Training Pants Prototype & Tutorial

I’ve had a hard time finding training pants for Dexter, and because I like to make things, I decided to give training pants a try :). I browsed a little for tutorials before deciding to just do my own thing.

I will preface this by saying they didn’t fit very well, so I’m going to make some changes. However, I think this tutorial will be a good one when I work out the kinks. I deliberately chose a knit fabric that had very little stretch… I was worried they’d become floppy. It turned out to be a mistake because I had to work really hard to get the pants over his chubby legs and booty. Next I’m going to try a knit with more stretch, and make the cuts a little roomier. Since the center panel is non-stretch I now know they do have to be cut bigger.



Undies to use as a template (until I upload a pattern) {UPDATE: Amber at Mom Road has created a printable pattern using this tutorial! There are a few modifications with her pattern, including a PUL layer!}

Prefold diapers

Knit fabric (I used an old t-shirt)


Step 1: Choose undies to use as a template. (After I perfect my pattern I will upload something printable in case you have no undies to work from) I used 2T-3T undies.IMG_6056

Step 2: Lay undies on folded diaper, centering undies on the thickest part. Cut diaper so that when folded it’s as tall as the undies. I chose the width by cutting about a half an inch past the thick part of the diaper. (BTW how CUTE are those undies???)IMG_6063


Step 3: Put the folded and cut diaper inside the undies to determine leg-hole cuts. Mark about a half an inch from the leg-hole for seam allowance. Do this for the front and the back.IMG_6070


Step 4: Make leg-hole cuts. One of mine looks a little sloppy, just focus on how pretty the one on the right is 🙂IMG_6074

Step 5: Make the stretchy side panels. Fold knit fabric vertically. Lay undies on top with the side against the fold. Lay diaper on top of undies, letting the edge overlap the the edge of the knit fabric. This takes care of your seam allowance. (Does that make sense? If this step is horribly confusing and/or the picture doesn’t make sense, leave a comment and I’ll try to do better!!) Cut 2 of those.IMG_6076

Step 6: Make the waistband. Fold vertically, line one size of your undies up with the fold. Cut the waist band about 3-4 inches wide to allow for folding over and the seam allowance. (I think I prefer a wider waist band, and next time I will cut closer to 4 inches.)IMG_6078

Step 7: Create the leg bands. I forgot to take a picture for this step. but basically I flattened the leg-hole of the undies to get the length of my strip. I cut to a width of about 2 inches.

Here are all my cut pieces to give you a reference for how big each one is and where they they should go:IMG_6080


Step 1: Sew side panels to the back of the diaper, right sides together so that the seam will be on the inside (unless you want the seam on the outside. I considered that, it might be more comfy for your toddler). Line the top of the diaper up with the top of the panel, leaving the extra fabric at the leg-holes. We’ll trim that later. I also used a straight stitch for this step.IMG_6081


Step 2: Sew side panels to the front of the diaper (also right sides together, seam on the inside).IMG_6086

Step 3: Trim excess fabric to shape the leg-holes.IMG_6089

Step 4: Sew ends of the waistband together to create a loop, seam on the inside.IMG_6091

Step 5: Fold the waistband in half, wrong sides together.IMG_6094

Step 6: Turn your pants right side out. Pin your waistband to the outside of the pants with all raw edges together. I also made sure I pinned the seam of the band to the back of the pants, because it would have made me crazy if I didn’t 🙂 IMG_6095

Step 7: Sew on waistband. IMPORTANT: USE A ZIGZAG STITCH!! If you use a straight stitch for this step the threads will pop when stretched… boo, we no likey.

Step 8: This is actually a lot of steps combined. Follow steps 4-7 for each leg-hole. Don’t forget to use your zigzag stitch!!!!

And now you have a pair of training pants!IMG_6099

They look a little funny here with all the threads and stretched-outedness. In theory, you’d clip the threads and be done. But in reality, I tried them on Dexter and they just didn’t fit. Sure, I managed to get them on him, but, as I said before, there was just not enough stretch. But they sure are cute!!!IMG_6117



35 thoughts on “Training Pants Prototype & Tutorial

    • i know this sounds condescending and obvious lol, but the only way to get better is to practice!!! eventually i’m going to put up a little boy’s tee tutorial, but i made my pattern from tracing one of his shirts and adding about a half inch for seam allowances. you trace the front, the back, and the sleeves (which are the hardest part, but don’t let it intimidate you. i waited way too long to try it and now i realize i was just being a wimp lol ) but that’s a really easy first clothing project because it doesn’t need to be perfectly fitted, it just needs to be the basic size and loose for freedom of movement!!

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  2. That’s really awesome. We really like the back view pic of Dex, it made us laugh:) We love you Dexty! Those look great though!

  3. Have you ever cloth diaperd? Those look like the gerber prefolds and i was sondering if they worked very well? when i first started cloth diapering my daughter at 3 weeks she leaked thru those in no time flat. I have different prefolds that work really well but i want to know if these worked before i cut up my good ones LOL.

    • i actually have not cloth diapered. we had these on hand from when dex was a baby, we used them as burp cloths (and they are the gerber brand). but when i was looking for training pants, they were all so thin that he just soaked through everything. i was pretty certain these would still be messy, but i was hoping for something that would catch just a little bit more of the urine, lol! so if you’re looking for something that works better than the gerber pre-folds, i’d just go ahead and use that. hope that helps!!

      • Add some pul fabric, on the gerber prefolds on the outside, an it will help stop leaking ladies. Trust me as a cloth Mommy on number 4 pul helps leaks. Us pul comes in cute patterns. This is awesome an I will be trying this with added pul for my younger two ty for sharing 🙂 .

  4. Pingback: Link: Training Pants Pattern « Lemonwood Clock

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  6. Just finished my first pair. So cute. My son isn’t quite ready for potty training but I’ve been making cloth diapers using one of the babyville boutique methods and have leftover PUL that works for the training pants. I used the pattern and they were a little big around the waist so I might try adding a little elastic to the back to help with that.

  7. We made these and I was so happy to be able to use our prefolds for something other than just cloth diapers. Our now 3 year old is doing better with potty training in these than he ever did with regular underwear (that is how we trained our older one).

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  9. I’m halfway done making these but I don’t see the part where we do the legs, I cant follow patterns so this tutorial is awesome, but I’m confused as to how to do the legs, I cut the 2 pieces but theres no pic or directions on how to do that part, it goes right to the waistband and then the finished pics… helppppppp

  10. thank you, been trying to figure out how to repurpose my cloth diapers to trainers for my little guy. he is 2 an d is tiny s regular trainers don’t fit. this helps a great deal.

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