achievement unlocked: gray quilted Hudson pants

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.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

23 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: gray quilted Hudson pants

  1. Loving your Hudson pants, I keep looking at this pattern. I hope they find out what is going on with your health soon. My mum has MS but took a long time to get a diagnosis here in the UK as you need to see certain markers come up on scans and blood tests.

    1. Yeah, it’s the same here. I really don’t know all the details about exactly how they make a diagnosis, but I do know that if the MRI I had tonight shows brain lesions, that is a pretty clear indicator of MS. It seems like it’s hard to diagnose because so many of the symptoms could be so many different things, & people just get used to compensating for them & don’t even think to mention them to their doctors. When I actually sat down & looked at the symptoms, I have practically everything. But I was only bringing them to my doctor one at a time, if at all, so a larger picture was not developing. It wasn’t until I reported the extensive numbness on the right side of my body that the light dawned on anyone. Not that I have a diagnosis yet, of course. Maybe I have some new syndrome they can name after me!

    1. To be honest, a diagnosis like that would actually be a relief. I’ve had all these disparate mystery symptoms for years & no one has ever been able to properly explain them. A diagnosis won’t actually change the state of my health. It will just provide me with some answers, & maybe even some treatment that could help with the symptoms. Like, when I say that I’m getting better, I mean better for me, which at the top of my game is probably only about 75% of where a normal person is at. I’m sure you know what I mean.

      1. Yeh, of course. And I totally understand how a diagnosis can be a HUGE relief! I didn’t realise this had been an ongoing problem for you. And there is a lot of treatment available for MS now. Moreso than for a collection of mystery symptoms!

        1. Yup. But the symptoms are all so random, it never really occurred to me that they could be connected in any way, some of them didn’t seem serious enough to mention to a doctor (especially in light of some of the legit health crises I’ve had lately), & the ones I did mention just confounded everyone. I actually did see a neurologist a couple of years ago for some pain, numbness, & tingling in my hands. He was like, “Do you think it’s cancer?” & I was like, “…Um…no?” & he was like, “What do you think it is?” & I said, “Maybe carpal tunnel?” So he did the carpal tunnel tests, which were “inconclusive” & that was that. No follow-up whatsoever.

          My medical experience has basically been that if there isn’t an obvious answer for whatever ailment has befallen me, doctors just shrug their shoulders & call it a day. So yes, ANY kind of explanation would be welcome right now. Or any time.

  2. I made these and I didn’t even end up putting the waistband on. They were laughably low rise – like, scooped under my belly – and clearly not shaped for hips like mine because the pockets gaped out and I just basically looked ridiculous. Oh well. Not for me! Yours look cosy and lovely though.

    I’m very sorry to hear the not-great news. I hope that it’s miraculously something they have a pill for or is an easy fix. It never is though, is it? Well maybe then I hope they give you some answers and at least some of them are good. ❤

    1. I don’t know why mine turned out so ridiculously NOT low-rise. & the pants are altogether a lot looser that the sample & a lot of other versions online. It’s possible that I just lost more weight than I thought during the whole cancer thing. I’ve definitely lost at least 15 pounds, which maybe comes to more inches than I realized. I haven’t actually taken my measurements in over six months…I also have disproportionately slim thighs & hips, so that might also be a contributing factor.

      The MRI went well. It was actually kind of relaxing to just lay there without having to do anything. I should have the results next week.

      1. I find with boobs and belly that just a little bit of weight loss/gain can make a massive difference to how things fit, so maybe that’s it? I definitely do not have slim thighs and hips, so I suspect we would have a very different fit in the leg department. I have not yet figured out how to clothe my legs properly tbh. Luckily I really enjoy wearing skirts!

        I’m glad the MRI went well. Fingers crossed the results are good. I’m not even sure what ‘good’ would mean in that context but… wishing you well.

        1. Yeah, I think my body is also flipping out a little due to the hysterectomy jacking up my hormone cycle. It didn’t send me into surgically-induced menopause because I still have ovaries & am therefore making producing estrogen, but things have definitely changed.

          I put a bra on the other day for the first time in months (I’m not going to bother with a bra just to lay around in bed, you know?). It was bra I’d made myself, tweaked to perfectly fit my body. But suddenly there was like a full extra inch of space in the cups. I measured my bust to compare it to a pattern I was considering, which has an annoyingly limited size range. My full bust measurement was two inches smaller than it was six months ago!

          So yeah. I really need to take a new set of measurements.

          1. Ugh! I live in terror (not really but at least mild alarm) of big size changes either way because of this. My precious, hard won wardrobe! Plus it always feels a bit odd when my body changes like that without warning. I went through a period about five years ago where in retrospect I was developing some serious allergies and illnesses, but at the time all I knew was the whole shape of my body changed. I found that harder to deal with -both emotionally and sylistically – than straight up size changes. I hope your changes are easy to negotiate!

            1. I totally know what you mean! Luckily, I just started sewing four years ago, so a lot of the stuff I have made is not actually sewn all that well. I filled another bag with me-mades that are going to the thrift store this morning. I think it’s pretty common for people to get into sewing & to just go nuts without a clear picture of their real style or the difference between what is fun to sew versus what will actually be worn. Maybe I’m lucky that the evolution in my thinking about my style is also corresponding with a change in my measurements. (I did take new measurements the other day & they were about two inches smaller across the board. So not a huge change, but definitely enough to make a difference in how clothes fit if you’re payind attention.)

              1. I definitely did that! I don’t really have anything older than 18 months or so because everything before that was either poorly sewn, badly adjusted to fit, or just not my style – partly because my style before was based on the slim pickings available to me in stores and so I was sewing stuff similar to that which it turns out I don’t like, and partly because my style has changed and shifted now that I can experiment and find what I actually LIKE.

                Two inches would make lots of my stuff it significantly different – I mean it would still fit on my bod but the shape of it would be totally not the same. At least this can be a cool opportunity rather than an annoyance! (or as well as?)

                1. Jared suggested I take my unloved self-sewns to the consignment shop & try to sell them. But I can’t bear to do that! For one thing, they are pretty label-conscious & I doubt they want a bunch of stuff sewn by some rando. Plus, the main reason I’m getting rid of them is that I don’t think they are very well sewn, by & large. I don’t know. I will just be glad to be rid of them & to put my attention toward creating new items that will be worn.

  3. I love the pants. They look so damn comfortable. I have this pattern but haven’t touched it. I might try it in the fall. Then again, I also have a similar Burda pattern and will likely go for that instead.

    I’ve gotten two MRIs before and they are pretty easy to do when you aren’t claustrophobic. The main issue is that there are weird, loud sounds and you have to lie very still. I am not good at laying on my back due to my hip issues so both times that was the worst part. But depending on how much they have to scan, they don’t take a lot of time at all. I hope they figure out what the issue is and are able to find a treatment. I know all about weird health crap that goes on for years. Hugs.

    1. You know, I’ve never sewn a Burda pattern. Am I missing out?

      I’ve had a ton of MRIs in the past. Luckily, I am not claustrophobic in the least, so it was no big deal. Downright relaxing, to be honest. I had a pretty bad headache when the MRI started, but by the end, it was almost gone, without me even taking anything.

      It came back normal, which yay, but also…??? I’m glad my brain appears to be healthy, but I was honestly kind of looking forward to getting an explanation for all my weird health issues. I’m following up with the doctor at the end of the month (I could have gotten an earlier appointment, but why bother). I’m just one big shrug at this point.

      1. I was a big shrug from the medical community for a really long time. I hope you get a diagnosis soon. It’s tough. ❤

        With Burda, the instructions are terrible, but the drafting is great and they are getting better with their Plus size selection. I like them a lot. But missing out… not sure. I guess it depends on their offerings and whether they mesh with what you like.

        1. I don’t mind sparse instructions. Beats the pants off detailed yet shitty instructions, right? (*cough* Sew Over It *cough*) I guess I’ve just not yet come across a Burda that really spoke to me, & the website isn’t very browse-friendly.

  4. Those look great! Very cozy. I’d totally wear them out of the house, but then I have no shame about wearing yoga pants to pick LJ up at daycare. :p

    I’m also verrrry glad I read ahead and know that you don’t have MS. 🙂

    1. I wore them to preschool a few times when I was recovering from surgery. I figured all the parents would give me a pass because they all knew I was sick. But I really do try to put on real clothes when I’m going to leave the house!

      I also might still have MS. A person can be symptomatic before lesions show up on MRIs, or there can be spinal lesions but no brain lesions, or there can be lesions in parts of the brain that cannot be seen with current imaging technology. It’s unusual, but it happens. So. We shall see, I guess?

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