Sunday, 19 August 2012

Copying my RTW linen cropped pants

For quite some time now I have wanted to copy some RTW linen cropped pants that I have had now for several years.

My original thoughts were to unpick the pants and use them as a pattern, but these are still more than wearable, so I decided to trace around them.

The first thing I did was to turn the pants inside out and to pop one leg into the other so that I could clearly see the outline of the back and front piece.  I then pulled out the shape of the front and the back piece and used pins to secure it to the tracing paper and drew around the pieces.  For the pockets I laid the paper over the pocket and felt the edge and drew around it.  I did the same for the front placket.

Once I had drawn the pattern, I added a little extra seam allowance (I added a 1/4") and then cut out the pieces.  I  sewed the front and back seams.  Then inserted the zipper (including a zipper guard)  followed by pressing the top edge of the back pocket and top-stitching, I used a long stitch with my sewing machine to mark the seam allowance of the back pocket, folded the raw edges under, and then attached them to the back pieces followed by top-stitching.

I scratched my head a bit for the side pockets which entered via a single welt opening.

To make sure I did this right, I recreated the pocket front from some scraps.  Take the first pocket piece and pin it to the right side of the pant front.  I cut a piece of paper to the size of the pocket opening to use as a guide and stitched a rectangular box (see below).  I cut an opening through the middle and created little v shaped tab at each end before pushing the pocket through the hole.  You need to clip right into the corner to make sure that pocket turns through and all the edges of the opening lay flat.  Next take a strip of fabric that will be wide enough when folded in half to sit under the opening.  Pin into place and then top-stitch all the way round (securing the welt in place as you go).  Do the same for the other pocket and now you can stitch the 2nd pocket piece (that forms the actual pocket) to the piece you have just made the opening from, make sure that you don't catch the pants front (I used my serger for this).

Once the back pockets and front pockets are complete, sew back and front pieces together.  Hem, and added waistband.  I used a buttonhole and button to fasten these.

I am wearing these as I type and they are really comfortable and I now have my pattern to make another pair from some black linen I have.  One change I made was to add about 1" to the back waist which sits lower than I would prefer, but for a pair of pants made without any commercial pattern I am delighted.

Catch you later..........


  1. Great job on these cropped pants. They look fabulous on you.

  2. Well done. Your technique is a bit like the Jean-ius thing I did for jeans but now you have a pattern that we know fits and suits. Great fit in the you-know-where region.

  3. Nice! I have yet to attempt to "rub off" a pattern but someday I'll try it. Your pants look fab and the fit is great.

  4. Way to go on making a successful pair of capris using this technique. I love the color of your linen too.

  5. Great job on nailing this new skill! The pants are a great success - and all with no pattern... 'pat-on-the-back' to you on this one...

  6. Great job and what a marvelous color fabric! On more than one occasion I have copied some well fitting RTW. Why is it always pants?

  7. Great colour, you can make many more now. Good to copy the rtw pair without taking it apart.