You can make a pair of soft and cozy fleece pants at home, using either lightweight fleece fabric or a thicker polar fleece. Look for either a pajama pants or sweatpants pattern in your size, and if you want extra features such as pockets, read the pattern's envelope to make sure it has the desired features. You also need to use ball point straight pins and a ball point sewing machine needle to get the best results.
Things You'll Need
- 2 to 3 yards fleece fabric, 60 inches wide
- Pants pattern
- Ball point straight pins
- Rotary cutter and mat (optional)
- Sewing machine with ball point needle
- Good quality 100% polyester thread
- 1 to 2 yards elastic, 5/8-inch wide
- Large safety pin or bodkin
Review the chart on the back of the pattern envelope before you buy the fleece fabric. Find the size you are making and look down the list to determine how many yards of 60-inch-wide fabric you need. Purchase the indicated yardage of fleece.
Unfold the fleece and shake it out to get rid of thick creases, then fold the fabric in half again with the selvage edges together. Spread the double-layer fabric on the table.
Pin the pants pattern pieces to the fabric with ball point straight pins. The pattern directions will tell you which pieces you need to use for your project. A basic pants pattern with no pockets will have two pieces, pants front and pants back.
Cut the fabric along the pattern lines that are marked for your size, using the scissors. A rotary cutter will also do a nice, even job of cutting fleece fabric, but make sure you have a protective pad under the fabric.
Pin the pieces together according to the pattern's directions. Use the sewing machine to sew the seams, using a stretch stitch setting. For most patterns, this will mean sewing the crotch seams, inner leg seams and then side seams.
Finish the raw edges of the seams by sewing over them with the sewing machine set on a zigzag or other finishing stitch. Leave a 2-inch opening in the seam when making the elastic casing. Finish the leg ends and waistband edges with a finishing stitch.
Fold down the top of the waistband according to the pattern directions to form the elastic casing. Beginning 1 inch from the center back seam, sew around the casing, stopping 1 inch from the other side of the center back seam. This will leave an opening to insert the waistband elastic.
Cut the elastic to fit your waist plus 1 inch, then attach a safety pin or bodkin to the end. Push the pin or bodkin into the casing opening, and then keep pushing it forward 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch at a time until it comes out the other end.
Overlap the elastic ends by 1/2 inch, and sew back and forth over the ends a minimum of four times to fasten them together. Pull on the waistband until the elastic pops all the way into the casing, then sew the casing closed the rest of the way.
Try on the fleece pants to see how much they need to be hemmed. You might need an assistant to help mark the hemline because when you bend over the hemline will ride up. Fold the hemline under and sew the hem with the sewing machine set to make a zigzag stitch.
Tips & Warnings
- The amount of fleece fabric needed to make pants varies by size, with around 1 yard for a small pair of pants and up to almost 3 yards for extra large pants.
- Set your sewing machine to make a long stitch when sewing fleece, because the thickness of the fabric will pull the stitches in, making them small and tight.
- Photo Credit woman pant for fitness image by Andrea Massimiani from Fotolia.com
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