Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweatpants for Conditioning

K's been attending spring conditioning at her school 2x a week in preparation for track tryouts.  The poor girl was in shorts the first day they met and it was in the mid-30s (F) that day.   Mom needed to remedy that situation quickly and store bought knit pants are not an option for her.  In order to have the length, she needs pants that are several sizes too big in the waist. 

But not to worry, a pair of the "Saija" sweatpants from Ottobre Design 1/2009 seen in the Ottobre Sewing flickr pool from Ruth had stuck in my mind as being a good option for K.  

#28 OD 01/09

I purchased the gray sweatshirt fabric from Hancock Fabrics.  It's a cotton/poly blend and has some heft to it.  I didn't really think about the pockets and waistband until it was time to cut the pattern out.  The directions call for you to cut the pocket bags out of the same material as the pants.  I worried that it would be too bulky and couldn't decide what to do.  I have plenty of knit scraps that I could use but they are prints with loud colors.  Even in my fabric stash, I didn't have a gray or neutral solid.  I went from worrying that the pockets would be too bulky to worrying that if I used a print, it would show.  I ended up emailing Ruth and asking her what she had used for her pockets and soliciting her opinion.  She very graciously replied that she used the french terry and that while the pockets are somewhat bulky, they weren't overly so.  She mentioned that she had a pair of RTW (ready-to-wear) sweatpants with pockets and they were made the same.  I didn't even think to look at a pair of RTW!  Checking out a pair that P has, I saw that they were made with jersey pockets.  

I stewed for a day and thought about what I could use for the pockets and then a light bulb went on over my head!  My husband has a pile of t-shirts that are for painting/working on the cars/doing dirty jobs in his closet.  If I took one and cut it up, he wouldn't miss it!  

K's dad's t-shirt is a lighter shade of grey.  I fiddled with the pockets while sewing them and ended up edge stitching the pockets.  I did a good job on K's right side but the can see it's gaping a little bit in the picture.  That makes me even gladder that I didn't use a bright color for the pockets!

For the waistband I used some left over rib knit from Jo-Ann's Fabrics that I used for the mushroom shirt over a year ago.  I had traced off a size 146 width and 152 length and really think I would have been fine with a 140w/146l.  Turns out the 146 is still a little wide for K in the waist and hip.  To rectify that problem, I borrowed a technique from the Oliver + S Sandbox pants pattern, elastic with ties sewn on either end.  I threaded that through the buttonholes and had K try on the pants again.  Once I got a good fit, I pinned the elastic at the side seams and stitched in the ditch along them.  She can still adjust the fit with the ribbon ties since some of the elastic comes around  the front.

K's all set for conditioning but a bit disappointed that she won't be able to wear them tomorrow since the expected high is in the mid-70s!

THANK YOU Ruth for your input.  I really appreciated that you replied.  It helped clarify my thoughts as to what I needed to do.:)


  1. So cute, and isn't it fun to provide for a need like that. It's one of the things I love about sewing!

  2. What a great idea to use t-shirt jersey for the pockets! Wish I would have thought of that. :) The pants for your daughter look very nice.

  3. Katie, Yes, that's one of the reasons I like sewing too. Thank you!

    Julia, Thanks!

    Ruth, I thought of my favorite gray tee shirt first (it's a perfect match!) but there was no way I was going to sacrifice it. Thank you, she's quite happy with them.

  4. These are great pants! I like the contrast rib. Someday maybe I'll make myself a pair of these.


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