Lost your Kitchen Britches? I found them just in time for shower present season

Kitchen Britches have been around since the 1940s, but I didn’t know they existed until I found a pair in a thrift store last month. Judging by the pinned-on poem, I’m guessing they must have been made for housewarming and shower gifts.

britchespoem

Here’s a look!

redbritches

These were made by a real perfectionist. The waist and legs are gathered with thread, and the pieces are sewn together in the middle just like real pants. I wouldn’t have picked them apart to use, either!

The second set I found has a plush washcloth top and a baby-clothes-sized hanger. Priced at only a dollar, it was too goofy to leave behind!

yellowbritches

The circus colors on this cute little kitchen towel “outfit” seem 1970-ish to me.

So now that we’re heading into June and the height of wedding season, I thought it would be fun to recreate Kitchen Britches. Three dishcloths, a few yards of yarn, scissors and a needle with a large eye all are you need.

simplesupplies

I had to BUY yarn because I didn’t have any cute colors.

Cut four lengths of yarn. They should each be a few inches longer than the dishcloths. Then make large running stitches at the tops and bottoms of two of the dishcloths. Fold each dishcloth in half to make two individual pants legs. Gather each “ankle” separately and tie bows, trimming off the excess yarn.

runningstitches

The little pants legs start to take shape. Notice that the folds are on the outer sides.

The next step is to gather the “waist” and tie the two pieces together at the middle. You’ll have excess yarn to trim here, too. Then add another small joining bow (or two) to create an imaginary crotch.

assemblingpants

Make knots before tying bows. It will help keep the pants from from falling apart.

You’ve got cute little bloomers!

pants

This has to be one of the quickest crafts ever. If you can thread a needle you can do it in less than an hour.

Want to get fancy and make a tiny top, too? You’ll need to buy or make a pompom. I used a vintage pompom maker that I was lucky enough to find in one of my thrifted sewing boxes.

pomponette

Pom-Po-Nette–isn’t that a great name? I’m glad they have instructions because otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue. The disks are 1-1/2″ in diameter with 5/8″ holes. You could cut a pair of disks from a plastic gallon milk carton if you’re feeling adventurous.

Using the Pom-Po-Nette maker was lots easier than I feared. I put the two disks together and wound them with the four 27″ pieces of yarn. Next I used sharp embroidery scissors to cut the yarn all around the edge of the disks.

makeapompom

The tricky bit is to carefully slide another length of yarn between the two disks and tie a tight knot. Then the disks are removed. Tada! A perfect little pom pom!

finishedpompom

It was easy! I used my embroidery scissors to trim off the bits of yarn that were slightly too long.

Use the third dishcloth (or a coordinating washcloth) to make the little top. It’s simply a matter of folding. Step one is to fold the sides in. Make it exactly as wide as you want the finished top to be. (No rules. Just eyeball it up!) Step two is to fold the top (down) and bottom (up) to the middle. Step three is to fold the piece in half again at the center line.

folds

Fold sides in, top and bottom in, and then fold the piece in half.

Pinch the middle tightly and tie the pompom around it. Then use a length of yarn to attach the top to the bottoms, sewing through all the layers. That’s it!

cutetoweltop

Add the Britches poem and you’ll have a cute little gift for someone who loves vintage housewares.

finishedset

Have fun stitching! And don’t lose your britches!

 

 


6 Comments on “Lost your Kitchen Britches? I found them just in time for shower present season”

  1. My grandma Gosnell gave me one of these for a shower present over 37 years ago now (tomorrow is our anniversary). I still have it in a box somewhere.

  2. luray says:

    Awww! Those are so cute! I’m going to make a pair for a June bride!

  3. Great post and love that you found the britches with that original note. I have a hankie bag found with the original note and it makes it that much more charming.