Yayyyy, fleecy pants! My batch of sewing projects is now at the sewing phase, which makes me very happy. Today I want to share my version of Burda Style 6471, View A (with a few modifications). I made these in recycled Polartec Thermal Pro denim look in a color called Aspen (green). This fabric was a gift from my wonderful husband and came from Mill Yardage.
I got this pattern in my stocking the Christmas before last, but have been waiting for just the right fabric. My goal was to find a fabric that would look good as everyday wear while feeling like secret pajamas. I was hoping this fabric would do that, but after making these, they are more of a really nice spin on sweat pants. It turns out, I’m ok with that. I’ve still worn them out of the house, but I definitely feel like I’m wearing sweat pants when I do.
Let’s talk details.
Constructing the Pattern
The only pattern alteration I made was to grade up one size from the largest size. I did this by looking at how much t the largest one or two sizes increased by and doing the same to create a larger size.
I chose to make View A of this pattern because I wanted the longer length, but I left off the square side pockets and the drawstring. This pattern was supposed to have a flat front to the waistband with an elastic back, but I made a few choices based on my fabric that caused me to change the waistband. You are supposed to interface the front of the waistband. I felt nervous using a fusible, because I didn’t want to iron this fabric and melt it. I did find a few discussions in the Pattern Review forums where people mentioned ways to fuse interfacing on fleece. Many other people said they skipped interfacing altogether. I did have some sew-in interfacing, but I got nervous that if I used it, the back waistband might not have enough give/length to fit over my hips when taking the pants on and off since they are a pull-on style (the fly is a faux fly and the waistband is continuous with no closure). Usually I try to trust the pattern, but laziness was also a bit of a factor, so I skipped interfacing the front of the waistband.
When I finished the pants, which were a very quick sew, they fit pretty well. As I write this, I’m just now realizing what a big deal it is that the crotch curve fit me so well the first time around. That doesn’t always happen! Anyway, I wore them around for a bit, and realized that the waistband definitely got looser with wear. This fabric has a small amount of stretch and no recovery. I could see that I needed to tighten up the back waistband elastic, so I did. Then I wore them some more. Then they got loose. I could see my options were to go back and redo the waistband with interfacing, maybe even adding the drawstring, or to make the waistband a fully elasticated one. Since I could tell that these were definitely in the sweat pants camp, and I didn’t have to try to make them everyday pants anymore, I opted to elasticate the whole waistband.
This is when I realized one other thing. These are fairly low-rise pants. They’re not super low, but they’re low enough that when you bend over or crouch down, you should make sure your backside is covered. The rise is consistent with the picture on the pattern. If I ever make these again, making the rise a little higher would be a good idea.
Lastly, for anyone who is trying to sew fleece like this, here are the specific settings I used on my sewing machine. I did not use a serger.
- regular zigzag stitch
- 2.5 stitch width
- 1.0 stitch length
- 1 presser foot pressure (lightest)
- 4 tension (standard tension; I didn’t change it from my normal setting)
- 90/14 stretch needle
- walking foot
- Gütermann all purpose polyester thread in the needle and wooly/bulky nylon in the bobbin
When sewing knits, I always test out my stitches on a piece of scrap fabric and then stretch it as much as possible to see if the thread breaks. If it does, I test some more until I get a stitch that doesn’t break when stretched parallel and perpendicular to my stitch line.
I often expect every sewing project to be THE BEST and most wonderful garment, and I cut them much less slack than I do store-bought/thrifted clothes. I think that’s not a good way to continue on. This garment isn’t the best, most wonderful garment I have ever made, but I still really love it. I think it’s because the fleece is so cozy. The pattern is good, the sewing is not bad, and the fabric feels great. The fit is pretty good, if a bit low. I think that I will get a lot of wear out of these pants, even if they weren’t what I first envisioned.