Comfy lounging is a priority to me no matter what time of year and Jalie Lounge Pants fulfill that goal! As soon as my work day ends, I can’t wait to put on the most relaxing clothing to spend the remainder of the day in!
When I came across the most amazing clearance of loungewear camis at a popular sleepwear store, I had a dilemma. There were no suitable bottoms to match, but I couldn’t pass up such a good price!
What’s a crafty blogger to do? Partner with Canada’s largest online fabric store to show you how easy it is to sew your own bottoms to coordinate! I’m ‘sew’ excited to be sharing my first collaboration with Fabricville. The pattern I chose can easily be sewn by a beginner so I’ll be sharing step-by-step techniques for any first timers out there!
Materials and Pattern Used
To tie in the grey from the camis, I accented with a grey rib knit. Since I’ll be pairing my fabric selections with the grey camis you saw above, the colour combo I selected will work perfectly!
I’m a huge proponent of 100% cotton knit when it comes to lounge wear; it breathes and stretches. I especially love working with french terry so I chose this french terry fabric in denim. I wear french terry all year long – no matter what the season. Now that it’s summertime, it’s perfect to take the chill off of indoor air conditioning!
Working with Jalie Patterns – Some Tips
This is Jalie’s Vanessa Fluid Pants (pattern 3676). What I love about the style (besides the opportunity to use two different fabrics) is that you could easily use this pattern for sleepwear using a lighter weight knit! It is so rare to find sleepwear on the market that actually has pockets! Believe me, I’ve know! Why spend time looking for bottoms with pockets when you can whip up your own over the weekend?
A few things to note if you try this pattern: if you buy the pattern online, there is a typo on the back of the pattern envelope regarding the elastic for the waistband (there was however an updated sticker when I received the pattern as you see below. Until the misprint is adjusted online, keep that in mind). For all women’s sizes and the two largest girls sizes, you will need 2″ wide elastic, not 1 1/2″. I only realized the oversight when I came to sew the waistband.
If you run into the same situation as I did, you can either cut 1/2″ off both long edges of the waistband and use the 1 1/2″ elastic (you will need to adjust the topstitching lines and grommet placement accordingly), or buy new elastic. I chose to buy new elastic!
The pattern envelope also does not list a few other notions needed such as the yardage for the drawstring, interfacing and grommets for the waistband (if not doing buttonholes). While I was buying elastic, I found a flat twill to use for the drawstring (shown below). I bought 1.8 metres, which will be more than sufficient (you may need a bit extra, depending on your waist size).
Select a Size
Picking your size couldn’t be easier with a Jalie pattern; there are 27 sizes in each one! For pants, you only really need two measurements to get a perfect fit: your hip size and inseam. The pattern can easily be lengthened or shorted at the knee if necessary.
Once I figured out my size, it’s just a matter of cutting out the pattern on the coordinating colour coded line (mine was pink). Here’s a trick so you don’t accidentally cut on the wrong line. For each pattern piece, take a pencil and colour in all the relevant notches for your size.
Then for each line, put a slanted pencil mark through where you will cut (do this all around the pattern).
With so many sizes in one pattern, if you use my trick, you will find it much easier to stay on track as you cut out the actual fabric!
Here’s another tip: keep separate scissors for paper and fabric. Paper will dull your good fabric scissors very fast so never cut paper with your ‘good’ scissors.
Cut around every pattern piece before preparing the fabric.
Turning Our Dining Room into a Sewing Room
Other than my scissors and sewing machine, my folding cutting board is the most indispensable piece of equipment. It allows me to cut right on top of my dining room table! In the background you can see one of my industrial machines. I don’t typically keep those in our dining room; it’s only temporary!
Once all your paper pattern pieces are cut out, it’s time to lay them out on the fabric. One thing to keep in mind when working with knit is that it ‘travels’. What I mean by that is even though the selvedges may appear to line up properly, the fabric near the fold may not lie perfectly flat. You may need to reposition the fabric so it lies perfectly smooth at the selvedge – and not bunched up at the fold. As you see below, once I straightened out the grey rib knit, the cut edge was offset.
Each pattern piece has a grain line marked on it. Ensure that the grain line measures the same distance at opposite ends of the pattern piece as shown below so you keep the pattern parallel to the selvedge. Here, I’m measuring from the selvedge, but if you have a piece on the fold you can measure from there instead.
The french terry lined up very well; I just needed to ensure the selvedges were even. I guess the texture of the terry helps prevent the ‘travelling’ I mentioned above!
While the Jalie pattern instructions provide great layouts for 45″ and 60″ fabric, the french terry is just a little bit wider than 60″ so I was able to maximize the fabric with my own layout.
Finally, the pieces are all cut out and it’s time for the fun part; sewing it all together!
Knit Fabric Sewing Tips
For a professional finish, I serge the raw edges as I finish each seam. I chose Fabricville serging thread in Captain’s Blue.
By the way, if you need something to hold your serger thread at your sewing machine, you might want to check out our DIY thread holder.
When working with knits, you need to switch out your regular sewing/serging needles with ball point needles. A regular sewing needle will typically cause the knit to form holes, causing the fabric to run. That’s the last thing you want to spoil all your hard work!
Jalie patterns allow 3/8″ seam allowance, so I put piece of green tape on the needle plate to help guide my stitching.
I found the Jalie instructions very easy to follow! I first stitched the darts on the back pieces.
With the darts done and right sides facing, I joined the back pieces at the crotch (double nothches help you line it up).
Here is the back after stitching and serging.
Create Faux Fly Front
The front crotch seam is stitched.
Then the front is clipped at an angle just under the faux fly, stopping short of the stitches!
That allows me to serge the front.
Topstitch Faux Fly
On the right side, the faux front is brought to one side. I marked the topstitching line on the right side with the help of a ruler.
After stitching the faux fly, I moved on to pockets.
Pin and stitch the front facing. Open the facing so the right side is up and under stitch through the facing and seam allowance.
Bring the wrong sides together and topstitch the edge. Pin the pocket to the pocket facing.
Stitch and serge the pocket facing.
With the pocket in place, the waste and side is basted to the facing to keep it in position.
The inseam and sides are sewn and serged.
You could stitch button holes for the opening of the drawstring, but since I have an industrial machine that does not do zigzag, I did grommets instead.
Prepare the waistband by ironing on fusing (I just used scraps) and marking the holes.
It’s always a good idea to test first on a scrap piece of fabric so you get the size of the hole just right and can also test out the grommet tool.
I made three attempts before I was confident enough to move on to the ‘real’ waistband.
You can cut the hole with sharp scissors but my husband had an old hole punch from his kiting days so I used that instead.
The hat shaped piece of the grommet is pushed through the hole to the wrong side.
The washer lays over top.
Then the grommet tool is used to squeeze it together.
If I find the edges of the washer aren’t quite tight, I reposition or even flip the tool around and squeeze again to get the washer to close completely.
Now the waistband is ready to assemble.
With right sides together, stitch the seams.
Bring seam allowances toward waistband (away from inset) and topstitch.
Fold waistband in half lengthwise and iron the fold.
Attach waistband to pants waist and stitch, leaving 1 1/2″ open at back to feed the elastic through.
I use a large safety pin to help guide the elastic through, but you can also use a bodkin.
When you bring the elastic out the other end, make sure that the elastic is not twisted inside the casing. If it is, adjust it.
Overlap the elastic and pin. Stich a square in between where you have pinned to hold the elastic securely.
Slip the elastic back inside the casing.
Now you can sew closed the 1 1/2″ opening. I also serged the raw edge to finish it off.
Evenly adjust the gathers. Then remove the gathering from the inset (where the grommets are). You want the inset to lie perfectly flat. Here’s a tip to keep the elastic in place and also keep the inset perfectly smooth: I ‘stitch in the ditch’, as indicated below, but leave a gap in the middle so the cord can pass through.
Topstitch as indicated on the pattern for the waistband. As you stitch from one end to the other, stretch the elastic flat and you will get perfect gathers.
Here’s how the waistband will look when the two rows of stitching are complete. Now we ready for the drawstring!
Before feeding the drawstring into the waistband, I fold the ends under twice and stitch.
Again, I attach a safety pin on one end to feed the drawstring through the waistband. Check to make sure the head of the safety pin will fit through the grommet!
Push the drawstring through the left grommet gathering the waistband fabric and pulling it out the other side until you are all the way around the waistband.
Bring the drawstring through the right grommet and adjust it so that it’s even on both ends. Remove the safety pin. At this point you can tie a knot in the ends of the drawstring if you wish. This will help prevent it from slipping back into waistband when it’s laundered.
All that’s left now is the hem. Serge the edge and turn it up 5/8″.
Topstitch the hem.
You’re done! You can iron the seams if you wish but I couldn’t wait to try on my finished garment!
My First Reveal!
I hope you’ll give the Jalie Vanessa pattern a try! As for me, now I can relax in style!
If you’re a visual learner, watch this sped-up video of the process:
Up until now, I have only done home, garden and craft DIYs with my husband on our blog (Birdz of a Feather). But I had ‘sew’ much fun making these lounging pants that I may have to add a new sewing section to our site ?.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program of DIY. Check out our upcycled Singer Sewing Machine Table.