This may just be the shortest sewing share yet. In this post, I am going to be sharing how I hand stitched wide leg pegged trousers with pleats. It is super easy to make, relatively quick if you are using a sewing machine but a tad bit time consuming if you are doing it by hand like myself. I would also be sharing four simple ways to style the trousers. Let’s delve into it, shall we.
You would need Fabric (I chose a bright yellow satin fabric of which I opted to use the less shiny part for my trousers), Tape measure, Scissors, Pins, Needle (a large sized one if you are like me who just hates how rigorous threading a small one could be), Thread, Tailor’s chalk and Zipper.
The first thing you would need to do is take these few measurements:
• Waistline measurement taken as a round measurement of your waist
• Trouser length taken from your waist to the ground away from your feet (preferably wear heels before taking this measurement so as to get the accurate measurement for your trousers. We don’t want those heels peeking out of the trousers now, do we?)
• Crotch depth taken while sitting down so this is measured from your waistline to the bottom of your bum sitting
• Crotch length taken as two individual measurements. What I like to do is measure from the front taken from the waistline to the middle of the crotch, and the second from the back following the same procedure. This has to be taken individually because the back measurement is fairly longer than the front measurement.
• Thigh width taken at the topmost portion of your thigh nearest to the crotch. This has to be a round measurement.
Pleats are going to be added to the trouser so it is important to note that more inches are going to be added to the waistline of the trouser but not the waist band. The waist band measurement still remains the same as the waistline measurement. I hope this has not complicated things for you. I’ll explain better. A trouser requires four patterns (two mirror images of each other) that would be used to cut four pieces of fabric (ps. I usually just draw my patterns directly on the wrong side of the fabric). For the waistline measurement, we are going to divide the measurement by 4 so assuming your waistline measurement is 32, that would translate to 8 inches for each fabric. For each already divided measurement, an extra two inches has to be added (the extra inches are dependent on how large you want your pleats to be.) I added two extra inches as each fabric piece needed two pleats and I wanted the width of each one to be 0.5 inches. Pleats are made by folding and overlapping. Now assuming you are folding in 0.5 inches, it would overlap 0.5 inches so each pleat would require one inch. These extra inches would disappear under each pleat returning each fabric piece measurement back to 8 inches. It is up to you to decide at which point of the fabric piece you would like to place the pleats.
** Area A1 to A2 represents a quarter of my waist line measurement plus two extra inches. D1 and D2 as well.
Note that because this is a loose fit trouser, extra inches are going to be added to the crotch length and the thigh width measurements.
** Areas A1 to B and D1 to E represent the crotch depth. Before these can be drawn, the crotch length has to be measured and drawn. For each leg, there is the front fabric piece and the back fabric piece. The thigh width measurement is divided into two for each fabric piece. So assuming your thigh width is 30 inches with 4 extra inches for a loose fit, each fabric piece would have the areas labelled B to X and E to X as 17 inches respectively. Now the crotch depth can be drawn. Basically join A1 to B but make sure to retake the measurement to confirm that it coincides with the crotch depth. If it does, hooray but if it doesn’t, try to readjust the slant of the waistline to match the crotch depth measurement.
Subtract the crotch depth from the full length of the trousers. Assuming your crotch length is 12 inches and your desired trouser length is 64 inches, that would give 52 inches after subtraction. Extend this measurement from the bottom points of the crotch depth and the crotch length in a straight line. Once that is done, the trouser would need to be hemmed so at the bottom of the trousers, an inch of seam allowance has to be added as this would be folded in and over itself for hemming.
** Note that seam allowance is very key for every measurement.
Phew, now that we’ve got all that pattern drawing and cutting out of the way, we can move on to the good stuff, SEWING. I know what I said about this post being short. I was not expecting this lengthy description too.
Where was I? Yes, sewing. As I said before, you need four fabric pieces. The front fabric piece and its mirror image and the back fabric piece and its mirror image. First thing is to pin areas A2 to C to its mirror image and areas D2 to F to its mirror image just like the image below. Sew these areas together with back stitches. Now you should have two joined fabric pieces.
How to do a back stitch
Thread your needle ensuring that one end of the thread is longer than the other. Knot the longer end of the thread. Bring your needle into the fabric coming up from beneath the fabric but also leaving a little space at the start of the fabric. Take the needle a notch backwards to the space left empty. Bring the needle forward, a little further from the initial (first) stitch and bring the needle back into the hole of the last stitch made. Repeat.
Next is to pin the sides of the trousers. So you would be pinning areas A1Y1 to that of the back fabric piece. Also pin areas CY2 to that of the back fabric piece. Repeat the process for the second leg of the trouser. The image below illustrates my description. Once this is done, sew all areas using back stiches. Trim all fabric excesses.
Now let’s direct our focus back to the pleats. I discussed the measurements and overlapping of the pleats above. To form a pleat, you would need to fold the fabric (more like pinch it out) and place this folded fabric back on the fabric (overlapping). Pin this in place.
Once you have pinned all the pleats in place, if you haven’t already cut your waistband, you might want to do that now. The waistband should measure in width the waistline measurement and in length, your desired waistband length times 2 as it would be folded over itself. Leave seam allowance. I advise to draw only this pattern on the right side of the fabric as this would serve as a pinning reference for when you would pin the waistband to the trousers. Pin and sew the waistband to the trousers using back stitches and trim all fabric excesses.
Using an invisible zipper, still on wrong side of the fabric, turn the zipper to the back. Place the right side of the zipper on the left side of the fabric on which it is to be sewn and pin. Sew with back stitches. Place the left side of the zipper on the right side of the fabric, pin and sew.
Last but definitely not the least, hem the bottom of your trousers. Your trousers are done and ready for wear! Please let me know what you think in the comment section below and do try it out for yourselves x.