Wide-leg Linen Trousers: Finished

Quick, before I find something else to delay my wearing these, I must take a picture.

{Pattern: Wearing History “Smooth Sailing Trousers”}

Okay, phew, that’s over. Once they were on I just wanted to slouch in them all day.

I confess they’ve been done for over a week but I couldn’t figure out which type of closure to use. I sewed three small hooks and eyes, ripped those out, then three snaps, ripping those out. There was no trouser hook in the stash, so I finally ordered one yesterday.

Okay, I figured, better put the belt loops on and use a belt to keep them up. I got pretty darn close to perseverating on the belt loops, making them twice before deciding to cut them wider than the pattern. My Juki wouldn’t sew over the belt loops no matter how I fiddled with the feed. So I had to pull out my dusty but trusty old Bernina.

(Convenient showing of non-zippered side. You do not want to see the debaucled zipper. Is debaucled a word?)

Then I got to the belt and suddenly realized I didn’t have a buckle. So I ordered one of those make-your-own-fabric-buckle thingies. All the while, I was wondering what type of obstacle was really at play here, other than poor planning. It was like the trousers were done, you know? Do you ever come to this kind of impasse in a creative project, where it seems you are working out some issue other than the one at hand?

I tried turning out all the lights, except for the machine light, to calm me down and try to sew with focus. Yes, it made things hard to see. I left the studio for three days, came back, left for another day.

It finally rained in Austin and I feel better now, back to my senses. I like wearing these, and hook or no hook am taking them on my trip this week up to the cooler Midwest.

Anyone know where to get nice belt buckles?

This pattern is a great style for wide-leg linen trousers if that’s your thing. If you are used to flat-front trousers, the billowy front will take some getting used to. Since I made these in a heavier linen, the extra fabric in the front feels a little bulky, and if I were to make them again, I’d use a lighter weight which would drape more nicely.

And don’t even think about making them a size down. I tried this in a muslin, thinking that I was slimming them down a bit, but the muslin was far too tight: these are designed to fit quite close in the waist to upper hip.

One note for the pattern geeks, however: the outseams of these trousers do not match, by about a half inch. I discovered this in my muslin and then walked the original pattern along the seam lines a couple times to be sure I didn’t fudge something. I get all tweaked out when I sew to the end of a seam and there is a half inch (or more) hanging off the end and I’m supposed to just “cut if off” and hem. I like when pattern pieces are engineered to fit exactly, or if one piece is longer than another, let you know there is supposed to be ease.

That complaint aside, I’m already wondering what else I could do with these: how about silk crepe for some really liquid pants? Or adding pockets? I don’t use trouser pockets much but I kept finding myself reaching for them.

(And I promise, the next you see me again I won’t be mostly headless.)


  1. Karin says:

    These are great! I don’t see any troubles around the zip/closure at all. The fit is fab and the colour is so pretty for summer. You look very nice in them.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks Steph — I guess impasse meant that I was sort of stuck on the finishing details and having difficulty concentrating. I seam-ripped the waistband/zipper/belt loops several times. I like that sewing is a way for me to ‘go in the zone’–but my mind was elsewhere while finishing these.

  2. Sherry says:

    The buckled belt looks great – I think it really suits the style! The fit looks great too – I like how they are nicely fitted through the midriff and the pleats begin lower down where movement ease is wanted – it should help with those sitting down creases!
    Side zips can be a real pain because they are on a curve, I fusetape the seams first to stop any biasy bits stretching – it helps a lot!

  3. oonaballoona says:

    oh they are just GORGEOUS! i know what you mean about the outseam. i’m totally fine if i made up the pattern myself & it comes out wonky, but if i paid for it i go into a blind rage.

    these are amazing, don’t hesitate for a second to wear them. and if you don’t, i know a wee kalkatroona who would try desperately to squeeze her rear into them.

  4. Alison Vaclav says:

    Those are awesome, and I, as well, love the blue!!! I have a bunch of belt buckles from my great grandma/grandmas notion collection. I’ll have a look and see if there is anything cool. Did you have something specific in mind?

  5. Falk says:

    Any chance you would be willing you share your pattern for those pants? I think I can manage to resize but I am not sure I can draft up one on my own.

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