I’m Amanda from DerivingMommyhood and I’m here with one of my favorite pattern hacks— reinforced knee joggers!
I have 4 kids, and love sewing for all of them….but my boys tend to DESTROY clothing so quickly that it makes me hesitate to make them anything. However, I realized if I make their clothes indestructible, we all win. My oldest has a few pairs of these joggers already so it was time for his little brother to get a pair.
I used the Eleventh-Hour Gear for this hack, and the main reason is that the knee patch marking makes it really easy to decide where to reinforce them. (Side note, the knee patch itself is a great way to make the joggers more indestructible obviously, but my oldest is picky and didn’t like the look of it). Eleventh hour gear is a straighter fit pattern, but the Carita Joggers would totally work for this hack as well (you would just need to determine the location of the knee). My daughter has a pair of these hacked 11th hour gear ones though and they are her favorite pants on earth.
Adjusting your Pattern Piece
Okay, let’s get started. You’ll need the jogger pattern, fabric suitable for the joggers, scraps of any other fabric to reinforce the knees, and optionally some heat n bond or interfacing. First, take your pattern and draw lines about 1” above and below the knee patch marking. I use a slanted line above and straight below, but it’s all personal preference.
Before cutting, make some pattern notches to make lining up the pieces easier, I use a single notch for the top section and double for the bottom. It’s important that those notches are not centered on the pattern piece so that it’s easier to keep the right and left leg straight later. I forgot to make these marks before but overlapped my pattern pieces after to add them.
Now, add paper or trace those pieces onto pattern paper with a 3/8” seam allowance added on to every cut edge. These will be your new front leg pattern pieces. You will cut one mirrored pair each of the top and bottom sections, and for the knee you will cut one mirrored pair of the main fabric, one mirrored pair of lining/reinforcement fabric, and optionally one mirrored pair of heat n bond/interfacing.
Fusing Your Pieces
A quick note…. since the back of the leg will still be out of stretchy fabric, I find that you can reinforce with denim, twill, canvas…and other fabrics that don’t have the recommended stretch if your child is as rough as mine…. but for the pair I’m making here I lined cotton lycra French terry with cotton lycra jersey. Also, I like using the heat n bond for another layer of protection. I’ve used heat n bond ultra for all previous pairs and it makes it really super stiff—great for my oldest who wears holes in jeans in a matter of three wears. If you have a child more sensitive to stiff clothes this heat n bond stretch is a little lighter weight and moves more. Really any sort of interfacing could add a little more protection so use what you have. You could also leave off any form of interfacing if you choose and just do a double layer of fabric.
Cut your pieces, marking notches, and fuse the heat n bond or interfacing according to the package instructions. The one I use basically irons on, peel off the paper backing, then iron the other fabric on so that the two pieces become one piece going forward.
Optionally, you can add some stitching. I’ve done diagonal stitches and crisscrossing diagonal, but for these I just did straight rows. Since this piece won’t be stretching much thanks to the interfacing and second layer, I didn’t bother with a stretch stitch.
Assembling your Pants
Next, match up those notches to piece your three front leg pieces back together. It’s important that you keep the right leg pieces with each other and same for left, you wouldn’t want some weirdly angled legs! The notches help make that go smoothly.
After you’ve pieced them back together, topstitch those seams away from your knee piece. Proceed to sew the rest of the pants like normal.
Let us know how your joggers turn out! My son’s pairs from a year ago are still going strong 😊