Thursday, 2 October 2014

Making sweatpants the hard way

Sweatpants are a bit of an epitome of boring clothing, aren't they? Navy blue sweatpants. Not even a piping. Just in-seam pockets. Possibly the least imaginative item of clothing you could own.
(I did want to make piping, white, because yay, blue and white; but then I realised that despite my love for the colours and my love of piping, I actually don't like this particular look on other people, so I would be lying to myself about it. Plain navy it is.)
I'm making them because I do have the fabric (got it years ago in that stash haul) and I need new sweatpants (my old pair is really threadbare now, and I'm pretty much fed up with it because I may have had it for ten years or thereabouts already); there's a clear correlation between those two.
And I'm handsewing it.

Not the whole thing! That would take forever. But due to lack of variety in stretch stitches on my machine - the zig-zag turns out quite bulky - I'm handsewing the crotch seam allowances down; and the hems are done by hand, too.

The pattern is, of course, also derived from that one pattern that fits me. (I should settle the terminology, by the way; trousers it is now, when it's a respectable item, but then these are sweatpants - what's another name for this particular piece of clothing?) At that occasion, I've found out I can not find that original basis pattern. I know I took it out to digitalise into Inkscape; I did digitalise the front piece, did not get around to doing the back piece, and now I don't know where it is. *sigh* So I had to put this pattern together from the wide-legged Nancy pattern and a pattern I made for stretch fabrics some time ago but never actually used. I ended up altering the crotch area considerably. I'm not sure I'll be able to transfer those changes back to the pattern.

I think I still have enough of this knit left to make a sweatshirt. Possibly a hoodie, because in that same inexplicable manner, I've lost my orange hoodie.

But that can wait, because after I finish these, I think the most important thing to make are corduroy trousers. My current pairs are slowly but surely falling apart as well and the time of the year slowly but surely demands their wearing. Now that I have a pattern that fits, I feel much more confident about that endeavour than I did when I first acquired the corduroy.


  1. Wow, that hand stitching is really neat and even, you obviously have a lot of patience. As exciting as making fancy clothes may be there's something really satisfying about making something plain and practical that you know will get lots of wear.

    P.S, in the UK we don't have Sweatpants, we have Tracksuit Bottoms (as in the bottom part of a suit you wear at the athletics track), usually shortened to Tracky Bottoms when speaking. So that's what I'd call them.

    1. Thank you!
      I think it's not just patience (which I guess I might have, to handsew it at all), but also some experience and some natural affinity. I can make pretty awesome handsewn eyelets, if I say so myself, which other prolific hand-seamstresses have confessed to not being able to do. So I really guess part of it is some inherent talent...

      And thank you so much for the language info! I try to use as much British English as I can (since I stubbornly stick to British spelling), but sometimes it becomes difficult to come across and determine. :-)