Fleece Pants: A Family Odyssey

Episode 1: Failure

Those of you who follow me Twitter or Instagram may have caught the odd hint of one of the winter obsessions Chez Isis this year—fleece pants. The perfect antidote to a Saskabush winter, especially for people who spent the last five years in balmy southern Alberta. And yet, and yet, they have remained curiously absent from the blog. Unforgivable, no? I agree. I kept waiting to get them ALL DONE, and do a great big family fleece pants post.

I have come to the conclusion that if I do that, I may still be waiting come next winter. So, here I go with one installment at a time.

Dredging deep, deep into my memory, may I present my first attempt at making fleece pants? A veritable antique by blog standards, stitched in the fall of 2012.

I used the pattern for the Jalie 3022 yoga pants, of Pink Suit fame (or infamy), with the same alterations to length and rise I had had success with in the pink pants. Fleece is really a nice fabric to work with—bulky, but not slippery, and with enough stretch to make the fit forgiving, right?

Well, I had double-checked the stretch requirement on the pattern envelope, and the fleece matched it, but I neglected to think about one startlingly important aspect, the difference between “two way” stretch and “four way” stretch.* In particular, this pattern needs something that stretches both in width AND length.

The fleece stretches in width, but when it does so it loses length.

As it turns out, a lot of length.


Enough length that the vertical seams, which were beautifully smooth when I topstitched them, bubbled out like crazy. The length which had been more than adequate on the pink fabric (I cut off two inches of the four I had added) became inadequate even for hemming. But most disastrously, the rise, which ended up perfect (after tweaking) on the Pink Pants, became somewhere between risque and just plain indecent. And if it’s too low for me, dear readers, well, it’s too low to show you. 😉


Which is not to say I didn’t wear them. Oh, no. Many a dark and icy winter morning was softened by reaching for my fleece pants. Long shirts and oversized sweaters compensated for the problematic rise, and they were particularly perfect for walking the kids to their bus stop, which has to be one of the most grueling treks of the Canadian prairie winter.

But finally, I had to admit that they really weren’t adequate. It would make much more sense to make myself another, larger pair. And, well…

They fit Tyo perfectly.


All the photos in this post, as you have probably noticed, are of the pants on Tyo.

Coming soon: Episode 2, the Sister-in-Law Edition.

*And I’ve seen this defined differently in different places, so, in the absence of a Central Fabric-Describing Authority, I’m going with what is convenient for this particular post.



Filed under Sewing

17 responses to “Fleece Pants: A Family Odyssey

  1. They must be very low rise indeed! But they look great on TYO. Fleece pants are oh so cosy!

    Wow, there really does need to be a Central Fabric-Describing Authority!!!!

  2. lloubb

    Balmy southern Alberta?!! frightening phrase 🙂

    The pants look great on her!

  3. I guessing you already know this but you can buy powerstretch fleece its fuzzy on the inside and a not on the outside but has 4 way stretch. I made a pair using that pattern and they are great. Way to warm for where I live most of the time but great for playing in the well I’d love to say snow but the truth would be slush.

  4. You know, I was wondering what you were talking about because it looked like you got a good fit here with a low rise (but nothing too indecent looking). Haha, tricky Tanit-Isis! I hope Tyo gets lots of use out of them, because they look good on her.

    • HAHA! I was totally like: that’s obviously not me. Everyone’s totally gonna know that’s not me! Obviously I think everyone else spends as much time obsessing over my photos as I do. ;P

      • Well to be honest, I had wondered if it was one of your kids at first (since the shape looked sort of adolescent, but then I both figured that since you were talking about yourself, it must be you and also sort of disturbed that I could potentially identify people by their below waist area. 😀

  5. I love fleece pants. I live in them (well, at home, so I guess I hibernate in them) all winter. These are clearly the sort that can leave the house and still look good – love it. She looks warm and sleek.

    • Yeah, I think they’re ok at least for low-key out-of-the-house events (and they’re perfect for skating.)

      Glad I’m not the only fleece-pant-lover! 🙂

  6. Fleece pants. Sometimes I wish, briefly, that we had reason for such things here cos that would be Snow. And Snow is cool because we don’t get it where I live very often. Certainly not enough to need fleece pants, no matter how lovely and snuggly they look.

    Hope you find some of that double fuzzy 4-way stretch* fleece in as many colours as required to satisy all family members. And soon.

    • We are almost over the fleece-pants hump here… although if we keep on skating ever week I suppose we could theoretically use them all year. 😉

      I’m thinking I should make some more tomorrow morning… 😉

  7. i really really want a pair of fleece pants now. though i think i would have to add an extra yard of junk-in-the-trunk-safety to accomodate for the disappearing length. they look great on tyo!

  8. Pingback: Lots of little leggings | Tanit-Isis Sews

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