August 09, 2022
by Esi Hutchinson
Our new pattern, 161 Fisherman's Pants, is great for working in the garden, cleaning, doing yoga, lounging around at home, or just to put something comfortable on. We have made these pants in a variety of fabrics from raw silk to linen and they are great in everything.
When I thought about doing a sew along for these pants, I knew it would be quite simple as the instructions are not difficult. The seam finishes are the most important thing and might not be how you typically finish your seams. This pattern uses French seams and flat-felled seams to achieve a finished look for the pants, since you can actually see the "inside" of the garment when it is worn (waistband is folded down).
For this sew along, I thought it would be nice to give these pants a luxurious look by using a silky material. In my case, I am using a shiny polyester blend fabric that gives the look of silk. I thought that if I really like how the pants turn out I may just make them out of real silk. You can make these pants from lots of different kinds of fabric. Medium to medium weight cottons such as broadcloth, ikats, lightweight twills; linen, lightweight wool, or rayon would all be great. Or try Thai silk, silk shantung, or dupioni silk for special occasions. You can mix and match fabrics, making the waistband or ties (or pocket) from a separate fabric than the pants. Also note that the inside of the waistband fabric will be seen, so you might want to make sure you like the back of the fabric also. I've even seen these made with each leg from a separate fabric. if you do that, each leg takes about 1 yard of fabric, and the waistband 3/4 of a yard.
Take a look at the pattern and choose your size and cut out (or trace) the pattern. The sizing of these pants is very flexible. Many different sizes will fit many different bodies since there is so much ease, and the pants are wrapped to fit. I suggest choosing the size closest to your body measurements, or even a size smaller. If you would like to shorten or lengthen the pants legs do so now. The pants are designed to be ankle length. But, you could make them shorter, which is a very popular style too. If you want to changed the length, shorten or lengthen from the bottom cuff on the pattern piece. I shortened these pants by about 5 inches as I wanted a very cropped pants.
Cut out all your pattern pieces from your fabric. There are only four pattern pieces, and the pocket is optional. We designed these to have one pocket that is in front when you wrap the pants to wear them, but you could cut two pockets (one for each pants leg) if you like.
With right sides together, sew the Waistband Panels together at the side seams. Use French seams or flat felled seams and press to one side. I used French seams here. By the way, we will have an in-depth tutorial up in a few days on making French seams and flat felled seams.
Now, turn under one long edge of the waistband by ¼” (6mm) to the wrong side and then turn under again by ¼” (6mm) to form a hem. Stitch hem close to turned edge.
For the pocket, press under ¼” (6mm) seam allowance along top Pocket edge, and press under again by ¾” (2cm) and topstitch along folded edge.
Then press under ½" (13mm) seam allowance along remaining Pocket edges.
I am using two layers of fabric because my fabric is delicate and I don't want the stitching to pull when something like my phone is in the pocket. If you do this, sew the pocket pieces together with right sides together on only three sides. Leave the top open to turn to right side.
Turn right side out and press under ¼” (6mm) seam allowance along top Pocket edge, press under again ¾” (2cm) and topstitch along folded edge.
Pin Pocket to right side of one leg at position marked on pattern. Topstitch in place close to pressed edges, backstitching start and finish of pocket opening.
If you would like a pocket on the other pant leg do so now.
Sewing Legs Together
With right sides together, sew the center front and back seams together on the pants legs. Finish seams and press open or to one side, or use French seams when sewing together.
With right sides together, put front and back pants seams facing each other, and sew the crotch seam. It's best to start sewing at the inner curve (seamline) of the crotch and sew to one ankle hem, then sew the other side of the crotch seam the same way. Finish seams and press open or finish with a flat-felled seam. Clip seams at curves as needed.
I serged the crotch seams because I don't want the structure that flat-felled seams gives, and wanted that that area to have less structure to be more loose-fitting.
With right side of waistband to wrong side of pant legs, align the unhemmed edge of the waist panel to the top of the pants. Match waistband seams to pants notches and waistband notches to front and back pants seams. Finish seam with a flat-felled seam and press toward waist panel. This seam will also be seen, so it is helpful to finish it completely (i.e. not just finish with a serge or zig zag stitch).
Press ½” (13mm) toward wrong side on each short end of the Tie. Press ½” (13mm) to wrong side on each long side. Fold Tie in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, and stitch along three sides, close to hem folds.
Sew center of Tie to back of waist panel where indicated on pattern pieces. Basically just below center of the back of the waistband. Secure the tie by sewing a rectangle and backstitching at beginning and end.
Hem pants legs by turning up ¼” (6mm) and turn up again ¼” (6mm). Stitch close to fold.
Now the pants are finished, I will show you how to tie them to your waist.
First fold one side of the waist band to opposite side.
Wrap the tie around your waist and tie it in the front.
Lastly fold the waistband over the tie.
I love how comfortable and chic the pants look in this fabric! Get the pattern for these Thai Fisherman Pants here!