Making pants patterns from measurements can sound intimidating especially if you don’t have pattern making skills. However, creating patterns from scratch is getting easier with the help of the online sewing pattern generators and you can make it without being a pattern maker. In this post I will show you how easy pattern making can be even for hobbyists. I will walk you through every step of how I made these pink corduroy peg leg pants with pleats at the front waist. You will find at every step a short video where I show you the real process of how I made my pants from measurement.
Step 1: Selection of fabric for the pants
The first thing to decide before you start anything else is to decide what kind of pants you want to make and what fabric is the best that suits your needs.
Here are some tips on how to choose the right fabric:
- Choose the fabric that will be comfortable to wear
- Choose one that is easy to work with
- Choose a fabric that lasts
- Choose a fabric that is the right weight for the season
- Choose a fabric that is washable
I decided to create some very comfortable pants for the winter, so I chose an elastic corduroy fabric and a contrasting teal rib knit for the waistband and a simple plain cotton poplin with the same color for the pocket lining.
Step 2: Pants design
When designing a new garment, drawing your ideas gives more clarity about what you want to make. It doesn’t matter if you can’t make fancy drawings. You just need pencil and paper and sketch your ideas to make it visual. The fashion sketch templates from the Free Printable Sewing Project Planner and Journal can help you make it easier, though.
Tips for designing your pants:
- Print the fashion sketch pages of my printable «Sewing Project Planner and Journal for Creative Sewists«. You can download it for free.
- Choose the style of the pants you want to make
- Sketch a few different versions
- Add unique details
- Choose the final design of the pants and color it
- Add your fabric swatches
This time, I knew I wanted pants that aren’t too tight, it has no opening, no zipper and buttons. I wanted to keep it simple and comfortable. I decided to create a pair of peg leg pants with a wide rib knit waistband that looks like a yoke on the back, similar to jeans back.
Step 3: Basic pants pattern making online
I can draft patterns by hand, I’ve made a lot of pants from scratch, but I’ve never done it since I know how to do it with a few clicks,
So here’s how I do it with one of the 3 best online pattern generators. Learn more about them in this post: The Best Online Sewing Pattern Maker Websites To Create Your Own Patterns. For these peg leg pants with pleats I used Tailornova.
Tips on how to make your basic pants pattern online:
- Choose the right pattern generator for your project
- Selected the style option closest to your original design.
- Choose the length of your pants
- Add your actual measurements.
- Choose the right ease knowing your fabric characteristics
- Add seam allowance if you are not going to make big changes
- Check the yardage
- Download your pattern
I chose the Low Stretch Woven option for my corduroy. I chose the length, checked the yardage to know how much fabric I need, and checked what it will look like in pink color. I also checked the fit on my custom 3D model and then just printed the PDF in A4 size.
Step 4: Basic sewing pattern transformations
If you have created your basic pattern online now, it’s time to make alterations to get the exact style you want. Using online pattern making tools, you can not only create basic patterns, but also more complicated designs, so you need fewer adjustments to make, as in my case. The basic pattern already has pleats and has the right ease as well.
What you need to do to transform your basic pattern:
- Print and tape your PDF sewing pattern
- Transform your pattern into the style you need by making the necessary transformations
- Add seam allowance if you haven’t done it before
Here are the main changes I made on my pattern: I cut off the zipper placket because I didn’t want any opening and the fabric is elastic enough to just put it on and besides, it has an elastic waistband. I made the front center waist a bit deeper and cut off the waistband that looks like a jeans yoke on the back. I added more seam allowance to the hem because I wanted a wider double fold.
Step 5: Sew and fit the toile
Once we have finished our sewing pattern, we need to make sure it fits perfectly before cutting it from a costly fabric and could face different adjustment problems.
Tips for a perfect fit:
- Sewing a toile ( a trial version) is the best way to see how a pattern fits and where you need to make some adjustments to get a perfect fit.
- Look for draglines that indicates where the pattern deeds changes
- Check if there is excess fabric or the opposite, so you need to take off or add a few millimeters
- Check length
- Transfer changes to the pattern and make the necessary adjustments
I had to lower the front center of the waist a little more and also found the rib knitting band too wide, so I had to decrease a few centimeters of the width. I also decided to add a few centimeters to the length. I found some draglines at the front crotch, so I flattened the crotch curve.
Step 6: Sewing your pants
After fitting and altering the pants pattern, you can cut and sew it out of your chosen fabric, and you can be sure that it fits perfectly.
It may look different if your final fabric has different properties than the fabric you used for the toile so make sure you use the closest to your original.
Once you’ve finished your pants, there are few things you should do. Keep your pattern for further use and write down what you have done so the next time you want to repeat this pattern or make changes or pattern hacks, you have all the information you need.
Tips on how to Journal your sewing projects:
- Label your pattern to make sure you find it next time you want to use it.
- Write down how you made your basic pattern, which tool did you use
- Note down the measurements you have made from
- Note all changes you made to the pattern and after the adjustment.
- Note down how much fabric you need
If you want to make this process quick and easy, download the free sewing journal.
Creating your own patterns is a fun way to create your unique handmade clothes or clothes for your customers. With this example, I showed you how to create pants patterns from measurements online and how to transform them. You can make most types of clothes in the same way. Knowing the best three pattern generators and which are the best for each garment type can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
If you would like to learn more about making your own sewing patterns with online tools or want to know exactly which tools are best for every type of garment, join the Buddy Positive Pattern Playground or our live pattern making workshop in Palma.