How to Make a Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern into Pants

Girl wearing wide leg pants


I have this sketchbook that I like to draw designs in when the mood strikes.  One of the designs I have is a wide leg pant along with a feminine vest.

I’ve been playing around for a couple of years now with using quilt designs in clothing.  I knew these pants were destined for a fun quilt design, but just couldn’t decide what to do.  After some searching on Pinterest, I came across a kaleidoscope design from Red Pepper Quilts.

I fell in love with this design immediately but was really concerned with just how long it was going to take to complete this.  Each finished block is only 4″!

Ultimately I decided to just go for it.

If you’ve never foundation paper pieced before, here’s a quick step by step.

First, take your fabric and lay it wrong side touching the back side of space 1.

Fold along the line between 1 and 2.

Trim your fabric to 1/4″.  I have this handy add a quarter ruler that has a lip on it that you line up with your paper so you get a perfect 1/4″ cut every time.

Add fabric for section 2 along the line you just cut, right sides together.

Smooth paper back down and sew along the line.  Most fpp patterns, you’ll sew into the seam allowance, but these tell you not to.  You’ll want to stop right at the point, so when you combine your A and B sections, the center fans out without a knot.

Smooth the section you just sewed down flat.  I like to just use my fingers to smooth this.

Now, flip it so your paper is facing you again.  Fold paper along the line between 2 and 3.

Trim to 1/4″.

Add fabric for section 3, right sides together.

Smooth paper back down and sew along that line.

Repeat this process for all sections.

Once you have all of A and B done, trim to the size of the block.

Sew A to B along seam allowance lines.

Smooth open.  I like to use my fingers to press while working with the paper.

I need to determine how big to make each quilt top. 

I’m using Brownie Goose Lola Bell‘s pattern for the pants. These pants do have an outer side seam, but I just connected the front to the back at the side seam to make one large piece.

Measuring my pattern piece, it’s about 34″ x 36″.

Each kaleidoscope block measures 4″ (4 1/2″ with seam allowance).

I started by sewing nine rows of nine squares.  Press the seams (with your fingers) one direction on the first row and the opposite direction on the next.

Then, sew two rows together, making sure to nest your seams.  This is where one seam goes one direction and the other goes the opposite.  It helps your seams match up.

Continue sewing rows together until you have your top complete.

I made two quilt tops of 9 squares across by 9 squares down (36″ by 36″).

Once the tops were completed, pull all that paper off.

This did take some time to do.  I took one top with me to my son’s swim meet and after 5 hours there (in between cheering him on) I only managed to get the paper off of about 6 rows!  Mostly, I just grabbed it while watching tv in the evenings and pulled, pulled, pulled.

Now that the paper’s off, place batting on your ironing board and lay the quilt top on the batting right side down.

Press with iron to flatten seams.

Now, just draw your quilt design onto the top.  I decided to go with a simple diamond shape.  I like to use Crayola washable markers for this because they wash out so easily.

Lay your quilt backing wrong side up and your quilt top right side up together.  Spray baste in place.  I like to use safety pins as well to make sure it’s not going to move.

Now sew along your lines you drew.

Woohoo!  you have your quilt top completed!

Lay it down on your cutting table and place your pattern on top.  Cut out your pants pattern.  Make sure you flip the pattern so you are cutting one left leg and one right leg.

Sew along the inseam on each leg.

Turn one pant leg right side out and place inside the other leg matching at the crotch seam.

Sew the crotch curve.

Turn right side out.

I decided to use bias tape to finish the legs.  Line the edge of the bias tape along the bottom edge of the pant leg and sew along the fold line in the bias tape.

Related post: How to Make Bias Tape

Fold bias tape to the inside of pants and stitch in place.

I decided to make the waistband using the kaleidoscope block as well.  I measured the waist and matched the waistband and just threaded elastic through it.

Aren’t they fabulous!  I love the retro vibe they have!

girl looking into camera

Girl wearing wide leg pants

Girl walking toward camera

Girl sitting on the floor

Girl wearing wide leg pants

Girl in wide leg pants

Girl wearing wide leg pants

What are your thoughts on using quilt designs for clothing?  Have you ever tried it?  Let me know your thoughts in a comment.

Like what you read? If you’d like to keep up to date with my sewing journey, sign up for my newsletter. I promise not to spam you with a bunch of unwanted emails.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *