Selfless Sewing Extravaganza! Pt. 1 (aka A Man and His Sweatpants)

Hello everyone, and Happy Holidays! I truly hope that you all had a great holiday season, whatever you celebrate. And now the New Year cometh…where did 2015 go?!? O_o I’ve got 2 posts planned to show all y’all my holiday sewing for 2015–this is Part 1. You’ve been warned!

I have made Tom something for each of the previous 2 Xmas holidays, and decided to go for the Three-peat in 2015. But what to do??? His Cooper bag from 2014 would be hard to top (he still uses it every single day and adores it), I knew that. I almost gave up on the idea of making him something and instead resigning myself to the safe, store-bought option(s)–goodness knows he had PLENTY of ideas–but then fortune smiled upon me in the form of the release of the Men’s Hudson Pants from True Bias in November.

I love the idea of the original Hudson pattern, which is designed for women: the dropped crotch, generous hip room, and slim legs with no ugly elastic ankle casings actually manage to make sweatpants look cool. Not to mention the opportunities for contrast fabric use (or adapting them for woven fabrics), which can really make them into something acceptable to wear out of the house. Not long ago, I could never justify using my valuable and rather scant sewing time on something silly like sweatpants. (I’ve heard of some sewers who don’t want to bother with t-shirts or underwear, so I guess it’s the same principle at work!) But a pair of good-looking sweatpants that could be customized and elevated beyond the “sausage leg” varieties that are so often what we think of when the word “sweatpants” is uttered? THAT is an endeavor I can get behind.

For Tom, I had exactly ONE fabric in mind for this pattern: french terry. (It’s one of the suggested fabrics for the pattern–hooray!) It’s made the rounds in the sewing blog world this year in a big way, and it seemed like a good way to turn the humble sweatpant into something a little more luxe for my love. Combined with the cool vibe of the Hudson pattern, I felt like this was a great idea. In order to maintain secrecy, I taped my pattern together at my parents’ house while I was there for a night and took a “sweatshop day” off from work so that I could have some alone time to get these done. (Aside: it is also highly beneficial that I am The Do-er of Laundry at our house–pre-washing secret yardage is never, ever a problem.) I mentioned a couple of posts back that I am now the proud owner of a serger, and I was determined to use it for these pants:

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Juki MO-654DE serger!

I didn’t get into details before, but not only is this my first serger, I HAD NEVER USED ONE BEFORE. As in, ever. EVER. I decided to cut out the pants first, and then run some scraps through the serger to see if I could get the hang of it; worst case scenario was to use my sewing machine for all construction steps, which is how the Hudson instructions are written anyway. A few test scraps and 6 hours later, I had finished pants x 2, fully serged:

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Inside of Hudson Pants #1

Is my serging perfect? No, but it looks pretty legit IMO. The only sewing machine work I did was to baste things in place and to sew the buttonholes and drawstring casing on the waistbands. Even the ankle bands were attached using only my serger, which is a big deal for me. (Sewing things in the round is ALWAYS a free arm exercise for me–I’ve never done that type of thing without a free arm.)

When it came to Tom opening his gift (his ONLY gift from me), I felt really, really bad: turns out he got me a stand mixer for Xmas, guys. And I made him sweatpants. And I opened my gift first. The whole situation was decidedly Not Cool on the “Miss Manners Scale of Reciprocal Gift-Giving.” But once he realized I made the pants, he got SO excited. He actually thought that I went out and bought him sweatpants!! (I guess that’s a testament to the professional finish a serger can provide on knits, as well as the general fashion-conscious nature of the pattern itself.) And then he tried them on, and now they are all he wants to wear. 🙂 I now wish I had taken a chance and used some black ponte for the pocket bands and ankle cuffs and waistband on Pair 1, because he would have LOVED that and has already asked for another pair with that fabrication. And you can be sure that his not-divorced wife will oblige him…this time.

Truly, I LOVE this pattern. It was so easy to put together and the results are great and much more fashion-forward than your usual sweats. I felt that the sizing was appropriate vs. Tom’s usual RTW size as well, although I did follow True Bias’s advice and measure before choosing a size. I used the best-fitting pair of sweatpants Tom had in his dresser for comparison and settled on the size 32, which is his jeans waist size; the only adjustment I made was to add about 1/4″ to the inseam at the calf. I also cut the elastic so that the finished circumference was 28-29″, like his existing sweatpants. And now for photos! (They’re bad because *I* took them, so don’t expect much, LOL.)

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Goofing off

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Attempt at a side view

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Back view (he wears them a little low)

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The pocket details and side seam show up better here!

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These pants are great for Puppy Play Time, obviously.

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These two, tho…

So there’s Part 1 of my holiday sewing bonanza; coming soon, the story of a Girl and her Shark.

Supplies

2 yds french terry, this Etsy shop; I have about 3/4 to 1/2 yard left
2 yds french terry (same Etsy shop); different color, same amount of leftover yardage
2 yd bundle of 2″ waistband elastic, Joann’s
10 yd bundle of black drawstring cording, this Etsy shop
4 x  cones of MaxiLock from Wawak

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16 thoughts on “Selfless Sewing Extravaganza! Pt. 1 (aka A Man and His Sweatpants)

  1. I have a serious case of server envy here. The inside of your pants project looks as greatest he outside, as good as ready to wear. Nice!!

    • Well if you are ever in the market for a serger, this one gets top marks from me. I expected it to be hard to learn to use, but I was zooming through these pants within minutes of testing on scraps. If I can figure it out, it must be simple, haha!

      • I am in the market and have been intimidated by the threading aspect of most pf the reasonably priced versions. Is Yours looks pretty sweet!

      • I understand the threading thing–I got it threaded, but it took a little while! Luckily none of my looper threads misbehaved and broke, so it stayed threaded! Juki has great videos on Youtube that are really helpful.

    • I honestly never expected I would feel such a need for a serger, but now I don’t know how I’ll ever do knits without it again! And yes, Tom is an absolute dear about me making him things; I really don’t know which of us is more proud of his handmade items. =)

  2. The pants and the photos are ace. I don’t blame him for thinking you had bought them, you’ve done such good job with them. Now the serger, it’s a revelation no? I wish I could sew everything on the serger, so fast!

    • It’s CRAZY FAST. And there isn’t a speed control, either! I am so pleased that he liked his pants, especially since he was NOT expecting them at all. As it is, I can hardly get him to wear any other pants since he opened his gift, haha!

  3. Pingback: 2015 Reflections and 2016 Goals | Life in A "Mads" House

  4. Werk it, Tom! These came out great and I had NO IDEA there was a guy’s version of the Hudson Pants! DD has a pair like these but from H&M… I keep hinting that I can make him another pair that are similar (imagining I would tweak my Hudson pattern… but now there’s one for guys! yay!) but he’s all like, “Nah, these are still in tact.” It’s great that Tom is loving his so much and getting so much wear out of them. And isn’t a serger AMAZING?? SERGE ALL THE THINGS!!!! Ahem… anyway… yeah… good job!

    • Seriously, sergers are awesome. I never thought I’d need one, but now I can’t go back!! And it’s funny, now I want the original Hudson pattern for myself after making these for Tom–I never got the appeal until I was working on his pairs, and now I’m jealous. I say you just make DD a new pair in some nice french terry and sneak them into his drawer! 😉

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