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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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!