Here’s the next project in A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics and appropriately it’s the weekend, as the Monsal Lounge Pants are made for weekends!
Named after the Monsal Dale (also Monsal Head and the Monsal Trail), a beautifully deep limestone valley which follows the course of the River Wye and is crossed by the impressive Headstone Viaduct of which you get the best view after scrambling through the valley and up onto Monsal Head. The Monsal trail is an 8.5 mile walking, horse riding and cycle path along the disused railway line which crossed over Headstone Viaduct and through eerie disused stations and tunnels.The reward when you finally get up to Monsal Head is this fabulous view along the valley and across Headstone Viaduct.
Just like all the other projects in the book there are several ways to make the Monsal Lounge Pants:
- as shorts or full length trousers
- completely plain
- with plain pockets
- with banded edge pockets
- with cuffs
- with a contrasting sporty side stripe
- you’ll also learn 2 different ways to make an elasticated waist – using directly applied elastic, or with a separate waistband.
Photos by Julian Ward © Cico Books
Equally, there are multiple ways to wear the Monsal Lounge Pants; team a full length pair or the shorts with a Winnats Tank or a Peak T-shirt for yoga classes, the gym or your park run, they’ll give a crisp white shirt a casual look for running errands or watching a film and I’m just desperate to find time to make a black pair with a neon side stripe!!
For this post instead of fascinating facts about lounge pants or sweat pants, I thought we’d take a look at a term used in the fashion world which celebrates such versatile garments; garments that can just as easily be worn for the gym as for walking the Monsal Trail, sitting on the sofa watching a film or meeting up with friends. That term is “Athleisure” loved and loathed in equal measure, it seems to be a marmite term amongst designers!
The word is derived from the wearing of the same garments both for exercise and for casual wear. Personally I love it, as I believe in people making their clothes fit their lifestyle, rather than feeling they have to have the lifestyle to fit the clothes and I’m a big fan of clothing that’s versatile enough to be worn in different ways.
Although I love it, I don’t always practice it – I’m a bit of a self-confessed gym bunny, but I have a very separate collection of clothes for the gym, ones that I would never wear elsewhere (mainly because I sweat profusely in the gym!). However, when I practised yoga regularly I did wear those clothes both for yoga and for leisure / casual wear.
So, are you an athleisure lover or loather?!