Tag Archives: Fleece Pants

Fleece Pants Season Finale: Fleece Pants For ME!

Unglam MMMAY13 pic

It’s really not that often that I completely fail to blog something I make. I’m pretty compulsive that way. Or at least, until this past winter when it seemed like everything from getting photos to getting computer time (never mind the sewing time to begin with) was like slogging through quicksand. There’s a number of things that have slipped through the cracks, the last few months. So sad.

Despite the lack of blogishness, these pants have already been documented via instagram  and flickr, because they have to be the single most-worn thing I’ve ever made myself. Even if it’s mostly for that hour or two between crawling out of bed and actually getting ready for the day, few days have gone by since their completion (sometime in February?) without me wearing them for at least a little while.

Booyeah

Booyeah

I don’t really have much to say about the construction at this remove. Fleece is easy to work with. I used Jalie 3022, in about a size U (my usual being either R or S), and with a ton of extra leg length, to allow for the limited stretch of polar fleece. If I were to do it again, I’d give myself a wee bit more height in the rear (something I’ll figure out about Jalie patterns someday), and use a heavier elastic in the top—I used a 1cm elastic as per the instructions, and while I love how unobtrusive it is, it’s not quite beefy enough to keep everything quite where it ought to be in fleece. In the normal-fabric pair I made last winter, it was fine.

Back view

Back view

I don’t think I can quite explain to people who come from warmer climes how happy having these pants to reach for in the morning has made me. I’m not quite sure why they aren’t mandatory Canadian attire, right alongside the hockey jerseys and Mountie hats.* It could be argued that they are perhaps a wee bit warm for standard indoor wear, since we have those first-world conveniences like central heating. I will not be making this argument, especially not when I’m trying to convince myself that it’s a good idea to get out of bed in the pitch-dark of an icy winter morning. At those times, cold is a state of mind.

Ooo yeah

Ooo yeah

I also really, really love that they’re red. Especially with my blue tank top. I just need a red sweater.

Also, Red.

Oh, yeah, I have one. I’m starting to realize I have a LOT of red. That’s a good thing of course, it’s my favourite colour, but when did it become so dominant in my wardrobe?

In any case, even though winter has finally broken (daytime highs in the twenties C, can I have a Hallelujah?), I am still reaching for these in the morning, and I probably will continue to as we turn off the heat for the summer (although Saskabush doesn’t get as reliably cold at night as Cowtown did). And I’ll continue singing the praises of my fleece pants, because they make me So. Frickin’. Happy.

*I do not, and never have, worn a Mountie hat. Or a hockey jersey, actually.

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Fleece Pants, Episode 3 (part II)

Fleece Leggings

Fleece Leggings

Sick of fleece pants yet? Yeah? Too bad. It snowed every day this week, except for the bright sunny days with windchills in the -30s C. This is not what I want from the end of March, peeps.

At the end of Episode 3, I mentioned that Syo wanted fleece leggings. Well, not long after that I made the mistake of taking my children to the fabric store, and Syo managed to persuade me to buy her a metre of wolf-patterned fleece. At full price, no less. Oi. Kid has mad parent-guilting skillz. And very long eyelashes.

Very skinny fleecepants

Very skinny fleecepants

Attempting to be mindful of the lessons of fleece stretch, I knew I would need to size up a bit for this pair. I went back to my original tracing of Kwik Sew 1670 and undid the tuck I had made in the pattern piece when it became obvious after the first pair that they were way oversized. I added some extra height at the CB, and some extra length along the crotch. And enough extra length in the leg to work for Tyo, probably. And (gulping) I cut them out.

And, well, I should’ve gone up a size. (it has, after all, been almost a year since I traced out this size for Syo, and while she’s not sprouting like a weed the way Tyo is these days, she still is getting bigger.) D’oh. Fortunately for me, Syo is extra-super-determined to wear this pair, and she’s very tolerant of tight. I can’t imagine where she might’ve picked that up from. *whistles*

Rear view

Rear view

Print mixing to do Oona proud, I tell ya.

Half-ass waistband

Half-ass waistband

Because I didn’t want to lose any height at the waist, I did only a single, very narrow fold-over at the waist elastic. It’s not a lovely finish inside, but it’s plush-back elastic so it’s pretty comfy, anyway, and I’m quite glad I didn’t use up any more height.

Rise

Rise

Unlike the purple fleece sweatpants, though, these are a hit. Like a big hit. Like a super-duper-can’t-peel-them-off-her-to-wash hit.

So I have a theory for future tight-fleece-pants-sizing adventures. I hypothesize that zero ease, or at most 10% negative ease, is probably about the max stretch ratio for fleece. So next time, I’m going to pick a size by measuring the thigh of the person who will be wearing them, and then measuring the pattern. Well, at least for fleece leggings, where that would be super simple. I’m still thinking about the yoga pants…

For those of you who are bored stiff of fleece pants, I did steal a few minutes to work on my stalled mail-order dress. I ripped off the yoke and shortened the waist. Everywhere but right at the cf. there are some funny things about this pattern, peeps. But it’s coming, I’m liking it much better. I just need to recut the skirt, but that won’t happen until

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Fleece Pants, Episode 3: Syo

 

Booyeah

Booyeah

Otherwise known as, “just because I have to be different.”

Although Syo has thoroughly enjoyed her Jalie 3022 shorts, she has no interest in flared yoga-pants, fleece or otherwise. She is a child of the skinny jean era. So I wasn’t planning on making her a pair. But, she has been asking for a pair of old-fashioned sweatpants, to wear to her hip hop dance class, where several moves seem to require tugging on sweatpants.

Simplicity 3714

Simplicity 3714

So instead, I pulled out Simplicity 3714, which sweater I had previously made. This time, I was going for the pants. Although I maintain that the half-bunnyhug is one of the cutest things my children have ever refused to wear. Now, it’s not entirely clear from the photo, but this, too, is a flared pattern. Not as obviously as the yoga pants, of course, but really, wtf was I thinking? Don’t answer that. I was thinking “I’m going to gather the ankle anyway, what does it matter?” and “I can just trim a bit off below the knee. It’ll be fine.”

And they are, I guess.

Simplicity

Simplicity

The fabric is a purple fleece I found at Value Village sometime last winter. Actually, it’s one of two pieces I found of the same fleece, on two separate occasions. Syo immediately laid claim to both, and the larger one is still serving as a blanket on her bed.

I cut the size 8 (which the pattern was conveniently already cut out to, saving me the effort of tracing), and added a bit of length (not that Syo is particularly long-legged), and for my peace of mind added a bit of height to the CB and shaved a bit off at the CF. And I made them up. Not a lot of thought, artifice, or anything. As a stunt, I topstitched both the inseam and outseam, which was really more effort than pants like this deserve.

Grommets for waist tie to come through.

Grommets for waist tie to come through.

The most complicated thing I did was interface the waistband with a knit interfacing, mostly as a support for grommets for a waistband drawstring. Speaking of which, I need to get a real drawstring, not just some flattened out bias tape. I wonder if I can find purple twill tape?

Fleece sweatpants

Fleece sweatpants

They seem to fit the bill, anyway although she pretty much never wears them except to dance class, and I suspect will never wear them for anything else once she’s done.

Next, though, she wants fleece leggings.

Ulp.

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Fleece Pants, Episode 2: The Sister-in-Law Edition

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Sister-in-Law Fleece Pants

Mere moments after I unveiled my first attempt at fleece pants, my Stylish sister-in-law determined that she had to have her own pair. There was just enough of the same purple-grey heavy fleece left, so I set her to tracing out the pattern in her own size. She really is a trooper—she tackled tracing her first Jalie pattern with only a minimum of “OMG WHICH LINE AM I ON?” and had her pair cut out in record time.

Unfortunately, in her efficiency (and my distraction), a couple of problems we should have foreseen came home to roost. The first one being, she traced the pattern in her real size, not upsizing. (This makes sense in that she will probably want to make the pattern out of something not fleece at some point, of course.) And, I had intended to perform a rather larger version of the Gigi alteration* I did on the kids’ shorts made from this pattern last summer.

My changes

What I should’ve done on Stylish’s pants pattern, too.

However, this kind of slipped our minds in the excitement of cutting and pinning.

Stylish tackled the stitching and even topstitching (much facilitated by using the blind hem foot as an adjustable edge-stitching guide on the Memory Craft. Which, I should say, has generally excellent attachments, although I am not fond of its zipper foot.), and got the hang of it quite quickly, with only a little confusion over the construction order. (Did I mention this was her first pair of pants ever?)

Unfortunately, when we got to the try-on point (and I’ll refer you back to my Pink Suite post if you need construction details, or just go to the Jalie website and read the instructions yourself), the same issue that I had was happening: dangerously low rise, especially (actually, only) in the derriere.

Some quick thinking was in order. The pants were stitched up, lacking only the waistband. Unpicking fleece… um, not happening. Obviously we had to alter the waistband.

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration. AKA “What I did instead.”

So we did.

And, while it may not be the most elegant solution (and no, I don’t have a good shot of how it looks… I didn’t really want to pester my SIL to allow me to post photos of her butt on the internet), it works, and she has worn them every bit as much as I have over the winter.

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So Stylish!

And she has already bought fleece for her next pair…

*Gigi is the pet name of the incredibly sweet lady who is the mother of both Osiris and Stylish. She also has a marked pear-shape, which she passed on to Stylish, and even Osiris in modified form (he has a very curvy butt for a guy). Tyo is well on her way to developing this shape as well, although in Syo’s case it seems to be a bit moderated.

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Fleece Pants: A Family Odyssey

Episode 1: Failure
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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.

20130301-075020.jpg

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. 😉

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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.

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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.

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