Comments 47

The Need for Ease – Simplicity 1696

Is it just me or do you trust the stitches more on RTW garments than something you make your self?

How many times have you laid flat on your bed, sucking in your tummy in an attempt to fasten your favourite trousers?

I used to do, but since making most of my clothes there’s no way I’d put my stitches through such strain!  I generally air on the side of caution and make sure there’s plenty of room to move and breathe.  And also to lessen the chance of splitting open the seams and avoiding embarrassing situations.  And often things then end up a bit too big.

So I made another pair of Simplicity’s Amazing Fit trousers.

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I’ve made them once before in a black cotton sateen with a small amount of lycra.  Whilst the fit isn’t amazing I’ve worn them loads, mainly for golf.  I often let in and out the back centre seam depending how thin/fat I’m feeling.  Big mistake when making these the first time – I didn’t bother with belt loops.

I knew exactly which fabric I wanted to use as I searched through my stash.  A John Kaldor cotton sateen I picked up last year from John Lewis in Newcastle.  I was a bit gutted when I realised there was not stretch in them.

I was just able to scrape the pattern out of the 1.5 metres.  There wasn’t much left!

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As the pattern’s quite bold and random I didn’t attempt any pattern matching which thankfully turned out ok.  Phew!  And no blooms that I’ve notice have ended up in any inopportune places!

As the cotton was quite soft to touch I reinforced the pocket opens with piping.

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And made a few too many strips for belt loops.  That way I could be choosy – I wanted to be able to match them with the waist band so then if I chose not to wear a belt they would blend in with the fabric.

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The trousers were a fairly quick make.  As usual it’s the cutting out and preparation that take the longest!

The zip went in like a dream and my overlocker was on it’s best behaviour when finishing off all the seams.

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Except I had a slight hiccup when sewing one of the side seams and managed to take in a little of something into the seam that shouldn’t have got sucked in!  I tried them on and couldn’t really tell so just left it!  I think it was only about 1/2 an inch on one side, but the heart rate did rise until I realised it wasn’t so disastrous as first thought.

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Then there was the dilemma of full length or capri?  H did the initial photo shoot.  Must remember to wear  a T shirt bra in future!

Excuse the brightness – you may need to adjust your screen!

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It wasn’t the most successful photoshoot H has ever done for me.  Whilst there was lots of pics to choose from, these 3 were the best!!  Maybe it’s not all his fault – a tight pink golf top and pink wedges is not a look I’d even go to the corner shop in so god knows why I thought it would be ok to send around the world on my blog!!

One day maybe I should write a post containing photo shoot flops!

Within a week or so of making these I came to try them on again and found them a little big big on the waist.  All the exercise must be paying off!

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I could’ve let them hang lower….

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But then I would have loads of excess fabric in the crotch area…

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I couldn’t nip them in on the back due to my fancy criss cross belt loops so after a little deliberation I opted to make a tuck next to the 2 front belt loops, creating a pleat on either side.

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I wouldn’t normally choose to make anything with pleats around the tummy put they turned out ok, and weren’t really noticeable in the busy fabric.

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I stitched the pleat down, hiding the stitching under the belt loop.

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Ta da…!

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Only a little bit of ease….

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And slightly better styling with flat shoes and my Morris blazer.  I’ve only wore them once on a sunny day last week and managed to catch my dad to take a couple of pics.

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I’m still undecided whether or not to shorten them to wear as capri pants.  What do you think??

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If you’re a bit scared of making pants after reading all the horror stories out there on the internet I’d definitely recommend the Amazing fit patterns.  There’s quite a few different styles out there now.  They allow extra room in the seams and explain where to adjust each seam for different fitting issues.  I would go with a stretch woven though for and add the belt loops.  And not too much ease!

Is it just me or do you add too much ease too?!

The Monthly Stitches themed challenge this month is flower power‘.  I think they might just qualify for this don’t you!!


This entry was posted in: Pants


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 -


    • Thanks Holly! I noticed yesterday that on the simplicity/Newlook website they’re 50% off at the minute, might be worth a look. Good luck! 😀

  1. I’d keep the length too, but I don’t remember ever being warm enough in Yorkshire for sandals….

    I always add too much ease, then promptly put on weight, lose it, gain it. I’m in the process of making waistbands with CB seams (like men’s trousers) so that I can more easily take in & out.

    • Yup, you’re right about the Yorkshire weather! It’s a good idea wpabout the waist. These have a CB seam but I’m going to have to reposition my belt loops on the next pair. 😀

  2. I like your way of taking trousers in., that’s really useful to know. Also you could put the back belt loops either side of the CB seam, if you want to alter at the back in future pairs. They look great too Ali. Lovely fabric and fit. Could you fold the bottoms up to show a bit of ankle, instead of trimming them to Capri length, when it gets to our Yorkshire summer?

    • Thanks Karen! I think the general consensus is to keep them long but I think your idea of folding them up should work at they’re not tapered at the ankle. I’ll give it a go! 😀

  3. Sam says

    Yes I always seem to add too much ease, I guess it’s better to make them too big than too small but one of the most frustrating things about sewing is that you can’t go straight to a pattern & know with 100% certainty that the garment will fit. I make more muslins now & sometimes they’re wearable and sometimes not. I might try your trick with the pleats on some capris that I made last summer & still haven’t worn.
    As for whether to shorten yours or not, I guess you can see how often you wear them coming up to summer and if you find they’re not getting worn shorten them to capri length – that way you breath new life into them. They look great though as they are.

    • I’ve definitely had a change of heart in my thought about making muslins over the last couple of years and have less half finished garments ending up in the bin! Hope you can fix your capris, and hope this blue sky that’s here this morning stays too so you can wear them. I think you’re right about living with them as they are and seeing how often I get to wear them 🌞😀🌞

  4. mrswhiskerson says

    I always include too much ease! I’m paranoid about stuff being too small….these look fab though, I like the length as is.

    • Thankyou! I suppose like some of the others have said it best to go that way that not enough and end up too small. 😀

  5. Love the length as is but yes could you roll up so you have a choice? Fabric is lovely. Ease. Always too much that’s why I love knits. Have you left enough to slip them off if necessary?? K xXx

    • Haha! No! These have no give at all in the waist band other i might! Maybe I should add an elasticated back panel, lol 😂😂

  6. These look great! I love the colours you can carry the strong colours very well with your colouring!
    I am like you err on the side of bigger! Most of my garments end up a little big… which is better than too small.. imagine all that making and ending up not being able to wear it!

    • I’ve wondered since making these how do men keep there trousers fitting ok. And it’s definitely the belt malarkey. Never again will I miss off the loops! Or maybe I should just stick with jeggings type trousers!? 😃

  7. Carolyn says

    I love these bright, flowery pants! Pants fitting is such a challenge, and I like how you have an adaptive strategy with adjusting them. I have the opposite problem: I always make mine just a bit too tight! I would leave your pants full length, only because I find that the season for capris is always much shorter than I think it is. If you leave them long, you can wear them year round. 🙂

    • I think you’re tight – if I wait for the right weather I’ll have them on constantly for 3 days then they’ll be in the wardrobe for the next 3 weeks! 😃

  8. seweverythingblog says

    Congrats on having to take in at the waist! The pants look great in full length. I love the bright print, which I think can be anchored with a solid black or white top 🙂 .

    • I’m definitely needing to invest in more solid tops as I can’t resist the fancy fabric and can soon end up looking like a 4 year old who’s been allowed to dress her self! 😂

  9. I love these and I like the length as is. I love seeing printed trousers on others but not sure I would like them on myself. I say they are a winner!

    • I bet you could, there’s some great small print floral stretch denim fabric about which would make great gingers 😃

  10. Back to Blighty says

    Love them and well done on the adjustments! Now all we need is some warm weather!

  11. These look great Ali! I really love the fabric, it’s exactly something that I would pick up too 🙂 Especially to make trousers! I think that the fit looks great – love the length! With the ease, I think it’s down to personal preference a lot of the time. I know that when I buy RTW trousers, I tend to buy them with more ease so that they are comfortable when I sit down. However, I didn’t really add any ease to the trousers that I last made and I’ve found that I can only wear them now if I’m not sitting down! 😀

    • Oh dear! That’s not good. I had some like that and had to lower myself slowly down when getting into my car! Can’t beat a stretch woven! Think I’ll avoid anything from now on without Lycra! 😃

  12. They’re ace and I love the bold fabric. Personally, I’d shorten them as they’re clearly Summer trousers and they’d be perfect with your wedges then! Yes, I usually cut too much ease and then end up wishing I’d cut a smaller size, but that’s better than cutting too small, I suppose:)

  13. They look fabulous, and will be wonderful on your holiday. I like them full length but can see they would also be nice Capri length. I’m no help.
    Sadly I still find I make clothes to grow into. Better to have the spare to alter down then be short though.

  14. Great trousers, great print and great solution with the pleats.
    I think it’s rare to get a good fitting pair of RTW trousers anyway!? If I make them I alter them, if I buy them I alter them!!
    Personally I prefer cropped length for a print, but you could just roll them up on a hotter day.

  15. Love these trousers. Fabulous fabric. Like you I’m undecided about length ankle or cropped??? They do look good as they are mmmm decisions, decisiond

  16. Lovely trousers – they do look good with your Morris Blazer. I must admit I have some fitting problems around the waist too. I think I’ve found out what the problem is – I tend to do all my sewing in the evenings and of course that means also taking measurements with post-dinner belly. Come the morning there is really too much ease. I definitely agree that stretch wovens and belt loops are the way to go.

  17. Love these trousers in this fabric! Your question at the start reminded me of the days when I was in sixth form and I used to sew a double seam down the side of RTW jeans as tight to my hips and legs as possible. The jeans were so tight my mum had pull the zip closed with a coat hanger. Those were the days 🙂

    • 🙂 I remember buying jeans when I had a Saturday job in the Kings Road, Chelsea. The (handsome) guy in the jeans shop opposite our perfume shop used to get us to lie down on the floor with the jeans on, tug the zip up and then pull us up by our hands like some sort of human plank.

      • Now you come to mention it, I remember doing similar when I bought jeans too. Mind, I don’t remember anyone being handsome 😦 Well, apart from the bloke who worked in the electrical shop, but I could have hardly run round there with jeans to try on. I also now wonder why I ended up sewing to make them tighter – must have been different pairs.

  18. So glad to hear I’m not the only one who has more faith in RTW stitches than my own. I really don’t why I do but there are so many things I do in RTW that I wouldn’t dream of doing in anything I’ve made! These trousers are just lovely, I’m sure you will get lots of wear over the Summer in them. The belt hoops look like a good idea too 🙂

  19. These are just excellent! I think keep them full-length – the bold print might make 3/4 pants look a bit frumpy? I just love them though. I’ve not yet faced the challenge of making a pair of pants that actually fit me so maybe I’ll try the Amazing Fit brand. Thanks for the suggestion!

  20. Love these fancy pants! I like them long (always long for me), but capris with a little side vent would be very cute for summer. They look so great with your Morris jacket. The criss-cross belt loop is sweet, and the little pleat solution is a super tip to remember.

  21. I think I would have such a large, floral print as capris but they look cute anyway.

    Thank you for such a ‘revealing’ post by the way 😉

  22. I really love the length, personally! Do what your gut feels. They’re very lovely, no matter what length you make them. 😊

  23. Karen Dodgson says

    They look great! I’d keep them long, with this weather you’ll get more days you can wear them, plus they’ll make you happy even when the sun isn’t shining!

  24. I think these are great! You could definitely crop them or keep them as they are, whichever you think you’ll get more wear from I guess? The fit looks good now you’ve added the pleats, although loose trousers are usually a good thing aren’t they :-)) Who would have realised that photos for blogs take so much prep – even down to undies! 🙊

  25. corrineappleby says

    Woah – these are really bright! Having said that I do really like them. I think they would also look great as capris if you want them for summer trousers. Love how you’ve styled it with your Morris blazer.

  26. Great trousers & lovely springtime fabric. I have that pattern & some fabric waiting in my to-do pile… It’s been waiting for months!!

  27. Looking great! I think the flowers would look great as capris… but then again they look great a long pants too! I can’t decide… I have decided after making four pairs of pants to ALWAYS put in belt loops, you never know when you might need them to keep your pants up!

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