comfy sweatpants tutorial

DIY – The Comfy Sweatpants Tutorial

comfy sweatpants tutorial comfy sweatpants tutorial

Winter is coming, and I’m going to make a nice pair of comfortable sweatpants for my husband to lounge around the house in. These pants will have an elastic waistband, drawstring, inseam pockets, and cargo style patch pockets.  We’re looking for handy and comfort here.  So, without further ado, read on for my Comfy Sweatpants Tutorial!

The skinny:

This blog has seen a lot of firsts.  Today, we will have another one.  This is the first pair of pants that I will be making from scratch.  I was lucky enough to get a old pair of sweatpants from my husband that I will be cutting apart here to use for my pattern. This made the creation of my pattern a bit easier. All in all, these pants took some time.  The most difficult part was probably sewing the patch pockets on at the end, just because it was tough to maneuver that much fabric in the tight spot that the sewing machine allowed.  So not so difficult, just a bit time consuming!


  • pattern supplies (pattern paper, pencil, scissors, rulers)
  • an old pair of pants you can use as a guide
  • 1½ to 2 yards of a sweatshirt material (depending on the height of the person the pants are for, of course)
  • ¾” elastic waistband
  • drawstring (how long?)
  • matching thread
  • Velcro fasteners

Now onto the Comfy Sweatpants Tutorial



comfy sweatpants tutorial pattern

Sewing Daydreams: The Comfy Sweatpants pattern pieces.

1. Cut up your sweatpants at the seams.  You may have two, or four pieces, depending on the style of pant (mine did’t have an outer side seam along the leg). This part was reeeeeally exciting for me! A chance to see how the sausage is made… or bacon.. or whatever.

You only really need one leg, and you can mirror it to make the second leg.  This is the left leg.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

My sweatpants were two pieces (not four), but I want an outer side seam along the leg, so I’m going to cut one of the legs in half.  This is the right leg.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

2. Trace around your sweatpants and draw the front and back leg pieces onto pattern paper adding your desired seam allowance.  I’m going to add ½” along the sides, 1″ at the bottom of the legs, and 1¼” at the waistband.  Make sure to mark your pattern paper so you know which one is the front leg pattern and which one is the back leg pattern.  Cut these out.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

The pattern pieces for the front and back legs.

3.  Create a pattern for inseam pockets using my inseam pockets tutorial.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

The pattern piece for my inseam pockets.

4.  Create a rectangular pattern for your patch pocket.  I’m going to basically make mine large enough to hold a large cell phone.  My dimensions are 6″ x 8″ which includes my ½” seam allowance on all sides.  I’m also going to a make a pattern for a piece of fabric that will fold down over the pocket and velcro it shut, with dimensions of 6″ x 3″.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

The rectangular pieces for the patch pockets.


I’m going to fold my fabric in half before laying my pattern pieces onto it, so I can cut two of everything at once. You’re going to need to cut out (2) front legs, (2) back legs, (2) patch pockets, (2) patch pocket tops, and (4) inseam pockets.

1. Pin/trace your pants and pocket pattern pieces onto the wrong side of your fabric.  Cut these out.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

2.  Wrong sides together, pin and sew the front and back pieces together along the rise line (the curved lines). *While sewing the front pieces together, make sure to leave the desired seam allowance at the waistband unsewn and open.  I forgot to do this, so will have to use a seam ripper to open it back up in step #6.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

Pin and sew along the curved rise lines, where the red dashes are.

3.  Next, we are going to add the inseam pockets.  Figure out where you want to put your inseam pockets and, right sides together, pin and sew each pocket piece along the side of the pants.  Make sure that the pocket is pointing downwards.  Do this for all (4) pockets, being careful to make sure that they will match up.  I will sew mine with a seam allowance slightly less than the seam allowance that I’m using for the rest of the sweatpants

comfy sweatpants tutorial

Pin and sew the pockets in place along the side of the sweatpants.

4.  Right sides together, pin and sew your front and back pant pieces together along the outer seam,  You want to sew down the side from the waist, going around the inseam pocket, and then down to the ankle.  Do this on both sides.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

Pin and sew along the side edges and pockets of the sweatpants.

5.  Now pin and sew the inner seam together.  Match the front and back crotch pieces first, and then the rest of the legs.  Sew this as one long stitch, from foot to foot.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

Pin and sew up the inner seams of the sweatpant legs.

6.  The next step will be adding our elastic to the waistband.  I forgot to leave a space open at the top of the front of the pants in step #2, so I will be using a seam ripper to open back up my desired seam allowance (which was 1¼”).  Using a zigzag or overedge stitch, sew along each edge of the open fabric on the front pants at the waistband.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

Hem the sides of the opening with a zigzag stitch. This is where your drawstring will come out.

7. Figure out how tight you want your elastic to be, and sew it closed at the ends so that it forms a circle.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

8. Pin and sew your elastic to the inside (on the wrong side) of your pants waistband with a zigzag stitch, just below the given seam allowance.  Pin it evenly across the waist.  You’re going to need to stretch the elastic as you pin and sew.  Make it as even as you can.

Fold the waistband seam allowance over the elastic, pin, and sew in place.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

9.  Now, using a safety pin or some other tool, pull your drawstring through the opening on your waistband.  I’m using a fancy shmancy drawstring threader.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

I don’t want the ends of my drawstring to fray, so I’m going to zigzag them several times, and then knot each end to prevent the drawstring from going back into the waistband.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

10.  Next, I’m going to zigzag around the raw edges at the bottom of the pants to help prevent fraying.  Pin and sew along the bottom of the pant legs with your desired hem allowance.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

11.  Now to add the patch pockets.  First zigzag all the raw edges of the rectangle pieces for the patch pockets, to help prevent the material from fraying.  Fold in and hem all four sides of the rectangle pieces.

Sew the fuzzy part of the velcro onto the top of the large rectangle patch pockets.

Now sew the sticky part of the velcro onto the underside of the small rectangle patch pockets.  This part is a bit tricky as you have to make sure the velcro pieces match up.

comfy sweatpants tutorial

12.  Try on the pants and determine where you want the patch pockets to go.  Mark this with a pin.

Pin and sew the large rectangle patch pockets onto the right side of the pants. Be careful not to get sew-happy and sew the pockets closed.  I say this only because I almost did. 🙂

Pin and sew the small rectangle patch pockets onto the right side of the pants.

comfy sweatpants tutorial


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