Potato print pillowcase pants

Good day, crunchies and crunchettes!  Today I have another exciting upcycling, sewing machine project to share with you. It’s easy, it’s fun, and best of all, it’s pants!



This make-your-own-pants tutorial from The Guardian’s website has been on my ‘must try this’ list for a while, and when I had a load of pillowcase fabric left over from another project, I seized the chance for a bit of underwear craftage. The only problem was, the pillowcases were plain white and peach coloured, not nearly fun enough for new pants. So, I decided to unleash my inner 5-year-old and make a potato stamp. Huzzah!  After all, what’s the point of new underwear if it’s not fun?

Please do read The Guardian’s tutorial for more comprehensive instructions.  I made the polka dot pair pretty much according to their plan, but then I’d run out of knicker elastic and I wasn’t finished playing, so I made a second pair a bit differently.  So, I’ll give you a quick how-to for my improved Potato Print Pillowcase Pants.

You will need:

  • fabric
  • fabric paint and paintbrush (I used Dylon fabric paint)
  • a potato, knife and chopping board
  • sewing machine and thread
  • shirring elastic

TAKE HEED! It’s easiest to use stretchy fabric. I did not, and the polka dot pair came out way too small (hence the ribbon ties).

First of all, cut your fabric to shape. You can use an existing pair of pants as a pattern. If you do this, think about how stretchy your fabric is. (this is where I went wrong). If you’re using fabric with no stretch, like me, it’s easiest just to measure your hips and figure out the shape for yourself. Warning: they will look enormous!


All cut up and ready to beautify

Next, get your stamp ready. I used a new potato, since my design was so small. I cut the potato in half and nuked it in the microwave for 30 seconds to dry it out a bit. Trust me, don’t cook it for any longer than that or you’ll have a delicious-smelling, mushy stamp.

Draw your shape on, and carve it out carefully with a knife.


I made a cute heart. Awww.

Then, just use a brush to apply some paint to your stamp, and get printing! When the paint is dry, iron the fabric according to the paint instructions, and…

you’re ready to make some pants!


Look how pretty.

First, I ironed flat and pinned all the hems. This took quite some time, but it was worth it. If you’re using jersey fabric you don’t really need to bother with this step. You lucky thing.


Nest, pin the side and bottom seams. This would be a good time to try the pant-shaped-things on, to see if you’re on the right track, and adjust accordingly. When you’re satisfied, go ahead and sew the seams.

Almost finished! Are you excited? I am!

Finally, load the bobbin on your sewing machine with shirring elastic. Sew around the waist and legs, and you’re done!

Tip! Make sure you sew with the printed side facing up, or you’ll end up with the elastic showing. I made this mistake a couple of times, and believe me, I do not like to unpick and re-do when I’m sewing.


New pants!



I think I’ve found my new go-to craft for all fabric scraps.  Beware, fabric, lest ye be turned into pants!


Put your sexy new pants on and dance around the house like this.


Before you go, I want to give you a sneak preview of a SUPER EXCITING EPIC MEGA-PROJECT I’m in the middle of right now.  It should be done in the next few days, and I won’t give you any hints other than telling you that my fingers are pretty darn sore, but here’s a close-up to whet your appetite.


What can it be?!

 Speculate away, my friends.  Until then, have fun making your pants!



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    M-J said,

    ahahaha! I particularly like the dancing video, I can totally imagine you dancing around your house with your new pants on! Ah, reminds me of all the crazy dancing we did in our flat, you should do the shopping trolley!
    Also, one of my favourite posts EVER from my friend Amy’s blog is where she made her own pants, you should read it, tres funny. http://secondfiddlecrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/start-of-wardrobe-sorting.html

  2. 2

    crunchmeup said,

    Thanks MJ, that’s Adam and I’s favourite singing-in-the-car song. I *love* Amy’s blog, it brilliant. I’ve just linked it and bookmarked it for myself so I can read it more often.

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