Hello! Today, I thought I’d share with you some trousers that I made over the summer. They have fast become my favourite thing to wear and I now want to make lots of pairs in different fabrics…….they are soooooo comfy!!!
If you’ve not seen the Arenite Pants before, they are a relaxed trouser with generous pockets and an elasticated waist. There is also the option of an elasticated cuff, and they can be styled in so many different ways that they can become a great wardrobe staple.
The best bit is that because they are a relaxed fit, they are not too difficult to make which as a newbie trouser maker, was definitely a good thing!
The two things that I was nervous about with the pattern was how much fabric they needed (around 3m!) and the size of the pockets! However, having read a few pattern reviews, it seems the fabric estimation is more like 2-2.5m which was a lot better!
I like to wear trousers and skirts below my natural waist and found that when I made a muslin of this pattern, I ended up looking a bit like MC Hammer, the crotch (or rise, if you’d rather!) was so low!!! I love the relaxed style, but it was a bit too much so when I came to making this pair I decided to make some changes to the size of the pockets and the trouser legs.
I took some pictures as I went along if you’d like to see how I did it but please bear in mind that I am not a pattern drafter – this is just how I hacked the Arenite Pants!
Slimming down the Arenite Pockets
I drew around the original Pocket Facing (black pen line) on spare fabric I had to hand. I measured the difference between the top and bottom of the pocket piece as 4″, which helps to create the bucket style pocket. I decided to half this as I still wanted a slight scoop but not as much.
Using a quilting ruler aligned with the bottom of the pocket, I drew a vertical line near the top of the pocket, 1″ away from the bottom corner on each side.
Matching the bottom corners of the Pocket Facing with the new outline, I pivoted the template in towards the pocket until the top matched the line. I drew up along the side edge of the pocket and in on the curved edge until I met the original template line (red pen line). Repeat on the other side.
I then repeated the same process for the Side Panel, using the notch marks to pivot the pattern (black pen line = original, red ped line = reworked).
Reducing the Rise of the Arenite Pants
As the Arenite’s are such a relaxed fit, I didn’t do this particularly scientifically! I knew from the muslin I’d made that there was an excess of probably 4″ (front & back) in the rise from wearing them lower on my waist.
I figured that by taking the original pattern pieces – Front and Back – moving them up by 1.5″ (a total of 3″ over the two pieces) and redrawing the top of the leg and rise (crotch) would help to lengthen the leg, but not lose the pant shape that I love. And it worked!
I used the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern to add a further 2″ to the trouser legs – for reference I’m 5’7″, but have long legs!
Making the Arenite Pants
I cannot tell you enough how much I love making these trousers! Although it took a little time to redraw the pattern pieces, it actually only took me an afternoon to cut out and sew these pants. They come together so quickly and the instructions are easy to follow!
My only tips for sewing the Arenite’s would be;
- Flat-felled Seams:
- If you have one, a walking foot really helps with managing all the layers of fabric and achieving a good finish.
- Sewing in the Waist Elastic:
- I used a 40mm elastic for the waistband and found it to be the perfect size – if I’d gone any wider I don’t think it would have fit so well.
- When I first started to stitch the elastic into the waistband, I just stretched the fabric out and off I went. However, it did not give a good finish – some areas were more bunched than others. After a bit of unpicking, I would recommend;
- Once you have inserted the elastic, move the fabric until it is evenly spread around the waist-line.
- Pin through the waistband (including the elastic) at quarter intervals.
- Stretch out one-quarter of the waistband and stitch from one pin to the next, stopping just before the pin, remove. Stretch out the next quarter of the waistband and stitch as before until you have completed the circumference.
The only other difference I made was cutting two pieces for the waistband instead of one (remember, I only had 2m of fabric and was playing pattern tetris!). To help me tell the difference between the front and back of the pants, I added a little ribbon tag when I was attaching the waistband.
So, Pattern Deets;
- Pattern::: Arenite Patterns by Sew Liberated
- Fabric::: 2m Cotton/Linen mix (you can find similar here)
- Size made::: 8
- Mods made::: reduced width of pockets; raise crotch +1.5″; +2″ to the leg length and made the waistband out of two pieces.
Now excuse me whilst I go fabric shopping, I fancy making some in a heavier weight fabric for winter!!!
Today’s sky::: blue sky with clouds.
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