TR811 Sewalong

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”   - Karl Lagerfeld

I must admit to being the victim of jogging pants for a few years. They are so comfortable that it's easy to become addicted to the point of going out with them in public ! Still, I like to keep some control over my life. That's why I propose today a sewalong to create a sleek “jogger style” trouser. It is made with a soft jersey instead of a thick terry to maintain practicality and comfort while remaining classy (A.K.A. in control of your life). Its tapered legs also allow you to wear a great selection of shoes, boots or trainers to create different looks.

Choose your size according to your hip measurement. If your measurement is between two sizes, choose the larger one because the trousers must not be adjusted around the hips and thighs. The waist being elasticated, you will not need to adjust the trousers there.

It is possible to readjust the back crotch length to improve the fit of the garment. To do so, cut the pattern in the crotch extension and between the hips and waist level (fig 1). If your trousers tend to drop at the back when sitting, it is suggested to lengthen the back crotch by spreading the pieces (fig 2). On the other hand, if you notice an excess of fabric below the seat, it is suggested to shorten the back crotch by overlapping the pieces (fig 3).

Print and assemble your pattern. Then you can cut directly into the pattern board or trace the pattern in the desired size. If your height is less than 1m63 or more than 1m74, we recommend adjusting the pattern length to preserve the proportions of the garment.
The inseam length is 72cm so be sure that it is appropriate for your height.

Choose a spandex blend with a nice drape. No need to calculate the stretch for this style because it is not closely fitted. Ideally, your knit will be 4-way stretch, but it is not mandatory. For this style, I do not recommend using a striped fabric because of the gathered waist. The fabric yardage is provided with the pattern.

Then, have a stretch needle and all-purpose thread to hand. The use of textured thread is strongly recommended to get elastic seams. A double stretch needle is very handy when stitching down the hems, however, if you do not wish to use one, a zigzag stitch will do.

Finally, you will also need a 4cm wide knitted elastic to insert in the waistband. Its length must be equal to your waist girth.

Before cutting out the fabric, be sure to machine clean and dry according to your liking. Then, set your iron at medium temperature and press the fabric to remove any creases.

Use the cutting layouts provided with the pattern to lay the pieces on the fabric.

Before removing the pattern, transfer the markings to wrong side of the fabric (namely on pieces 1&2) and notch the edge of the fabric as indicated. ** TIP: mark the wrong side of each piece with a chalk to make the sewing part easier! Knits very often have a wrong and right side looking rather similar.

Unless stated otherwise, be sure to stitch at 12mm (½") from the edge and match the notches and markings with the same numbers.

Assemble RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, namely by placing the right side of a piece against the right side of another one – the right side being the side showing when the garment is worn.

Use a straight stretch stitch or a narrow and short zigzag stitch. ** TIP: Start your seams at approximately 3mm from the edge of the fabric to prevent the fabric from sinking into the needle throat plate.

For stretch-proof seams, use all-purpose thread for the needle and textured thread for the bobbin.

EDGE-FINISH: with an overlocker (serger) machine, serge cutting away the excess of seam allowances. With a standard machine, stitch next to the first stitching with a zigzag and cut away the excess of seam allowances close to the second stitching OR use an overcasting foot.

Place one pair of pocket bag to RIGHT SIDE of the front pieces and match up ➊. Then, stitch the sides between ➊ and notch the seam allowances at each end of the stitches, making sure not to cut through stitching line. Fold the pocket bags to WRONG SIDE of the front pieces and press along the finished edges. Then, with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, stitch the remaining pair of pocket bags to the first one, making sure to start and end stitching exactly at ➊. EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances.

Stitch together the front and back pieces at the sides. While doing so, ensure you stitch through the rear of the pockets, but avoid stitching over the finished edges. EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances and press toward the back.

Add bar-tacks at the top and bottom of each pocket opening. To do so, choose a zigzag triple stitch, set to maximum width, and lower the feed dogs on your machine (or cover them with a darning plate). Then, place the garment so that the presser foot opening is perpendicular to the side seam. Pull down the presser foot and press the pedal slowly to produce three horizontal stitches. Release the pedal once the movement is repeated at least twice. Before doing so, be sure that the pocket bags are oriented to the front and the side seam allowances to the back.

Stitch together the front pieces at the centre, EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances and press to one side. Then, stitch the back pieces in the same manner.

Stitch together the front and back pieces at the inseams, EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances and press to the back.

Stitch the waistband pieces together at the short sides, trim the seam allowances to half and press open. Fold the waistband lengthwise, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, to match up the raw edges. Press.

Stitch the waistband to RIGHT SIDE of trousers top edges, matching up the sides. Ensure you leave a small gap near the centre back. With a safety pin, insert one end of the knitted elastic through this gap. Slide it through the waistband with the safety pin and once fully inserted, grab the elastic ends and overlap them by 10mm (⅜"). Stitch over the overlap a few times with a zigzag. Then, close the small gap and EDGE-FINISH the seam allowances. ** Here I suggest to try the trousers before closing the seam. Then you can trim the elastic is the waist is too loose.

To keep the elastic in place, sew over the waistband side seams. While doing so, be sure to sew directly inside the seam to make the stitches less noticeable. ** Before doing so, be sure that the gathers are evenly distributed along the waistband!

Hem the bottom of the trousers by folding in the edges at 20mm (¾") to WRONG SIDE. Press and pin down the hem. Then, stitch down the hem on the RIGHT SIDE of the garment with a zigzag stitch or a double needle.

I hope you like this sewalong! Do not hesitate to ask any questions in the comment section below. Show us your work on social media using the hashtag #TR811!