My boys are currently at the stage where they’ll put on a pair of trousers that fit just fine, then I’ll blink and there’ll be several cm of ankle showing where previously there was not.
My son Dominic is particularly bad for this at the moment. He never seems to get any wider, just taller!
My other boys are alright for emergency trousers (this is where having big brothers comes in handy!), but for Dominic it means a shopping trip.
As I’m going to have to get him some longer trousers anyway, I thought it would be fun to make him some!
Having an elasticated waist and being loose fitting makes trackie style trousers very easy to make, and this version only has 2 pieces.
The fabric I chose was this Sweatshirt Fabric. It’s not as stretchy as I was expecting it to be which is a good thing because it makes it easier to sew! It’s lovely and thick and the wrong side is fluffy, so they’ll be nice and warm for Dominic to wear for the rest of the winter. I also used this Waistband Elastic. It’s constructed in a different way to normal elastic, so it’s much firmer and hopefully will keep its stretchiness for longer.
If you are not one for wearing trackies, you could make the same style of trousers for pyjama bottoms, waterproof trousers or cotton trousers for summer.
How to Make the Pattern
The easiest way to do this is to find a pair of trackies that fit well and use those as a starting point. All of Dominic’s are too short in the leg, so I added a few more cm to make them bigger.
As Dominic is quite tall, I just made pattern pieces for the top part and for the bit round the ankle.
1. Lay the trousers over the greaseproof paper. You’ll need to draw around 1 half of the top part into the leg and add a seam allowance, so make sure there’s enough room on the paper.
2. Draw around the top part of the trousers. The outside leg will need to be straight as you will be cutting this on the fold. When you get to the part where the legs join together, mark on the paper the top and bottom of the seam. Take a good look at the seam! Remove the trousers, then join the 2 marks, following roughly the shape of the seam on the original trousers.

3. Draw round your pattern piece again, this time adding a seam allowance and an extra 6 cm at the top. If you need to make the trousers a bit bigger than the original ones, add the extra cm now. Cut out your pattern piece.

4. Take another piece of greaseproof paper and lay the bottom of one of the trackie legs onto it. Draw around the bottom part of the leg, adding 5-6 extra cm for the casing for the elastic. Remember that the outside leg will be cut on the fold. If the bottom cuff is elasticated, it’s fine to draw the bottom of the leg square as the elastic will give it some shape. Draw up into the leg a little bit. Cut it out.

Cutting Out

1. Take your fabric and fold it so the the grain is running up and down. Fold it over enough so that you can get your pattern piece on.

2. Lay the pattern piece for the top of the trackies on the fabric. The outside leg needs to be on the fold. Pin in place.

3. Take the pattern piece for the bottom of the leg. Lay that onto the fabric, again so that the outside leg is on the fold. Check that the legs will be long enough and that you’ve allowed for the casing at the ankle.


4. Cut out the leg piece. I used a tape measure as a guide because I don’t trust myself to cut straight! It’s easier to use a rotary cutter for this than scissors if you have one.

5. Using the leg piece you just cut out as a guide, cut a second leg in the same way.

At this point, the trouser legs probably look huge. In my experience, when this is the case, they’re probably the right size. If they are a bit big, you’ll be able to adjust it them in a bit.

Sewing Up

1. Open out both the leg sections. With the right sides together, pin the front and back seams. Sew, then trim the seams. Normally you would need to clip the curves, but as the fabric doesn’t fray very much, you can just trim them closely instead.

2. Rearrange the trousers so that the front and the back seams are together. Pin the leg seams.

3. Sew the leg seams. I usually start where the front and back seams meet and sew downwards towards the ankle, then sew the other leg in the same way.

4. Get your trouser wearer to try them on. Mark with pins where the waist and ankle cuffs will need to be.

5. To make the casing for the elastic, fold down the top of the trousers, then tuck the raw edge underneath and pin. Check that the casing will be wide enough for the elastic, then sew close to the bottom edge. Repeat for the ankles.

6. Cut a length of elastic wide enough to go round the recipient’s waist, plus a bit extra. Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing. Overlap the ends and sew them together. Repeat for the ankles.

One pair of trackies!

And this is the face when I told him to pose!

If you are interested in finding out more about sewing clothes without a pattern, I have several posts on my blog Tea and a Sewing Machine.