I’m not a jeans person. Growing up and during my early 20s I wore them because I guess it was what everyone wore. But as time went on it got harder to find jeans that fit. (It didn’t help that I hate clothes shopping.) I’ve pretty much switched to wearing skirts everywhere that’s not bed. Over the last year, though, I’ve not gone out much and have lived in my pj pants. Which, in turn, has meant they’ve started falling apart. Since it doesn’t look like I’ll be making trips outdoors anytime soon, I’ve decided to make lounge pants the first priority for this capsule wardrobe.
I started off with choosing fabric. JoAnn Fabric Store was having a sale on quilting cotton. I picked out three prints that I enjoyed and that fell into the color palette I had chosen. One of the “rules” of capsule wardrobe building is to have all the individual pieces coordinate with each other to allow you to make as many outfits as possible. While these pants are just for shuffling around the house, I wanted to stick to that rule. Besides, I plan on picking up some plain colored T-shirts. That should make me look at least somewhat put together.
Next up was the pants pattern. I have two commercial patterns that I planned on using: Simplicity 7092 and Simplicity 4237. My current two pairs of “going out” pants were sewn using Simplicity 42378 which uses knit fabric. I’ve made several of these pants over the years and once they start showing wear they get relegated to pj pants, which is what two of my current pairs are. But when I’m sewing pj pants from the get go I use Simplicity 7092 which I’ve been using since I first started sewing for myself. I can put together a pair–from cutting out the pieces to sewing the hem–in under an hour. I figured I could knock out three pairs in one day.
Which I could … except I hadn’t taken into account the fact that I had gained weight and didn’t fit the pattern measurements any more. Even with fudging the seam allowances (sewing a ⅜” seam instead of a ⅝” one) wasn’t going to do it. Was I annoyed? Yes. Was I going to let this setback stop me? No. I decided to adjust the wrap pants instructions I had written for my Dress Like a Hedgewitch course on Patreon.
New plan in mind washed the ironed my fabric and set to work. I made a pattern piece for the crotch, cut out the fabric, sewed the seams and added elastic to the waist. All in all, one pair took thirty minutes to complete. Because I left the selvages in place, I did all the sewing on Kenny, no serging required. I ended up with three pairs of voluminous, comfy lounge pants for my wardrobe.
Things I could have done but didn’t:
- Added pockets: I needed just over two yards of fabric for each pair but online ordering of fabric is limited to full yards so I have enough fabric left over to make pockets if I had wanted. I just didn’t want to spend the time.
- Cut the pants narrower/tapered the legs: These pants have a 64” waist. My hips are 54” so I could have gotten away with a narrower cut. That just would have required more work and time on my part.
- Used different fabric: The cotton is a bit stiff, even after the initial wash, but it will soften with time and laundering. If linen wasn’t so pricey, I would have used that instead. This would probably also work in a knit. I was trying to keep my materials cost low, though, thus discounted cotton.
In the end I made three pairs of lounge pants for less than $10 per pair. My plan calls for five pairs of pj/lounge pants. I’ll be adding two more to my wardrobe, but this time I’ll be repurposing a set of sheets that have been languishing in the “Get Rid Of” bin.
Next month I’ll be making skirts. I’m hoping that the weather will be warmer by then and I can go for walks. I’ll post about what I made then.