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Filtering by Category: Design & Style Tips

Sew a pair of drawstring wide leg pants with designer tucks at the hem

Ann Siegle

How to create pin tucks in cropped or long wide leg linen pants

Wide leg pants sewing pattern with drawstring and pin tucks

The Christine Jonson Taper and Wide Leg Pant 824 is a great canvas for embellishment. Designed for knits, but easily adapted to woven fabrics, the 824 pattern in the wide-leg pant is a great canvas for embellishment or alteration.

In the example pant, a wide leg hemp/linen rough weave fabric, Christine has straightened the wide leg pant from knee to hem, added length and created an easy series of wide tucks to add some visual interest to the pants. She’s also adapted this to a woven fabric and added a suede tie for the drawstring.

Let’s break down the EASY pattern hacks to create designer-inspired wide leg pants out of a woven fabric using the Wide Leg Pant 824: 

1)    When laying out the pattern, grab chalk or a sliver of soap and trace the pants pattern on your fabric. Using standard kids’ chalk or soap means the marks will wash out. Using other kinds of marking chalk might leave these on the fabric, so be sure the fabric is right-side-in and you’re drawing on the wrong side of the fabric.

2)    Measure from your waist to your knees. Measure the pattern and straighten the hem line from knee to hem so it falls straight from knee length to the floor. Add 4” to 6” to the bottom of the hem for the tuck spacing. 

3)    Straighten the waistline so the pants go straight up from the hip – removing the hip curve. This will ensure they slide over your hips when made from a woven fabric. If you’re using a knit, you can skip this step. The pants are designed with a hip curve but require stretch to slide the pants over your hips. 

4)    Construct the pants as usual, leaving the legs unhemmed for the moment

5)    Starting about 3” from the hem mark, make a mark with chalk where your first (lower) tuck will be.  Measure up 2” to the next tuck and 2” again. This will create ¼” tucks about 1.5” apart -  you can adjust this if you want wider spaces between tucks or wider tucks. Each tuck will take up 2 “lengths” of the tuck – e.g. ¼” tucks take up ½” of space and ½” tucks take up 1” of space. 

6)    Sewing the tucks is easy – simply fold the pant leg inside itself (wrong sides together and stitch ¼” away from the folded edge. Fold the pants out and make the next tuck by folding in at the next mark, stitching and then unfolding. Press the tucks down. 

7)    Hem the pants to your desired length. 

8)    Fold over the waistband casing and press. Unfold the casing. On the right side of the pants below the pressed fold, mark a spot to add a small buttonhole (you can do one buttonhole, or two, or even use grommets here.) Mark these and sew them in place. These will be your drawstring holes. Be sure to make the holes big enough that your desired drawstring material can be threaded inside. 

9)    Fold the casing back under, fold the raw edge under 3/8” and stitch the casing down. Thread a length of suede cord, soutache cord, ribbon, leather or other decorative cording in through your buttonholes. We recommend a threading tool but you can also use a small safety pin. 

10) Done! Enjoy your new designer wide-leg pants!

Pin tucks in wide leg pants sewing pattern


Double Collar Princess Jacket Sewing Pattern: Sew Your Own Boucle Jacket, Cropped Blazer or Long Jacket

Ann Siegle

The Double Collar Princess Jacket is your go-to for an EASY to sew fall/winter/spring blazer or jacket pattern. The Double Collar (or single collar, or no collar at all) jacket is impeccably designed with a forward-shoulder seam (to keep the jacket from rolling back when worn), shapely princess seams and multiple, customizable lengths. 

For fall 2018 we're seeing tons of menswear fabrics - glen plaid, tartan plaid, tweeds. Of course, nubby boucle (knit or woven) are always popular cool-weather fabrics, too. This jacket is a great place to print-mix with your tee shirts.  For fall, we're seeing a lot of pink/rose and gray - here we're showing a textured thinner rayon/wool/poly that looks like a pink solid but is print textured. It looks great with a heather gray and dark gray stripe tee shirt knit. The lighter textured woven fabric is perfect for the double collar - a chic couture detail that adds an extra something special to your outfit. On the right, a brown/cream heavier wool fabric would work great with a single collar. Shown here with a stripe French Terry, this mix of neutrals will look fabulous with jeans.

If you're heading for Spring 2018 in the southern hemisphere or a warm climate, this jacket is fabulous in linen! It's unlined, so it's cool and comfortable. You can also choose a rayon-blend twill or even a silk twill. 

And you can make a classic "French Jacket" (you know the one we're talking about!) by omitting the collar altogether, cropping the jacket at high hip. No fussy couture sewing necessary You can add trim, including hand-crochet trim, or ribbon trim to the edges of the "French Jacket" version to look just like the famous designer jackets.

On our model, Kay, shown above, it's deliciously cozy in a boucle knit and wears like a sweater coat. You can see the detail of the double collar really stand out in a lighter weight fabric like a linen, twill, silk twill or lightweight wool blend. 

Wear with:

  • Jeans
  • Tee shirt - try the bateau-necked Keyhole Top (without the keyhole), or Three Tees for a slouchy almost-dolman tee, the Banded Neck Tee from Travel Trio One or the Raglan Tee from Travel Trio Three
  • Take Along Dress
  • Perfect Pant Skinny
  • Perfect Pant Classic Wide Leg (with a cropped jacket)
Double Collar Princess Jacket 427
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Sewing Summer Shorts from a Pants Pattern

Christine Jonson Patterns

You have a great fitting pants pattern. One that you've made several times, it's a TNT (tried 'n true) pattern for you. So why reinvent the wheel? Use it to make shorts!

For this example, we'll be using the super-easy and very basic #1010 Trouser Pants in our collection. This pant is so simple! It has a front piece, a back piece and a facing for the front and back. It has a back zipper so you don't have to worry about setting a fly zipper for your first time sewing shorts. And you can customize the length - from Bermuda (just above the knee) to short-short at 3" inseam.  If you want to wear them with a blazer (a trendy, youthful look), or a long draped vest, as long as the jacket or vest is open, you can let the jacket or vest hem dip below your shorts (note, we changed this recommendation since last year! It seems longer sweaters with shorter shorts are all the rage.)

Some of these shorts have some fun details - try rickrack in the seam allowances for the top waistband, and sew it to the underside of the shorts hem to let the rickrack peek out. Sew a custom belt and add belt loops, or create an elastic waist using our Wide Leg pants. You can also make shorts from a heavier knit fabric, such as ponte or ITY, or from a stretch woven fabric.

Sewing your own shorts from a pants sewing pattern

1) Measure your ideal inseam depth - find a pair of shorts you like and measure those, OR pick a spot where your thigh starts to taper toward your knee. 3", 5", 7" and 10" are standard ready-to-wear lengths. 

2) Mark from the inseam on the pattern down to the length that is ideal for you

3) Decide if you want a cuff or not. If you do, add 3.5" to allow for a 1.5" finished cuff.

4) Trace your pattern off onto your fabric with kids' chalk,  stopping at the new hem mark on each sideseam. Connect the sideseams with a horizontal hem line using your chalk.

5) Sew shorts as you would sew the pants

6) Put on, admire your legs in a mirror and enjoy! 

The Upscale Hoodie

Christine Jonson Patterns

You know you love it, your favorite hoodie sweatshirt. You love it so much, you'd love to wear it 7 days a week! Why not? All you need is an upscale hoodie. The Travel Trio Two's reversible hoodie jacket is just that. This elegant, flyaway cardigan hoodie can go from the weekend to work, and give you double the wearing, depending on your fabric choices.

Travel Trio Two's upscale hoodie pattern comes paired with a great funnelneck top with 3/4 sleeves and a long or knee-length wrap skirt - the combo is perfect for work. Here, we're showing the hoodie with jeans and boots for a great weekend casual look, or with your favorite leggings and running shoes for workout wear.

So, just how DO you wear a hoodie to work? Fabric choice is key. A low key print paired with black is a classic look - wear the black side out, and let the low-key print peek out at the collar and hood. Wear the hoodie with the knee length wrap skirt and heels or tall boots for a chic, but comfortable look. You can also layer the hoodie over a sleek short sleeved tee, and under a blazer. Layering a hoodie under a blazer is perfect for a meeting in the boardroom, the hood can hide under your jacket; pop it out and over the top of your blazer for after-work drinks with friends.

The hoodie is becoming more of an acceptable casual workplace garment - if you're in a creative field like marketing or retail, you can definitely get away with wearing a hoodie at work. If you're in a conservative field like banking, you'll need to tuck that hood in under your blazer til after work. And if you're in technology, your hoodie may be a required work uniform (the soccer sandals are optional.)  If you're a tech manager, wearing an upscale hoodie does put you more in connection with your younger sweatshirt-hoodie-wearing staff without completely succumbing to a too-casual look.

DIY Sew a Drape-Front Cardigan Jacket

Christine Jonson Patterns

The cardi-jacket has become a wardrobe staple. Many of us who have moved to a casual workplace now wear sweaters instead of suit jackets, and we certainly spend our weekend in comfortable knits.

Travel Trio One's Drape Front Jacket is an asymmetrical jacket with a gathered-and-draped side tie. The jacket is easy to wear and looks great open or closed.

Let's explore this jacket in more detail. On our model, Sherry, we've paired the drape-front jacket with a simple textured white tee (Three Tees, cap sleeve version), jeans and boots. This great casual look could be scaled up with slim black trousers and high heels for a daytime or evening look. Adding bright accessories, like the magenta scarf with the Drape Front Jacket transform the tee-and-jeans look from ho-hum to wow.

Looking inside this jacket's pattern envelope, you will see a jacket front pattern piece with a clever darted drape. If you simply gathered up the side of a rectangular jacket, you'd end up with too much bulk to tie, let alone wear in a sleek silhouette. The Drape Front Jacket's darted drape reduces bulk, creates a trim front tie and flatters the wearer.

But if you want to make a non-draped version, there is a front pattern piece without the drape that creates a sleek front panel that, much like the passionately-loved wrap dress, creates a slim silhouette on all figures. The drape front jacket's construction in a drapey knit - this is a semi-sheer sweater knit, a perfect choice for the jacket - means that it skims the body gracefully, and has the coverage of a sweater coat.

Styling tips for the Drape Front Jacket from Travel Trio One

For a dance-sport-yoga look, wear the Drape Front Jacket over your yoga top and leggings with athletic shoes. Mix it up on the weekends and wear jeans, a tee and boots with the Drape Front Jacket (like Sherry, here). For a spring version, wear colored jeans, a print tee and the Drape Front Jacket in a pastel rayon/lycra knit. Go beachy with wide-leg linen pants over your swimsuit and toss on a gauzy light sweater knit Drape Front Jacket for a great apres-pool bar look as the sun goes down.

The Drape Front Jacket also goes upscale to work - pair it with a slim pencil skirt for a chic wrapped separates look. Or try it with slim black pants, high heels and a silky jersey knit top.

For evening, the Drape Front Jacket is a great layer over a long slim column dress. Try this for evening in a sheer black sweater knit over a dress with your best jewelry.

The Drape Front Jacket is part of the very-popular Travel Trio series and comes with a sleek banded-neck tee, and boot cut front-seamed pants with a flat stretch waistband.

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