg of the pants.  This meant that I had a leg in the red towel and a leg in the grey towel.  I didn’t have to hem the seam at the bottom, as the towel was already bound at the pants’ leg bottom.  I then sewed both seams, stopping at the base of the in-seam.

My Mom Made That: Towel Pants (Getting Ready to Join the Two Legs)

After both legs were sewed up, the Etsy pattern explains how to connect them by turning one leg inside out, and stuffing it into the other leg, and then sewing the inseam together.  Maybe this is standard practice, as I’ve never made pants before.  I then pulled the leg right-side out, and the pants looked perfect!

The last step involved cutting the elastic to the right length.  I then folded the towel over at the top, pinned it in place.  I threaded the length of elastic through the opening where the hem is folded over.  I finally sewed the top hem together, which sewed the elastic into place.

The Big One tried them on, and loved the pants.  He said they are extremely comfortable.  He did ask me to sew on a little pocket with some spare towel.

Now, I’d like to estimate the cost of this project compared to the $40 price tag on the original pair of towel pants:

  • 2 Towels from Target, purchased on sale at $3 each (Total $6)
  • 1 Yard of Elastic: $1.79
  • Etsy pattern (that is technically reusable!)
  • 1 hour of my time

In other words, these pants cost me under $10 to make, and I could make them in the Big One’s Team Colors!!  Another Awesome Summer Swim League Swag Project!