Making Stylish Kids Joggers – A Pattern Review

by Meghan Fowler

For me, sweatpants are important from about 8 pm on, or if it “feels like a sweats day.” But to my 6 year old son they are important at all times. If I want to buy him a clothing present that actually touches his heart, it had better be sweat pants, sweat pants… or – yup! – sweat pants. Comfort and mobility are key.

Author's son running

Will he feel like he is in his jammies, while maintaining the greatest possibility for speed, dexterity, flexibility, and general sportsness? Secondary is “looking cool” – but his standards for this are (blessedly) very loose at this point.

The tricky bit is that finding skinny joggers that satisfy my aesthetic AND cost a reasonable amount is nearly impossible, and the cheapest ones are pretty shapeless. Or if they are nice to look at, they invariably have a massive waist and I end up sewing weird darts or whatever in the back just to keep them up. All of which is fine, really. Like in a deep sense, it’s fine.

To be clear: I’m not a clothing snob; I’m not judging you or your kids for baggy bum sweat pants, and I’m not judging mine either. I’m ok, you’re ok. Ugly sweats are ok. 👌 Kids don’t need to be super stylish. They need to be clothed, adequately warm or cool depending on season. That’s kind of it. Priorities, people!

Still, in the department of non-necessities, cute kids clothes matter to me. So, I set out on a mission to find a good pattern for joggers and make him some! A love gift for him, and a love gift for me too (cause I love seeing him running around in something that I made and like!!).

Fun creative project – yes!
Budget friendly – you bet!
Stylish joggers – yes sirree!
Good way to repurpose thrifted fabrics and clothes – yep!

PLUS, some of you may know that I’m in the midst of a journey toward a more ethical wardrobe, so making sweats for my kid satisfies my desire that the person making them has adequate food to eat and a roof over her head, among other things.

I bought this very exciting kind-of burnt-cinnamon colour sweatshirt fleece fabric recently, and decided it would be perfect (hopefully) for my first attempt at hip little sweats. I found this fantastic looking pattern (“Roscoe Pants”) by Felicity Patterns and was off to the races.

Pair #1 – Cinnamon Coloured Hipster Joggers

I decided to make my first pair of Roscoe Pants fairly simple, so forewent the back pockets, the side stripes, and the knee-pleat option (in favour of a more simple reinforced knee-seam). The finished result was a huge hit with Ethan, and I’m super happy with how they look! In fact, I was so happy that I decided to make a second pair…:

Pair #2 – Teal Racer-Stripe Joggers

For the second pair I used fabric harvested from some shapeless teal thrift store sweats and bits and pieces from an old shirt of Marcus’s. (I get SUCH A THRILL from upcycling clothing, using thrift finds, etc! Guys!!) I definitely felt more confident with the pattern second go-round and it came together even faster this time. These ones look so different from the first pair, and I love that the pattern offers such versatility of final looks! The options are endless. My mind is already spinning with future possibilities as my son – inevitably – grows and requires MORE COOL JOGGERS!

Which ones are your favourites?

Boy wearing roscoe Joggers

Thoughts on the pattern.

The Roscoe Pants pattern itself is really thorough and well thought out, and I was impressed with all the professional finishing details the authour includes in the instructions (yes, I’m Canadian. I spell words like authour with an OU. Spell check hates me!).

In my hurry, I often skip doing “the little things” that really take a project to the next level of quality and durability, things like, er…. top-stitching next to a finished seam to reinforce it and hold the seam down. Ok, I would probably have skipped this step before mainly because I would never have even thought of it. But I’m addicted to doing this now! The pattern maker, Stephanie, is clearly a professional, and for someone like me who “wings it” all too often, or just keeps it really simple, following this pattern was another step in my long education as an amateur sewist. Grateful for the new skills and knowledge and ideas gleaned along the way.

All in all it was straightforward to follow the pattern, although I did find myself confused at the part instructing one how to add the pocket bearer. I realized later that this confusion may have been averted if the pattern said “with right sides together” when indicating how to sew the pocket bearer on at first, but I did figure it out regardless.

I did make some slight modifications to the pairs I sewed to give them a more custom fit and look:

  • I narrowed the pattern because Ethan is pretty slender, and I like the look of a skinny jogger too. I used other sweats of his (with similar stretch!) as a prototype to make adjustments to the Roscoe Pattern.
  • I made the front leg piece a bit skinnier than the back piece because I like what that does for the skinny-jogger profile.
  • Skinnifying the pants also meant that I had to adjust the waist band to fit his mini waist. I did not cut the waist band until I had sewn up the main body of the sweats and tried them on him for fit.
  • For both pairs, I shortened the fabric length in the legs in favour of adding a separate 2.5″ ankle cuff on the bottom. This was just a matter of personal taste. The hem styles in the pattern are also really cute!
  • I did not do back pockets on either pairs, but the tutorial on that does look straight forward and they are nice.
  • For Pair #1 I opted for a knee-seam with stitching above and below the seam instead of the knee pleat. I really love this detail!
  • For Pair #2 I joined the top and bottom front pieces to make one long uniform front piece, but then added the elective leg stripe, which incidentally does make the pants much faster to run in (or so I’ve been told).
  • For Pair #2 I made a waistband out of one long strip of ribbing (instead of the 2 piece version on the pattern). Just for variety. Then I sewed ¾” button holes to the left and right of center and inserted the waist elastic and tape that way. (Funny story: I actually sewed the most beautiful button holes of my life into the waist band and then realized I had sewn them THROUGH BOTH SIDES like a genius. So I had to carefully rip all them stitches out and start again. But I”ll never again sew such perfect button holes, I’m convinced. It was a bit sad. But also a bit funny.)

Friends, if you have any questions at all about exactly how I made any one of the modifications I made, please feel free to ask in the comments below, or send me a message detailing your question! I’ll do my best to help in my amateur sewing way 🙂

Once again, here’s the link to the Roscoe pattern on the Felicity Patterns Etsy page.

In my opinion, this was a well made pattern and I’m SUPER thrilled with the outcome of this sewing venture!!

The most important review of this pattern is the one given by my son, who says (of the racing-stripe pair he was wearing at the time):

I love them because I’m good at jumping in them and I love playing in them. And partly because they have white stripes on them and I think they look good on me.”

So there you have it, folks! Now go find some fabric and a little boy and GET SEWING! And please tag me at @under.the.elms with any creations you come up with. And that reminds me, if you don’t yet, please follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. Thanks for all the love and support!

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photograph of sweats and a pinterest pin

 

 

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