Living in Florida for the past 7 years and my husband being the hottest creature on earth, he doesn't own many pants to speak of. Even in the winter all he can stand to wear are short pants, or as he would call them little boy pants. So upon graduation from college and re-entering the working world where you must wear pants, he requested I make him some trousers. Here is the documented journey I took making my second pair of trousers. My first pair was not recorded due to the numerous errors and the fabric failing in my husbands nether region. His boss said ; "Do you know your pants ripped?" He said "Where?" She said "In the bottom area." Oh, how embarrassing. Not only for him but for me because I chose some inferior fabric to cover his rear ^_^
I chose the classic On-Seam Pocket for these pants and added the needed 1"outlet to the final sloper. I chose the bottom fold pocket bad and cut out a 7 1/2 x 18" rectangle of lining then arranged it under the pant front right side up. It extends 3/4" above the top of the pant and the whole thing gets hand basted together. Love my wonky hand basting?
Next I cut the pocketing to match the outlet and pocket fold line. Pocket making is where you can really add detail to menswear but for my early attempts I chose to go basic. No crazy piping or flaps and button tabs. Just the most basic I could go without looking cheap or home-sewn...ewww what an ugly word.
This part is the original purpose I bought the famed Stitch Witchery. The pocket opening is not only reinforced but the lining is also held securely in place, not only relying on my crappy hand basting for proper placement.
The cut on facing was then folded over and zigzagged to the pocket facing only. Be sure not to catch the pants front or off to the seam ripper you will go.
Then the pocketing is folded along it's long edge and placed so the open side extends beyond the side seam allowance. As the picture shows I then slipped a scrap of suiting to be used as the facing between the pocketing layers , aligning the edges and zigzagging it in place, leaving about 1" of the lower edge unstitched.
Now you are ready to finish the bottom edge of the pocket. I turned the pocket inside out and stitched the two layers together as far along the pocket as possible. Then used my serger stitch to finish it since this fabric loves to unravel even with a zigzag.
I turned the pocket right side out again and topstiched along the edges to enclose the raw edge on the inside of the pocket. This is a nifty way of of finishing pocket bags so there are minimal raw edges exposed. My thoughts are that your work should look just as nice on the inside as it does on the outside. Especially when your husband destroys clothes like mine does <3
Now back to the pocket outlet. I made a 1" clip just into the pocketing next to the pant fabric, right below the pocket mouth. This allows the pocketing layers to be folded out of the way when sewing the side seam. Finally before starting on the side seams I topstitched the edge of the pocket mouth. Once the side seams were done I made bar tacks at each pocket mouth through all the layers.
Next step is DOOM! Otherwise known as a zipper. Ugh, it is the most time consuming and challeging part of trousers but David Page Coffin's book gives you amazing insight and step by step instructions to make it bearable. Everything is marked up and an x is placed where the zipper stop will be. I chose a metal zipper because Mike is forever busting those cheap poly zippers on his amazingly expensive suits. I don't know how the boy does it.
With right sides together I stitched the lining to the pants with a 1/4" seam allowance. I then folded the lining out of the way and stitched the pant fronts together in the crotch curve starting 1" from the inseam and stopping at the x. I switched to a basting seam all the way to the waist to make opening the zipper seam easier.
Then the pants are opened and a crease is pressed along the basted section with the pants face down and flat. This will allow for perfect zipper placement.
In the same manner that I use for sewing a zipper in a dress I pinned the zipper face down along the basted seam. Then only difference is the placement of the teeth. Notice I positioned the teeth completely on the overlap/interfaced side. That way when the pants are complete the fabric wont get caught in the zipper.
The zipper tape is stitched to the underlap/lined side with the lining and pant front folded out of the way. Because I chose a sewn on waistband the zipper was positioned 2" above the waist. For my next pair of trousers I am going to alter my sloper for a cut on waist band. I think this will reduce bulk even more. No one wants extra bulk in their waist area!
Flipping the zipper back onto the overlap/interfaced side I stitched the zipper tape to the fly facing with the pant front folded out of the way. Next, I removed the basting stitches with my well used seam ripper.
Then I finished forming the fly shield lining by pressing under it's long raw edge. Carefully I folded the fly shield back and basted it in place along the waist. The pressed edge will then become finished when you topstich the overlap.
The overlap/interfaced side is basted and marked for topstitching while wearing Hello Kitty slippers. This part is very important if you too sew on tile and want your feet to have a squishy home but also wish to look like a giant 12 year old. Thanks Mom for the 28th birthday present any little girl would love!!
This is where you should pay close attention to the metal zipper stop that is lurking under your machine's needle just waiting to crush it and fling the pointy metal fragment at your eye. Yup, I broke three needles here trying to topstitch over the zipper stop. Unlike the cheap poly zippers your needle has no chance against the metal zipper stop. A tip from the eyecare professional/klutz: you should wear glasses when sewing!
The underlap/lined side is topstitched along the zipper tape catching the long pressed side of the lining all in one step. Then all the shield layers are bar tacked in place.
Now to finish the lining in the crotch area. It is not only nice to have a silky lining for your nether regions, it also provides reinforcement for the frequently stressed inseam of trousers.
I pressed the raw edges under and stitched a 1/4" seam allowance using a bit of stitch witchery to temporarily hold the slippery lining in place.
Then I carefully trimmed the overlap/interfaced side to match the fly lining and stitched them together only to a point where it wouldn't interfere with opening the zipper- about 2" along the crotch curve.
This is what it looks like finished. Mike really likes this silky lining that in a former life was an ugly pair of pajama pants. Oh, did I mention I save all kinds of scrap fabric, buttons and zippers from old clothes. Anything to bring my costs down, which make my little finance wizard of a husband happy and quiets the buyer's remorse voice in my head.
Now, since I chose a sewn on waist band I needed to remove the 2" of extra zipper at the top of the waistband. This was like pulling teeth! Literally, with needle nose pliers I pulled out the individual teeth leaving the tape intact so it could become part of the waistband. I only did the small segment you see in the picture because it was not easy and I figure I could just cut off the extra teeth at the top.
Warning: Do not forget to stitch a new zipper stop at the top of each side of the zipper tape. If you forget the zipper will inevitably pull right off when zipping closed and probably fall into the toilet never to be seen again. Making the chore of removing a broken zipper and sewing in a new one on your to do list...ARG At this point the laborious zipper is finished and you can smile happily like me in this Subway commercial like picture. Remember the booty and leg seams are not yet sewn so do not infer that my hunny is husky. Look how happy I am to be finished with the zipper...you can see it in my toes!
The waistband pieces are interfaced to the seam allowances to allow for easy stitching and folding. I cut 4 pieces for the waistband and they are divided at center back and faced not folded.
Starting with the inner waistband and with right sides together I stitched a 1/4" seam allowance stopping at the pants edge, leaving the overlap unstitched.
This is where I had a problem. I ordered 2 yards of petersham from a millinery supply company online. I am fairly certain I order 2" wide but when I got it in the mail it was only 1 1/2" wide. So because I procrastinated and I needed these trousers done yesterday I had to improvise. I attached the petersham with Stitch Witchery end to end. That's right, I did it wrong the first time and had to rip it apart.
Now the outer waistband is stitched right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance catching the extension. Everything is pressed wrong sides together and the raw edge of the outer waistband is turned under, but not yet topstiched. I made an alteration since my first attempt in trouser making and decided to attach the belt loops at this point.
I used the belt loop pattern in David page Coffins book and cut out 6 funky shaped to be belt loops. Ignore the different fabric, this was my first pair of trousers and somehow I didn't take a picture of this step the second time around. Just imagine green wool instead!
Then I pressed each loop in half right sides together. This is a super nifty trick for turning tiny things. I tacked on a long piece of garden twine to the loop at the very end of the inside. I knew all that garden paraphernalia would come in handy even now that we have a 1 square foot yard ^_^
Then I postioned the twine along the right side of the fabric and stitched the sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance. And voila! All you have to do is trim the seam and pull the twine and it turns itself right side out. Totally awesome possum!
Next the legs are sewn with right sides together in a 1/4" seam allowance. Then the inseam is carefully stitched in the same manner and reinforced with some back stitching.
I made a eyelet button hole on the waistband extension and hand stitched a 3/4" button on. I should have purchased those little metal clapsy things that you find on the inner waistband of ready to wear pants. I think this would help with the issue that the trousers sort of pivot with movement only having this one button to rely on.
Finally the cuffs are folded and pressed then topstitched in place. They really should be sewn with a blind hem but I haven't yet figured out how to use that wonky thing.