September 05, 2020
We will be starting the sew along for the 229 Sailor Pants soon, but selecting fabric for your project is a first step. Check out our Pinterest page for some inspiration, and read about the history of the pants and the pattern details.
Traditionally, these were work-wear pants made of Melton wool (as our originals) or denim or cotton canvas. These fabrics were common and are still good choices. Woven fabric with a fairly tight weave will be the best choice.
To ensure a fabric will be easy to work with, look for medium to heavy-weight cotton twills, cotton canvas, denim, broadcloth, flannel, etc. Linen and wool are good choices too. There are some bulky seams in this pattern so be aware of fabric weight and bulk (though a good hammer can help reduce bulk at corners or seams if needed).
When picking out your fabric remember that this pattern is loaded with details and elements just waiting for your creative inspiration. Have fun with the lining and welt pocket pieces and lining. The linings can be made of light weight fabrics like lawns, poplin, or silk. You could add a bit of unexpected whimsy to be discovered inside.
Fabrics below are suggestions. You can use them to help inform your choice of fabrics (what types work well). And just so you know, some of these options may be sold out or not available after a few months.
We actually have several fabrics in our shop that would be perfect for these pants (we stock them because of this pattern):
We have two Sanded Twill fabrics: Sanded Twill, Navy and Sanded Twill, Grey. These are great for making the Sailor Pants - just enough structure yet still soft and comfortable, and easy to sew with - and the colors are great (dark - go with anything). We've made several samples from these fabrics (you can see one above). They are 60" wide, so you don't need quite as much fabric as narrower widths.
We also have a slightly heavier-weight twill in a beautiful indigo. This would make a beautiful and sturdy pair of Sailor Pants (and we don't have a lot of it). It is 59" wide, so uses less fabric than narrower widths.
Finally, we have an high quality, dark 8oz denim which feels so nice and would work well for a lighter weight denim pair of Sailor Pants. Also a nice, wide fabric.
From Harts Fabric, this recycled hemp/organic cotton lightweight canvas would be amazing! Sustainable and beautiful - and perfect for this pattern. There are a couple of other colors available too.
Oak Fabrics has a beautiful dark navy wool that is slightly lighterweight than Melton (and a bit cheaper), but it is an overstock fabric and once it's gone, it's gone. This would be perfect for an authentic pair of Sailor Pants.
Finally, from Style Maker Fabrics, a nice cotton herringbone flannel.
Some of these above colors of the main fabric are a bit . . . un-colorful. I choose a bit of a traditional and fall-inspired pallet here. You can, of course, choose bright colors for the pants - pastel twills, jewel-colored corduroys, strips, etc. They would be beautiful and fun!
This slub canvas, from Style Maker Fabrics, is bright and fun.
Here's a Mariner Cloth from Elfriede's Fine Fabrics that would be great as these pants.
This rose-colored duck canvas (mid-weight) from Blackbird Fabrics would be perfect!
Another way to brighten up your pants are to add colorful fabrics and prints in the lining. A very stable woven is helpful here. And, below are some good options.
Pima cotton tropical print from Style Maker Fabrics
A Liberty of London print would be perfect too - the fabric is tightly woven and very stable, plus gorgeous! This one is from Bolt Fabrics.
And, from Harts Fabrics, this pretty Rifle Paper and Co. butterfly print lawn would be pretty!