I’ve joined the HotPatterns Secret PJ Club Sew-a-long for April 2020, during quarantine, and this is my first entry!
These Tailored Trackpants are just that, a classic jogger style with trouser cuffs. I’ve sewn jogger banded knit cuffs, which are optional; the pants normally have a narrow, ankle standard folded cuff (or turn-ups) which is super cute with flats or sneakers or flat strappy sandals, and elevates the pant to “wear at work” when we’re all done with this quarantine stuff.
For the moment, though, I sewed these RIGHT out of the envelope in a size 14. They are designed for woven OR knit fabric, so I made a muslin in woven in the 14, and I made just one teensy alteration – the pants have a curve upward at the side waist (you can see it in the line illustration on the pattern cover). If you are curvy in the hip, try this. If you are straight, like me, I took a small wedge out at the top waist near the side seam across both front and back. Basically I flattened the curve, LOL, see what I did there!? Ha! I flattened the waist shape so it went straight across to the sideseam, without that little upward curve. Otherwise ZERO alterations on these pants. A little gallows humor is necessary in these times.
I will admit I tried to make these 4 years ago, but I cut out too small of a size. Being the daredevil that I am, I cut the PAPER pattern (not a download!) and cut them off to an 8 (what was I thinking?) So I actually TAPED the stuff I cut off (at least I was pragmatic; I saved the pattern cut off) and RECUT (well, traced, this time) the size 14. I did cut it slightly generously to a 16 which, as it turns out, I really do not need, especially in a knit. I’m a 32″w, 41.5″ hip but HP goes way up into the plus sizes. This is why I’m a 100% download girl, and print-at-home to boot. Just print a fresh one if you need it.
I chose a lusciously soft rayon doubleknit from stash (I’d previously made a slim, front slit, midi skirt from this fabric too!) and used up just about all but tiny scraps. Feeling very WWII miserly in my fabric use on this one. The fabric is gorgeous, a deep heather burgundy, and it feels heavenly. Just heavenly!
Being that this is, after all, the Secret PJ Club, I drafted my own jogger cuffs, and, thank goodness this fabric is super stretchy because I had to stretch the cuff like MAD to get them on the leg openings. If you plan this, make sure you have a ton of stretch or narrow the lower leg before you sew on your jogger cuffs.
I measured my ankle with a tape measure, making sure the measure was not tight around my ankles, and I used that measurement as the long side, and the short side for me was 6″. I drafted a cuff that was 6″ tall (folded to 3″ before sewing onto the pants.) You can vary this to have a wider or narrower cuff if you prefer. I didn’t record my ankle measurement but I’d say it was 11″ x 6″ when I cut them out. I have skinny ankles as you can see, but these are not tight. Trudy talks a lot about these being secret pajamas, that you’d be taking naps in them at this time, and this is a VERY FINE idea. This time that we are in, during quarantine, is hugely stressful and I’ve admitted to taking a nap (during workday) at least once, especially when I was ill with a cold (or COVID-19, who knows!)
There are a few important waistband construction tips that I recommend that vary from the instructions. Full disclosure, I cannot FIND the instructions, BUT Trudy has done a great YouTube video here, sewing the Tailored Track Pant in it’s entirety in a video. A fellow sewist in the HP Sewing Club on facebook did send me the waistband instructions, but they aren’t as detailed as what I’m about to give you, so:
- When sewing the waistband, attach it to the pants flat, before inserting elastic BUT SEE #3 for very important tip
- Sew your channels, leaving them open, too
- Do NOT sew the back 2″ of the waistband to the pants – you’ll need this open to insert the elastic channels above. I used two channels because my narrower elastic all got used up making health care masks during the quarantine, so I used wider elastic and made just two channels.
- Use soft braided swim elastic or pajama elastic, not the non-roll kind. These are soft pants!
- Make a muslin. Yes. Please do. Especially if you’re making these in a woven fabric! I tweaked the waistband and marked it later on my muslin for reference.
These are going to be my most-lived-in pant during quarantine – and once we’re done and I’ve decided against wearing jeans every day for most of my work life, I’ll make them with the turn-ups/cuffs and wear soft pants in woven fabrics forever. I got rid of all my dress pants a few years back, after moving my work home, and I have never regretted either decision! But these are way more comfy than my skinny jeans.
I’m wearing this with the HotPatterns ShirtTail Tee shirt, a classic cut-on-cap-sleeve with a cute cuff detail, shirt tail hem and a clever folded band neckline that makes sewing this type of neck a breeze. The hems of the curved tee are sewn BEFORE the sideseams, saving you any fussy hemming.
2021 update: Tailored Trackpant with cuffed legs
The trackpants come with a turn up cuff a nod to their design which is the tailored trackpant. I sewed my second pair in a poly snakeskin print that looks a little like leather. They turned out very well with a soft, but stretchy waistband, super comfy fit and fun fabric. I will love these when worn with sneakers in the spring and booties in the fall. I’m wearing them now with faux ugg boots in my house, since I never go anywhere during the pandemic. But tailored trackpants indeed are a great option for a work-from-home casual, soft outfit sewing pattern.