preparing for pants

January 29, 2014

Next up on my Twelve Pattern Challenge agenda: Pants. I already have a pants pattern in my T.P.C queue but there are a few things that are making me hold off on it for now. I’ve sewn the Simplicity 3688 trousers a few times before (here, here, and here) and they have great potential, but the work involved to transform them into the pants I’m longing for right now is too much for me to think about fussing with. I really want a pair of pants with a fly front, lots of pockets, and belt loops. I’ve never sewn a fly front before so that’s another reason why I’m feeling the need to add fly front trousers to my challenge.

1930s_1940s_flyfront_trousersphotos via wehadfacesthen and 1942 Sears Catalog

I searched high and low for a vintage pattern to fill this void, but instead found a practically perfect modern pattern to fit the bill. The Vogue 8836 pattern looks nearly identical to the 1930’s trousers shown in the photo above! I’m pleased to report that Jo-Anns will be having a sale on Butterick and Vogue patterns this weekend (no I’m not psychic, I have the app) so I’m going to scoop it up for $4.99 instead of $13.50! Score! I’m sure all the ladies in my WWII reenacting troupe will understand that I had to sneak away from the event to grab a pattern on sale, right? They totally will.

Now that I have my inspiration and a pattern, I need to narrow down a fabric choice. I already have some beautiful rust colored corduroy in my stash, but I might want something a little thinner with more drape for Vogue 8836. I’ve started a Pinterest board for My Ideal Wardrobe so I can start to get a general sense of fabrics, textures, and overall themes of things that inspire me.


I like chic menswear, tweeds, and timeless color palettes. I also like things that are soft and look like they’ve been broken-in and well loved overtime – You know, Vintage-y things. Practicality also plays a crucial roll here so I’m looking for fabrics that are washable and fairly durable. I don’t want to fuss with matching plaids either. …and I really like the color green lately.


fabrics: onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnine

Denver Fabrics doesn’t advertise swatches but you can order any fabric as small as 1/8th of a yard, which is pretty much a swatch. I ordered quite a few swatches of different fabrics, some obvious for pants (polyester blend suiting and such), and some potential wild cards (peach skin?!). Number three is my favorite so far, but we’ll see which one I like best when they get here!

The only thing I plan to change on the Vogue 8836 pattern is to add double welt pockets to the back, which is also a technique I’ve never tried, so I’m taking the online class Designing Details: Pockets with Kenneth D. King to help me through it.

I’d also like to try and squeeze in some shirt sewing in February but we’ll see how involved the pants are first. I’m really excited about these! I’m picturing them now and they look so good in my head haha!

Have you ever sewn pants? Did you have good luck with them?