How to Design Sweatpants

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Sweatpants are a comfortable pair of pants with an elastic waist made from a thick, jersey fabric. Designing sweatpants can be a fairly simple task due to the stretchy fabric and loose fit. It is recommended to get a cheap fabric similar to the final fabric you would like to use for your sweatpants in order to test the pattern you create. Sewing skills are important to this design process.

Things You'll Need

  • Knit fabric
  • Pattern paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Over-lock sewing machine
  • Thread

Choose a fabric. Sweatpants fabrics can vary greatly. Go to your local fabric store and look through the knit and jersey section. Sweatpants are generally made in one of these materials due to comfort and their ability to stretch.

Determine a style. What kind of style do you want to design? Straight leg? Tapered leg? Wide waistband? Cropped legs? Determine what you would like in all the elements of the pants. The waistband, legs and height of the pants are the components to the pants.

Determine the measurements needed for the sweatpants. Measure the waist, legs, inseam and the hips. Measure from the point you would like the sweatpants to start and end. For example, if you are creating low-rise sweatpants, do not start at the top of the waist for the leg measurement.

Create a pattern. Get pattern paper or plain white paper to create your pattern. Lay out the basic measurements on the paper, then determine the shape you would like for the outlines of the garment. The pattern should have five pieces: two front legs, two back legs and the waistband. Hold the tape measure in a circle around your leg at different points to determine the width of the legs. If you want wide-leg pants, hold the tape measure out as far as you would like the pants. Get a pattern of sweatpants from the fabric store and reference the inseam of pants when creating this part. Be sure to add a quarter inch seam allowance to all measurements for sewing.

Sew a sample. Once your pattern is created, cut the pieces out of the cheap fabric and sew a sample. Try on the sample to see how the pants fit. Note areas you would like to change and alter this on your pattern. Sew the pants with the altered pattern and repeat this process until you are happy with the design.

Finalize the design. When the design is complete, sew the pants using your selected fabric. Sometimes a different fabric will drape differently and create an undesired effect. If this is the case, make any alterations necessary to your design.

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