Sewing a trouser pattern “See & Sew B6442” step by step.
Over the years I have sewn many different pairs of trousers from many different patterns. As I have got older I have learnt that you only really need one trouser pattern that fits you nicely, that is comfortable to wear and easy to adapt.
Why I chose this pattern?
I am going to make a good fitting trouser for myself from the “See & Sew B6442” pattern. In a later blog, I will be making the jacket from the same pattern. Its always nice trying different patterns but finding the one which I can use over and over again is just great. This pattern is just up my street as it has simple elasticised waist pants with side pockets.
I can build my wardrobe with mix and match colours using one pattern… wow!
For the coming months, making separates is the way to go as you can wear a jacket for cooler days and remove it for the warmer days. This pattern offered me the chance to make a few ‘mix and match’ outfits, which compliment my wardrobe. Making more than one of the pattern items means you get your monies worth from the pattern.
- Elasticised waist- easy to pull on and off.
- Side pockets – less fuss and bother.
- Easy style to change – add belt loops, Fly opening, front pockets or make shorts.
- Looks nice for work or home.
- Fits in the waist – no builders bottom.
- Drawstring waist – fiddly and I tend to lose the string after time in the casing.
Where can you purchase this pattern?
It is a Butterick McCalls pattern and I purchased it from Jaycotts.co.uk
Things to consider before you start…
The first time you make a pattern it doesn’t always fit properly. A loose fitting waist has loose fitting trousers. A fitted waist has more fitted pieces. So read about fitting issues but keep in mind that if your are making these trousers your fit will not be smooth, you may have slight bunching or ease. They will however be comfortable with a good fit.
Why? You may ask.
We are all different shapes and sizes and a one size fits all is only true for sleep shirts. : )
So what is the point of sewing your own then?
Once you have a pattern that fits, you do not need another like it, unless you want to make jeans. The end result is a nice trouser pattern which you can use to make a lot of trousers that fit comfortably every time.
Pants fitting tips:
Here are my tips to ensure you get the best possible fit. NB: A loose fitting elasticated pants will always have more fabric than a fitted pants around the hips and waist. You will have folds and lines but it will feel and look comfortable not rumpled and baggy.
- Measure yourself, waist, hips, thigh, knee, length and crotch.
- Before cutting the pattern “for your size” measure the pattern with a tape measure to see if it will fit in most places. Remember not to include the seam allowance in your measuring the pattern. Some patterns are tight fitting others loose. This pattern is comfortable – it has a little room everywhere without being big or tight.
- Make your first pair using an old bed sheet or curtain. Leave the pockets out as they do not hinder the fit of the pants. Do not put elastic in the waist for the fitting.
- Try them on inside out.
- Tie them with a string around your proper waist or where you want them to sit. This will give you an indication as to how your waist sits. You could have a bit of a tummy and find the front is just too long or too short. If you bend do they creep down.
The Pattern: – the envelope and paper insert tells us
- Always wash your fabric before you sew it, is usually shrinks. Why try for a perfect fit and not wash the fabric?
What fabric do I need?
The pattern recommends fabrics on the rear of the envelope. It states that obvious diagonals are not good. The fabric choices are broadcloth, linen and crepe. For my trousers, I have chosen something from Croft Mill Fabrics. I chose I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY – BLACK In other words, wash and wear. : )
How much fabric do you need?
This information is on the rear of the pattern. The amount of fabric you need will be listed next to the pattern view you wish to make, choose your size and check the fabric width measurements.
Take a look at my previous blog on trousering, it will tell you a bit on how to sew various fabrics suitable for trousers and will also take you to our fabric website where you can purchase these fabrics. If you don’t like to buy only just give us a call.
What pattern pieces should I cut out?
Open the pattern envelope. Remove the paper insert instructions. On the first page, you will see an outline drawing of the garments the pattern makes. Underneath that, you will see all the pattern pieces, which can be used to make all the views. Below this will be a list of the pieces which go with the view you wish to make. For this project, you will need pattern pieces: 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
How do I read this pattern?
Any paper pattern has all the notions on it. These are things like notches, fold lines, cutting instructions. The paper instruction insert has layout options for cutting using various widths. A key to show you, how they are representing the fabric throughout the instruction, in terms of right and wrong sides. All inserts give sewing information on how they represent interfacing, lining or underlining. The best way to treat seams in tricky areas is demonstrated using diagrams. A glossary will explain the terms used in the instructions. Web Link from Craftsy
Let us start making our trousers
- Cut your pattern pieces out. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
- Have an old bed sheet or curtain ready for your muslin.
- Pins, scissors, sewing thread, sewing machine, mirror, marker pen.
- Enough fabric to make your pants.
Making the Muslin
Pin the pattern of the back and front, pieces 7 and 8 onto your bed sheet/curtain and cut it out.
Place one front piece to one back piece matching the inner leg seam, right side to right side. Sew together. Repeat with the other leg.
Iron flat once sewn, Lay one piece, right side to right side on top of the other. The front top should be on the front top of the other leg. Sew around the crotch area.
Press flat as best you can. Lay the trousers flat with the wrong side to the outside. Place a pin in the centre seam to hold the pieces together.
Pin the side seams, right side to right side and sew the seams of both sides..
You now have a basic toile. If your pattern has a waistband to attach, do so at this point. Our pattern has an elastic waist and drawstring so no waistband is added at this stage.
Put the pants on inside out. Use a piece of string or elastic, tie it in your waist or where you want the pants to sit. This will hold the pants up.
Get someone to take photo’s of you wearing the toile from all angles including bending.
Use this problem and solution fitting guide to get the pattern to fit. I used this pants fitting guide that was absolutely spot on. You need to sign up to download it, but it is well worth it Pants fitting guide from Closet Case Patterns.
Correcting My Pattern:
NB: A loose fitting elasticated pants will always have more fabric than a fitted pants around the hips and waist. You will have folds and lines but it will feel and look comfortable not rumpled and baggy.
My pattern needed the following adjustments.
- Make the front shorter in the crotch.
- Change the back crotch area so it is deeper and does not pull between the cheeks. : )
- Lengthen the back waistband area, tapering to the side seams.
- I left the hip space as I do not mind slightly big in that area.
- Narrowed the lower pants legs just a little.
Remake the toile by unpicking and sewing bits on and cutting bits off until it fitted nicely. Adjust my waistband to fit my elastic as I do not want a drawstring waist but one which can fold over with elastic in it. Measure the pants elastic, from my waistline, I added the height of the elastic and 5mm for sewing.
- Once you are happy with the fit.
- Unpick the side, inner leg and crotch seams.
- Iron the pieces and use as your pattern pieces or cut them out of brown/newspaper and add the adjustments.
Making pants with my chosen fabric
Measure to make sure your pattern is placed straight.
- There are long lines on your pattern pieces in the nearly middle of the leg pattern pieces.
- Use a tape measure to make sure that your pattern is lying straight.
- Place your pattern onto the fabric where you want it. Pin in the knee area of the line.
- Measure from a straight edge to the pin.
- Do the same along the hip, top and hem area making sure that the distance is the same.
This will ensure your pants leg hangs properly and doesn’t twist.
Pattern step 1:
As I am putting an elasticated waist on my pants, I want to mark where the elastic will go. Cut a section of elastic to use as a template. It needs to be 2X the elastic width and then the pockets should be placed approx 1 cm into the elastic space. The pockets need to be sewn into the waist to keep them facing to the front of your pants.
Sew the pockets to the side and zigzag or overlock the edge where it joins the side.
Finishing the side seams
Pin the seams and sew together as per pictures
This is where I do not follow the pattern for the waist with a draw string.
The waist elastic, measure, divide and pin.
Sewing the elastic for the waist
I use a large zig zag to sew the elastic to the edge of the the waist band. Try not sew through too many elastic threads as that makes it less stretchy. Pull the elastic gently as you sew from one pin to the other.
Securing the elastic waist
Hem the legs
Zigzag or overlock the pants leg hems, fold them over and press to the length you need. Make sure you use a pressing cloth if you are using a warm or hot iron. Slip stitch the hem by hand or use your sewing machine and a hemming foot.
Making belt loops to finish my pants off
- Take a piece of fabric and cut it into a strip 5cm wide. The strip needs to be as long as how many loop you want on your pants. Each loop is approx 6cm long.
- Fold the fabric strip in half and press.
- Lay each edge in toward the middle fold line. Tack and press.
- Place on edge on to the other and sew down each side close to the edge.
- Cut into strips approx 6cm long.
Attaching the belt loops
- Measure and place pins where you would like the belt loops to go.
- You need to start working from the centre back as that must have a loop for the belt.
- Pin the strip at the top, on the right side. The fabric should be placed as in the picture.
- Sew it on using a straight stitch at the top of the waist band. I usually sew two rows of stitching.
- Fold it over towards the bottom of the waist band. Ensure you make these loops larger rather than smaller. You do not want to force a beltthrough the loops. The belt should be able to slide through easily.
- Fold the edge of the strip under and attach using a straight stitch sewing it twice.
The result – A Tada moment
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, I shall be making the Jacket in the next sew a long blog.