Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Most Comfortable Wide-Legged Wool Pants in Existence

I looked in the full length mirror and frowned. These pants I'd just made were not all I expected them to be. I wasn't sure I like them on myself. They were a total departure from my everyday style, but,  oh. my. goodness. They were the most comfortable pants I'd ever worn - like sweatpants, only better.

When I set about planning my capsule wardrobe for the Pattern Review contest, I was stumped when it came to the "bottoms" my capsule would contain. I mostly just wear jeans, and as I have a whole drawer of those, I don't need to make myself any! So what would I make? Skirts? Pants? What Styles? What would I get the most wear out of? With these questions in my mind, I thought back to what I wore most last year on the World Race. I had only one pair of jeans I wore occasionally, a maxi skirt I wore often, and a split skirt I wore almost as often as the maxi skirt. 

Well, I have plenty of maxi skirts in my closet right now, so I decided against making another right now. Split skirts, however, I only have one of those, but did I really need another? No, not really. One is enough. What about something similar, though? Maybe a pair of wide-legged pants? Yes! I decided I would make myself a pair of wide-legged pants. I already had the perfect pattern and fabric in my stash!

Fabric might actually be a bit of an overstatement. I had a pattern, Burda 6573 (an impulse buy during a pattern sale because it reminded me of my split skirt), and a gray wool pleated skirt (an impulse buy at a thrift store, because I love sewing with wool) in my stash. 

The first thing I did was go to work on that skirt with a seam ripper and an iron to turn it into a flat piece of fabric. Thankfully, this resulted in an incredibly soft piece of wool fabric just big enough for all my pattern pieces! The second thing I did was go to work on the pattern to take it from "nice pattern" to "fabulous pattern". 

The pattern didn't have a true side seam, rather it had a narrow front panel and a wide back panel that wrapped around to the front of the pants. This put the "side seam" on the front of the pants, a feature that was highlighted by non-functional buttons at the waistband. I loved the resulting look, but I figured I could make it even better by adding another seam, and of course, making those front buttons functional. 

 I split that wide back panel into two pieces so that I would have separate back and side panels. The new side panel made the perfect home for some nice deep pockets - a must for any pair of pants!

The outside and inside view of the side panel pockets
Originally the pants were supposed to have an invisible zipper in the center back seam, but I decided to omit that and make functional button plackets on the front side seams instead.

The result was an incredibly comfortable pair of wide-legged, button-up, deep-pocketed, high-waisted wool pants.

I love the look of them from the back! The darts shape the back waist just perfectly!

Now the front of the pants, well, they're growing on me. These pants are definitely a departure from my everyday style, but the more I wear them, the more I like them. Have I mentioned that these pants are incredibly comfortable and have great pockets??

So now, when I put these pants on and look in the mirror, I puzzle over what kind of shirt will look best with them. Then I put that shirt on and wear the pants with confidence. Because pants as comfortable as these deserve to be worn outside the house, and it's time my personal style consisted of more than just jeans and dresses. Thus, despite my initial hesitations, these pants are getting worn, and my capsule wardrobe is one step closer to done!

One set of bottoms sewn, what will the next one be?


  1. Fantastic pants. I plan to make my own wide legged trousers based on a Burda culottes pattern I made a couple of years ago.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! I much prefer functional, visible, buttons to invisible zippers!