Heyyyyy! With the re-release of our FREE Yoggers pattern, we wanted to take some time go back to basics and have a little fun along the way. So we’re doing a Blog-A-Thon Sew-A-Long this week! Each day we’ll focus on a different aspect of making your very own pair of FREE Yoggers, from figuring out what size to make, choosing fabric, constructions, and even adding the optional drawstring with grommets or buttonholes!
What’s that? You don’t know what I’m even talking about? I’m sorry, let me tell ya about the FREE Yoggers! Our Yoggers (or, ahem, JOGGERS, but with a “soft J”) are a basic shorts/bermuda/capris or PANTS with a relaxed fit, optional pockets, and cuffs for the capri and pant versions. They’re great for anyone looking for a versatile yet comfortable pant pattern option! Depending on the fabric you use (which we’ll talk about Day 1 of the Sew-A-Long,) they can be loungey, sporty, even dressy enough for work (well, not suit and tie fancy, but fancy enough for most places!) They come in Adult and Kids sizes and are ABSOLUTELY FREEEEEEEEE! So grab your FREE YOGGERS HERE, download it and get going!
Sewing the FREE Yoggers with us this week?? Make sure to head to our Facebook group, Petite Stitchery and Co Fans, and find the “How Do YOU Yogger?!” photo album. Why?? Because we want to see how YOU Yogger! Do you wear ’em around the house while you Netflix and ice cream? How about while you chase kids around the house when they should be working on school stuff? Or do your kiddos wear ’em while they try to color the walls while standing on the dog? Maybe a friend needed comfy pants to garden in? Or go for a jog? Or sit in the car after stopping at the Starbucks drive thru, because y’know, LIFE! Whatever it is, we would LOVE to see it! Drop it in the album, share it to the wall and show us HOW YOU YOGGER!
And if you’re reading this in the future (ooooo….) you can still check it out for some “inspiration” for how YOU could Yogger!
Okay, back to sewing!
Here’s our schedule for the week:
Onto the Sew-A-Long!
Day 1: Fabric and Size Selection
Measuring is important! Again for the peeps in the back: MEASURING IS IMPORTANT!
Whenever starting a new sewing project, it is ALWAYS wise to take current and ACCURATE measurements. Granted, with the FREE Yoggers pattern, there’s some ease, so you can rest easy if “Quarantine Life” has packed on some extra inches. Still, always a good idea to be as accurately as possible.
With your measuring tape (or a string and hard ruler,) measure around your waist where your pants normally sit. This will give you your waist size for the pattern. Find that number on the size chart and note the corresponding size. This will be the size you use for your waistband!
Next! Let’s do the same for our hip! It can be tricky to keep your measuring tape/string straight when going around curves, so sometimes it’s easier to measure in front of a mirror. You want to go around the fullest part of your behind, around your hips and meet in the front. This will give you your… yup, you guessed it, hip measurement! Now you can reference THAT size on the size chart. That will give you the main size you’ll be making for the Yoggers.
If you are in between sizes (or very close to it,) you can choose to size up or down. Sizing up will give you a slouchier, more relaxed fit, where as if you size down, it’ll be more fitted (though not tight like leggings!)
A few sizing tips–if your waist and hip measurement put you in two different sizes, there are a couple of ways to approach that. Generally, you would blend the two by gently grading the hip size of the pants up to where you’d attach the waist band. For example, if your waist is a SMALL but your hips a LARGE, you would print both the small and the large and then gradually grade between the two (there are instructions and better examples for this in the pattern.) But these have such a relaxed fit, there is some wiggle room. If the difference is only a size, you’re probably safe to just make the straight size of either. For example, if my waist is 4x, but hips 3x, I can make a straight 3x and it’s good.
If you have a difference of 2 or more sizes, you can probably pick a size in the middle and that should give you enough ease! My kids have this issue sometimes–one kid has a size 6 waist but 10 hip. I don’t want to stretch a size 6 waistband to fit a size 10 pant, so I’ll print the size 8 pant and use that.
As always, a muslin is a good idea! I suggest making a quick pair of shorts, as it uses up the least amount of fabric and will give you the info you need before you cut out a full length pant!
Real quick note on inseams. For adults, all the inseams for the shorts, bermudas, capris and joggers are the same. You’ll see them on the finished size chart. If you take your inseam and there’s a significant difference, you can remove or add the length you need.
For kids, the inseams are all different, so consult the size chart and choose sizes accordingly! For my 5 year old with a 3t waist and a 6 inseam, I printed the 3t and 6, and used the 3t for all the horizontal lines (those going around the body,) and the 6 for the vertical (those going up and down, including crotch depth!) If you need help with this step, you can ask in our Facebook group, Petite Stitchery & Co Fans, and we would be happy to help you!
On to fabric!!
We love us some fabric in the sewing world. There are soooo many different types of fabrics out there, but not all are created equal!
The FREE Yoggers pattern requires knit fabric with 4 way 50%/50% stretch, meaning it stretches 50% horizonatally (across the grainline) and vertically (with the grainline.) This allows it to fit the way it was intended, though the horizontal stretch is the most important. You CAN use something with less vertical stretch also, but it will affect the height of the pattern, so you may need to add some length, especially at the rise/crotch. (This is when making an muslin is especially important!)
Don’t know how to determine the stretch of a fabric? Check out this short video from our Facebook group!
Here’s a short list of the most popular fabrics (and their abbreviations) to make the FREE Yoggers with!
- French Terry (FT)
- Sweater Knits (SK)
- Single or Double brushed polyester (SBP or DBP)
- Cotton Lycra/Spandex (CL or CS)*
- Athletic Brushed Polyester (ABP)*
- Athletic French Terry (AFT) and other athletic knits*
- Thermal, Waffle or Distressed Knits
- Liverpool/Bullet, Scuba, Ponte (These make great “work” appropriate pants!
*makes great waistbands!
One last note on fabric choice: You need something with GREAT stretch and recovery for waistbands and cuffs. Recovery is what allows fabric to return to its original size, and CAN relate to the amount of spandex in it, but not always. Best tip to determine it is to stretch a piece for a bit, and then let it go and see how closely it goes back to the original size. If it bounces right back, it’s good! If it stays a bit stretched out, it might not hold the pants up well (especially if you like to haul stuff in the generously sized pockets!) So if you’re using, say, a french terry, and want to use it for the waistband also, you’ll need something to help with the holding power. Easiest thing would be to add the optional drawstring, or you can add elastic. But we’ll talk about that on Day 4!
That’s about it for fabric and measuring! Tomorrow, we’ll be working on pockets (yay!) and construction! We’ll “see” you then!!
Day 2: Pockets and Construction
Pockets! Pockets! Pockets!
It’s no secret I love pockets. I’ve always got my phone on me, and usually a baby bottle and Hot Wheels car, so for me, pockets are a must! There’s only so much I can stuff in my bra, y’know? So for me, pockets are a must!
The pockets on the FREE Yoggers are fantastic because they hold ALL THE THINGS! I love this pic that our Super Mod, the Lovely Lydia took because I can SO relate! Ha!
The instructions in the tutorial are pretty clear, so I’m not going to do a step-by-step here. But here’s a little “pocket pro” tip–use a fabric with less vertical stretch than you might be using with the rest of your FREE Yoggers. THIS WAY when you load up your pockets with all your treasures/snacks/phones/whatever, it won’t get super saggy and stretch out. It can also add a pop of color or contrast to your Yoggers that you might not have otherwise!
Okay, pockets, done! Now we’re ready to start our construction!!
Construction is pretty straight forward, but I do want to mention that it can be a bit challenging WITH the pockets on, because they like to flop around. HIGHLY RECOMMENT pinning/clipping the pockets “closed” so that you can treat the front leg pieces as one solid piece when you sew. Just be careful as you sew, if you’re using pin–don’t want to sew over those if you’re serging your seams!!
The instructions are great for assembly–sew up the crotch seams, place front and back pieces right sides together, sew up the outside leg seams and then the inseam. PRO TIP! Before you sew up the legs, pin/clip at the top and the bottom of the legs pieces. EVEN IF YOU’RE A CONFIDENT SEWIST, just do it. It’s so easy for machines to pull the fabric through unevenly and distort the lengths of the legs—if you’ve ever sewn up pants and had a disparity in leg lengths, that’s probably why. Pinning/clipping at the top and bottom (and around the pockets, if you’re using them,) help with that greatly!
That’s it! Pretty straight forward, right? Tomorrow, Super Mod, the lovely Lydia will be showing us all about Drawstrings, Buttonholes and Grommets!
We’ll “see” you then!
Day 3: Drawstring, Buttonholes & Grommets
Drawstrings, buttonholes and grommets, oh my! Today, Super Mod, the Lovely Lydia, will be showing us all the ins and outs of everything you need to know for a functional drawstring on your FREE Yoggers waistband. Take it away, Lydia!
Welcome to today’s installment of the Yoggers sew along. Today I’m going to walk you through installing some grommets, buttonholes and some drawstring options. The first thing you want to do of course is have your tools ready, so let’s go over that.
We have some ¼” grommets, hammer, awl and some small pointed sharp scissors. A marking tool (I used my kids washable marker) a loop turner or safety pin.
First off, let’s cut out the oval for placement on the pattern piece. Mark a small dot on the very top of that. Now you need to mark the other side. Put a pin through the dot you just marked and mark the other side. You could also just flip the band over and use the pattern piece again. The pin is more accurate but use whatever method you prefer. No sewing police here.
Woven interfacing is highly recommended! There’s cheaper stuff out there but if you want those grommets to stay put, use the woven, trust me! Cut 2 squares 1”x1” of both interfacing and quilting cotton. You can skip the cotton and do 2 layers of interfacing. I will be demonstrating what has worked the best and has survived my drawstring-pulling kids.
Center the interfacing square with your dots and fuse to your fabric. Lumpy/soon-to-be-sticky side down, gently press for a little bit. A pressing cloth is usually recommended too. (No sewing police here though right…) Place the cotton squares on top and pin in place. You can baste too but not necessary.
Use the awl to poke a hole large enough to fit snugly around your grommet. You can also make a little x with your scissors and wiggle that over the grommet. Place the grommet on the tool, put the washers on top as shown, top washer is dome side up.
Place your grommet tool and use the hammer to secure your grommet. Try to get that top to be as flat as possible but don’t hurt yourself. Repeat with the other one and that’s it! Flip it over and admire your work.
If you would like to see a video on how to install grommets, you can view one in our Facebook group here: How to Install Grommets
Next, I’ll show buttonholes.
You’re going to mark the top and bottom of that oval you cut out and connect the dots with a straight line. This will be where your buttonhole will go. Repeat for the other side.
Cut 2 strips 1”x 2” each of interfacing and cotton. Buttonholes aren’t going to fall off if you don’t use the cotton, so feel free to just interface or just use cotton if you don’t have interfacing. Make your own rules, it’s all good. Ok, apply interfacing and cotton just as described before for the grommets. Line up the top of the button placement you marked with the markings on your buttonhole foot.
Follow the directions in your sewing machine manual to complete your button. Some machines are one step (lucky you,) some are 4 step. Some vintage machines have a buttonholer (also lucky you, those are cool,) or you can use your zigzag stitch and go around the marking you just made. All the machine does for you, is just that, zigzag around the hole you just made so it doesn’t get undone.
I have found that a ⅝” button makes a good size buttonhole for the Yoggers. So for those machines where you can just throw a button in the foot, that’s a good size.
To open the buttonhole place a safety pin just before the top of the buttonhole stitching and use your seam ripper to open it.
Add fray check if you have that or just use clear nail polish. Work with what you have. Repeat with the other buttonhole and you’re done.
Drawstring!!! I have few options for you.
Cut the drawstring according to the pattern. Fold in half RST(right sides together) use a straight stitch and sew at ¼” seam allowance. I like using 3.0 length and let the machines feed dogs just pull on it a bit. Use a loop turner and knot the ends.
You can also use a zigzag, overcast or just serge. I was going to turn the overcast from the sewing machine but I liked it so I just left it and tied my knot. The serged stitch also looks great you can turn it too but if you want to leave it make sure your fabric is WST(wrong sides together). This also shows you how to turn with a safety pin so no fancy equipment needed.
One last tip for you.
Before you attach your waistband add your drawstring, it’s much easier to get it through those grommets before closing the waistband. Place the end of your drawstring under the grommet opening and use a pin to pull through; repeat with the other side then make your knots and secure it in the fold so it doesn’t get caught when sewing. You are now ready to attach the waistband to your pants.
I hope you found this helpful and we are all looking forward to seeing everyone’s Yoggers. Happy sewing PSCo Family.
Day 4: Waistband and Cuffs
When I first started sewing, waistbands and neckbands were one of the “scarier” sewing skills to attempt. I couldn’t understand how you stretch the band while feeding through and it was juuuuuuust a little intimidating! But after doing a dozen, or a hundred or so, it’s no big deal! But it can be a little tricky at the beginning. We’ve got a video in our Facebook group, Petite Stitchery & Co Fans that can help with that! Best advice for waistbands is to pin/clip in fourths, attach and then add more pins/clips in between. Go slow and you’ll be a pro in no time!
Cuffs are added the exact same way, though you will likely not need nearly as many pins! I don’t have any other tips or tricks for cuffs, so let’s move on!
It’s Q&A time with WAISTBANDS!
~That’s a nice waistband ya got there… any other options?
Nope. At least, none that come with the pattern. But lucky for you, I’ve got a HACK!
HACK ALERT—The Yoga Waistband.
I love yoga bands… They’re so comfy yet do a fairly good job of holding things up. How do you make a yoga waistband? It’s very simple. Watch carefully or you may miss it!
Step 1! Take your waistband pattern piece and….. step 2! Add a 2nd “FOLD” line to it.
That’s it! Now cut on the “double fold” (fold your fabric horizontally/width wise first, then vertically/lengthwise so that you have a fold on the left side and a fold on the top.) Boom! Yoga band. Sew up the side opposite the left fold, right sides together (it’ll be a tall tube when you’re done,) and proceed as normal!
~What do I do if my waistband ends up being too big/too small?
Well, let me just say real quick here–try on your waistband before attaching to your pants! It’s a lot easier to fix a waistband issue BEFORE it’s attached to the pant than after. Now, if you’re confident you chose the right size and your waistband doesn’t work, it’s likely a fabric issue. Remember on day 1 when we talked about fabric choice, and how some were better for waistbands than others? If your fabric doesn’t have enough recovery, it could end up feeling too loose. Most athletic knits, DBP, cotton lycra/spandex works really well as bands. But if you want your waistband to match your pants fabric, sometimes your waistband will need additional support.
First, you could add the optional drawstring. Buttonholes and grommets need to be added to the waistband BEFORE attaching to pants, but if you’ve already attached your waistband and don’t want to take it off to do that, you can just cut two little holes in the front (or in the inside front, if you don’t want it to be seen,) feed your drawstring through, tie it and no one will be none the wiser. Boom! Problem solved.
Second option, feed in some elastic into the band! You can open up the center back where the waistband attaches to the pant (so just a 2″ or so section vs ripping off the whole thing,) and feed some 1″ elastic through. [How much? Rule of thumb is your waist measurement minus 4″—but make sure you exercise, or stretch and release the elastic a bit before cutting! It usually needs to relax a bit.] Once the elastic is fed through completely, going ahead and overlap the ends of the elastic a bit and sew that into a loop (I say that but I usually just double serge it on my serger!) Re-attach that bit of waistband and BOOM! Problem solved.
Okay, that’s it, it’s just 2 questions in the Q&A. But if you have others, feel free to ask in our Facebook group!
Now that your waistband and cuffs are attached, your FREE Yoggers are complete! You did it!!! Go ahead, try them on (or force your model to try ’em on!) snap some pics of ya doing life in your brand-spankin’ me-made FREE Yoggers and share ’em with us in our Facebook group! We’d love to see how YOU Yogger! And that’s what we’ll be looking at TOMORROW!
Until then, I remain,
Day 5: How do YOU Yogger?!?!
Here’s how some of our testers Yogger!
And, of course, some of our fabulous PSCo team!
Finally, our random-drawn winner of our “How Do YOU Yogger?!” is Fee Stirt! Congratulations, Fee!!
Thanks again, everyone, for joining us this week!
Until next time, I remain,