I feel like my current blog makes are possibly a little too indicative of how my social life is looking… its hard to find the motivation to make garments for being sociable in when socialising has become such a small part of my world and lounging has become a much larger portion. So for now I’m fully embracing loungewear.

Style Arc have a vast range of wonderful designs across lots of different garment types and in a huge size range (much larger than most brands I’ve come across which is amazingly inclusive). The Joni Track Pant (or jogging bottom if you ask me what I’d call it) is a great piece of loungewear with a really comfortable and yet stylish shape to it.

This pattern calls for French Terry or Loop back jersey as its sometimes referred. It is a sweatshirt weight stretch fabric, which means that it is substantially thicker than standard jersey fabric. There is no reason why you couldn’t make up this pattern in a standard jersey weight, you’re going to get something significantly lighter though and its going to feel less like a jogger as a result.

This fabric comes in 3 colours (green, yellow and petrol) and this is the petrol version. It has a really lovely illustrative style to it with a bird and heart print all over it. The colours are really vivid which leads to a fabulously bold look. The fabric is also really soft to the touch, which for loungewear is absolutely what you want… I mean if its not comfy to wear can it even be called loungewear?

The other fabric required for this make is ribbing… and this is where I actually managed to make an error. Ribbing is an unusual fabric as it usually comes on the round, so the widths are actually the circumference, and they are often very narrow so this is something you need to keep your eyes on to avoid doing what I did… which was choosing one that actually wasn’t wide enough for the waistband to fit on. I was concentrating more on getting the colour I wanted (which was a matching petrol, of which I absolutely achieved). Now, as with many errors, this was by no means catastrophic as I simply added a seam to the waistband so that instead of there just being one seam at the back, I have 2 side seams on mine instead.

This pattern is my first look at a printed copy of a Style Arc pattern (I’ve used their print at home pdf’s previously… which like any print at home pattern is a massive faff sticking all the pages together), so I was intrigued as to how it would differ. The pattern comes printed in different colours for each size which makes cutting out really clear but the instructions come printed on the same large sheet that the pattern is on. Now the instructions are clear but incredibly brief… to the point of (in my opinion) lacking detail and clarity on certain points. If you’re a confident sewist then this won’t be a problem, but for those who would benefit from more tips along the way I can see how it would be frustrating. I’m going to go through some of those tips below though so keep reading.

The first instruction is about making the pockets. This pattern contains front hip and back pockets. The front pockets have 2 pocket bags to attach, but this is done very simply and diagrams are provided to help. The only instruction I found odd was use of the term “sew a flat seam” which I translated to mean “topstitch” as this is what I would usually do at this location. Sometimes variations in terminology across pattern brands can occur, I’ve also known it to be referred to as “edge stitching”. The back pockets then go on as you would expect for a patch pocket BUT… I think they’re too high. I didn’t notice until I put the trousers on, but they sit much higher on my bottom than is flattering, I’ll be placing them about 4cm lower on future pairs (I’m still toying with whether I want to remove these and move them lower). It probably sounds like I’m being pernickety, but its getting details like this right that make such a difference to the overall look.

You may also see the little detail in my topstitching at the top edge of the back pocket. This little triangle that I create helps to prevent the seam allowance that’s been tucked under from being visible at the top edge. It’s something I like to do when I patch pockets on for a really clean looking finish, and its so simple to do with just a couple of extra pivots.

So once all your pockets are on the trousers get sewn together. These have a couple of pleats (or tucks as they refer to it) at the top edge of the front, these get basted into place to make it easier to attach the waistband later.  You then sew the trouser seams together, where the only thing that’s of any note is that there is a faux fly to stitch into place. This is super simple, as after stitching the crotch seam you simply fold the fly section to one side and topstitch it down in the same manner you would a real fly facing (just without the fiddly zip insertion). It’s a nice detail to the front of these, but easy to omit if you didn’t want it there.

Now you have something that actually resembles a pair of trousers its time to attach the rib fabric… starting with the waistband. Before stitching it though you’ll need to create your drawstring openings. I did this using eyelets, they are so simple to do and I love the effect you end up with… but the pattern suggests you could do small buttonholes too. Regardless of which of those options you go for its important to reinforce with a small piece of interfacing. I used a sew in medium weight (I didn’t want to use a fusible as it would make the ribbing behave a bit odd when stretched).

This next step is by far the trickiest one… because after seaming the waistband into a loop and the same with the elastic you’re folding one over the other and then stitching a channel for your drawstring… through the elastic. This is the step where I really felt the instructions were lacking as it just says to do this and offers no advice. The really important advice that’s needed here is as follows…

1.       Divide both your elastic and the waistband into quarters, marking with pins that you then line up together when you put the two together.

a.       This enables you to spread the fullness evenly, as the waistband is larger than the elastic.

2.       When stitching the channel for the drawstring you will need to stretch the elastic and waistband as you go. (Simpler than it sounds).

a.       If you don’t stretch it as you sew the stitches will snap when you stretch the waistband later to put the trousers on.

b.       To get an even distance, use the seam guide lines on your machine to keep you on the right line as you sew round.

c.       I chose to stitch this line of stitching after I had attached the waistband to the trousers, it makes very little difference when this is done.

Once you’ve got your elasticated waist band made you then attach it to the top of the trousers, stretching it to fit as necessary and using the notches to line up the side seams, front and back. The cuffs then go on really simply and once the drawstring has been fed through its channel they are complete!

The fit on them is absolutely bang on. I made the size 16, my body measurements came in marginally smaller than stated for this size (this chart is only available on their website and doesn’t come in the pattern) but I decided that loungewear that is too tight was not what I was after and that was definitely the right decision as they are super comfy in this size for me. Although they would have fit in the size down I probably wouldn’t have been as comfy after munching through a tub of icecream (a necessary consideration to make I think).

Since my blog last month I have made several more bralettes, so it felt only right that I made a pair to match these jogging bottoms using the scraps I had left over. Because its thicker than the jersey I usually use for them I used a powernet for the lining which worked really well. This duo created such a fab co-ord loungewear set that my partner actually asked me if I’d brought it when I showed him my finished creation.