Once you know how to make pants, you may never go back to buying them off the rack. When you make pants yourself, you control the size, style and fit. Depending on what sort of fabric you use, making your own pants may be cheaper than buying a pre-made pair. Pull out your tape measure and sewing machine and get to work making a one of kind garment.
To make pants, you will need:
- Tape measure
- 3 or more yards of medium weight fabric such as denim, corduroy or twill. You can also use a polyester jersey if you want to make exercise pants.
- Paper for pattern
- Elastic or a 7-inch zipper and snap
- Sewing machine
- Sewing shears
- Hand sewing needle
- Take your measurements. You may need a friend to help you. Measure your waist (where you want the pants to sit), your hips, your inseam (the inside of your leg from the crotch to your ankle) and your outseam (the outside of your leg from your hip to your ankle). You should also measure the distance between your waist and hip and the circumference of your thighs and ankles.
- Draw your pattern. You will draw two pattern pieces, one for the front and one for the back. A very easy way to do this is to take a pair of pants, fold them in half lengthwise and lay them on the paper. Trace around the pattern, then flip the pants over and move to a different part of the paper. Trace again for the back of the pattern.
- Adjust the pattern to fit your measurements, making sure you add an inch and a half to each measurement for seam allowance and ease. For instance, the pair you traced may have an inseam of 30 inches while you need a 31-inch inseam. Add two and half inches to the inseam by extending the line down from the pant's ankle.
- Cut out the pattern.
- Fold the fabric in half, with the good side facing in. Place the pattern pieces on top of the fabric and pin to secure in place.
- Cut out the fabric. You will be cutting two of each piece.
- Place one front leg on top of one back leg with right sides together, repeat with the other legs. Pin together along the long outside edge. Stitch together, leaving a half-inch seam.
- Tuck one leg into the other leg, with right sides together. Line up the inseams and the outseam. Pin the inseam together. Stitch along the inseam, leaving a half-inch seam.
- Unfold the legs. Your project should be beginning to look like an actual pair of pants. Pin the seams together along the back. If you are using elastic, pin the front seams together as well. Sew the seams using a half-inch seam allowance.
- If you are using a zipper, attach it to the front seam. Pin the zipper in place and stitch using the zipper foot on your sewing machine. Position the zipper so that it is two inches away from the top of the waistband.
- Fold the waistband over half an inch. Press with an iron, then fold it over another inch. Stitch along the edge of the waistband to secure it in place. If you are making an elastic waist, thread the elastic through the waistband.
- If you are using the zipper, attach the snap at the top of the zipper. Hand sew the snap in place, making sure it is properly aligned.
- Try the pants on and hem. Fold the bottom of the pant legs under until they are the length you want them to be. Sew along the top edge of the hem to secure.
New Mexico University: Making Perfect Pants