GBSB, Pants
Comments 46

GBSB Capri Pants – converted to an easy elasticated waist

I need more pants!  No not knickers, I mean trousers! Cropped ones for summer.  I’m living in my jeans and when we have the occasional warm day I’m stuck at just what to wear.  So I decided to make the Capri Pants which are in this years series of the GBSB book.

The pattern looked straight forward.  Side invisible zip and facings instead of a waistband.

I chose a denim with some lycra content.  Not sure how much, but they had a definite stretch rather than had ‘give’.  I sewed them up without the darts (i marked them but waited to add them) and basted the left side seam – but sewed all the others with a normal stitch length and overlocked all the edges..  I also stay stitched the waist band.

I tried them on and apart from taking in the centre front seam I thought they’d be ok.

#GBSB capri pants 1

I made 2 new rows of stitching for the centre front seem before I was happy with the fit.GBSB capri pants

After adding the darts I then found I could get them on without needing a zip.  (sorry no photo)

As I was keen to wear them I opted for an elasticated waist.  Here’s how I did it.

I chose a thick elastic (one bought ages ago to make Comox trunks – not done!)  sewing the 2 ends together 4 inches less than my waist measurement.  No maths here, just a guess and it worked.

I pinned it at the 4 seams and stretched it as I sewed.  I used the overlocker and kept it just away from the blade.   It was sewn to the right side of the pants.

#GBSB capri pants 3

It looked a bit messy – the stay stitches were showing.


So I created a small fold just enough to cover the stay stitching and stitched with a narrow zig-zag.  No pinning, just bent the fabric as I sewed.


This gave a really neat finish.


Wayhay – they were finished!  I just overlocked the hem and turned them twice.  I wasn’t sure how long I wanted them, but as it happens I like them just turned so will be leaving them like that.

I wore them for cricket the next day and asked one of my pals to take some photos.  This was at the end of the game so they are a bit wrinkled as I’d been sat most of the day.

#GBSB capri pants 7

Initially we tried to be discreet  for the photoshoot, but we ended up making fools of ourselves because we couldn’t stop laughing.  Oh, and remember the lovely floral top I made? Doesn’t it just go with my new pants!!

I’d try to lighten the pics up a bit to show off the denim and the style better.

#GBSB capri pants 8

Think it might be a bit windy!!

#GBSB capri pants 9

“honey I shrunk the kids” comes to mind with the next photo!

#GBSB capri pants 10 #GBSB capri pants 11 #GBSB capri pants 12
#GBSB capri pants 15

Trying to show you the fancy red stitches from my overlocker.  Totally unintentional – I’d not changed the thread since making my pink stripy top.  Like it though!

#GBSB capri pants

The elasticated waist works really well, but they slipped down a bit.  Sarah, my new blog managed, was wearing jeggings.  They have proper belt loops and she wears a belt otherwise hers fall down too.  So I’m hoping to add them soon, and maybe some back pockets too.

I’ve just ordered some raspberry and some beige stretch denim online so will have a couple more pairs of these soon for the summer (what summer!!).

I think the elasticated version worked ok form me as I’m 1 to 2 sizes smaller on the hips than the waist so there’s not a huge difference.  If I was blessed with a tiny waist I don’t think it would work.  I don’t think it would work either for a woven fabric with no lycra content.

They’re really comfy, and don’t look at all home made.  They’re a looser fit than I thought they would be. Maybe that’s because I’ve used a stretch woven.

So that’s all for now folks.  Just to add this was the most fun photo shoots ever, as you can probably see from the laughing faces above.  Here’s another to finish off with!  I’m seeing Sarah again on Monday, wonder if I’ve anything unblogged that I could wear for another photoshoot!

#GBSB capri pants 14

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I sew and play golf. I blog about my sewing as I don't think you'd want to read about my golf. It's bad enough watching it on telly! Contact me via email -


    • I have already, and guess what, I’m going to copy you and make a matching top with leftover fabric for a fake jumpsuit! πŸ™‚ Hasn’t #jumpingintojune been fab!? Thanks for all the effort you put in – you’re posts had me in stitches!

      • Way to go girl, face jumpsuits all the way!
        Yeah, jumpingintojune was such fun – and we got some nice looking garments out of it as well, which (at least to me) was a bit unexpected πŸ˜‰

        • My holly would still be sat unloved on the shelf, and now i’m seeing them everywhere. It’s a long time since I’ve been up to date with ‘fashion’!

          • Can you believe that the other day when I wanted to wear my Holly (together with my new GOLDEN strappy sandals, another absolute first for me) I somehow ripped out the zip about five minutes before I had to leave the house! Now my Holly has gone to the bottom of the repair pile while I sulk!

            • Oh no!! But I think she should be at the top of the pike not the bottom! How did you manage to do that? At least it wasn’t whilst you were out and about. Image that happening in the loos of a restaurant and having no jacket!!!! #luckyescape 😳

  1. They are cracking! Love the red overlooking! Looks like you’ve got yourself a new blog manager – you look very relaxed in the snaps.

    • Thanks Theresa! We laughed so much, the other parents who were about must’ve wondered what the heck we were doing! I think I’ll have to employ her full time! πŸ˜€

  2. Nicely done! I found, like you, that my 100% cotton was made according to the sizing on the pattern and fit me, but my cotton/lycra blend was slightly too big when made according to the sizing on the pattern. I had to take it in a bit. I wish I had a buddy to take my photos!

  3. You did a marvellous job on these, Ali – congratulations! You’re getting so good with your new machine! I’ve done waists almost the same way, but without that final little fold & top stitching. If I had extra fabric I’d turn the elastic to the wrong side & run a straight stitch down just an inch or so, stitching in the ditches of front & side seams to anchor the elastic down. (I never tuck in blouses, so nothing shows.)
    Oh, how I wish the weather permitted more summer slacks here, but even linen cut-offs are too much. (green with envy!)

    • You need to come over the the UK Del, I’m sure the weather would be kinder for you, and you could be a Yorkshire Spoolette and wear nice cut offs every day!
      Thanks for the tip on turning the elastic, that’s a good idea and would look neater in the outside. I don’t took in either. Only my vest, lol πŸ˜€

      • Ah, you are so sweet to invite me! Wish I could, Lovely! Fear the allowance wouldn’t allow such an upgrade in living standards, not to mention all the fabric temptation. 😍 But oh, so fun to think about . . . 🌈

  4. Well done with those ‘pants’ – they look great and I like the turn ups too. What great photos of your smiley face πŸ™‚

  5. Oh they are very nice indeed, I like the turned up look. That’s good you realised you didn’t need a zip before you spent the time putting it in. And I still love that floral top. But I can’t understand people calling trousers pants haha.

    • I call them pants all the time now! I never called them that before I blogged 😳
      Congrats on the win on TMS – I was so chuffed when I saw the results πŸŽ‰

      • Haha I wonder if that’ll happen to me! Thanks a lot – I now have the difficult decision of choosing a Sew Chic pattern!

            • I’d say sophisticated – would make a fan Christmas Do frock with lace sleeves! Bet you’re fancying a the ra ta skirt…you’ll be starting a new trend! πŸ˜€

              • Lol all those skirts use so much fabric! I’m going for the Beatrice dress!! Thanks!! I am so making a little black dress with lace sleeves! I have the lace! πŸ˜€

  6. These are great and the contrasting overlocker thread looks like it was part of the design. I can almost hear the laughter from Somerset – looks like you had a ball taking the photos!

    • We did, and I don’t think it was the 1/2 of lager I had with my lunch. I must just be high on πŸ˜‚

    • Thanks! I might try some bias trim on the next pair, it’s small things like that I think that makes them look more RTW πŸ˜€

    • She’s grown out of sulking, lol, think I’m gonna wear my unblogged sundress from lekala tomorrow for cricket and have another photoshoot. Maybe I’ll have to pay new BM with tasty picnic! πŸ˜€

    • It’s the forgiving stretch denim I think that makes them more RTW looking. I can see why every is loving their ginger jeans after using the stretchy stuff for these πŸ˜ƒ

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  9. Dawn says

    Ali, I love these. I love stretch denim too. I’ve seen some grey mark that I like so these may need to go on my sew list… it’s very long though πŸ™ˆ. I love that you’ve used a GBSB pattern with no idea that you’d be staring in it in a few years πŸ˜„

    • Haha I know! I’ve made a few things over the years from the GBSB books, and it was the last think in my mind😊

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