I already blogged this project over on the Monthly Stitch, so if you read that, maybe just skip to the end of this one if you are curious about some everyday life news I have to share (warning: it’s not the best news). Or read on if you just can’t get enough of my amazing writing, or if you are obsessed with joggers for some reason (the pants, not the people).
These are the Hudson pants from True Bias. I got the pattern as part of a bundle a few years ago & assumed I would never sew it because athleisure is just not my jam. I’ve never sewn a True Bias pattern before because there’s never been a True Bias pattern that I wanted to try. Indie patterns are expensive compared to picking up a Big 4 in a sale, so mostly I only buy indies that seem special somehow, & I use Big 4 or self-drafting for basics. These pants did not turn out great & I actually probably would have gotten a better result from self-drafting, but I don’t know if that’s a real problem with the pattern or with the alterations I made to it. & I will add, despite their flaws, they get worn ALL THE TIME.
Based on the size chart & various blogged versions I have seen, as well as the samples on the True Bias website, I made a few changes right off the bat. I cut the largest size available & then added 1″ to the front rise, tapering to nothing at the side seams. I also hate feeding elastic through channeling, so I constructed the waistband my own way, by dividing the waistband & elastic into quarters & tacking the elastic to the inside. You can still clean-finish the waistband this way. You just have to be careful not to catch the elastic on your second pass on the waistband if you’re using a straight stitch. I also attached long ribbons to the ends of my elastic to use as a drawstring. I just thought it was prettier than a more traditional drawstring material, & added a little splash of color.
I got the lovely quilted double knit at my local fabric shop. They have stepped up their apparel fabric game like whoa since I started sewing four years ago. They even carry Bemberg now, which I used to have to special order. Anyway, this fabric was pricy, but SO soft. Ramona likes to pet my legs when I wear these pants & say, “Your legs are so, so soft, Mama. You are soft like a cat.” I used some leftover black sweatshirt fleece (that pills if you look at it, ugh) for the contrast bands, & some nice yellow jersey for the pocket bags. The only issue I had with this combo of fabrics is that the black fleece has WAY less stretch than the quilted gray fabric. So it was quite fiddly sewing the two together. I tried to stretch the black as far as I could & not stretch the gray at all, but the gray was born to stretch. I love the look of the contrast band on the pockets, but sewing it was not fun.
This was also a complicating factor when it came to the ankle bands. I cut a band as drafted & basted it together & it wouldn’t even fit over my foot. Whether it was just drafted really tight or the fabric I was using had a lower-than-recommended percentage of stretch, I don’t know. I suspect both issues were at play. I added 2″ of width, & it works, but an extra 1/2″ would really be ideal. The ankle band is so tight, I can’t pull the pant leg up to, like, change socks or whatever.
On the flip side, the alterations I made to the rise were completely unnecessary. I made that change because my measurements put me just a hair outside the largest size on the size chart, & also because I know I have longer-than-average legs & a larger-than-average belly. I pretty much always need to add to the front rise when making any kind of pants, & even some skirts. & I swear these were described as “low-rise” all over the internet. I always prefer a mid-rise. My alteration provided me with a rise that could handily function as a bandeau top. If I don’t mind stooping over a bit, I could wear these things as a strapless jumpsuit. I don’t really mind. When it comes to pajama pants (which is what these are for me; I’m just not an athleisure/sweatpants-outside-the-house person, unless major health issues are at play–these have been worn to several doctor’s appointments & emergency room visits), I’d rather have a high-rise & plenty of room through the hips than the opposite. But my version clearly does not fit like the sample.
I would make these again (with wider ankle bands & without all the alterations I made to the rise), because they are great pajama pants. Maybe they’d even work in warmer weather & a more lightweight knit. But this style is definitely “trendy,” meaning it will look dated as hell in a couple of years (if it doesn’t already; the pattern is already three years old), & most people really don’t have any use for more than one or two pairs of joggers in their wardrobes, especially if they are using them as actual outside-the-house day pants.
On to my blergh news: I am having a brain MRI done later today to screen for multiple sclerosis. I don’t know that I actually have multiple sclerosis, but it would certainly explain A LOT: my complete lack of energy, the fact that I’ve been too foggy to even read magazines for the last year or so, these weird tension headaches I get, my constant dizziness, the weird chest pains I’ve been having for the last few years, & the fact that I have pretty much no feeling on the right side of my body. I spent some time last night poking myself with embroidery scissors to see how bad it really was. I could feel the pressure, but no pain or sharpness, even when the scissors left a mark. Kind of handy for sewing, because it means I can poke myself with needles all I want without pain, but not exactly what one might call “normal”. My doctor ordered 50,000 blood tests this week to see if my symptoms were being caused by a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency, but everything came back normal.
So! We shall see! I’m not sweating the MRI, I’ve had them done before & have no issues with claustrophobia. I think being stuck in an elevator actually sounds kind of relaxing. But you know. It would be nice to maybe have a couple of months without some kind of unfolding health catastrophe on my hands.