Self Drafted Insulated Puff Pants

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This project was actually finished a while ago, but I haven’t felt like posting it yet. These pants are part of series of items I’m hoping to complete in order to make a comfortable winter camping setup.

Anyways, these insulated pants were one of the more complicated components, and I’m glad to say I’ve made two pairs, one for me and one for my wife. We used them on a yurt trip this January and they proved to be crazy warm, sometimes too hot.

The pattern is entirely self-drafted, with the initial measurements being taken off my wife while she was wearing snow pants to include some baseline ease (she and I have conveniently similar bottom measurements). Afterwards, additional ease was added to account for the insulation, which really fills a garment out and can make it way too tight. There is approximately 5 inches off ease added into all directions  (length and width), excluding the waist circumference. I’ll leave out most of the drafting because it gets complicated and wordy. If anyone has questions, feel free to message me.

These pants are fully lined, have a zippered front, two front pockets, and an elasticized back waistband.

Project Materials List:

These are estimated b/c it’s been a while since I finished.

  • 6 yards 1.1 oz. calendared polyester taffeta (order online)
  • 4 yards synthetic insulation (Thinsulate)
  • #3 YKK zipper
  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • 1 yard basic glue on interfacing
  • 2 yards 2″ waistband elastic

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Tips on cutting this stuff: it’s super slick! Hold the slightest tension between the layers and your scissors while cutting. Definitely chalk out your pattern first. I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be try and cut around paper with this stuff.

Sewing Order:

After everything is cut I quilted the insulation onto the main fabric pieces (front x 2 and back x 2)

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I cut all my insulation wide, just-in-case, and then trim it to size after quilting.

The front pockets are sewn using standard techniques.

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Finished pocket

Because the fabric wouldn’t press whatsoever, I ended up using grosgrain ribbon to finish many of the raw edges. Here it is being used to finish the pocket facings.

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Pocket bag and facings detail

The fly zipper is sewn on (see the Closet Case Tutorial online), and the backs are sewn together.

I sewed the front lining onto the seam allowances of the fly assembly. It wasn’t perfect, but did create an anchored and sturdy construction.

Trying to draft the lining pieces to fit onto the fly was mind-bending and I don’t know how I did it, tbh.

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Front lining

With all that tricky stuff done, the lining was sewn shut, and then the main pants were sewn shut. When everything was turned right-side-out, the lining is pulled nicely inside the pants.

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Here’s a goofy picture attempting to demonstrate the main fabric and lining relationship before turning everything right-side-out.

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Waistband Frustration:

The waistband is elasticized in the back, and composed of three pieces. Getting that damn elastic to stretch, and get sewn straight was so hard. Neither pair turned out very pretty, but I don’t care because they worked and the struggle is done.

The fabric needed to be interfaced so that there was a little substance to work with. I’ve learned that these “heat sensitive” synthetic fabrics can really take a beating from your iron, just use a little common sense.

I struggled, and stretched, and sewed everything into a comprehensible waist band and called it good. To finish the raw edge along the inside, I used the grosgrain ribbon again.

Here are some finished pictures:

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The red fabric is the inside waistband, because I ran short on fabric ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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