Finished Objects: Pants/Trousers from Blogging Blockers

I like to teach for purely selfish reasons.  Helping someone conquer a sewing issue makes me happy, as happy as the first time I conquered the issue myself.  It’s the same on or offline; when I read posts like the ones below, I smile all day…

As part of pants week/month, I collected blog posts I know about that feature pants I had a helped fit through the Pants Block service.  If I missed your post, please feel free to link in the comments and I’ll take a thousand lashes with a wet noodle.

Liza Jane was one of my first testers, when I hadn’t yet worked out the kinks in the process.  I hadn’t learned to scale the scans, so the resulting block on her end was not quite right, though at the time neither of us realized it.  D’oh.  It didn’t matter though, because Liza Jane kept working at tweaking with me and then turned out this gorgeous pair of hot pink linen trousers.  They’re so pretty, I think I’ll have to make some for myself next summer.  You can see the full post here.

This is Burda 125-10-2009, made by Marie at Quirky Threads.  She and I are *almost* neighbors!  (Give or take a few hours, but still, it’s exciting!)  Marie and I worked together much more recently, and it was our extended conversation about back-inseam-reverse-ease (is there a proper term for this?) that set me thinking about how to best use the block for closer fitting styles.  Marie did a great job on her pinstriped trousers, you can see her full post here.

K from Green Hills In April and I also worked together through the tester phase, earlier this year.  She took a little break from working on the block (what?  other people have real lives?  ;)) but once we sorted out the fit, she made two pairs of pants.  A regular long pair, and then these plus fours.  I completely get it, I made myself some plus fours when I first had my block, too.  K also worked out how to make a rectangular gusset for hiking shorts (Gramicci, anyone?), and she’s in the middle of messing around with stretch pants, too!

Sophie from Un Peu de Couture worked together fairly recently.  She made a Burda 8488 for her first pair of pants after the block and I love what she wrote: “Typically this pattern stopped at size 44, but now I don’t care anymore..”  Which means- you can use the block for patterns that aren’t necessarily in your size.  Check out her sailor pants and the pretty interior details here.

But Sophie wasn’t finished yet!  She turned around the next week and put together this pair of pants using Burda 01-2006-107 and a linen-lycra blend.  The pattern hadn’t worked out for her in the pants, but this pair works quite well.  You can see the post here.

Lee and I are both contributors to Sew Weekly, and Lee blogs over at the Slow Steady.  I love her tagline, and her quirky-but-practical style.  Lee worked through her fitting issues and then made the “Sitting on the Stoop” pants from Simplicity 2367 for the “Family” challenge.  That post helped me re-asses how I approach alteration with the block: sometimes the simplest solution is the best.  You can read the full post (including the backstory on the interesting title) here.

Lee turned right around and made 40’s style jeans, this time using Simplicity 3688.  It’s a 40’s reproduction pattern and cotton linen denim- doesn’t that sound divine?  I love these jeans on her.  She finished them beautifully on the inside, I’m really impressed by her Riveter Jeans.  You can read about them here at Sew Weekly.

These are just a few of the blocks I’ve made in the past few months.  I learned quite a bit since I started playing around with the service, and I really enjoy collaborating with another sewist to achieve good fit.  Thank you all for your patience and persistence, you’re really inspiring.

If you’re reading this and I missed you, I’m very *very* sorry, please let me know.  If I used your photo by mistake, please let me know and I’ll fix it up post haste.

If you’re in the middle of fitting the block and you’d like to play some more, please email me and I’ll crack the whip.  We will work through it together, until it’s just right!  But I don’t want to spam or pester you, so please email me.

If you’d like to work together on a block so you can reliably alter commercial pants patterns, click here.  The block service is $30 until midnight tonight (in the US) and then the price will go up.

If you live in Brisbane and you’d like to take a one-day workshop on pants fitting, alteration, and techniques, please visit Piece Together to register.  Places are filling fast; I keep my class sizes small. (Psssst- Knits Mastery, a one-day workshop in August, is also filling up…  Check it out.)

Tomorrow: Getting rid of that pesky fabric under the backside, through the thigh.  The examples above show semi-fitted to loose fit, and I’m taking it to the other extreme by making some Clovers.  And there will be other, quirkier Clovers after that.  Settle in for LOTS of pants posts…


  1. Hurrah for lovely pants. There is something extremely satisfying about making pants that fit. And as it’s always an ongoing process for me I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming pants post!

  2. Yay for pants posts! I’m getting the nerve up to try for slim pants again. Seeing my pink ones has given me confidence! I’m excited to read your posts about making clovers.

    • Well, there’ll be some more fitting, focusing on the back inseam area, and then some stuff about pocket flaps… After the teal ones are finished, I’m making some “statement pants” that have been on my mind for months and months… Though I might make them boot-cut rather than slim leg… Then I’ll be all set for pants… ;)

  3. Thank you for these excellent examples of well-fitting pants/trousers/slacks! I remember a quote from Tasha Tudor that made me furious. It was in a biography that celebrated her dedication to living a lifestyle of the 1700s — and, incidentally, more than clearly implied that we who live a modern lifestyle are to be pitied, if not condemned — in which she opined that women should only ever wear skirts.“Why do women want to dress like men when they’re fortunate enough to be women? Why lose femininity, which is one of our greatest charms? We get more accomplished by being charming than we would be flaunting around in pants and smoking. I’m very fond of men. I think they are wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one. When women gave up their long skirts, they made a grave error…” She went on to say that women who did not see their own backsides in pants must have no idea how unlovely they looked. ARG!!! I DON’T wear pants to look like a man! I wear them because they are practical garments. Few men burned to death because their pants legs caught fire accidentally while tending a hearth. It was a leading cause of death for women for thousands of years.

    • I looked her up and at the risk of sounding lemony, I’m not likely to take serious advice about being womanly from someone who lived the life she did. I mean, she was divorced several times and died estranged from most of her children… So obviously she knows a thing or two about using her charms to get things done… Grain of salt…

      Really interesting… I love the “flaunting around in pants and smoking.” Love it. I suppose I ought to be swishing around in petticoats and batting my eyelashes at the nearest man to turn him into my slave and do my bidding? Bah. Pish posh. Let’s just be human beings and get on with it… Right?

      Heh heh… Thanks for that.. Your comments are gold, Lin…

  4. I have 2 more pairs of shorts on the go, as well as another pair of pants. You have created a monster! (Which is pretty awesome, I must say.)

    Actually, it’d probably take about 20 minutes to rip out the seams of those stretch pants, make the adjustments, and finish them. I could probably manage that tonight. And then I’d have even more pants to wear!

    • I love it. I can only imagine what you’ll get up to once we get that bodice block sorted! (I wasn’t sure if I should use your name, but it’s not anywhere I could see on your blog so I erred on the side of caution…!)

      • Oh, my name is fine. :) Just maybe not my last name. I’m trying to divorce the sewing blog from other ridiculous things I’ve had on the internet! Everything is due on the 24th, so I’m not sure I’ll get the bodice block started before then. Pants and t-shirts are nice easy sewing at this point (thankfully!), so I might finish making some things during study breaks.

  5. Looks like you have been helping a lot of seamstresses, I think you need and award ;) No kidding you’ve helped me so much with trousers fitting! I’m working on a pair of more fitted jeans, so I will be reading your next posts with highest attention..

    • Ah, well, it’s fun. And I’ve “met” some really lovely sewists through this process. :) I hope the next couple of posts are helpful!

  6. Lovely to see what other people have made from their block! I must take some pics sometime. :-) Was busy just last night tracing the legs of my favourite shop-bought trousers to extend down from the block. Oh for more sewing time …

  7. From a selfish point of view I am loving these posts since I have just got my block back from you! It is next in queue – I have a rule about finishing current projects completely before starting the next (completely opposite from your modus operandi) because otherwise I quickly become overwhelmed by too much choice about what to do – I need to stay focussed to stay sane!

    • Uhm. I think I go into some kind of automaton when I make drafts, I did not connect that last week’s draft was going to your house, but I am sure I know which one it was. D’oh! It makes perfect sense now, I feel like an idiot for not twigging!

      I think everyone has to figure out how they work best and go with that. I’d never pretend that what works best for me would work best for everyone. Not at all. And I read your post on finishing things, and I completely understand and respect it. That’s how I approach housework most of the time, and it works really well to keep my house hygienic. I just can’t do it with my sewing. :)

  8. Oh my goodness, i really need to enlist your services. I have no sewing time right now so I’m not up for the horror that is pants, but in the Fall when I’m back at my normal job I’m thinking it might be time.

  9. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be working with you to have a pants block. I’ve always been so intimidated, and my pants have never never fit.

    I just think it is wonderful that you are willing to work with seamstresses on this. I agree. Some sort of award is in order!!!

  10. I can\’t even tell you how excited I am to be working with you to have a pants block. I\’ve always been so intimidated, and my pants have never never fit.

    I just think it is wonderful that you are willing to work with seamstresses on this. I agree. Some sort of award is in order!!!

  11. Pingback: Finished Object: Teal Clovers « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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