We’re so excited to get started with our theme month “All Butts Welcome!” We’re dedicating a whole month to dressing our derrières! Pants can seem intimidating, especially for a beginner sewer, but I’m here to dispel those fears. If you’re confident sewing straight seams, you can totally sew pants!
With the right pattern, pants making can be fun and straightforward. I’ve done some work rounding up my favorite beginner indie pants patterns to help you get started. I’ve sorted patterns into seven categories based on shape and function. They are Best Value, All Occasion – Wide Leg, All Occasion – Tapered Leg, Utility, Workwear, Legging and Loungewear. Each of the patterns listed have a body measurement of at least 58 inches at the hip.
Sew House Seven Free Range Slacks
Can’t decide if you want to go for a sleek tapered pant or chic wide leg? If you’re looking for lots of possibilities in one great pattern, the Free Range Slacks by Sew House Seven are a great pick. The pattern features huge slash front pockets, back patch pockets and a waistband facing that functions as an elastic channel. Both the tapered and wide leg versions have front, side and back leg pieces.
Line drawing of Free Range Slacks
The pattern includes a fit guide to diagnose common fit issues. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and construction is very straightforward with a great guide for optional flat-felled seams. The Free Range Slacks were designed with linen in mind, but other fabrics like cotton and rayon twill will also work nicely.
The other thing I love about the Free Range Slacks is that the whole size range is available as a printed pattern. Honorable mentions for other patterns with both wide and tapered legs include the Closet Core Pietra Pants & Shorts and Megan Nielsen Opal Pants & Shorts.
All Occasion: Wide Leg
Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes
Wide leg pants are so versatile. Depending on the fabric, wide leg trousers are suitable for any occasion. It wouldn’t be a beginner pants pattern round up without the Winslow Culottes from Helen’s Closet. The Winslows are wide leg pants with several length options. They’ve got in-seam pockets and are shaped with big box pleats that tuck into a waistband and closes with side zip.
Line drawing of Winslow Culottes
Helen’s Closet patterns are known for their excellent instructions and the Winslows are no exception. There’s an additional step by step sewalong including a section on inserting an invisible zipper. As the queen of pattern hacks, Helen has done a round up of several Winslow pattern hacks. The Winslows can be made in a wide range of woven fabrics, but it’s recommended that the longer the length, the lighter the fabric. Lightweight linens, drapey cottons as well as viscoses and tencels are all great choices.
The Winslows are the only pattern on this list with a zipper. If you’re more comfortable with elastic, you could check out the Muna + Broad Glebe Pants, the Seamwork Joss Pants, or the Cashmerette Calder Pants & Shorts.
All Occasion: Tapered
Elbe Textiles Fremantle Pants
Sharing another community favorite here, the Elbe Textiles Fremantle Pants! While many of the pants in this list would work for any gender, the Freemantle Pants are actually marketed as “unisex.” The Fremantle Pants are a mid-rise trouser that comes in three lengths. All versions have slash pockets, a darted back and an elastic waist with a drawstring.
Line drawing of Fremantle Pants
The construction methods for the Fremantle Pants are different than many I’ve seen, but may actually seem simpler to some sewists. The images throughout the instructions are really helpful, but you may find it helpful to look up some basic techniques like sewing darts if you’ve never done that before. The pattern suggests midweight linens, cottons and tencels.
I chose the Fremantle Pants because they were one of the few mid-rise tapered patterns. If you’d prefer a high waisted tapered trouser be sure to check out the Helen’s Closet Arden Pants, the Paper Theory Miller Trousers and the Muna + Broad Birchgrove Pants.
All Well Studio Pants
Everybody needs a pair get-it-done pants! The All Well Studio Pants are just that. “They’re designed for working in the studio, and all the movements of daily life: standing, sitting, crouching, squatting, taking walks.” The Studio Pants have a slightly tapered leg, two pocket variations and options for a flat front waistband or full elastic.
Line drawing of Studio Pants
Since the Studio Pants are pay-what-you-can, I was able to take a peek at the instructions. They are so good! Specially written for folks that have never sewn pants, the instructions even include a comprehensive fit guide. Recommended fabrics include washed canvas, linen, corduroy and linen.
I chose to feature the Studio Pants because of their great size range and because of they’re a pay-what-you-can option. In terms of style, the Seamwork Witt Pants would also make a great pair of utility pants.
Untitled Thoughts Chandler Trousers
If you’re looking for something with a bit of a smarter edge to it, the Chandler Trousers from Untitled Thoughts might be right up your alley. With a partially elasticated waist and faux fly option, the Chandler Trousers are business in the front, comfort in the back. They are slightly tapered and have options for a darted or pleated front.
Line drawing of Chandler Trousers
The Chandler instructions are very comprehensive and hold your hand throughout the process. Additionally, designer Brittani has created sewalongs for both the pleated and darted versions. She even has a tutorial for making the faux fly fully functional! Woven fabrics with a bit of drape such as linen, chambray, silk noil and viscose twill are great for this pattern.
Do It Better Yourself Anything But Basic Leggings
I’m so excited about this pattern! If there were any knits in my stash I would have sewed them up already! The Anything But Basic (ABB) Leggings are a free pattern from DIBY CLub. These leggings are probably as simple as any pants pattern can be while still having some options. The ABB Leggings come with four length variations as well as your choice of mid or high rise waistbands. There’s not even elastic to worry about!
Line drawing of ABB Leggings
The instructions for the ABB leggings are very thorough. They even have a fit guide! The trickiest part for a beginner is making sure you’re picking the right knit fabric for the pattern. Good thing the instructions have a link to an extra guide for understanding stretch and recovery in knit fabrics! The ABB Leggings need knit fabrics with 50% horizontal and vertical stretch in fabrics.
The ABB Leggings are probably as simple as they come, but if you’re looking to up your skills with a stitched-in elastic waistband and a gusset, the Avery Leggings by Helen’s Closet are a great option.
Closet Core Plateau Joggers
When I saw that Sewcialists’ editor Monserratt models the newest release from Closet Core Patterns, I knew I had to include it in our beginner pants pattern round up! The Plateau Joggers are a slim fitting, high-waisted jogger pattern with wrap-around pockets. The pattern comes with two cuff variations for the pants and has an option for shorts as well.
Line drawing of Plateau Joggers
I haven’t had a chance to review the instructions of the Plateau Joggers, but I trust Closet Core’s reputation of holding your hand throughout their advanced beginner patterns. The Plateau Joggers are designed for knits with at least 15% crossways stretch. Fabrics like French Terry, ponte, cotton or polar fleece are great for thick coziness. Cotton jersey can also be used for a lighter pair of joggers.
If you like the look of the Plateau Joggers, but want something with a mid-rise with a little more ease through the hips, True Bias just rereleased the Hudson Pants in their updated size range!
So what’ll it be? Tell us all about your pants plans! We’re so excited for your makes this coming month as part of “All Butts Welcome!” Throughout May we’ll be sharing helpful tips, tricks and fitting information to help you on your pants-making journey. Keep an eye out for more resources and inspiration! Happy making!
Bri Ooms is a queer disabled sewist and temporary editor with The Sewcialists. Bri is an Oregon girl and West Coaster at heart, but she currently lives in The Netherlands with her partner, toddler and fluffy cat. Find her @BriMichelleMade on Instagram or blogging at AStitchAcrossTheSea.com.