906, template

The Linen Pants

originally published 3/30/11


I mentioned I was making these:


I’m using TJ906 and changing the pattern a little.  First I had to go down a size. (YEA).    Now, I do want these to be close fitting, like denim jeans of old, but I don’t want to outline my girlie parts. You know?  And I know through real experience that fibers will behave differently when sewn and worn.  Meaning that one pair of denim or twill will fit perfect and next of the same fabric but different bolt will be too large or too small.  The too large, I can always stitch a little wider seam. Too small and they end up being waders.  So while I normally use a 3/8 SA, for my pants I keep the 5/8 SA.  I also wanted to narrow the leg of this pattern.  I’m finding that I prefer a narrow slim leg.  I mean when I see pictures of myself or catch glimpses of myself in the mirror or store windows, I prefer the view of me in slender legged pants. 1 of the back pieces is very straight so I didn’t alter it. But I altered the front and the other side back by taking a long, 1″ dart  from hem to knee on each of those pieces.


I was excited to get a reference to a shop which sells linen remnants. I was promised large remnants and the promise was true.  1.5 to 2 yard remnants of 56-60″ wide linen.  I can get a pair of pants out of 1.5 yards by using a crotch gusset.  I happily purchased 3 remnants think of light weight summer pants.  2 of the remnants are exactly as desired.  The 3rd is a little heavier and perfect for experimenting with this early in the season and what I’m using for these pants.  I like denim, but I don’t want to be the denim queen.


I used permanent stitching for the zipper and pockets.  I limited my top stitching to a triple stitch just on the front and back pockets.  I love top stitching.  But every time I put lots of topstitcing in pants, I have lots of ripping to do. Normally after permanently stitching the zipper and pockets, I would switch to an almost basting stitch.  A stitch of 3.5 is fairly easy to rip out, but sturdy enough for all except the actual crotch.  Since I’ve made this pattern so many times, this time I serged all the pieces together using a 1/4″ serged seam allowance. I finished the pants. Completely including hem, buttonhole and button.  As expected, I ripped out waistband at the sides and center back and stitch in 5/8 SA and tried them on again.



To be truthful, I like these.  They feel close like those old denims, but don’t follow the curves of my wahoo.  I do see some small drag lines pointing in that direction, but that’s what those old denims did, ya know?  These are nicely following my rear in the first wearing (shown in the first 3 photos).  I do see a little drag line beneath the rear and the previously mentioned pointers, but all and all they aren’t bad. I decided to see what the next wash would do for me:




Opps. Well I still like the legs but I’m afraid the torso is just a little tighter than I’d like and are beginning to follow the outlines of my body too closely.  Since I wanted close fitting,  my biggest concern is that the crotch seems to be too short both front and back.  I’d say the linen shrunk lengthwise-even though it was washed on the sanitize schedule (that’s 2 hours of hottest water) and dried until brick hard (another 2 hours) before being sewn.  I considered that they just might stretch as they were worn (hopefully like denim) but I know that linen is more well know for wrinkling as it is worn. Sigh, since I had the available SA, I let these out 1/4! on the back of each leg.  Wow, that made them comfortable to wear, but at the end of the day my rear view was:

Somehow while the crotch looks too short I had at the same time developed “old lady butt”.    Fortunately in every picture they seem just a tad too long.  I deliberately made my pants longer than perfect.  I’m finding that every pair shrinks lengthwise.  In a years time they will be too short.  Letting hems out is possible except, I hate the white line and am always having to figure out how to cover it up (can you say Sharpie [in colors])?  I’m going to scoop out the crotch just a bit and wear these in good health.  But I suspect that this pattern should not be closely fitted to look it’s best on me.