TMS February Challenge – Smarty Pants

2014_02_badgeFebruary at The Monthly Stitch is Smarty Pants month, so we’ve all been making garments with legs – shorts, leggings, trousers, jeans… you get the idea.


My first choice of pattern was the Sewaholic Thurlow, but for various reasons I have been a bit short on time this month, so I decided to go with a fairly simple pattern, with not too many pieces and (I hoped) minimal fitting issues. Luckily I had this very easy Vogue pattern in my stash.


Having seen some of the fantastically well fitted jeans and trousers some of the other Monthly Stitchers have been churning out I do feel that going for something so loose fitting might be a bit of a cop-out, but I am actually pretty happy with the result.


Now, I’ll let you into a dirty secret; I often can’t be arsed with the kind of leg maintenance called for by the warmer months. (not that I think that there is anything wrong with leg hair per se, but personally I am more comfortable exposing my lower limbs if I have depilated in some way, and have maybe gone up a shade from my natural skimmed milk.) I therefore seem to spend much of the Summer in wide legged linen trousers (or a wide legged linen pant, if you will), so I think this will be a really useful pattern for me.

Rather than do any kind of muslin business I just pinned them on to myself after sewing the inner leg seams but before sewing the outer seams, and made adjustments from there. I needed to take an additional inch from each side (and remember to do the same with the waistband). At this point I also took a bit off the overall width of the legs.


I was going to use my serger on the seams, but it is not working and I can’t work out what is wrong with it, so I just used a zigzag stitch to finish the seams.

I made pocket bags and waistband facing from scraps leftover from my parrot Elizalex. Apart from taking some of the width out of the legs my only change to the pattern was to add a couple of extra belt loops and make a self- fabric belt.


This claims to be a very easy pattern, and it really is. I couldn’t quite work out the instructions for the zipper, but I just did what felt right and it worked out fine. The trousers close at the top with trouser hook and bar fasteners – the buttons are merely cosmetic – so there are not even any buttonholes to fret over. The pockets are in seam, which further simplifies things, so it only took a few hours total to make these.

Next time I would take a bit more width out of the leg, and would also take another half inch out of the waistband, but I will definitely get some wear out of these as they are.

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16 Responses to TMS February Challenge – Smarty Pants

  1. Pingback: The Monthly Stitch

  2. Wendy says:

    These look absolutely gorgeous! I love the loose fit for summer, nothing more annoying than slim pants in warm weather! I really love the parrot fabric on the inside.
    And don’t we all hate the leg maintenance during summer (not to mention keeping the body beach ready? I love the beach, but I hate the preparations)? I love it when I can still wear my boots with a skirt with bare legs, ’cause that means I don’t have to bother…

  3. Rachel says:

    Nice! I hate “leg maintenance” too, and discovered the maxiskirts this summer with great joy! I didn’t know there was a smarty pants challenge this February! but it’s quite fitting as I made my first successful pair earlier this month! I’ve got fabric to make more, too. Yay to pants that fit!

    • rachsews says:

      Hi Rachel. I love your new pants. Great fit. I’ve heard a lot of good things recently about style arc. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of maxi skirts in the next few weeks. I certainly plan on a couple with the new gabriola pattern!

  4. truedogs says:

    Oh these look really great! I have this pattern pinned as one I want to try, so it’s nice to get to see it made up. They look really great!
    (I feel the same about summer leg maintenance, by the way. Such a pain!)

  5. Sassy T says:

    I have this pattern saved. Love your version.

  6. andrea Ruglys says:

    These look fantastic, so very stylish. I’m going to have to look out for that pattern. What’s the fabric that you used?

    • rachsews says:

      Thanks Andrea. I can’t believe I forgot to say what the fabric was! It is a linen blend – I’m not sure of the exact content, but it handles like linen, down to the wrinkling and fraying!

  7. macinic says:

    These are fabulous! And definitely a style I prefer too – I’ve been a maxi skirt & linen pants girl for ages and definitely need a new pair or three – I didn’t manage to successfully complete my smarty pants challenge ;( however I do have a lovely new maxi dress 😉 so I’ll take motivation from your great pair & ‘just do it’ 😉

  8. nishi says:

    Wow! These are such awesome trousers! They are perfect for Singapore too, so I may have to hunt down that pattern… Very well fitted too! I love the tropical parrots on the waistband – I think all clothes should have equally jazzy facings!

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