How to Make Trousers Easily - No Pattern Required!

Project Level: Easy

About Fabric Love

Established in 2015, we are a small, independent fabric shop in Colchester, Essex, UK dedicated to providing our customers with great quality, affordable fabrics along with fabulous customer service and super fast delivery!

With a combined wealth of over 50 years sewing experience between us, we have a real passion for what we do and enjoy sharing our love of sewing and crafting with our lovely customers!

About Fabric Love

Established in 2015, we are a small, independent fabric shop in Colchester, Essex, UK dedicated to providing our customers with great quality, affordable fabrics along with fabulous customer service and super fast delivery!

With a combined wealth of over 50 years sewing experience between us, we have a real passion for what we do and enjoy sharing our love of sewing and crafting with our lovely customers!

About Fabric Love

Established in 2015, we are a small, independent fabric shop in Colchester, Essex, UK dedicated to providing our customers with great quality, affordable fabrics along with fabulous customer service and super fast delivery!

With a combined wealth of over 50 years sewing experience between us, we have a real passion for what we do and enjoy sharing our love of sewing and crafting with our lovely customers!

I love making clothes, it's my favourite thing to do. As I got older and more comfortable with my post-forty self, curves, lumps, bumps and all, I re-discovered my love of bright colours and funky patterns.

After many years of cramming myself into other people's idea of clothing, I started dressing to reflect my sparkling, confident personality again. There is no stopping me now!

This also coincided with a slow change in how we buy clothes. A lot of clothes shops  were closing, going online, moving to sites outside of town and having very limited choice, plus the added Covid lockdown. We were all starting to dress the same.

I wear my creations to work and I am often asked where I bought the pattern for my trousers... hence this tutorial.

Often called 'palazzo pants', or 'harem pants' if you use elastic in the bottom of the legs, these are the easiest and most comfortable trousers you will ever make and wear, I promise you.

They have three seams, an elasticated waist with straight legs, no zips, no buttons, no fuss. No paper pattern needed. These trousers are perfect for prints as there is no pattern matching on the outside of the trouser leg. 

I used my favourite and most comfortable style of  (worn to death) trousers as a guide for the rear & front bottom. That's all you need!

In terms of measuring, the fabric I used was 110cms wide. I measured from my waist to my ankle and added 20cms extra for hems & channels. If you are using fabric that is 140cms wide you will need to insert more box pleats.

Ready?

You Will Need

  • Between 2 and 2.5m length of Cotton/Cotton poplin (width between 110cm and 140cm)
  • A pair of trousers that you love and fit beautifully.
  • 25mm width of elastic - length of your waist measurement.
  • A Sewing Machine
  • Iron & an ironing board
  • Sharp scissors, pins, corresponding coloured thread

About Fabric Love

Established in 2015, we are a small, independent fabric shop in Colchester, Essex, UK dedicated to providing our customers with great quality, affordable fabrics along with fabulous customer service and super fast delivery!

With a combined wealth of over 50 years sewing experience between us, we have a real passion for what we do and enjoy sharing our love of sewing and crafting with our lovely customers!

About Fabric Love

Established in 2015, we are a small, independent fabric shop in Colchester, Essex, UK dedicated to providing our customers with great quality, affordable fabrics along with fabulous customer service and super fast delivery!

With a combined wealth of over 50 years sewing experience between us, we have a real passion for what we do and enjoy sharing our love of sewing and crafting with our lovely customers!

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Instructions

Step 1.

Fold your fabric in half lengthways, right side to right side. Cut along the folded top so you have two pieces of fabric. The selvedges should be on the left and the right of the fabric.

Fold the front of your trousers together from the waist and pull the crotch out. Place them on the fabric 10cms from the top edge and next to the selvedge. Mark the selvedge with a B for Back.

Step 2.

Repeat for the front by folding the back of your trousers together from the waist and pull the crotch out to the seam.

Place on the opposite side of the trousers and mark the selvedge with an F for Front.

Marking the trousers this way makes life a lot easier as your back bottom generally has a deeper curve than the front.

Step 3.

Pin the back together, sew and cut notches into the curve.

Repeat for the front. Press.

Step 4.

Keeping the trousers right side to right side, pin the seams together at the crotch and down each leg.

Stitch and press open the seams. 

Don't didn't trim the selvedge as this will prevent fraying.

Step 5.

Box Pleats

Turn your trousers the right way round and press.

You have a big pair of clown trousers. Do not be alarmed.

Lay your trousers front side up (remember the F?) and measure 5cm and 10cms to the right of the seam. Mark with pins.

Lift your fabric from point A to point B and pin. Remove the second pin.

Measure 20cms down, fold the pleat evenly and pin.

Repeat for the left front side and back.                

Step 6.

Stitch the box pleats in starting from the top 20cms down. Reverse the stitch at the end of the pleat to reinforce it.

Press the pleats away from the centre seams.

Step 7.

Now it's time to try your trousers on. This might sound silly but it will give you an idea of how much fabric you have to play with and we are all different sizes.

To make you next pleat, place your trousers front side up and measure 15cms from the previous box pleat. Pin and measure 5cms, pin. Repeat step 5.

The box pleats can be any width you like, start at 5cms and reduce them as you have less fabric to use.

Important. The box pleats need to be evenly placed around the top of the trousers starting from the central seams.

Do not place the box pleats on your hips. Taking the pleats away from the centre seams gives the illusion of lengthening and slimming the body.

Keep trying your trousers on and making box pleats until you are happy with the fit.

Step 8.

Waist

Press the top of the trousers and turn a 1cm hem. Press.

Turn again and press a 3cm hem, this hides the raw edges.

Starting at the back of the trousers sew a channel for the elastic leaving a gap.

Using a safety pin, bodkin or a 1970's nappy pin, thread the elastic through the channel. Hem the gap.

I sewed a line of stitches vertically on the back elastic seam. This has two purposes, firstly it stops the elastic twisting and secondly, it's easy to identify the back so you wear the trousers the right way round.

Step 9.

For Palazzo (straight legged) Pants

At the bottom of the legs turn a 1cm hem. Press.

Turn another 1cm hem and stitch. Press.

Harem Trousers (gathered at the ankle)

As above but leaving a gap to thread slim elastic through the channel as you did for the waist.

You are now ready to party in the most comfortable trousers you will ever wear!

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