Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bring it on Sandy!

So I needed a new swimsuit, but in view of the impending "storm of the century"* I REALLY needed a new pair of waterproof pull-on pants.  I bike to work.  I really hate taking the bus, and at this time of year I don't relish getting soaked to the skin.  I can keep myself (relatively) warm and dry with the right gear and my old pants had lost their ability to keep me dry some time ago.

Enter Kwik Sew 2841.  Published, the envelope tells us, in MCMXCIX (1999), this is a reliable recipe for non-sexy pull-on pants or shorts, which I already used to make my no-longer-waterproof pants.  The pattern has front and back pockets and a drawstring waist and lower leg finish.  Last time I added the hip pockets but left off the rear pocket, and used elastic instead of a drawstring.  This time I further simplified and omitted all the pockets.

I had traced the medium, which is roomy enough to fit over jeans (as shown below), let alone tights, which are my usual bike wear.  I knew from experience that the pants generally fit me for the intended purpose, but that I wanted the pleated knee to fall a bit lower, and more length generally in the leg.  So I added about 2cm at the lengthen/shorten here lines both above and below the pleats and the finished length is exactly what I wanted.

Without further ado, I introduce my extremely uninteresting but (I hope) very functional and long-lasting Gore-tex pants (shown with my more interesting and very functional Gore-tex bike jacket).

The pants are made from single layer Gore-tex which is probably no longer made or sold - its membrane is exposed and anything made from it must be fully-lined to protect the membrane from wear.  I bought this fabric from an on-line coop a while back.  I've been very pleased with its performance in my jacket.

Knee pleats in "action"
I had some iron-on seam sealant tape which I used up on the pants.  They are lined with some sort of horrid athletic mesh from my stash.  I didn't quite have a long enough or wide enough piece, so the back crotch is pieced and there is a "decorative" band of bright yellow horrid athletic mesh at the bottom.  It's our little secret. 

The only remaining question is whether I should attempt some kind of shoe cover out of the remaining goretex, or if the X-country ski gaiters in my closet will keep the worst of Sandy's rain out of my shoes.

* For anybody who is, as of the time I write this, living in a cave, or for those who are reading this post a long time after it was written, Hurricane Sandy is now forecast to combine with some sort of early winter storm and hit the east coast of the USA sometime early in the week.  It's also supposed to track north into Canada, where it will in all probability dump lots of rain on my city.


  1. I like good, functional items like your waterproof bike-to-work pants. I hope the weather isn't too terrible for you (and my other East Coast friends).

  2. Yes. We are bracing ourselves for the storm here in the Maritimes!
    Great professional looking pants!

  3. Egads I didn't realize the storm was going to affect people so far north! Hope you stay safe and dry. These pants should be wonderful in helping you stay dry. Great job!

  4. I am always impressed the varied garments you sew! Great waterproof pants.

  5. Kayy, I just came across your site and am loving it. I've read back through 2010, and will start 2009 soon. I love all of the detailed sewing you do, and appreciate your detailed photos. My question is about your sewing dummy. Did it take you very long to make this? I was just on the verge of telling hubby I wanted an adjustable dressmaker dummy for Christmas when I noticed you were using one of these. And gee, if you can make these beautiful clothes using a duct-tape model . . . why [with some blood, sweat, and tears] can't I? You've mentioned losing weight/inches so do you now have problems fitting your clothes with a slightly-larger-than-you dummy?

    I apologize for the off-topic question, but didn't see another way to contact you. If you'd like to email me, my address is pamela.hanford [at]

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  7. BTW, we apologize for sending Sandy your way! I hope everyone fares well.

  8. ah - non-sexy and pull on won't matter if they keep you dry !!!

    We're supposed to get Sandy here too, but nothing so far. Tomorrow night is the forecast.