More Closet Case Patterns, more pull on pants! What can I say, I’m on a roll?
In my previous posts about my Sasha trousers and different types of pull-on elastic waist pants, some people asked about patterns, so I thought I would take you through how I turn a standard pair of trousers into pull-on comfy pants.
These are the Jenny Overalls/shorts/pants, which were released this spring. I can’t really see myself wearing them as overalls, but I liked the bones of the pattern. Heather sent me this pattern when it was first launched (not entirely sure why, but it made my day! Obviously, there was no requirement to shill for her in return, and all opinions are my own. I think my love for all things Closet Case has been well-documented over the years!
I know this awesome leopard stretch twill from Cali Fabrics camouflages everything about these shorts, so I took a bunch of pictures inside out!
1. Pick a pattern that has a good chance of fitting. I’ve sewn lots of Ginger jeans and the Sasha trousers, so I was pretty sure the Jenny Overalls would be a good starting point. If you’ve had luck with Burda or Jalie or any other company, start there!
2. Do your regular adjustments, if you have any. I frequently have to add more length to my back rise in pants and even skirts, so I slashed-and-spread the pattern 1″ in the back. (Check out Cation Designs classic post on pants fitting if you aren’t sure what I mean!) As it happens, I didn’t need that adjustment – can you see all the vertical ease in the photos above? I went back to the pattern as drafted for my next version.
I mean, sure, I could have measured the pattern, compared it to a TNT, muslined it, or any number of other solutions, but I felt sure these would be wearable so i just went for it! The goal here is to make and wear pants, not to get overwhelmed in the process of seeking perfection.
3. Choose a stretch fabric. My waist is 38″ and my hips are 49″, which is roughly a 4:5 ratio. That means the physical ease in the waist + stretch needs to be at least 25% so that I can pull them on. As you can see above, the waist when stretched will easily go over my hips!
Now how stretchy does your fabric need to be? For me, a 10% stretch like a Cone Mills denim is snug as I pull it over my hips, not so tight it’s difficult. These shorts have 20% stretch, but I actually brought the side seams in from my original size 20 to closer to a 16! Some of my favourite skinny jeans are made from a 30% stretch fabric, but for a loose style like this, that amount of stretch is not needed.
Try your shorts/pants on mid-construction, and if they feel snug going on, then you can skip the darts in the back. I had no trouble getting these on, so I did sew the darts!
4. Choose a style of elastic waistband. Right after posting a tutorial on how I usually do elastic waistbands, I went ahead and used a different method! The rise on these was very high, so I simply serged some elastic on to the top edge, folded it down to the inside, and coverstitched it in place. This is how I do the waistband in leggings, and it’s really fast.
I also learned a new step: stretching out your elastic! Debbie Cook reminded me to do this several times this week, and she was totally right. My elastic became 2″ longer after giving it a good stretch, so I cut it back to length and these fit perfectly! Thanks Debbie!
To be honest, I never intended to wear these shorts with a shirt tucked in… but I tried it for pictures and I quite like the look. One could *almost* pretend that I’m taller and leggier than 5’2″ allows!
As it happens, these shorts are the beginning of my #sewjanellemonet outfit! Yup, you thought I’d forgotten… ok, maybe I did… but I’m super excited to reveal these shorts with a *matching jacket* soon! I’m combining it with the Sewcialists #SewStyleHero theme month in August as a two-in-one!
I hope that I’ve convinced a few of you to try making some comfy trousers or shorts! Pants fitting doesn’t have to be crazy, and if you take off all the bells and whistles like pockets, a fly and belt loops, it’s really easy to whip up a trial pair. Once you know the fit is good, then you can put the work into details if you want. I’ll be back with one more spin on this pattern later this week, because I’ve sewn two pairs of drapey culotte Jenny trousers, and I’m in love!