Sunday, November 29, 2015

Parachute PANTS (!!!!!) for Joe.


I mean, what has it been? Two years? Two years of wrecking t-shirts by pulling them over his constantly bare knees when he was cold? Two years of me looking like a negligent mother because my kid wore shorts in 40 degree weather? Two years of me getting cold just looking at Joe?

Of course, to Joe's face, I'm trying to play it cool and not make a big deal about it. Like "yeah, wanna wear these sweatpants? no? that's cool, whatever. no proooooooooblem. cool. so cool." But to you folks, it's all-caps shouting from the freaking rooftops!

He is still on a knit fabrics only kick, but hey, I'll take it.

Anyway, the pants! (PANTS!!!) These are the Oliver + s "Parachute Sweatpants." This was my first time sewing this pattern, but it doesn't get much simpler than this pattern. I confess I skimmed the instructions at best. But I love the way these fit, and so does Joe, so I have a feeling I'll be revisiting this one frequently! I need this pattern in Maggie's size now! 

I used a thrifted sweatshirt for the contrast stripes and waistband, and still had enough fabric left to cut out a separate pair of Parachute shorts from the remainder. The navy sweatshirt fleece came from Stonemountain and is a thick, warm, beefy fabric. My serger struggled a bit with the bulky fabric in these pants, and I actually broke a serger needle on the center back waistband seam! Ugh! But the result is a really warm and cozy pair of sweatpants.

I cut the pattern out in size 6, which was a mistake. Joe still measures as a 5, but he is very long in the torso, so size 6 is usually better for shirts. But he's definitely an average 5 in the legs. I ended up taking 3/4" off the rise of these pants (to avoid a low-hanging crotch) and like three inches off the length! The width of the size 6 is fine, though, and these are roomy, but have a cute narrow cut in the legs.  They fit so much better than the baggy $9 Target sweatpants I've bought Joe!

Besides fit, the other modifications I made were skipping the drawstring (I find drawstrings either get lost or left undone most of the time anyway) and adding pockets. The Oliver + s blog has a tutorial for adding pockets to the Parachute pants, but I used the pocket and pocket facing piece from the Sketchbook Shorts (carving out a deeper pocket opening as per usual with that pattern) as a shortcut.  It's an easy change that doesn't take that much more time or fabric and looks really good (and it's useful too!).

Sorry for the not-so-great photos, it is freezing cold in Oakland right now so indoor photos are a must, and my camera was running out of batteries. Joe had been huddled in front of the fireplace (our sole source of heat for this part of the house) in a soft blanket. He was a good sport and unwrapped himself for a few moments for these photos.

Joe's shirt is an Ottobre t-shirt, 1/2015 #11, one of my favorite t-shirt patterns ever. I made this earlier this year (either Joe grew or the fabric shrunk, because look at his wrists!). It's kind of like a Hemlock Tee for kids - simple rectangles and casual fit. It's a great one for repurposing adult garments, too, and looks great with contrast sleeves or cuffs, or mixed and matched With the bracelet length sleeves and striped fabric, it looks a little sailor-ish, doesn't it? This fabric was a gift from a sewing friend - the stripes are printed on rather than yarn-dyed and the colors have faded a lot in the wash, but this shirt still gets lots of wear.

I spent most of last week working on some deadline-sewing, including items for the coming preschool auction and felt Christmas ornaments for an ornament swap I participate in every year. My makes turned out pretty cute and I feel good about them, but it was great to get back to "sewing whatever I feel like" again. I don't mind occasionally sewing gifts and other items on a deadline, but I am so happy to be done and back to my usual random inspiration and sewing queue! I have plenty of deadlines at my job, and when sewing becomes deadline-oriented or obligatory, it loses some of the fun for me.

Speaking of jobs, I start back at my old firm tomorrow! It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks and things are likely to remain a little intense for another month or two. But of course I still have a list of things I'd like to sew for this coming holiday season! We'll see whether I will bust out a huge amount of holiday sewing or go on strike and rely on storebought gifts, as I have in years past! Ha!

What about you? Do you thrive on a deadline or rebel?


  1. Yay for Joe wearing long pants!! They look great on him.:)

    (I totally rebel when I have a deadline.)

  2. So I just read this while nursing Hazel down for her nap and I love this post! So much to say! First, before you mentioned your photos, I was thinking about how much I love these photos! The afghan, the fire, it all looks so cozy! And I am so glad he's wearing pants again! That's awesome! Yay, Joe! Also I freaking hate deadlines. It makes me not want to sew (or do whatever it is I have to do!). I used to thrive on energy of getting things done at the last minute and was a big-time procrasinator, but now I don't like it at all. Not at all. Which is why I don't do a lot of handmade gifts for Christmas anymore. Finally, I think Ottobre sleeves run short and that knits shrink a bit in the wash too. And these kids keep on growing. So maybe all of the above?

  3. These photos are great, I thought you had set them up!
    Thank you for all the tips, I am making these soon. I thought they had pockets already? That is a pain but awesome to know Sketchbook works too.
    xx N

    1. Hahaha, no! But thank you! Yes, this pattern *should* have pockets as far as I'm concerned, but it is a really easy mod especially if you have some pocket pieces from the Sketchbook lying around!

  4. Congrats on this sewing and mothering win, Inder! The pants are adorable!

  5. They are great pants! I did not realize the pockets were your own mod (I don't own this pattern yet, though it is next on my list to buy), but they are great and I will totally add them whenever I get around to buying it. Yay for pants! I know what you mean about wrecking shirts - my girls do that too just because, and it drives me bonkers.

  6. They look great and a big YAY for warm, happy legs! I'm sorry Oliver + S but 'Parachute Pants' just makes me think of those horrible swishy 'parachute' fabric tracksuit things that were around maybe early 90s? These are so not them! And they totally need pockets to make hands as snuggly as the legs.
    Sounds like you have got your Christmas deadline sewing out of the way nice and early! I'm just thinking about getting started. I much prefer the random inspiration sewing too :)

  7. Fantastic (and warm) outfit. Glad he's wearing pants again! It would make me so cold to watch someone in shorts in this weather. Brrr!

  8. I love the fabric on the shirt! I'm always a sucker for a good stripe. How do you get your Ottobre issues? Do you just subscribe through their website? And hooray for pants!!! For both the wearing and the sewing. I love the stripe on this pattern and nice to know there's a fix for the lack of pockets.

  9. Super cute pants! And you give me hope that weather-appropriate clothing will one day find its way onto my son's body too!

  10. Woohoo, PANTS! They look great on him, those pockets were definitely a good add. I hope the pants are a trend this winter (and beyond! though not into summer!).

  11. Our boys need to talk. P simply won't wear shorts. It was 37 degrees today (98 fahrenheit) and the boy wore identical Parachute sweatpants as Joe's to school! Weird kids.
    They are a great fit and how nice to find something more you can make for him.

  12. No wonder! Such pants get my vote as the most versatile garment to wear anytime, anywhere. Sew them or buy them, but please make sure they fit!
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