Pants making is something that seemed very difficult to me for a long time. All the topstitching and a button fly made the process seem very daunting but I’m so glad that I finally decided to give it a go! I made my first pair out of a funky cotton print basically as a wearable muslin to check the fit. I was so excited when I found the patterned fabric earlier this year. It’s a nice weight for pants and has such a funky print with a subtle bit of cordroy (ish)  texture on the right side that I really like. 

My second denim pair had some minor alternations that have made them fit perfectly to me.

The Persephone seems like a good pattern for me to start my pants making adventure.  I’ve seen so so many versions of the Persephone pants and they seem to look so good on everyone and all different body types. I also chose them as I’d seen a few reviews stating they were easy to fit due to the absence of a side seam so fitting could be done only by changing the inner leg seam. 

This pattern is a very large PDF file with lots and lots of pages. I printed all of them but then found I actually didn’t need many of the pages. If I was to print it again I’d be careful and look at the file a bit closer to make sure I’m only printing pages I need. I also found the fabric requirement to be very generous. I had about half a meter less than recommended for my patterned pair and still managed to squeeze a pair out. That said, I cut one of smaller sizes and my waistband and pockets were cut on the perpendicular grain so I did compromise a little bit. 

For my patterned pair, I cut and sewed a straight size 8 with no adjustments. This was my first time sewing pants so I’m lucky the fit was alright. My hip measurement sat exactly a size 8 and while I found the fit to be fairly tight for the first few wears both fabrics have nicely softened and stretched so that the fit is perfect now. My waist measurement was a little larger than stated this did turn out ok. The waistband sits firm but doesn’t dig in at all. I did find that the waistband gapes a little at the back point which I easily rectified in my denim pair. 

For my denim pair,  I opted to use a curved waistband. I followed this tutorial by Sew Altered Style which was very helpful. This removed a little bit of the gaping that occurs at the back waistband with a straight wasitband.  I ended up overlapping the pieces about 5cm to form the curve.   My new waistband sits just as I want it and I don’t think I’d want to take any more out of the back as it does cause a subtle visual scoop in the back. I imagine if I took more out this would become more obvious.

Additionally, while the front pockets are a fun detail, I find they are not super comfy when I sit down with something in them as they tend to dig into my legs. I ended up serging these off in my patterned pair as they  weren’t really functional and didn’t always lay flat. I found the pocket sewing to be a little fiddly, not impossible, but I think they look cleaner without them. My denim pair has patch pockets and no front pockets. Anna Allen offers a patch pocket download free on her website that I’d use next time. I drafted my own pockets but think I made them just a little too small as I copied off a lower rise jean that I had. 

 

I found that overall the Persephone pants were a good pattern for me to start pants making and I felt like I levelled up my skills in the process.  The actual construction wasn’t difficult however the major difficulty for me was the topstitching. I’d never done that much topstitching so I got in some good practice sewing a perfect parallel lines. I’m glad my first pair were with a busy pattern so the wonky stitching is a bit disguised. The second time around I had worked out how to set the right tension and changed my needle which helped tremendously. I also learnt that my machine will be much happier when I thread the bobbin with an all purpose thread instead of the topstitching thread. I did also omit some of the waistband stitching for my denim pair as I wanted them to look very simple and I chose a very contrasting thread colour. 

Once I cut out the pattern this was a straight forward sew that only took me a few week nights, which as a slow/easily distracted sewist is pretty quick for a more involved project. I used the zipper fly extension pack and found the instructions to be very comprehensive and I ended up with a really nice zipper. I fabric covered a button for my pattered  pair and used a jeans button for my denim pair. I think the jeans button is v  cute and also much stronger as it is hammered in. This was my first time using hardware and I’d be keen to play around with rivets in the future to add to the jeans look. 

 

I wear both these pants very often so think another pair may appear in the near future. I’ve especially found the denim to be so versatile and have made me enjoy wearing ‘jeans’ again. Overall, I think this is such a great pants pattern and I really felt like I learnt some new and exciting sewing skills in the process!

Pattern :  Persephone Pants by Anna Allen Clothing 

Fabric : Clear It Fitzroy  (patterned)           Tessuti Fabrics (denim, link is to similar) 

I’ve been wearing the same pair of tracksuit pants for a few years now. They are very very faded, not nearly as soft as they were, and also a little shrunk from all the washing.  I tried very hard to find exactly the same pair again but every time I went to the store I couldn’t find any. They were just plain grey tracksuits pants but I wanted THE EXACT same pair again. After no luck I decided maybe I’d have to make my own pair. I wasn’t sure if it’d be worth making a pair of tracksuit pants over buying a similar pair. It is a bit of work for something I’ll just wear inside my home but I’m so glad I did as I was able to get them sitting just as I want and added a few nice touches in there as well.

I chose to use the Tilly and the Buttons’ Stella Joggers pattern to make these. I’ve made a few patterns from Tilly’s book Stretch now (see my Freya & Joni). I really really love how simple they are to make but I always learn a few new skills making her patterns.

These pants were a fairly quick sew once I’d cut out all the fabric pieces. I had a little trouble using knit interfacing for the first time and did fuse the drawstring channel together :((  but once I got over that it was very simple. I used my overlocker for most of the seams which gives suuuch a nice finish inside. I found this pattern true to size and didn’t make any alterations.

One nice detail I like about these pants is the ‘piping effect’ I’ve got going on the pockets. I used some jersey scraps I had left over from my Joni top for the pocket bags. This was just so that I didn’t have a huge amount of bulk around the pockets as the body material is quite thick. When I flipped the bag to sew to the pants the thinner jersey had a tendency to wrap around the serged seam creating a faux piping. I kind of liked this so kept this when sewing the pocket bag down to the pants.

I chose to use a pink drawstring as another nice touch. When I started making these pants I thought they would  just end up looking like any pair of grey track suit pants but I really like that I’ve added the darker grey and pink thread to make them look a little more individual.

Although I do love these alot I think I’d do some things differently next time. I potentially would shorten the leg a little bit as I like my tracksuit pants to sit just above the ankle.  I’d also want to secure the drawstring to the elastic at the centre back as the drawstring and elastic do sometimes get twisted. I think this would just allow the waistband to sit better when tied. Fabric wise, I’ve noticed a little rubbing on the fabric so may investigate a different fabric choice next time but overall I am super happy with how these turned out.

These pants have been doing great in keeping me comfy and warm. I basically spent all my evening during winter in these pants, have worn them on flights and sooo many of Melbourne’s cold days and they have been perfect.

Pattern – Tilly and the Buttons Freya Joggers – from the book Stretch!

Fabric and Notions – Main Fabric and Drawstring – Spotlight

Pocket lining – jersey from The Fabric Store

I’ve been wanting to make a pair of culottes for a while but have struggled to find the perfect pattern. I wanted a nice blend of structure and comfort that was also an easy sew.  Although the Ninni culottes lack structure, the simple design looked so comfy and easy to sew.

As the pants are such a simple design they are super easy to fit so I didn’t need to make any fit alterations. Disappointingly, I didn’t add the pockets as I was eager to use my serger and disregarded the instruction, serging up the side seams, making pocket insertion too tricky! I’d only had my serger for a few months at this point and was so excited when I fixed all the tension issues.

I had a little bit of a problem with the elastic waistband because my fabric was a little bulky and stiffer than what was used in the samples and I was very very worried about breaking a needle! I had to do this slowly but it worked out alright in the end. Next time I think I’ll also put in a slightly longer elastic as I didn’t think about the effect of the fabric adding extra bulk to the waist so they were a little too tight for the first few wears.

 

These pants bear a little bit of resemblance to my high school music performance skirt as they are so billowy. I do not miss having to wear this uniform for choir and guitar performances! Hence, I was a little undecided on how much I liked these pants for a while. They are a little outside my usual style so it took me a while to work out how to style them.  However now I’ve worked out how to incorporate them into my wardrobe I’m loving them. I lost them for a few months after moving house and was very sad about this, I’m so glad they’ve made a reappearance before the weather heats up! They are so comfy and the perfect weight for this awkward time of the year when sometimes it’s hot and sometimes it’s cold within the same day. 

Fabric- unknown from  The Fabric Store

Pattern- Ninni Culottes Named Patterns