Happy October, friends!
And Happy Pants Month!
All month long we’ll be bringing you tips and tricks for making your own pair of pants, fitting and tailoring advice, styling options and pattern reviews. It’s all pants, all month long!
To kick start pants month, I’m bringing back a blast from the past. These Traveling Pants blew up the internet when Pattie Wilkinson debuted them on Sew it All TV in 2012.
The style is easy and breezy and can be worn in fall out of a lightweight linen or chambray, spring out of a cotton pique, or summer out of a voile or sateen. The reason they’re called Traveling Pants is because they make a great vacation wardrobe staple. Plus, the waist is adjustable, so if you eat too much on your cruise, just let out the ties a bit and you’re still comfy!
Here’s how to make ‘em:
Traveling Pants by Pattie Wilkinson
- 3 yards of 45″-wide print cotton fabric
- 1″-wide waistband elastic (amount according to measurements)
- 2 1/2″ of 5/8″-wide sew-on hook-and-loop tape
- Coordinating all-purpose thread
- Flexible tape measure
- Pom-pom tool (optional)
- Coordinating yarn (optional; if making pom-poms)
- Removable fabric marker
- Hand sewing needle
- Curved ruler
From the fabric, cut two 2 1/2″x18″ strips for the ties; set aside.
Measure your waist circumference where you’d like the waistband to sit; record. Multiply the measurement by 2 and add 12″; record.
Fold the fabric in half crosswise, matching the raw edges.
From the fabric, cut two rectangles according to the recorded measurement. Designate one as the pants front and one as the back. Designate one short edge of each as the upper edge. Mark the pants upper-edge center.
Measure your crotch depth from center front to center back to the desired waistline; add 2″.
Beginning and ending 5″ from the upper-edge center, draw a slightly curved line according to the recorded measurement. Cut along the line.
Align the pants front and back with right sides together. Stitch the crotch seam using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″, and then zigzag-finish the edges; press to one side.
Press the pant sides 1/4″ toward the wrong side. Press another 1/2″ toward the wrong side. Topstitch 1/8″ from each fold.
Fold the pants front and back upper edges 1/4″ toward the wrong side; press. Fold another 1 1/4″ toward the wrong side. Topstitch 1/8″ from each fold.
Wrap the elastic around your waist at the desired waistline so that it’s snug, but not too tight; cut two lengths according to this measurement.
Thread one elastic length through each waistband casing, evenly distributing the fabric.
Stitch each casing end closed using a 1/2″x7/8″ rectangle, catching the elastic in the stitching.
Center the loop tape over the waistband casing on the pants-front right side, aligned with the right edge. Center the hook tape over the waistband casing on the pants-front wrong side, aligned with the left edge. Topstitch the perimeters.
With right sides together, press each tie in half lengthwise; unfold. Press each long edge to meet in the center; press and refold along the centerline. Topstitch the long open edge.
Fold one tie end 1/2″ toward one side; press. Center the folded end along the wrong side of the pants back casing. Stitch a rectangle along the tie folded end to secure. Repeat to attach the remaining tie to the remaining pants back casing.
Use the pom-pom tool to create two pom-poms following the manufacturer’s instructions and hand stitch one to each tie unfinished end.
Double-fold the pants lower edge 1″ toward the wrong side or to the desired length. Edgestitch the first fold.
Wrap the pants front around your waist, securing the hook-and-loop tape at the back.
Bring the pants back between your legs to the back. Wrap the pants back around your waist and tie the ties in the front.