Posted on 5 Comments

Teaching the teacher

I have this habit of choosing my next eBook project based on something I don’t actually know how to do (yet). I spend some time figuring out the process, and I take pictures as I learn, just in case it goes well right off the bat and I can use the pictures as step-by-step images in the book.

You’d be surprised how often this works for me. I wing it a lot.

So at the moment, I am all about the idea of custom-fit lounge pants or pajama bottoms. I’ve taken it upon myself to learn how to make a pattern from my measurements so that I can generalize the process enough to teach you how to do it from your measurements.

2015 166/365

I started yesterday, and I took pictures at every turn as usual, and in the end I had a pair of pants that I liked, but that were not really the best fit. The legs were perfect, but there were problems in the whole waist/hips/bottom area. Despite these flaws, I found the pants wearable enough to go to bed in them, and they were just fine.

They weren’t, however, good enough for an eBook. If I’m going to teach you how to make pants that are custom-fit to you, they can’t be “meh.” They have to actually fit well!

So I did a little research last night, figured out where I went wrong, and adjusted my process this morning. Only the result was not fabulous. While the waist was better, the whole bottom area was even less comfortable than it was with the first pair. Ugh.

This afternoon, I did what I should have done to begin with and I measured a pair of store-bought well-fitting pjs, and reverse-engineered a pattern from them. I took what I learned from that exercise, and what I learned from two days of making ill-fitting patterns, and combined them into something that had to work. Only, just in case it didn’t, I made them as shorts so I wouldn’t waste as much fabric.

My third ill-fated attempt at an easily-adaptable pj pants pattern. At least this time I only made shorts and didn't waste as much fabric.

Well, you’ve probably guessed where this is going. These fit so terribly that I didn’t even finish sewing them.

That’s three pairs of lounge pants in two days, each one worse than the last. If I knew what was good for me, I’d probably ditch this idea and just choose something else to work on. But I’m nothing if not stubborn, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep cutting up tracing paper and fabric until I get this right.

I’m dangerous when I get it in my head that something should be simple. Even when it turns out not to be simple at all, I keep banging my head against the wall.


I still really believe that with a little bit of math, this should be a straightforward process. I am not afraid of math. I can wrestle a hairy algebra equation without breaking a sweat, but I do have a tendency to do stupid things like add wrong. I keep thinking that maybe I’ve just added wrong somewhere.

I was going to take tonight off from thinking about this, but now that I’ve blogged it, I kind of still want to puzzle it out… I’m a glutton for punishment. Wish me luck 🍀

Posted on 5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Teaching the teacher

  1. Sounds to me like you’re the type of person that gets things done 😉

    1. Eventually 🙂 After I’ve over-complicated the daylights out of it, LOL!

  2. […] will notice this week that I used a lot of graph paper. I am fairly confident that I have solved my pajama pants conundrum, but I haven’t actually sewn the test pair yet. This weekend, maybe. I just had to take a few […]

  3. I would love it if you could up with such a pattern. I have made several pairs of lounge/pajama pants from Simplicity, McCalls,and Kwik Sew. None of them have turned out as comfortable as my store bought ones, which is sad because I really love picking out the pattern and making them.

    1. I just put the finishing touches on my PDF. And, wow, is it ever detailed! It’s fifteen pages! I didn’t expect it to be this involved, LOL! I should be getting it up in the download shop later today 🙂

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