VANESSA Fluid Pants - Comfy Trousers That are Not Leggings or Yoga Pants

Fluid Pants? You Mean Joggers, Right?

Joggers are everywhere! I love the look of the modern joggers... but only on my kids or on other people. Each and every time I try a pair on, they are too tight at the calf so everything looks like leggings with a baggy crotch. Not flattering. At all.

I did not want to give up on the idea so we started making joggers prototypes. There was nothing that would fit me in ready-to-wear and I assumed I was not the only one in this situation. The new pants would have to be comfortable but flattering. The Justin Bieber drop-crotch-pants look does not work for me.

The Fabric

The perfect jogger fabric is not too thick, not too thin, not see through, not a "cellulite-enhancer"... After so many tries with various fibres, I gave up. It's official. The perfect jogger fabric (at least one that would meet all my criteria) is the unicorn of fabrics. It does not exist.

Still. I was determined to have pants with an elastic waist and that doesn't scream I'm wearing PJ's on the street. We looked in our stash and found some challis. Rayon challis is what I like to call the "naked" fabric. It is opaque but not stiff, it flows, drapes beautifully and is cool to the touch. It was love at first try! The fluid pants pattern was born.  Something as comfortable as joggers, but a bit dressier. In the right fabric and shoes, you could easily wear these on a date or at the office!

Because our prototype had a little more ease at the calf (my #1 requirement), using a woven fabric did not pose any problem. If you find your perfect jogger knit, it will work too, no worries! You can go a size down if you want the more fitted jogger look in a stretchy fabric. If you have slim calves, go ahead and make the pants even more tapered! It's always easier to take in than to let out!

Picky Éléonore approved the rayon challis and tencel. She would wear her Vanessa pants with 3245 tank tops. It quickly became her favorite "after swim class" outfit. You know... when you want something long to cover your leg, but nothing clingy. When it's hot outside but don't feel like wearing shorts or a maxi dress...

Henri being a fan of pull-on pants, we had him try our size M in a camo baby corduroy and medium weight twill.  We even put shirting fabric to the test. It worked! He was happy with how comfortable the pants were and I was happy he was out of sweatpants :) The elasticized cuff was a perfect fit with his high top sneakers too!

The pattern is designed for women/girls, but they style works for boys too. For men, a longer, slimmer leg would be very easy to do. Simply hide the pattern cover, pretend you found a new pull-on pants pattern for men and you're good to go!

I also put the pants to the test on the other side of the planet. They are the perfect travel pants and I enjoyed wearing them during the 21-hour flight and when dealing with the A/C-to-tropics temperature changes. The busy print was very forgiving too. Challis does wrinkle... The print somehow camouflages that a bit.

The Pattern

Tencel prototype: a bit too long and to wide above the cuff.
But I love them anyway :)

We tweaked the pattern so there was enough ease for comfort but did not look like a potato sack because of the elastic waist.

Jeanne and I are pear shaped and usually dislike anything tapered or gathered at the waist. We adjusted the ease and lines until we both felt fabulous in the pants! Darts in the back reduce the amount of gathers.

We decided to add an inset at center front to give the waistband a little je-ne-sais-quoi and also reduce the gathers in the front too. It allows for fun color blocking and it is also very useful for grommets installation. If you want a soft, lightweight fabric for the waistband, you can make your live much easier using a heavier fabric for the inset only (buttonholes on sheer fabric? No thank you!). Also, if you mess up the installation, you do not ruin the entire waistband, only a tiny bit of fabric ;)

You can hem the pants (ankle length) or add a cuff (long pants). You might wonder why we did not include a shorts version. Yes, you could cut these pants at any length, but we have a little pattern hack post coming up. I think those of you looking for stylish shorts for the summer will enjoy it. Stay tuned! You can find the Vanessa pattern on our website. It is available in both paper and PDF (tiled and copy shop formats).

The Story Behind the Name

Mini Jeanne, 4 years old
One of Jeanne's lifelong dream was to learn to play piano. Because she grew up in a very humble household with 9 siblings, the idea of buying a piano or taking private lessons was unthinkable.

For her 60's birthday, she decided to realize that dream. She bought a piano and starting looking for a teacher who would teach her at home.

She found M Piano online, a small piano school offering that service. She talked to someone over the phone and had a good feeling. When Jeanne opened the door and saw her teacher, it instantly clicked.

The very bubbly Jeanne had met her match: Vanessa!

Vanessa convinced Jeanne to perform at the annual concert
with Henri.  She was the only adult student brave enough to do it! 
Vanessa has been teaching Jeanne for two years now. Every week, the notes blend with laughter during the whole lesson and Jeanne often has a prototype for Vanessa to try after the hour of piano flies by.

It's nice to see Vanessa feeling fabulous in her new clothes. At the same time, Jeanne's is proud of her achievements, her heart is filled with music AND we get review / approval of each design in size FF.

Vanessa is the PERFECT fit model. She knows what she wants, gives us her honest and constructive opinion about each design. The perfect win-win, sewing-music relationship! It was beautiful to see Vanessa bloom during those two years. Having clothes that fit, things designed for her, wearing fabrics / prints / colors that she would not dare to wear before she met Jeanne literally transformed her and boosted her self-confidence.


Guess which piece of the 
latest collection is Vanessa's favorite?
Yep! The Vanessa Fluid Pants... or joggers :)
To our great surprise, the very reserved and shy Vanessa said yes when we asked her to be our model. She nailed the photo shoots and everybody was super happy to see her in our promo photos that I shared in our Facebook group this spring. Our sizing is super inclusive and our photos now better reflect that reality.

We hope you like this latest pants pattern as much as we do. Join other Jalie fans on Facebook to discuss fit and fabric choice and don't forget to post photos of your creations on our website!

We look forward to seeing your versions of the comfiest pants ever :)

You can find styling and fabric inspiration on our Pinterest board:



Leslie said…
I'm excited to try this. I just brought in some very thin high tech outerwear fabric that drapes beautifully, (its called Hi Vent and is used by North Face...water repellent and very breathable) and I hope to make comfy, stash in your pack "travel pants" in black. This pattern might be just what I'm looking for!
Leslie, Discovery Trekking Outfitters.

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