Updated: Nov 15
Welcome to the November #SALwithALD! This month we are sewing up the Rad Patterns Couch Potato Joggers. If you're looking for comfortable pants for the entire family these are a great option. They're a favorite here, in fact they are my go-to pattern for lounge wear and PJs for my entire family.
There are three size ranges: Kids (2-18+), Hourglass (drafted height 5' 7" and up to an 80" hip), and Straight Proportion (drafted height is 6' and up to a 73" hip). Pattern options include 3 pant lengths, inseam or zipper pocket, elasticated waist, and an optional drawstring. The pattern is drafted for 2-way knit with at least 20% stretch across the grain, but 4-way knits work great too! I will share some of my other creations with these patterns at the end of this blog.
Our schedule for the week is:
Day 1 (11/9): Pattern assembly/projector set up and pick fabric
Day 2 (11/10): Cut fabric
Day 3 (11/11): Pockets
Day 4 (11/12): Rise, inseam and side seams
Day 5 (11/13): Waistband and cuffs
Day 6 (11/14): Catch up
Day 7 (11/15): Share!
Day 1: Getting Started
Once you have decided who you're sewing for take their measurements to determine which size to sew. Luckily, for the adult sizes you only have two measurements to take: hip and waist, the children's sizes also need a height measurement. If you fall across multiple sizes you may need to grade between sizes to get the best fit. When turning off layers for printing or projecting keep the sizes you need to grade between. For printed patterns redraw your cut lines, blending the sizes you need over several inches. If you are using a projector do what is most comfortable to you. I am brand new to projectors and have not needed to grade yet though I would probably eyeball as I'm cutting or use a washable marker and draw my grade lines only.
Pick out the fabric, or fabrics, that you want and that's it for today! For mine I used Franklin and Crocodile French Terry. I just love this combination. Unfortunately, the Crocodile is out of stock now, but there are other great FT options in stock! If you don't need cool weather joggers but still want to sew along athletics, double brushed polyester, and pointelle are also great options!
Don't forget to share your progress on the daily Facebook post to get your entry in.
Day 2: Cutting
Welcome to day 2 of our Couch Potato SAL, today is fabric cutting day. You will need two mirrored pieces of each leg pattern piece, 4 mirrored pocket pieces if you're adding pockets, 2 cuffs (make sure you use the correct length), 1 waistband piece, and a drawstring if you're making your own. Make sure to transfer over any pattern markings if you need them for the pocket and drawstring openings, and quarter points on the waistband.
For my pocket markings I cut out the square on my pocket piece and traced that onto the wrong side of one set my pocket pieces. I used an alternative method for sewing in the zipper, which I will show in detail tomorrow. If you are using the technique described in the tutorial you will also need to transfer the zipper markings onto the front pant leg pieces. I cut my drawstring 2" wide on the double fold.
Don't forget to share your progress in the daily entry thread!
Day 3: Pockets
For the inseam pockets pin or clip the straight side one pocket piece to the side seam of one leg piece. Make sure right sides are together and sew together using a stretch stitch on a sewing machine or your serger if you have one. I prefer to use my sewing machine for this because the seam allowance is 1/2”. Open the pocket away from the pant leg, press, and topstitch the pocket to the seam allowance. Repeat for the other three pockets and you’re done for the day!
The zippered pocket takes a little more work. If you are following the method in the tutorial you need to cut the openings for both front pant legs and the pocket and press them open. Make sure wrong sides are together for the pant leg and right sides are together for the pocket. This will sandwich the fabric edges between the layers. Sew your zipper into place on the pant leg, then your pocket the wrong sides of the pocket and pant leg will be together. Place your back pocket piece onto the front pocket piece right sides together and sew along the curve. Pin and baste stitch your pocket in place along the front leg.
I used a different method for my zippered pocket, which I show in the collage bellow. The zipper isn’t sandwiched between the fabric layers. I placed my pocket onto the front leg, right sides together, and sewed along the pattern marking. After that I cut up the center towards each end and then carefully into the corners without hitting my stitches. I turned my pocket through the opening and pressed well. To finish installing my zipper I glue-basted the zipper to the inside of the pocket and stitched in place. Then I sewed the back pocket pieces on and basted my completed pockets in place.
My zippers were too long so I marked where they needed to end with a pin, sewed across that point a few times, then trimmed about 1/2” past my stitches.
Don’t forget to comment in the daily thread if you’re sewing along!
Day 4: Rise, Inseam, and Side seams
For both the back and front leg pieces sew the rise with right sides together. If desired, you can topstitch the seams at this time. I prefer to do this when using my coverstitch if topstitching because there isn’t a bulky seam to try to sew over.
After the rises are sewn place the front legs and back legs together, right sides together, pin or clip and serge or sew the inseam and side seams.
If you are doing the in-seam pockets you will treat them as part of the side seam. I find it easiest to sew from about an inch below the pocket to the top of the pockets with my sewing machine before doing the entire seam with my serger. The turn is difficult to keep accurate when using the serger only. Stitch the bottom 1.5” of the pocket shut. Fold the pockets towards the front and baste in place.
Don’t forget to share your progress!
Day 5: Waistband and Cuffs
Welcome to day 5 of the Couch Potato Joggers #SALwithALD! Today we finish our joggers by adding the cuffs and attaching the waistband.
The cuffs are the easy part so we’ll do those first. Sew or serge the short ends of your cuff pieces right sides together to form a loop. Fold the cuffs in half, wrong sides together, then find your quarter points. I always use the seam as one point. With smaller sizes you can probably get away with only finding the half points. Find the quarter (or half points) of the leg opening, slide the cuff onto the leg right sides together and pin or clip along the raw edges, matching up your marked points. I always like to make sure my seams for my cuffs are going opposite of the pants seam I’ve lined it up with to reduce bulk when attaching. Serge or sew the cuffs on, then gently pull them down, topstitch if desired: I always do for my kids because they’re so rough on their clothes, but often skip it for myself.
The waistband takes a little more work. If you’re adding a drawstring we need to start there. I chose to use a grommet for my drawstring opening. The first thing I did was cut a square of fabric to use as a stabilizer for my drawstring (I also do this with buttonholes). I cut a hole at the points marked on my waistband just large enough for the grommets, then in my stabilizing squares and layered them together with the stabilizer on the wrong side of my waistband. I attached my grommet according to the package instructions, being careful not to hammer too much and bend them.
If doing a buttonhole opening for your drawstring I highly suggest practicing with your machine to make sure you have the correct settings and know which way to sew each buttonhole. (My machine with a 4-step buttonhole sews towards me first, the one with an automatic buttonhole sews away from me). Even without a buttonhole settings you can sew them on a sewing machine! The long sides of a buttonhole are a narrow zigzag, the ends are a wide zigzag with little to no movement. It takes a little practice to get right, but it can be done. My most successful tip for a great looking buttonhole on knit fabrics is to stabilize the wrong side with a second layer of fabric (or more if you’re using lightweight fabrics) and putting a piece of tissue paper against the feed dogs to ensure even feeding of the fabric.
Once you have your drawstring openings finished we can finish the waistband!
Serge or sew the short ends of the waistband with right sides together. Fold in half along the length wrong sides together and set aside. It is time to measure and cut the elastic for the waistband. The joggers are not designed to stay up without the elastic, so it is important not to skip it unless you’re adding a drawstring and comfortable with using that to secure them. Because not all elastic has the same stretch and recovery it is a good idea to double check the length against the body that will be wearing them. I pre-stretch my elastic (a trick I learned in diaper making because elastic never fully recovers from the first stretch) and then wrap it around where the joggers waistband will sit, overlapping until I find a comfortably snug length then trim the ends, leaving enough length to overlap and sew together.
This next step is the hardest part, sewing in the elastic. I find the quarter points of elastic and waistband to make it easier to make sure I’m sewing it into the waistband evenly. Tuck the elastic inside the waistband up in the fold to make sure it’s away from the seam allowance at the raw edges, pinning or clipping together at the quarter points. Gently stretch the elastic until it fits the length of the waistband fabric and sew around towards the top edge, through fabric and elastic. Be very careful not to push or pull as you work to avoid breaking a needle or damaging your machine. Sew a second line towards the bottom of the elastic, again stretching as you sew. The drawstring openings should be between your rows of stitching.
Alternatively you can skip these rows of stitching, but you will want to tack your elastic down in a few places to prevent it from twisting. If I do this I stitch at both side seams and the center back.
Pin or clip the waistband to the waist opening, right sides together, and serge or sew in place. If you are adding a drawstring be mindful of the openings: If you want the drawstring out make sure the openings are against the pants when attaching: if you want them in make sure they’re facing out when attaching.
Insert your drawstring if you’re adding one and you’re done! If you make your own drawstring sew along the length, right sides together, then turn right sides out (a tube turner is great for this). I used a 1/4” seam allowance for my drawstrings.
Don’t forget to share your finished joggers into the daily post if you’re sewing along! Tomorrow is a catchup day and Sunday, November 15th is our share day. If you sewed your joggers using ALD fabrics share them to the Facebook group with the hashtag #SALwithALD to get entered into the quarterly prize drawing.
Day 7: Share Day!
We have made it to the end of our Couch Potato Jogger Sew Along and today is share day. If you made your joggers with ALD fabrics feel free to share them in the comments of the daily thread and on the main wall with #SALwithALD to get entered into the quarterly prize drawing. If you made your joggers with other fabrics please share them in the comments, we still want to see your amazing sews! Thank you for sewing along with me!
Below are some of my other Couch Potato Jogger sews.
I used Pointelle for one of my kids and husband. These two options are sold out, but there are more available in the waffle collection on the website.
I used the new Olympus base for this pair (modified to be knee length). Olympus is a heavier weight athletic fabric. Bisbee was a preorder that will hopefully be arriving in the shop in a few weeks. Most of the fabrics in the Athletics Collection would be great jogger options too. The heavier weights will have more structure and the lighter weights (like Jersey Moss and ABP) will have more drape.
This pair I made in a rib knit that was part of a bundle last year, but ALD often has rib knits available, there are several currently in stock in the Brushed Collection.