13 October 2012

Simplicity 2860 (pants)

Having worked on pants fitting for a few years, I am pleased to finally have a pair of good-fitting trousers.  There's still work to do with the back as the hamstring area is still too full, but at least the pants are wearable and comfortable. Plus, the front looks really good!

Fabric & Notions:
  • about 2 yards of 100% striped herringbone wool suiting
  • 7" nylon zipper
  • walking foot to ensure even feed of fabric
  • fusible interfacing for the outer waistband and zipper fly
  • 80/12 universal needle
Sizing & Alterations:

I started working on this pattern a two years ago, so I don't quite remember all of the changes I made.  Incidentally, I started keeping more accurate records of my alterations in a notebook.  Anyway, for this pattern I cut a straight size 16 curvy and altered from there.  
  • removed three inches in length:  1.5 inches above and below the knee
  • shortened the fly area 1 inch, tapering to nothing at the side seam
  • scooped the back crotch curve for comfort 
The first time I tried this pattern, I didn't make a muslin.  Instead, I left the 1" seam and fit as I sewed.

I didn't think the full legs looked particularly good on me, so I took a very large seam allowance on both sides.  Unfortunately, this distorted the fit and produced the result you see in the pictures above.  It's not too bad and I do still wear the pants, but improvement was definitely in order.

For the brown herringbone pair, I didn't take as large a seam allowance because I regained most of the weight I lost last year (stupid pounds have a GPS or something).  When I make this pair again, I will probably shape the legs a little to remove some of the fullness.


Oh my.  Where do I start with this headache?  One thing you've probably gathered from reading my blog is that I don't give up easily.  I fight  the battles that are worth the time and effort.  I do know when to surrender, though, and have no qualms about it!  Such is the case with the clean-finish waistband method presented in two videos by Hot Patterns (part 1 & part 2).  I appreciate the time and effort Trudy extends to everyone by producing these and all of her videos.

Unfortunately, I just could not make this method work for me.  I watched the two-part video over, and over again and made sample after sample.  It seems like some information is missing and without this, I couldn't get it right.  I enlisted the help of folks on PR and Stitcher's Guild and received many wonderful and helpful replies.  Despite the tips given, I couldn't make it work.

Determined not to be defeated, I consulted David Page Coffin's book, Making Trousers.  The basic idea is to extend the center front of each waistband a couple of inches and wrap the extension to the inside.  Once the facing is attached to the top, the front edge is folded under and stitched in place.  DPC does a much better job of explaining the process.  I have plans to make this pair of pants again and when I do, I'll photograph and document the process in a blog post.

There's nothing extraordinary about the construction of these pants.  I pretty much sewed them as if I were sewing a pair of jeans - less all of the topstitching.  I finished all of the edges first before sewing the seams and sewed a blind hem along the bottom edge. I also added a fly shield.  The pattern goes together rather quickly as there are only four pieces.


While I am very pleased with this pair of pants, I will tweak it a bit more to improve the fit.  S2860 is a good place to start if you're looking to develop and tried-and-true pants pattern.

Until next time, be well everyone!



  1. I think those are GREAT pants! I've got to find my way back to making pants too, BUT I'm having a terrible time tearing myself away from the skirts.

  2. Sounds, and looks, like you have 99% nailed the perfect pant pattern/style for you - these pants look super...

  3. You've made great progress. I too am on the journey to good fitting pants. I'm still tweaking my fit and hope to have a good pair very soon. Your slacks do look good on you!

  4. From the photos you did a good job on fit and they look great on you.


Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.


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