Sewing instructions for kid’s cozy fleece pants!

How to sew fleece pants for kids of all ages

Hello fellow sewing mama! How exciting that you are here and ready to take on sewing fun cozy fleece pants for your kiddo or as a gift (they do make perfect gifts!)! Fleece pants are great for all types of adventures, as super cozy post adventure pants, for home days or even as pajamas at home or camping!

Eight steps to custom sewn pants!

In just eight steps, you too can sew a pair of fleece pants. My own three girls enjoy picking out their own print each summer/fall and enjoy the personalized touch of having pants that are cozy and in a print that they love! When they outgrow them, they are good hand me downs to the next sister OR great hand me downs to a younger friend!

three girls on homeade teeter totter. two of the three girls sporting their cozy fleece pants
Calisa’s daughters enjoying a homemade teeter totter on a camping trip in Alaska. Two of the three cozy in their fleece pants.
fleece pants pattern

Step 1: Gather supplies

For these pants you will need:

  1. Sewing Machine and sewing needle for fleece fabric (ideally size 12).
  2. Non-pill fleece fabric (plain or printed).  Amount depends on size of pants you are making. 3 y.o. and younger= ¾ yard. 4-7y.o. = 1 yard and for older kids 1.5 yards (fabric amount needed is hip to ankle measurement plus 6”). I purchase anti-pill fleece at Joann fabrics store, and it is often on sale, making these pants a very cost-effective project.
  3. Spool of all-purpose thread (color depends on fleece color). Same color can be used for both thread and bobbin.
  4. 1” non-roll elastic. Amount depends on size of kid. 1 yard is plenty for one pair of pants.
  5. Sewing Pins and 1 safety pin
  6. Sample pants of kid’s current size.
  7. Sharp Scissors
fleece fabric laid out on floor, folded in half width wise
Fabric laid out and folded over width wise in half.

Step 2: Lay out your fabric.

Make sure the stretch of the fleece is going width wise. Fold fabric over lengthwise to a few inches wider than the sample pants you are using.

sample pants (folded in half) laid on top of folded fabric.
Sample pants (any pants that is the child’s size will work as the “pattern”).

Step 3: Place sample pants on the fabric folded in half, with the outside of leg along the folded side of the fabric.

Cut double width of fabric beginning at the top (waist area) 4” above the sample pants. Once to the edge of the sample pants waist, cut about 2” wider than the sample pants (if using small pants like leggings) all the way until the point of the pants (crotch). If using similar size/width pants to what you want the finished product to look like, than cut 1/2 inch wider than sample pants.

cutting one leg at a time with the sample pants on top as a gauge
Cut the fabric to size using pants you already own as a size gauge.

Continue cutting same distance from the sample pants all the way down to the bottom (ankle area of pants).  This gives you one leg of the pants. Repeat this step again for other leg. I make mine fairly wide, as my kids like them to fit over their rain/snow boots, but this is a totally customizable step. Just make sure they are wide enough to easily slip over the foot for on/off ease!

with right sides together sew the curved edges
Cut fabric of both legs matched with right sides together.

Step 3. Open fabric completely and match fabric right sides together. 

Sew along both curved edges from beginning to end. I do a couple forward and reverse stitches to secure each edge that I sew. A straight stitch is the right stitch to use for sewing these pants.

sewing the curved edge of the pants
Sew the curved edge of each side.

Once finished, place the sewn edges together (right sides are still together). They should look like an unfinished pair of pants at this point. Then sew beginning at the inner ankle of one leg, sew along the inside edge, leaving about 1/4-1/2″ seam allowance.  Sew all the way around until you reach the other side (opposite ankle). You have completed the inside leg seam!

pants now showing finished sewing seam on inner legs
Inner leg seam is now finished.

Step 4: Continuing with right sides together, fold the bottom hem up about 2”. 

This is the time to determine just how long you want the pants. If you have your kid nearby, they can try on the pants, and you can pin the hems up and also the waist area down to size. If you don’t have the recipient of these pants near by, you can ask the parent or guardian for the inseam of the child to help you make them the appropriate length. Sew the bottom hem of each of the legs.

Pants are inside out and hem is folded up 2 inches showing right side.
Pants are still inside out, and hem of pants is folded up 2 inches.

Step 5: Sew the waist hem down.

Leave at least 1” open perpendicular to the front vertical seam, so that you have space place the elastic through the waistline band.

Pants  remain inside out. Now you sew the waistband down.  The waistband fold needs to be just a little wider than elastic, in order for elastic to fit
Pants remain inside out. Now you sew the waistband down. The waistband fold needs to be just a little wider than elastic, in order for elastic to fit.

Step 5: Determine your elastic length.

If your kid is nearby, you can put the elastic around their waist. I guestimate by using their waist circumference.  Then when the elastic is eventually sewn in an overlap, it becomes less than their waist size.  If they are not nearby, you can ask their parent/guardian to measure their waist circumference. Best measurement is at the belly button. Place your safety pin in the end of one side of the elastic and push it through the waist hem. 

safety pin in one side of the elastic and now ready to push through the sewn waistband
Place safety pin in end of elastic to aid in pulling through the waistband.

Once elastic is completely around and through, and you are certain the elastic is not twisted, you can sew the elastic together. I overlap the elastic at least an inch and sew in a box shape for security.

elastic is overlapped 1 inch so that once sewn it is the right length to be stretchy on the recipient of the pants
Elastic is overlapped about an inch prior to sewing.

Step 6: Sew the remaining 1″ hole of the waist hem.

In this step, you simply sew the opening (where you strung the elastic through) down completely to make a finished edge.

Step 7: Trim any extra threads or excess fleece seam allowances you would like to get rid of.

Trim excess fleece by any sewn seams
Cut any excess fleece from the seam allowance. This can also be done prior to sewing the ankle hems.

Step 8: Time to turn the pants right side out!

Turn the completed pants right side out. Cheers! You have made a pair of cozy, irresistible and versatile pants! Soon to be worn as pajamas, during cozy home days and outdoors for all types of adventures!

Turn the pants right side out and celebrate a finished project
Turn the pants right side out and celebrate your finished project!

Feel free to comment with questions if I didn’t explain something clearly and you are stuck! Happy sewing and enjoying the feeling of accomplishing a sewing project!

author's daughters sporting their matching cozy fleece pants
Calisa’s daughters sporting their matching cozy fleece pants and Reima hoodies


Sewing instructions for kid’s cozy fleece pants!

© 2022, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author. 


  • Calisa is originally from the Upper Midwest and moved to Alaska with her husband in 2011. She is the mother of 3 young energetic daughters who have all been on skis soon after they learned to walk. In addition to skiing (both cross-country and alpine), Calisa and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, picking berries, camping and biking adventures in their Alaskan backyard. When not out adventuring you can find Calisa and her family at local music, sewing and gardening. Calisa has learned to “find the time” for self-care, which for her is most enjoyed in physical activity (running and skiing). She is quickly learning that not only does she feel better mentally and physically, but it allows her to be more patient with her kids when her own cup is full AND the ability to keep up with her kids (for the time being)! Calisa has worked professionally in the ski industry as an Exercise Physiologist and as a Collegiate Ski Coach at various Universities. Since moving to Alaska, Calisa has coached adults in local community ski programs and is the current Executive Director at Skiku, Inc. , which is a non-profit that takes gear and volunteers to 55 rural Alaska villages to teach the kids to ski. Additionally, Calisa is the owner of Skogsbarn Enamelware Mugs and is the Co-founder of Moms Matter Now, LLC. Moms Matter Now is an online supportive community for mothers in addition to online courses designed to help expectant mothers with the emotional and psychological transitions to motherhood.

    View all posts

Leave a Comment