A Little Off Piste Action

After our snow adventure on Saturday, my daughter had grand plans for some new snow gear.  She had been perusing the internet and came across these rather fancy and not surprisingly very expensive snow board pants and asked me if I could make them.

Now, I know my sewing skills are pretty good, but as I was to find out, that despite thousands of people flocking to New Zealand ski fields every day at this time of the year, patterns for snow board pants are non existant.  Not to worry, she said, and proceeded to draft up a boys cargo pants pattern from my Topkids magazines.  Now, I am not one to rush into a project, preferring to mull the options over and plan my project in my head.  Not my daughter though, she proceeded to attack the project with all the gusto only a single minded teenager can muster.

Thankfully, on Monday, my daughter returned to school giving me time to ponder the problem.   I decided that the pattern she had drafted was for a teenage boy and we all know that a teenage girl is built rather differently so instead of using a pattern that was shaped all wrong for a girl with hips, I resorted to my favourite trouser pattern, the Jalie jean pattern.  I found some goretex in my stash that I had bought dirt cheap from a lady on Trademe quite a few years ago now, some very thick black microfleece out of my stash, some leftover ripstop from my nappy making days, 3 rescue zips out of some old clothing, and some elastic that my husbands great aunty had given to me. 

I cut the pants out adding 2cm to the rise and 3cm to the side of each panel.  I also changed the leg from a bootleg to a straight leg using the same width at the ankles as the bootleg. I then proceeded to cut the microfleece to match but cut the microfleece lining some 25cm shorter than the goretex.  The ripstop was then cut to line the lower leg and then duplicated to make an elasticated insert for the lower leg as well.   I left off the jean style pockets, preferring instead to make some waterproof zip pockets for cell phones and keys etc.  My daughter had managed to loose my camera under the snow in the park last year, so waterproof zip pockets were a must.

Having cut out all of my pieces, I began sewing the trousers up.  I didn't want to include too much top stitching because the more stitching, the more opportunity for water penetration.  I did however want to make sure that the seams are secure so added one row of topstitching to the inner leg seam and also the back yoke and centre back and front seams.

This project has taken me the best part of four days to complete.  The construction was somewhat of a jigsaw puzzle and gradually came together in my head, so rather than overwhelm myself I made them in stages. 

I cut the pants out on day one.  On day two I sewed up the outer and on day three I attached the waistband and sewed the lining.

By day four I was ready to add the ripstop lower leg pieces and hem the pants.  By day five, I will be ready for a break from sewing.
All jokes aside, while I was always confident in my skills to make these happen, the end result has been far better than I expected.  So much so, I may even make a pair for myself.....sometime in the future though!


  1. Great job! Funnily enough I was only cruising eBay looking at vintage patterns and came across 70s ski gear pattern and thought 'weird who needs that?' (being a beach girl). But it's you!!

  2. They've come together beautifully - I've love to get a look at your stash someday, it sounds like you've got a bit of everything in there! :)

  3. What a fabulous result for a challenging project! These are awesome. I can't believe you had all the necessary bits in stash.

  4. The results are excellent. How satisfying it must be to make such terrific and expensive looking technical gear.

  5. Oh my, these are completely and utterly awesome. And I'm so jealous that you could get hold of gore-tex!! Obviously that is an unknown fabric over here :) but I wish it was not. I would really like to make myself a raincoat.

  6. I am rather treating this stuff like gold because it is so hard to come by. I made a raincoat out of it for the spring after a bad experience with a rtw raincoat in a Queensland downpour.

  7. I have just found this fabric supplier. Has anyone tried them?


  8. Just catching up on your blog. These are awesome. They are similar to a pair I bought in Canada back when I used to live there. Not much need for snow gear in Perth, but I'd be making some if there was!


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