You know what makes the easiest pair of sweatpants ever? One old t-shirt (with funky stripes) and a pair of women’s (or mens) jogging pants! Or, in my case two old t-shirts and three pairs of jogging pants to make 3 pairs of sweats. Now, these are just plain old no-pocket sweats but I’m really excited about them.
The boys love wearing sweatpants. In fact, they really don’t want to wear anything else…no jeans, no khakis, nothing. It’s all about the athletic sweats. And, they want their pants to have stripes, it’s essential. (You may not know this but stripes make you look faster when you run. Aha, it’s true. It’s been tested many times in our hallway.) Thing is, I find it hard to find good fabric for making sweats! The boys don’t like fleece (too fluffy) and jersey knit is usually too thin. The store-bought sweatpants they like are made with a more specialized performance stretch material that is hard to find in conventional sewing shops. That is where upcycling makes this job so easy! Shopping second-hand sweats means I get built-in stripes, already hemmed and sweats material of all kinds! Once I had made the pattern, making each pair of these probably took 30 minutes each. So simple!
I drafted the pants pattern myself using the boys body measurements (as I did with these pjs) but I added in 1″ of ease at the waist and hips and to the length of the inseam. Because the boys hate pants that are wide at the ankle I kept them straight-leg. The pattern was mostly a success with the stretchy materials, though I will add even more ease to the next version.
The one glaring exception to this ‘success’ was when I attempted to make a pair for C with a woven waterproof type of fabric. I didn’t add enough ease to the pants and they were way to tight on him….so J got a third pair. Yes, it is also grey and hard to distinguish from the other pair.
For the waistbands I used the t-shirts to cut a strip 4 inches wide and 2 inches shorter than their waist measurements.
I love how soft it made the waist and love how it looks, just a little touch of something interesting going on. I also finally figured out how to stop the elastic from rolling inside of the waistband! All it took was sewing straight stitches through the waistband and the elastic WHILE stretching the elastic! Works like a charm! No more twisted elastic waists!
I will have to go back and stitch the elastic on all the waistbands but for now, we have new sweatpants…at least for a while. No doubt they will have holes in the knees in a few weeks; another reason it’s so fantastic to make them quickly with recycled material at home! Woot! Woot! Mama-made for the win!