I can't express how excited I was to be asked to be the featured European Fabric Shop for the very first Menswear Haystack Pack!
As soon as I learned that the pattern was the Couch Potato Joggers by Rad Patterns, I purchased it immediately to make a pair for my husband, who I will refer to in this blog post as Andy...because that is his name.
I like that Rad Patterns offers these joggers in 'straight proportion' or 'hourglass', rather than labelling them as 'mens' and 'womens'.
I love, love, love the zipped pockets!! As parents of a toddler, we spend a lot of time sitting, crawling and generally rolling around on the floor, so deep pockets are a must because our phones are constantly falling out. As soon as our little girl sees a phone, she signs the words "more, please, Ivy" because all she wants to do is spend hours watching videos of herself jumping in muddy puddles. These zipped pockets are a game changer for us!
I let Andy choose the fabrics for his joggers and, without being coerced, he chose the Organic Brushed-Back French Terry, which is my absolute favourite.
The pocket lining he picked was a monster print cotton jersey, which was scraps leftover from making baby clothes.
I've just started stocking zips and drawstring cords and have managed to colour-match nine of them. If you're looking for matching notions for your garment, then check out the table at the bottom of the dedicated Haystack Pack page, which lists them all.
I found the instructions to this pattern very easy to follow, so all I'm adding here are little tweaks I made to make things easier for me and simples changes to the pockets.
I originally cut the 1X size but after realising it was a little too big, I went down to the XL.
My husband is 6' 3" and the problem he has with RTW clothes is that they shrink on the first wash and are then too short. He kept saying to me "make sure you make them a bit longer for when they shrink in the wash" and I kept telling him that this is the joy with sewing your own clothes, you pre-shrink the fabric before you cut them out!
Tweak 1 - bigger pockets
Although he's tall, I didn't have to lengthen the pattern. He did however request extra large pockets, so I drafted a new pocket piece about 3cm longer.
Tweak 2 - interfacing pocket opening
I find that thicker knit fabrics don't seem to press and stay in place very well, especially when you are folding over and pressing a very small amount like 0.5cm - it just wants to flip back over. I've tried spray starch in the past but never got on with it. So I did something perhaps unconventional...I mean...I don't know? Has anyone else done this before?
So, for the zip pocket openings you fold back approx. 0.5cm and press. Then you baste your zip against that. To hold the 0.5cm of fabric down, I used a thin strip of fusible interfacing to temporarily hold it in place, like I was sticky-taping it down:
The above picture shows the wrong side of the fabric with the pocket opening folded in. The red dotted line shows the edge of the fabric, which is folded over and stuck down underneath the interfacing. The interfacing is holding it in place like it was sticky tape.
Tweak 3 - basting the zip
I wanted some of the zip tape to show through at the front of the garment and I think the pattern is designed to do it. I was able to line up my folded-over edges with lines on the zip tape, which I have highlighted on this image in green:
The instructions then suggest you baste the zip to the folded over seam allowance, but I couldn't do this as I had already taped it down with interfacing, so I basted it in with a light coloured thread, through both the zip and the main fabric. I could then remove the basting stitch easily afterwards:
The above picture shows the zip basted in from the back and the front of the garment.
Tweak 4 - pocket lining
I wanted the pocket lining to have the monster print on both sides inside the pocket, so I flipped the opposite front facing pocket and used that.
In other words, step 8 of the instructions says to lay your pocket piece right side down:
But I took the front-facing pocket piece for the right leg and placed it print side up on the left leg, and vice versa:
So that when you open the pocket, you can see the print on both pocket facings:
Tweak 5 - using wider elastic
I only needed to do this tweak because I am using a slightly wider elastic for the waistband. The pattern calls for 1.75" wide elastic (44.45mm), but I stock 50mm wide elastic. So to use this wider elastic, I increased the width of the waistband by 0.5cm on the top and 0.5cm on the bottom:
Finishing the waistband
If you want to use drawstring and are using the 15mm wide drawstring that I stock, your button holes will need to accommodate this. On my machine, the button hole foot requires a button to be placed in the back:
So I had to do some trial and error with different sized buttons to get a button hole big enough.
The length of drawstring cord I used for this XL pair was 1.65 metres and I finished it off with the two metal toggles.
And they are finished!
We popped out for a walk this afternoon while it was snowing sideways, but it stopped long enough to snap a few pics.