The Labor Day Rubicon

Labor Day always seems to be a rubicon, a line that once crossed means a change from the more laid back days of summer to something different. For some it is Back to School, for others it is the start of fall with the associated sweaters, falling leaves, and pumpkin spice everything. For me it is the start of flannel pant season as it is referred to around here. When I started Patten Creations in 2010 I was doing primarily custom items from cosplay to tshirt quilts (and yes I still do a fair bit of that) along with a scattering of ready to ship items I was testing online and at craft shows. Somewhere during the summer of 2011 I was chatting with a friend while working on a set of my flannel pajama pants for my daughter to take back to school with her. My friend said “you should add those to the stuff you sell”. Huh….well I could try it. Long story short I added a few to the shop and they began selling almost immediately. The process went through some adjustments over 2011 and 2012 to where it is today.

Some years are better than others but this was a good home – bringing just shy of 1000 yards home to the studio!

Obviously with that much fabric there needs to be some sort of organization system. It starts by sorting it out into stacks. Usually there are at least a few prints that I’ve had before so those get renewed immediately. The new prints are then photographed and new listings written up. Then I sort the prints by theme – horses, birds, food, travel, camping, whatever seems to make sense. They are stored in bins that are labeled. As orders come in the first thing that happens is to pull the lengths needs from those bins and put them through a prewash and dry process. I decided this was going to be a stage in the process from the beginning, when I was making for family, because of how annoyed I personally get when I buy something and the first time I wash it the garment ends up TOO SHORT! I also used the pattern I created with some tweaks over time for a comfortable fit. Among these are a drawstring rather than elastic so the wearer can decide where they want the “waist” rather than the elastic determining where it would go. Elastic by its nature wants to go to the smallest area of the body which could be higher or lower than you want to wear it! It also means you can adjust how snug it is on the body – so if you put those comfy pants on right after a big dinner you may not want it as snug. I also make each side or leg as a single piece so there are no side seams to dig in while lounging or sleeping. Speaking of seams – I finish them so they don’t ravel and wear longer but I still use full size seams. None of those skinny serged seams.! There are a couple of other tweaks I’ve made but I can’t give away the secrets! You can see a typical pair in the photos below.

They are intended to be unisex in style and loose fitting. Sizes run from XS (women’s 0-2 or men’s waist 26) to 2X (women’s 20 or men’s 44), thinking better brand fit. There is information in my listings on the finished hip measurements for each side to check fit as well. I do have standard inseams for each size but can go longer (usually up to about 37″) or shorter. Sorry, but because these fabrics are not certified to meet federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear I can not produce children’s sizes. So if you’re looking for a new pair of comfy pants to slip into after work for yourself or something fun and a bit different for a gift (Christmas is not that far away) take a few minutes to browse the offerings in my shop ! Happy fall, back to school, or whatever this cross of the Labor Day rubicon means for you!