Butterick 6331 ~ Wearable Pants!

There are a couple of things on my ‘I’m scared to sew’ list, and one is pants (aka trousers). Not sack-of-potatoes pull-up pants, but actual adult trousers with a waistband, zipper and shape. I’ve made 2 pairs of pants in the past, neither successfully. G called the last pair clown pants.

But alas, the ready to wear fast meant that I had to learn how to make pants, or suffer with the same pair of Ann Taylor black pants that have been worn to death over the last 6 years.

Inspiration

Ankle

Most of my RTW pants are from Talbots. I’m lucky to be able to buy RTW pants from a catalogue and know they will fit. This silhouette works for me so that’s what I wanted to recreate.

Pattern

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Butterick 6331 is a Lisette pattern that features a jacket and pants. I like the shape of the pants; the straight leg, the side pockets, and the back yoke. I wanted something modern, and this fit the bill.

Fabric

This fabric was one of Julie’s Picks on Fabric Mart Fabrics sometime last year. It has about 5% stretch. The pattern called for 2 1/4 yards, but 2 yards was plenty.

Sewing Notes

I decided to fit these with Swedish Tracing paper instead of making a toile. After measuring every which way I cut a straight 18, cut and basted and tried them on. The fit was quite good but there were a few tweaks to be made:

  • Added 2″ to length (my inseam is 32″)
  • In previous attempts at pants, they have pulled to the front when I walk/sit so I extended the crotch curve on the back pieces only by 1″
  • Added a 3/4″ wedge to increase the back rise because they dipped down in the back
  • Removed a total of 3/4″ from each side seam grading from the waistline to mid-hip

Oh, this pattern came together quickly! This was basically a Sunday project. The instructions are very clear, including the zipper which went in perfectly on the first attempt. The fabric was a dream to work with. The texture is similar to a twill, but it’s lighter weight and has a slight sheen on the wrong side. There isn’t much bulk so serging and topstitching were simple and fast.

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Taking in the centre back to reduce gaping

Prior to stitching the waistband I tried on the pants and discovered that there was a lot of gaping at the centre back so I removed 1 1/2″ from the waist at the centre back seam then sewed on the waistband, belt loops, trimmed threads, and topstitched (no hand stitching, even on the waistband!).

Result

I am no longer afraid of pants. This pair is not perfect, the rise is really quite high in the front in particular, and there is a soft crease in the back of my thigh, but they are perfectly wearable – crazy fabric print and all. I will make more of these just as soon as I find suitable fabric.

What do I like? The general shape of the pants is good for my figure. I’m very straight through the hips and these hang well. I like the yoke because it adds interest. I like the front pockets. I like the shape of the legs (straight, not pegged).

I took these on our recent holiday and they required no ironing before wearing and looked neat after a full day of walking and sitting. If I can find this same fabric in different colours or patterns, I’ll buy a few pieces.

When I wrote my sewing goals for April I listed pants as my ‘aspirational’ goal. Check!

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Next time I will use two hook & eye closures on the waistband so it doesn’t pull.

 

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Pattern matching was unintentional … but I’ll take the credit 😉

 

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Buying my duty-free allotment from Sew Over It in Islington. Can’t wait to start working on my new projects!

14 thoughts on “Butterick 6331 ~ Wearable Pants!

  1. Looking good! Pants are on my “scared to sew” list as well, but I am going to have to get with it. I am thinking a pair of pedal pushers first, not that the fitting will be easier, but the project is smaller. I know, a crazy rationalization. I am jealous that you are shopping in the UK!

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    1. Thanks, Becky! It sure was fun to see the new/different fabrics in their shops, and was a real treat to shop in the UK. I hope you’ll dive in and try some sort of pants soon!

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  2. Very nice. I am in a pant sewing phase right now. So far three capris, one trouser length that ended up being shortened to pedal pusher length and two more on the drawing board. I am not quite brave enough to try the zipper fly but you have done such a great job that maybe…just maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, it sounds like you are ready to try the zipper fly! Honestly, I was surprised at how well it went in. Two things seemed to have helped, transferring all of the markings, and using Wonder Tape to affix the zipper before stitching. Some of my sewing friends hand baste but I’m impatient 😉

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  3. Beautiful! I made pants for a nephew and my teen son many years ago. Never for me. And now I lazily sew elastic waist pants for my (14 yr) youngest son LOL!
    You’ve inspired me to try for me!

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  4. You look really good in this style of slacks (UK terminology). I have placed an order for the pattern and will have a go at making a pair. Hopefully I will be able to find a similar weight of fabric here in the UK, as yours drape beautifully. Well done. I hope to incorporate some of your helpful hints as I have now bought the fitting book by Nancy Zimmerman.

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  5. These look great, Janine! Totally like RTW. Congratulations, you have conquered your fear! 🙂 I bought a Vogue zip fly pattern today at the Joann sale (good old dismal Joann, had 1 pattern out of the 7 I went in for) and I’m gonna take the leap! Keep inspiring us!! –Viv

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, as always 🙂 I know you have the talent and skill to make pants! Do you have any Wonder Tape? It makes all the difference in the world because it holds the zipper exactly where you want it.

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