Sweats. Loungewear. Athleisure. My ex's grandmother used to call them "junks". But whatever you call them, comfortable knit pants are an absolute must in any wardrobe.
However, I find that, as a sewist, I tend to choose my projects by the new pattern that excites me, the new challenge that I want to tackle. This leads me to make more complicated things, dressier things, things that I wear out in the world and not to lounge around the house.
It never really occurs to me how rewarding it can be to make wardrobe staples. Even though, since I work from home and rarely wear my business casual clothes from my old job, that should really be all I make.
Because February is a shorter month, and because, by the time Groundhog's Day hits, you feel like Phil stepping into that puddle over and over and over again, I thought we'd focus our boxes on the not-so-glamorous, yet oh-so-necessary element of your handmade wardrobe. The humble sweatpant.
We're also mixing it up this month by offering the same pattern in two different boxes. We try to offer a variety of patterns each month, but the Hudson Pants from True Bias may just be the platonic ideal of a sweatpant, so we are using it in both our Sew Fearless Box and our Sew Indulgent Box.
Plus, in our Sew Curvy Box and Sew Indulgent Box, we'll be sending you an extra surprise! Each kit will contain two more patterns to round out your loungewear set (a $36 value). All together, they'll let you craft the perfect knit wardrobe so you'll be comfortable wherever you go!
Sew Fearless Box: Hudson Pants from True Bias
I'm going to admit upfront; I am a Hudson pant junkie. I've made two pairs and they might be the most worn, most loved, most lived-in things I've ever made. One pair is fleece, the other french terry, so I'm covered for all four seasons, and I honestly can't rave enough about them.
That's why it seemed like a no-brainer to pick them for our boxes. The beauty of these pants is that they are incredibly easy to fit, quick to sew, and fun to style. They can be worn as pajamas, lounge pants for the house, or you can even dress them up a bit for brunch or errands (I mean, they're still sweatpants, so no fancy restaurants or anything, haha).
We've given a few different weights of fabrics in our options, depending on how warm you want your pants to be, and we've played with color, because no one said that sweatpants have to be gray. So, let's look at the options:
- Black Sweatshirt Fleece - With a soft fleecy face on one side and a simple black jersey on the other, this fabric is exactly what you think of when it comes to sweatshirting. Plush, soft and on the heavier side of medium weight, this fabric will be the warmest of the three options. And in the true black, it will become just the neutral basic that your handmade wardrobe needs. We're pretty sure you'll want to live in them.
- Hunter Green Cloud Fleece - What's cloud fleece, you ask? A combination of bamboo and cotton, this fabric is indescribably soft. A midweight fleece, the bamboo gives the fabric a lovely drape and lots of breathability. Plus, the fleece side is double-brushed for extra lushness! The hunter green is rich and jewel-toned, and unlike most fleece pants you'll find out there. You'll be fashion-forward even when you're rocking secret pajamas!
- Twilight Blue Bamboo Cotton French Terry - One of the two pairs of Hudsons I've made is out of the this bamboo french terry, and I love them more than I can say. The lightest of the options, this pant is great as loungewear, weekend sweats or even pajamas. The bamboo makes them incredibly soft and light. In a deep blue that falls somewhere between navy and royal, you get a cozy pair of blue pants when you just don't want to put on your blue jeans.
Sew Confident Box: Anima Pants from Papercut Patterns
At first blush, these pants look like a carbon copy of the Hudson Pants, but we've chosen the Anima Pants for the subtle and not so subtle differences. This pattern has a faux fly detail, faced pockets, and an option for shorts if you're one of the lucky ones who is in a warm climate this winter.
With the perfect balance of casual and cool, these pants called for fabrics that mirrored that. We've chosen fabrics that don't look like sweatshirting right off the bat, but that still have the feel and comfort of your favorite casual knit. So let's take a look:
- Black Speckled French Terry - We've used this french terry before in a different color way, and quickly sold out of it is was so popular. A mixture of polyester, cotton, and rayon, this fabric is medium weight and soft. Plus, the color is spotted with dots of white, like stars in the night sky. From afar, the fabric almost looks like a marled wool, which lets your Anima Pants look just a little bit fancier than a regular pair of sweats. Perfect for when you want to look presentable yet relaxed.
- Bordeaux Tencel Cotton Fleece (with Black Contrast Fleece) - The beauty of these slim-fit sweatpants is the chance to color block the waistband and cuffs. We've done that here with a rich bordeaux red fleece and its black fleece counterpart. A combination of tencel and cotton, this fleece is super soft, warm, and surprisingly thin. The fabric will drape so nicely for this pattern, and the color is simply divine. We love everything about it.
- Heather Sapphire Large Loop French Terry - This fabric is similar to what you think of with french terry but the loops on the wrong side are deeper, making the fabric nice and plump without being too warm or bulky. In a bright heather blue, the fabric almost looks like denim, but with the benefit of being a gorgeous knit. Turn it into the long pants to mimic the look of jeans or turn it into the shorts for a pair for vacation or exercise. No matter which you make, they will be comfortable and stylish.
Sew Curvy Box: Yoga Pants from Jalie Patterns
Growing up, I hated cuffs. On my jackets, my shirts, and especially my sweatpants. But this was the 80s, and yoga pants weren't nearly as popular as they are now. If I had known about them as a kid, my mother could have avoided lots of arguments at the mall.
So, what's so great about yoga pants? They are specifically designed not to constrict, which means no cuffs and no tight waistbands. Just comfort and movability. Oh, and even when you're not in the mood to bend and stretch, they make great pants for just walking around or sitting on the couch.
Unlike the other patterns in this theme, these pants aren't designed for fleece, but rather jersey and ponte, fabrics that are stable and flexible. That's why we've put together three options that act almost like wovens, but have the stretch needed for these pants. Here they are:
- Heavyweight Black Bamboo Jersey - While you may think of jersey as a top-weight knit, this bamboo jersey is heavyweight and thicker, like the yoga pants you see at the store. Plus, with 10% spandex content, this fabric will stretch with you as you move and recover nicely when you're still. In a simple black, you can create your own pair of lululemon-like pants but in your size
- Navy Blue Dotted Ponte - When you don't want just a regular pair of yoga pants, why not add polka dots? This navy ponte that has great four-way stretch and a soft hand, is covered in tiny cream-colored dots. It's a really subtle pattern, but a great change for the typical solid colored pants you find. A great fabric choice if you want a hint of pattern
- Pine Green Tencel Micro Scuba - It's hard to see in the photo just how lovely this pine green color is. It's a deep green that seems to melt into itself, and we love it for a pair of yoga pants. And the fabric is an amazing micro scuba, thin, stretchy, yet completely opaque. The combination of tencel and modal make it incredibly soft and give it a supple drape on a fabric that typically can be full-bodied. A stunning fabric for this pattern.
Finally, in this box, we are giving you two additional patterns to complete your loungewear wardrobe. While we aren't giving you the fabric and notions for the patterns, they will be great additions to your pattern library. We've got the Tobin Sweater from Cashmerette to cover your sweater/sweatshirt needs, and the Cedar Dolman Top from Cashmerette for a simple t-shirt to pair with your new hand-made pants. Both are beautifully drafted patterns, and we are thrilled to include them in the boxes.
Sew Indulgent Box: Hudson Pants from True Bias
There's not much more we can say about the Hudson Pants that I didn't say above, unless you want to hear us raving about how much I love mine (and I can if you want). But I've covered why we love this pattern for sweatpants pretty thoroughly.
Now, we don't often use the same patterns in different boxes. But we saw an opportunity to create a really luxurious pair of sweats in this box by using some fleeces and terries that you might not use normally. We often treat sweats and loungewear as utilitarian garments, not something to invest in. But with the right fabrics, they can become luxury items!
These include wool, bamboo, and tencel. Fabrics that are high quality and fine, meaning that your pants will last you for years. Honestly, I made a pair out of one of the fabrics (the merino wool) and I've worn them at least 150 days out of the last year, and they are still as soft and unpilled as the day I made them. So, if you want to indulge in a luxurious pair of pants, this is your opportunity!
- Indigo Herringbone French Terry (with Indigo Ribbing for cuffs) - We've used a herringbone fleece in the past, and we were really enamored with the way the pattern elevates a simple knit. Here we have a french terry (the looser weave giving the knit more stretch) in an indigo blue. Almost like a denim, this fabric will look like herringbone wool even when you know they are sweatpants. We are also giving you matching ribbing to give the waist band and cuffs the stretch you need to comfort and ease (and to reduce bulk)
- Aubergine Tencel Cotton Fleece - This tencel cotton fleece is incredibly soft and flexible. And it is amazingly thin, making it perfect for the slim fit pants. In a lush, aubergine color, it's not a fabric you see very often for sweatpants. The look of these Hudsons will be rich and one of a kind, just like everything in your handmade wardrobe.
- Charcoal Merino Bamboo Fleece - If you want warmth, this is the fabric for you. Merino wool is incredibly fine, making this fabric super soft and not at all scratchy. The charcoal gray looks like wool suiting, and on the pair I made for myself, I even used the wrong side (which is white) for the pocket trim. An amazing fleece, this fabric is destined to become your absolute favorite pair of pants in your closet.
Finally, in this box, we are giving you two additional patterns to complete your loungewear wardrobe. While we aren't giving you the fabric and notions for the patterns, they will be great additions to your pattern library. We've got the Toaster Sweater from Sew House Seven to cover your sweater/sweatshirt needs, and the Nikko Top from True Bias for a simple turtleneck to pair with your new hand-made pants. Both are beautifully drafted patterns, and we are thrilled to include them in the boxes.
I hope you're as excited about these boxes as I am. In our Classic Boxes, we're reviving our second box ever, the Pencil Skirt Box. And we've even added a Sew Curvy option even though, at the time, we hadn't introduced that box yet. If sweatpants aren't your thing, this is a great option for a dressier make.
Because of the holidays, shipping swatches is going to be delayed. I will be out of town for the week of Christmas, then it's back to the grindstone to get the January Boxes. Expect the swatches around the beginning of the new year. I hope you understand the delay : )
Until next time, happy sewing!