Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Black Linen Parasol Trousers

I made myself a pair of black linen pants, and I really, really, like them!

That's more or less the summary of this blog post, but I guess some details about the pants and why I really, really, like them would be good too, huh?

And so, back to the beginning. . .

It was the pockets which originally caught my eye.

Over a year ago, I saw a testing call from Ensemble Patterns come across Instagram. They were looking for testers for the Parasol Jumpsuit and Trousers. As I don't wear or make jumpsuits, and currently have no desire to do so (though they are cute, I'm just really more of a dress girl) I scrolled right on past that testing call.

After the pattern was released however,  I saw multiple different versions of it on Instagram, and I really liked the trouser version of the pattern. I'd been so distracted by the bodice, I hadn't paid much attention to the bottom half of the jumpsuit in the original testing call. However, apparently the bottom half of the pattern could be made up on it's own as a pair of trousers. The pockets on those trousers were just fabulous!

A patch-pocket type thing, with an angled opening and one edge sewn into the front leg seam. More natural looking than most patch pocket designs, but more interesting than plain ol' inseam or slanted pockets. I really liked the look of these pockets! The overall look of the trousers was nice as well, and definitely something I would wear.

And so, mostly because of those pockets, when Ensemble Patterns decided to upgrade the Parasol pattern this summer, I eagerly jumped on board to test the trouser upgrade! I needed a pair of pants with those pockets in my wardrobe!

I decided to make my parasol trousers from a heavy black linen I had in my stash. Last winter a friend from church gave me a half-circle cloak type thing which was black linen, lined in green linen. It had been part of his garb when he did SCA events. As he no longer did SCA events, he wanted all the beautiful linen in the garment to go to good use, so he gave it to me to use as fabric. As I began to seam rip apart the two layers I felt a little guilty about disassembling the costume piece. But as I'd been given the item so the fabric could actually be put to use and appreciated once it was no longer needed for the original purpose, I forged on. 

I decided to use the black linen for my parasol pants and save the green linen for some future fabulous project. It really is beautiful fabric and was a delight to work with!

After cutting out, I made the pants in one morning and afternoon, and wore them to an event that same evening.

After wearing my new trousers for a few hours, I found them to be a bit loose in the waist. So I took them in a bit at the center back seam until they fit just right!

(Pictures were taken before the waist was taken in)
The slightly unusual seam placement on this pattern (front and back leg seam, no side seams) gives a striking silhouette and makes it very easy to perfect the fit on the finish garment!

(The "bubble" of fabric right below the waist seen here disappeared when I took in the waist at the center back seam)
After taking in the waist a bit, I decided to use these as my travel pants for my trip to Uganda last month.

They remained super comfortable for the entire 24+ hours of travel each way. I think, along with being worn regularly in daily life, these will be my travel pants from here on out. The pockets are even the perfect size to fit a passport and a boarding pass when those things need to be kept handy in airports.

 And so, that is the story of the black linen pants I made myself and really, really, like!

*If you're interested in the Parasol Pattern, it can be found here.
*I received this pattern free of charge in exchange for testing, but all thoughts and opinions presented here are my own. I was not required to write this blog post or share about this pattern at all. 


  1. These trousers look great! Good size pockets are always useful. I wear black trousers to work most days during the winter months and these would be ideal for me.

  2. Ooo, I love linen! It has such a beautiful hand, as they say. And those pockets are a fabulous design. I always like patch pockets, but they always sometimes can have an after thought appearance.
    You make me jealous how quickly you whip up projects!