Gore-Tex Rain Pants

I’ve long harbored this fantasy that I would travel to a foreign country, meet a brilliant man with an amazing accent and kind soul. We would instantly fall in love and begin a torrid affair. We would get married, pledge to make it work by splitting our time between two countries and our  painfully cute children would have dual citizenship and speak at least three languages.

I can’t say that these fireman yellow rain pants will help me attract said brilliant man next month while biking through the Netherlands. But, at least I’ll be dry!! This project has taught me that there is a reason rain pants are sold in black and navy, LOL!

I’ve been warned that it will be windy and rainy for the Netherlands cycle tour. So, rainpants are in order. For this project, I used Gore-tex from FabricMart Fabrics. It’s waterproof and breathable. I bought almost 10 yards during a 50 percent off sale. I’m so glad I stocked up because the first pair I made were SO TIGHT. The pattern is based on my pajama pants from the 11-2009-126 Burda pattern.  The Goretex has *zero* give. Plus, my legs are just big. So, I made a full thigh alteration a la Els from the SEwing Divas. Fitting that the alteration came from Dutch Els 🙂 That extra inch gave me the ease I needed to fit these over my bike shorts and yoga pants.

I cannot tell you how much easier using a roller or teflon foot on this material is! Under my regular presser foot the material bunched up badly.

My second alteration was to add a six inch gusset. Umm, note to self: wash off the big fat red X on the crotch.


I tried on several pairs of RTW rain pants because I didn’t want to be bothered to make them. But, I quickly discovered that they had no rise at center back. I figured someone was already going to have to ride behind me for a solid week. There was no need to also expose them to crack. So I to altered to raise the center back by almost two inches.


I articulated the knee by adding pleats in the knee area for cycling.

The pants are also four inches longer so they won’t ride up when I’m on a bike.

The inside seams are finished with a sealant tape.

I’ve also lined them with tricot nylon and did an elastic cuff at the bottom. The tricot makes them easier to slip on and off and provide some protection from wear and tear.

Sexy, right? I purchased this jacket over the summer at LL Bean. It’s their  version of Gore-tex. It had a zipper that opens from the top and bottom so I can open it up around the legs for biking.

So, I’ve got three weeks to sew for the Netherlands and I’m leaving town Tuesday to see my parents for a few days (the first time in over a year!!) in Tampa. Unlike China, I’ve put very little thought into my wardrobe. Heh. It’ll all work out.


  1. How yellow are these pants? They’re showing as kind of a mustard tone on my MacBook, Cidell. In any event, brilliant idea. And I don’t own a bike now, but my pants are **always** getting wet wherever I walk. Doesn’t matter if I have an umbrella or not. Wet pants that end up dragging up on the ground are par for the course in my rainy world….

    • Hmm. Yep. Mustard / gold is a good description. I’m giving my small pair to my mom. She gets torrential downpours in Panama and these would be good for walking the dog.

  2. I think the pants are great. I’ve read an article about biking in Holland and the big deal was….the rain and the wind, so those pants are going to be majorly helpful, I think.

  3. I thought you were about to tell us you’d met the perfect man! And I think the pants are terrific – so functional, fit well and they’re cute.

  4. Those are seriously beautiful cycling pants! That’s also a seriously beautiful bicycle. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  5. I LOVE yellow, too bad it is not the best color for me. I think they are cute and original, and you will definitely not get hit by a driver who didn’t see you 🙂

  6. Well, personally I LOVE the yellow! It’s so much more cheerful then black, IMO. Great job on these! Making active-wear is so impressive. Your fantasy is too funny!

  7. The pants are cute and yellow is fun. Do you have one of those velcro straps that wraps around the fullness of the bottoms of pants to prevent them from getting stuck/ripped in the bike chain? I used to bike all the time and ripped a couple holes in my jeans because I never invested in it. Have fun in the Netherlands!

  8. Can I just say that I am so impressed that you made rain pants? Buying tape to seal the seams and everything? Wow. I looove the color too.

  9. The yellow colour is lovely. I’d love to hear how your new bike goes. Happy cycling!

  10. I’d never have thought rain pants could look stylish, but there is a first time for everything. Those Dutch guys had better watch out!

  11. Fabulous effort on those rain pants. So many thoughtful details. Have fun wearing them. They are so bright that once you meet your brilliant man, he won’t have any trouble finding you in the crowd! You wouldn’t want to lose your man because he got you mixed up with the 50 other people wearing navy and black rain pants.

    • Ohmigoodness. I’m absolutely sucking in! My stomach hasn’t looked like that in three years! I’ve been told it’s super flat in the Netherlands so there is no need to go crazy training or with bike clothing.

  12. Haha, your intended love story sounds great! Actually, you don’t look half bad in your rain outfit. Besides, I’m strongly in favor of NOT looking one’s best when meeting one’s life partner. Otherwise, how will you know he doesn’t just love you for your looks? (FYI, I had all my hair chopped off to half an inch when I met DH.)

  13. Well, now that the record-busting European heat wave is over :-), I’m glad to see some good season-appropriate sewing coming out! Love the yellow, it’s perfect for bike pants. At least Prince Charming won’t start this relationship by running you over a la Magnificent Obsession :-). A better PC would be on a bike too, but you never know.

    • I meant to add reflective tape. But, I thought it was iron on — not sew on. Of course, by the time I went to add tape, the pants were all sewn.

  14. Biking in the Netherlands. How incredible! I saw your pleats at the knees and thought them very clever as biking tends to put stress on that part of the pant and make it bag. Good Job!

  15. Dear Renee, Your dream is my life! But I have never dreamed about it, just happened … In The Netherlands is already (too) warm, we definitely need the rain, hopefully You can use Your eye-catcher rain pants! And in area of Limburg is not flat at all! When You exactly come?

  16. These are very clever and attractive. I enjoy your writing style and sense of humor.
    I especially like the bright color–I must say as we all get older, it gets more and more difficult to see pedestrians and bike riders on the road in low light conditions–these pants are nice and bright and should make you much safer. Well done!

  17. I’m digging the bright yelllow – there’s no chance of you getting missed & run over! Enjoy your Tampa visit. I’m a few hours away (in Jacksonville), but my parents are in Tampa too. If I weren’t buried in tax returns, I drive down & invite you to lunch.

  18. I love making stuff like that. I would have to make the rise at least 2″ higher, too. Lining them will really keep you warm.

  19. It can happen. I met him, accent and all, and we have three kids who now speak three languages. I can’t vouch for the cute, nor can I say that I’ve insisted on the bi-continental lifestyle as it wasn’t worth arguing/spending/wasting money on something that wasn’t that essential or attractive in the end, but the rest of the story, yup, happened to me.
    Keep your eyes open!

  20. Any sensible man would swoon over you – for so many reasons! And, the ability and mojo to make your own rain gear would be at the top of the list. Have a wonderful, safe trip.

  21. Those pants are great, what a great trip you have planned…. LOL who knows…. out there is one amazing guy… searching everywhere for his “lady in yellow”!

  22. I love your pants! And you will stand out amongst all the boring black weatherproof pants so that special someone will find it easier to spot you.
    Enjoy your cycle trip.

  23. What a thoughtful bunch of mods, totally cool pants! I especially love the knee pleats. It’s raining as I type this…

  24. Great job! They may not be the sexiest, but they’ll keep you nice and dry, and you’ve put so much thought into how you’ll actually be using these that I’m sure they’ll make you very happy on the cycle itself!

  25. You’re definitely preparing the trip very well. Honestly I just hope the weather here is good and you won’t need them. Cycling is so much nicer when it’s not raining.

  26. LOVE your sunny yellow rain pants! I think they look really cool. Any recommendations about where to learn more about putting in godets? Also, did you just put in 2 pleats at the knees? I’ve seen that on some RTW pants at REI and would like to incorporate into some yoga pants made of woven fabric.

  27. I like the pants. I once read that when a person wears yellow it means they are confident! :O)

    I found your blog when I was researching the Jalie Compression Shorts pattern. Saw several on a few of you gals blogs, I like your red skort you did from that pattern. Have the pattern on order now through Pattern Review.

    I am a runner, but have been thinking I would like to try the biking thing as well!

    • *cough* *cough* Yes… perhaps! I sold my old bike in a day and bought this new one. More gears. Better for long distances. But, it’s so shiny new I’ve been too scared to lock it up outside. It needs to get a few scratches first.

  28. Have you got covers for your panniers too? A couple years ago I did a 7 day bike ride of Nova Scotia with a good girl friend. We had so much fun and met so many nice people. You just might meet your kind hearted multilingual man! My advice for the trip is make sure your bags are water tight, it’ll make a big difference for the trip and pack as lightly as possible. You’ll feel every extra ounce on your bike. My trip was a summer trip so I wore bike shorts all the time and kept a sarong at the top of my bag for easy and quick cover when we took breaks for meals.

  29. Those are some nice bright pants – I love them! I don’t know why, but it seems dark colors are in fashion for biking & running clothes lately. Makes it hard to see them in the morning & evening hours.

    Just a question – the bottom of the legs seem full. Is there going to be an issue with the bike chain and oil getting on the right leg? Just asking because the few people that ride bikes to work always have that pant leg clipped snug to avoid walking around all day with oily pants. Or do you have something to clip it?

  30. Those are awesome rain pants! I could certainly use a pair over here on the rainy west coast! And I think they’re super cute in yellow, better than utilitarian black or navy. Plus people will be able to see you! I like them with the longer rain jacket, you’ll be super comfortable and dry. Will you report back and let us know what they were like to wear?
    Hope you have a wonderful trip!! 🙂

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