Welcome to the Pants Party

Let me just start out by clarifying that by ‘Pants Party’, I mean trousers, not lacy undergarments (or in fact, *any* kind of undergarments) If you’re looking for that kind of party, then you’re in the wrong place ?

I’m here to talk about the ‘trousers’ kind of pants, and more specifically, ones I MADE MYSELF WITH MY OWN BARE HANDS. Well, the sewing machine helped a *little*, I suppose. But I did use my hands.

Even though I’ve been sewing clothes for a couple of years now, I had so far wimped out of making trousers.

It just seemed like a minefield of potential fitting disasters – not only do they have to fit my waist, but they also have to be able to get round my bum and not be too tight at the thighs. What if I don’t get the fit right and the seams split when I’m wearing them?

I’ve also been put off sewing trousers because I have so much trouble buying them in the shops – I need a size 10 at the waist, but a size 14 in the hips and thighs. Which you can, of course, buy in no store ever known to man ?‍♀️

What usually happens is I that I have to wear what they call ‘high waisted’ skinny jeans (pah – usually they don’t even come anywhere close to my *actual* waist), which fit at the ‘waist’ but are OH SO TIGHT on my thighs. When I walk I get the feeling that the legs are being constantly pulled downwards – they’re seeking the path of least resistance, which is to get off my thighs where the fabric is so stretched and move down to my calves which are (marginally) smaller. Obvs not cool, and totes annoying.

There does, however, appear to be a temporary saviour – I’ve just discovered Mom Jeans. Yep, that’s their actual name – it refers to the fact that their style was popular in the 90’s with middle-aged Mums. They are high-waisted, straight legged, and made of more rigid cotton denim (‘traditional’ denim, if you will) as opposed to the stretchy synthetic soft denim we see on jeggings nowadays. Because of their high waist they hold your stomach in, prevent muffin top and also stop the dreaded ‘peeka-booty’.

After admiring them on a colleague, but only being able to find them in blue (which I don’t wear on my bottom half, don’t ask why, it’s just one of the whims of the universe), I’d almost given up on my search when I finally found them in black. They are Asos own brand, £30 a pair, nothing special and no fancy designer. I ordered myself some, fully expecting to play out the normal scenario of either not getting them over my thighs, or getting them on but realising I need about six inches taking out of the waistband. But – these actually fit. ? At the thighs AND the waist. ??? Sure, I could do with the zip being like an inch longer to make getting them over my bum a little easier, but they fit. And they don’t feel like they are being pulled downward when I walk. They stay where they are. They are… comfy. And that, kids, is a miracle in itself to this hourglass shaped human being.

So if it’s taken me 33 years to find a pair of jeans that actually fits my shape, that sort of explains why I’ve wussed out of making trousers – if not a single pair in the shops fits me, I haven’t got a chance in hell of actually making a pair that fits me. Because, they are pros at jean-making and I’m just blagging it. Right?


Turns out, I just needed to figure out what style I needed – and that style is something not commonly available in ready to wear. Because it’s probably not considered ‘stylish’, or ‘trendy’ or whatever. What I need is a crazy-ass, almost-in-your-armpit high-waisted. You know how people pull their trousers right up to make fun of Grandpa? Yep. That’s exactly what I need.

For me, that’s not ‘high waisted’ – that’s just my *actual* waist. Any trousers that don’t come up that high are either going to:

  • Give me serious muffin top (ewwwwww)
  • be hideously uncomfortable and try to work their way downwards at every opportunity
  • All of the above.

Usually, it’s option 3.

So you can see why I was reluctant to sew myself some trousers.

When I saw these Burda trousers, while I was browsing for my next Minerva crafts projects, I thought they could be a good style for my shape. Yes, they are Grandad trousers (braces and everything!) but that’s what I was after. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the slightly looser leg – given the size of my thighs and calves, I’d only ever been used to skinny fit legs and was worried that looser fabric would just make me look EVEN bigger. But, I thought that if I didn’t give these a chance, I would just keep on putting off making trousers for ever and ever and ever. I’ve had the Ginger Jeans (Closet Case) and Safran Pants (Deer and Doe) patterns for ages, but they keep getting pushed down the sewing queue in favour of something ‘less challenging’ and daunting. I knew that if I committed to making trousers for a Minerva post I would HAVE to make them and there would be no more wussing out.

You can head on over to the post on the Minerva Crafts blog here to read more about the construction details – so I won’t cover that here – but overall, I’m considering them a moderate success. Yay!

I say ‘moderate’, because it was my first time doing a zip fly front and it’s a bit ropey – I wasn’t too sure what it was meant to look like when finished, and if you’ve used a Burda pattern you’ll know how crap their instructions are. Also, I didn’t quite nail the front of the leg… those pleats are meant to be sewn only at the very top where they join the waistband, but this gave me realllly weird poofy bits of fabric on the front of my legs. I tamed them by increasing the length of pleat that was sewn together, almost down to the bottom of the fly, but ultimately this just pushed the poofy bit further down my leg. It looks ok from the front, but a bit lolz from the side.

But – this is balanced out by a really REALLY good fit at the waist. That waistband, although very much higher on me than on the model on the front of the pattern envelope, is really flattering, really comfortable and stays exactly where is should stay. Not even a hint of muffin top in sight.

If I could just sort out that front leg, these would be bloody amazing and I would totally make them again. They actually are really similar to the Jim dungarees by Ready To Sew which I have the pattern for, so I dunno whether to make the Jim and then compare the two, or maybe see if I can steal the front leg off another trouser pattern and graft it onto the Burdas.

Either way, I’m properly pleased with myself for finally taking the plunge, now I just need to keep the momentum going and really get used to the whole zip-fly-thing. Because you know, practice makes perfect ?

I’ve got the fabric for the Gingers and the Safrans, and I’ve also got the M7726 paper bag waist trousers that I saw Jess Sews Clothes make – I absolutely love them but I haven’t yet settled on the right fabric to make these from. Which means they will sit in the queue until I find the fabric that talks to me… But that’s ok. I feel like I want to enter the realm of patterned trousers, but am wary of the possibility that they might look like pyjama bottoms…

Oh, and I still need to make the Arenite Pants from Sew Liberated, which most of the Instagram community has already made about 20 pairs each of and I’m still yet to trace my pattern ?


I think I might start with the Safrans. They are a smidge less complicated than the Gingers, ‘jeans-lite’ if you will, so while I’m still a little scaredy cat I’m going to take baby steps.

Once that’s underway, I’d like to have a bash at making the Jedediah Pants from Thread Theory for the husband, because trousers are the one thing I’ve not made for him either.

Have you made trousers (‘pants’ for all you guys over the pond) or are you still too scared? Any pro tips you can give me are very much welcomed!

In the meantime, here’s a zillion pictures of my Burda’s because I MADE TROUSERS GUYS WOOOOOOO ??????

Coming up next week on the Wanderstitch blog… a Kielo dress! You knew it wouldn’t be long before I made another Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out!  


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  1. Celia
    June 3, 2018 / 7:06 am

    Your trousers look fantastic! Love the high-waist!

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:16 am

      Thank you Celia! I really love the style of that waistband… I’m thinking of grafting it onto other designs!

  2. June 3, 2018 / 7:17 am

    Yay! See? Not so difficult to make…nailing fit is of course, another matter but these are a good shape on you. Modern brainwashing into thinking skinnies are the only style is odd to me- I was a teenager in the 79s, so ‘baggies’ were in. I had my first pair of straight leg jeans in 1977, and felt like a freak as no one else in Brum, wore them [I bought them by mistake, it’s a long story lol] I then found that my skinny straight up and down figure was best suited to the old style men’s cut Levi’s [slim fit straight leg] and wore them for a loooong time. In the 80s, the first ‘women’s cut’ jeans came in, what you guys would now call mom fit, as they had hips and a waist and room for a bum. I had none of the above, so ignored them. Many moons later, even less waist, still no hips and bum, I’ve largely abandoned jeans altogether. I do have the legs for skinnies, but oh boy, the belly fights them, and once a waistband drops below my natural high waist, there’s nothing to stop ’em from plummeting to the ground…I HAVE to have elastic waistbands!
    I’m itching to make a pair of the Greenstyle ‘Chelsea’ trousers, oh boy those amazing flared ‘loons’ make me go all 1970s again [the missus wants some too]
    Love that waistband on you- maybe skinge a little length off theback? It would look fab on any skirt or trousers, you could even bone it for a lovely corseted look

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:23 am

      Thanks! You’re right, the construction isn’t actually *that* hard. I think I was more put off by the fitting minefield than the actual construction itself. I do like this style, and I think I’m 100% settled on the fact that it’s now got to be high waist or nothing at all where trousers are concerned. There will be no more trousers that sit on my hips, or below my natural waist!
      Ooh now flares I’m not sure are something that I can pull off… I read all the time that the flare of the leg balances out the hips etc etc, but I’m just not convinced. I do, however, ADORE the Lander pattern, and I’ve even just got hold of some stretch corduroy which would be perfect – BUT can I bring myself to go full on 70’s with corduroy flares?? I dunno!
      I should have interfaced the waistband with some stronger stuff on these trousers, it’s a bit floppy and it shows worse on the back. Good idea with the boning, that would make it hold it’s shape!

  3. Angela Dent
    June 3, 2018 / 7:23 am

    The trousers look amazing. The fit is spot on! Well done you!

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:26 am

      Thank you Angela!
      I’m really in love with the style of these – high waists are DEFINITELY the way to go for me!
      I think I need to stay away from the pleated front trousers as they looked *really* odd on me – I think the width of my hips distorted the pleats – but at least I’ve now took the plunge and made some!

  4. June 3, 2018 / 7:57 am

    Looking good. I made some from Patrones Magazine 272 in 2010 with a similar high deep band at the waist. In my reviews (asPetro) on sewing pattern review, if you care. My body doesn’t like dropped waist either, though for different reasons. I usually raise the waist on the pattern. I like Martin Shoben’s method of putting in the front zip. Virtually foolproof and done first with the pieces flat. I reckon now you’ve taken the bull by the horns you’ll be making many more trousers.

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:27 am

      Thank you Jay!
      Ooh, yes I will check out your review, thank you. A lot of people say good things about Patrones magazine though I’ve never actually got hold of a copy myself. I’ll definitely look up the front zip method you mention too – I’m all for things that are foolproof!! 🙂

  5. June 3, 2018 / 8:37 am

    These look great! Welcome to the party! … what an entrance! There’ll be no stopping you now!
    Do you know, with all the trousers and shorts I’ve made over the last few years, I don’t think any two flys look the same!
    The thread theory instructions were the most useful I found, and the closet case patterns jeans sew along is great (although I think the fly construction is better for women’s jeans than men’s)
    You might (or might not!) pick up a few tips from my ramblings about trousers (the top tabs should help you sift out the trousers posts from the rest) – if you’re in the reading mood! But it looks like you’re doing just fine!
    Stock up on size 90 needles!

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:30 am

      Haha, thank you! Better late to the party than never, hey 🙂
      I think I’ll dig out my instructions for the Thread Theory pattern then, and also the Closet Case ones, and see where the differences are – thanks for the tip! And I’m definitely going to go and lurk your trousers posts for some pro tips 😀

  6. Brenda Holmes
    June 3, 2018 / 9:56 am

    The waistband detail on your trousers is fantastic. You nailed it!

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:31 am

      Thanks Brenda! I do love that waistband… I’m wondering whether I can graft it on to other patterns… perhaps looser, lighter weight trousers, or even a skirt!

  7. Juliana
    June 3, 2018 / 11:13 am

    Looking awesome, really! Congratulations, and keep on! Applause

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:32 am

      Thank you Juliana! 🙂 🙂

  8. Sandy
    June 3, 2018 / 11:42 am

    Love those pants. The waist band is really gorgeous.

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:33 am

      Thanks Sandy! I think the waistband is my favourite part of this pattern! 🙂

  9. June 3, 2018 / 2:31 pm

    Congratulations Sarah! Beautiful job and what a FIT! According to Sandra Betzina (Vogue) she is the only one in the big 4 designers that uses a Burda block for her pants which she asserts affords a much better fit. I took both her pants Craftsy classes. When I looked at myself wearing that muslin in the mirror I got so freaked out I didn’t make another nor have I returned to the class. Yes it was that traumatizing. That was the END of the woven pants project (2 years ago?). I have since made her puzzle pants V1411 and LOVE this pattern. I must make more of these. I also bought a couple of her other patterns (now out of print) – wide leg – but haven’t made those up yet. They have joined the rest of my rather robust collection of pants patterns. I keep thinking I’m going to land on the “magic” pattern that will work for me… much like you 🙂 Yet I find myself reaching for blouses, tunics, dresses patterns – anything BUT pants. It was that vision of me in the mirror that flashes before my eyes just as I’m reaching for one of those patterns… I have a shape similar to the Demented Fairy – tall, long legged, narrow hips (flat assidosis) which has only become more exaggerated with age. Not a significant difference between my waist and hips (I’m looking at you Demented Fairy!! loved my levis and wore them too for years and years never bothering with the so-called “women’s jeans” since I assumed they couldn’t be referring to MY shape in that description). My RTW pants work fairly well… if they’re stretchy and I add an elastic belt. They stay up and hug my hips and upper thighs which are also rather spindly. But like you, I’m determined this YEAR to get my pants making on 🙂 Don’t we all have a dream of making ourselves FINALLY the perfect fitting pant – that allows you to move freely, sit comfortably yet look suave walking down the street? YES! You should be proud 🙂

    • Sarah
      June 5, 2018 / 7:39 am

      Thanks Kathleen! 🙂
      Ohhh no that sounds like a pretty devastating experience you had with the Craftsy classes :O
      I just looked up V1411, these look good! Are they made from knit fabrics?
      I’ve decided that I *MUST* get some trousers practice in from now on – it’s such a big gaping hole in my skill set! And trousers are the one thing that I struggle to buy in the shops, so it’s kind of obvious that I should just get over my fear and just make, make, make!
      I am really happy that my first pair of trousers was actually wearable, and I do love that waistband – but those pleats are a no-no for my legs I think! Flat-fronted trousers from now on. If nothing else, at least I’ve found a template for a super-cool waistband!

  10. June 3, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    I’m with you on needing the uber-high waist to avoid faux muffin top and waistband creeping. And OMG, I totally warned you about front pleats, didn’t I? =P

    But I do love that corset-style high waistband. It raises the waist without making it look like you have your pants in your armpits. Also, as usual, your construction is high quality. Go you!

    I was actually eyeballing the Safran pattern yesterday and thinking that I should give it a try because Deer and Doe’s size chart is way closer to my actual measurements than most other indie companies; that’s actually why I haven’t bought any Closet Case patterns – I mean, only an 8″ diff between waist and hips means a LOT of grading and fiddling for someone with a 12″ diff and an extremely short torso. I already own a few Deer and Doe patterns, but have never actually made them up. I should probably get on that.

    I’ve also noticed that trousers look best on my figure if they have a slim fit from the waist down to the knees, THEN flare out from the knee to the ankle. That way, I don’t get any extra width added where I don’t need it and I have a bit of width at the bottom of the leg to balance out my hips and my shoulders. Much as I love the waist and hip fit of the Sewaholic Thurlows (no excessive fiddling required, since the block is pear-shaped), the straight legs just don’t look as good on me as they could, so I need to adjust them to be more flared/boot-cut. Another thing added to my to-do list…

    Looking forward to more pants-sewing from you so that I can learn vicariously =D

    – Julia

    • Sarah
      June 6, 2018 / 7:12 am

      Hey Julia!
      Uh-huh, you totally warned me about the front pleats. I heed your warning now and I will not, I repeat WILL NOT buy the Esther pants pattern from Victory Patterns NO MATTER HOW MUCH I LIKE THEM because they also have pleats.
      I really do love the corset waistband on these trousers… I am considering grafting it on to pretty much everything now.
      I’ve took the plunge and started on the Safrans – I too have a 12″ difference between waist and hips, and that put me across two sizes. But only just.
      I’ve looked at the Thurlow pattern before, but I feel that the bottom of the legs are just too wide for me. I’ve read so many times that the flare at the bottom helps balance out the hips, but I just can’t bring myself to put that much excess fabric around my calves. I do however TOTALLY love the Landers – and I’ve just got some purple stretch corduroy which would be *perfect* for them… so I may get lured into making those.
      I think now I’ve got over that initial hurdle of making the first pair of trousers, I’m a little braver – there will definitely be more! I’ve marked my adjustments on the Safrans and am going to cut the fabric at the weekend… YAS 😀 😀

  11. June 4, 2018 / 2:00 am

    I’m with you – hate buying jeans, fear sewing pants, for all the reasons you gave (and wearing my rtw ‘mom’ jeans today). But I have made 2 pairs of trousers that work for me and both from the same Burda pattern – with 2 darts on either side at the back like yours, which is what I think suits the small waist/bigger bootied of us. I also have a simplicity ‘amazing fit’ pattern that gives the same dart pattern for the ‘curvy’ version and I think I’ll give those a try.

    • Sarah
      June 6, 2018 / 7:15 am

      Yayyy for the Mom jeans 😀 😀
      Which Burda pattern is it that you’ve used?
      Yes I think those darts are the way to go, like you say it suits the smaller waist.
      I’m happy that I’ve at least now took the plunge and made a pair of trousers, even if they are not perfect. I think I just needed to get on and do it to get over my fear!!
      Now I can spend hours browsing trouser patterns 😀

  12. June 4, 2018 / 7:09 am

    I used have similar waist hip ratio dilema (24 nch waist 39 hips – now as I am 50 waist is 28 hips 41). I could rarely find trousers or jeans to fit without alterations. High waist wide leg were probably my go to. My favourite trouser makes are now cigarette pants with a high waist – faced so no waistband. my other favourite make is the rachel comby vogue pants- they are a quirky make in a ‘bowie style with diagonal zip. they remind me of the pair you made, with the buttons as they have a big waistband

    • Sarah
      June 6, 2018 / 7:18 am

      Ooh, I am liking the sounds of those Rachel Comby ones – I think I’m going to have to check them out!
      I’m still not sure how I feel about wide leg trousers… but then I don’t think I’ve worn a pair in about 15 years, so I’m basing my hesitation on what I *think* they are probably going to look like rather than what they may actually look like.
      Rather than make a pair, I might head to the high street and see if I can find a pair to try on!
      How do you get on with the faced trousers – is it a bit odd not to have a waistband?

  13. Beck
    June 4, 2018 / 7:19 am

    These look great on you – Congrats! I just ordered M7726 too!! Long live the pants party!!!

    • Sarah
      June 12, 2018 / 7:56 am

      Thanks Beck! Ooh yay another M7726 fan! God knows how long it will take me to get around to making them, so I’ll look forward to seeing yours first ???

  14. PatsyPoo
    June 8, 2018 / 9:32 am

    I really love them. They suit you! Love the waist button closure as well. Well done! I need to make more trousers before it gets cold. I think I might try the safrans, too. Xx

    • Sarah
      June 12, 2018 / 7:37 am

      Thank you lovely! I’m pretty pleased with them for a first attempt. I’m so excited to make the safrans now! I just hope they turn out ok ? x

  15. PatsyPoo
    June 8, 2018 / 9:34 am

    Oh! And have you seen the fitting tips on lladybird’s blog recently? I just caught up with it this morning and it is very informative.

    • Sarah
      June 12, 2018 / 7:35 am

      Ah, no I haven’t! Thanks for the heads up, I’m gonna go have a read! x

  16. Lutske
    June 17, 2018 / 7:52 am

    Your trousers look great! Well done on the fitting! If you’re looking for more high-waisted styles: one of my personal favourites is burdastyle high waisted trousers 7/2010 #127. I feel so put together when I wear these! And: no fly front! Just like you, my waist is much smaller than my hips, so buying trousers was a big problem for me in the 90’s..which got me into sewing at a young age! I have been making trousers for 20 years now..they were the first thing I ever made! Coats on the other hand are challenging. I really love the ones you’ve made so far! Good luck, you’ll be fine with your mad skillz ?

    • Sarah
      June 19, 2018 / 7:54 am

      Ahh thank you! ? And thanks for the pattern recommendation, I’ll check these out! I’ve actually been thinking about subscribing to Burda for a while now, I see a lot of nice things made from their patterns.
      I love that you’ve been sewing from a young age, I wish that I had got into it sooner ☹️
      See we are totally opposite – I love sewing coats but am so bloody scared of trousers ??‍♀️?

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