A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Linen pants

This year I started making seasonal sewing plans, trying to both use up some fabric from my stash, and create coordinates that I could mix-and-match.  Most recently, I sewed what I guess could be trendily termed a "micro-capsule," which involved the two Pony tanks I posted about here, and this new pair of linen pants.

They are McCall's 7364, sewn out of this always-reliable slub linen from Joann's.  I had in mind a particular idea for the pants I wanted, and this basic pattern seemed something that was pretty close and that I could tinker with until I got them where I wanted them.  I liked the shape of the pant on the pattern envelope, as well as the front pocket on the shorts view.  I knew I didn't want a drawstring waist (I never find that they stay up), but I planned to put a knit yoga waistband on the pants anyway.

So I made view E, the long pants, but with the pockets of view A, and I ended up cropping them a few inches.  I cut a size XL according to my measurements (which correspond with a 20 - the XL is 20/22) and they were way too big.  I should have taken a photo because my muslin looked like legit clown pants.  I ended up cutting down the side seams to about the size L and then continued trying on the pants, pinning, and resewing the seams.  From the size L, I made the following adjustments, some in the muslin phase, and others to the final pants while in progress:
  • Took in the side seams evenly at about mid-hip down to my knee by 3/8". 
  • Took in just the back piece side seam about 1" starting at mid-hip and ending a few inches above the hem.
  • Raised the back by 1" at center and shortened the front rise by 1".  
  • Scooped out the back crotch curve by about 3/8".
  • Took in both the front and back center seams by about 1" at the top, tapering to nothing halfway down. 
  • Took in just the back inseam by 1" at the crotch curve, tapering to nothing about 8" or so down.

I realized after washing and putting on these pants again, though, that I had done a lot of my alterations after the pants had already bagged out quite a bit - being linen, there is no recovery.  So the just-out-of-the-wash pants (photographed with an olive green tank top) are a touch tight in the thighs. They do relax into the shape I want relatively quickly (see all the other photos).

My finished yoga band, made of cotton/lycra rib, is about 2" wide, and threaded through with 2" wide elastic.  It's very comfortable and stays put.  I originally tried to make a knit-fabric-only band that was wider (you can see it in the photo below, of the pants after I've worn them a bit), but they didn't stay up.  So I had to cut the band down to fit the elastic I had.

I loved the shape, the length, and the breezy linen.  The bum is a little baggy as seen below, but I always wear a longer top with them, so no one is looking at this view.

The back pockets are a bit too small; if I make these again I should enlarge them.  But I really like the shape of the front pockets.

Since finishing these pants about four weeks ago, I've worn them at least twice a week.  They are very comfy for our hot and sticky weather, and if I had time (I don't), I'd make another pair.  I'm halfway through three men's shirts I need to make before we got to the beach in 2.5 weeks, so it's unlikely I'll be doing any more selfish sewing this summer.  Luckily, I've already kitted my vacation wardrobe out pretty well this summer (see here, here, here, and here).

Thanks for reading, and see you next time.


  1. I'm still learning from you, but I'm improving myself. I certainly love
    reading everything that is written on your blog.Keep the stories coming.

    I enjoyed it!

  2. These look great. I've been planning a pair of linen type pants all summer but haven't gotten around to them yet. Hopefully soon, and hopefully they turn out as nice as these.

  3. They look adorable and I can see why you wear them twice a week! Your pants making skills are so good!

  4. All the alterations paid off for sure! Linen pants look and feel great! Love them with gingham Josephine!

  5. I was wondering how you finished your seams for this linen? I haven't sewn with linen before and just got this exact kind from Joanns. Thanks!!

    1. I am sorry for the delay in responding! I just found all the comments that Blogger has been hiding from me since June. Anyway, this is probably too late, but for linen, I usually stitch and then serge (but instead of serging on top of the stitched seam, I serge 1/8" away from it, so there's a double stitch line.

  6. Thanks for sharing this information


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