I Made Pants!

Pattern: Colette's Clover Pants
Fabric: 3 yds of something stretchy, velvety, and red
Cost: $45

First, let me just say...

Wow. Just. Wow.

For the past six months I've had all the makings of a pair of pants in my cabinet--fabric, zipper, Clover pattern. You might even remember them when I laid out my palette challenge. But I was too afraid to use them. My mom had bought all of them for me back in the spring (oh god, or was it winter?). A seamstress herself, she told me it was about time I make myself a pair.

My first attempt at pants, a pair of trousers I started over two years ago when I landed my first career-type job, is still hidden somewhere in my unpublished blog list. It ended in a poor decision to cut the fabric on the bias to get more stretch and too many pattern pieces for a welt pocket. I think I still have the muslin somewhere.

But last night, I finally got up the courage to attempt THE PANTS. I thought I'd at least get a start on them... cut some fabric, baste some seams. But here's where I hands down give it to Colette. The pattern is so brilliantly crafted that I ended up sewing the entire pair in one night. Ok, it probably still took me about 8 hours--and I'm pretty sure I kept my upstairs neighbor up with the hum of my machine--but I still knocked these suckers out in one night.

And look at all the ways I plan to wear them!

Things I like love about the Clover pattern:
  • The pockets! No complicated welt pockets to speak of (unless you decide to add your own in, which is totally on you). Rather, the pockets are cleverly tucked into the front in the seam between the waistband and the pant (a sort of horizontal in-seam pocket, if you will). So easy!
  • The fit. Now, Colette patterns are designed for the curvy gal. That didn't quite work for me up top when I made the Sencha blouse, but down below the pants are definitely more my body type. They are completely wearable sans alteration. If your fit isn't great, her blog provides a whole cheatsheet for fit issues: how to identify them, and how to correct them, complete with full alterations instructions. Wow! I will be making some changes on the next pair (see below), but as-is they are not bad!
  • The construction. Along with the pockets, Colette also has brilliant, easy construction techniques that even a lazy, short-cut sewer like me will follow. The pattern is made for beginners, and while I don't particularly consider myself to be one, it makes for some stunningly simple-to-sew pants that gave a pants-phobe like me some pants-sewing confidence!
  • The instructions. I rarely follow directions. But because I had had such an awful experience with pants before, I decided I needed some help with this one. Colette has great illustrations, written directions and, for the new seamster, great tips for sewing. And did I mention the cheatsheet on her blog with help for fit issues?!

Ok, enough gushing, here are some of the more personal details.

I chose this pattern particularly because it is a nice cigarette pant. I like the slim cut of the pant without it being a skinny jean--much more appropriate for work and more versatile to wear. In case you needed any convincing, here's my little illustration of why I prefer the one to the other:

While the pants fit fine as-is, now that I have my pants-sewing confidence up, I do plan on making some alterations based on Colette's fitting cheatsheet. After some time standing in front of the mirror with my laptop open, here are some of the things I will attempt (mostly for my records if not for your viewing pleasure).

First up, a flat belly adjustment to eliminate all that extra fabric in the front.

Then, as with a lot of patterns, I do need to adjust for smaller hips. The actual pants fit fine in this area, but the curve is just too severe. If I make it into more of a straight line (I actually did this on the zipper side of the pants), then there isn't any extra fabric ballooning off my hip. I just need a little nip at the top.

The pants felt a tad too high in the front but a tad too low in the back. The front might be fixed by the flat belly adjustment, so I'll have to figure out how to lengthen the torso only in the back.

I also need to possibly adjust for a small waist to fix some minor gaping in the back, thought again that might be fixed by the flat belly adjustment.

While it looks like a lot, these changes will just be some minor tweaks on my road to a well-fitting pant. I have three (three!) more pants fabrics on the way, so I might start with just the first two or three adjustments and then re-evaluate from there. Looking on the Colette blog, Sarai's pants fit her perfectly, so I can alway aspire for more!

You can read my review of this pattern at PatternReview.com.


  1. Gorgeous!!! Love the color your chose! Hmm I'm tempted to buy that pattern now :)

  2. Great work! They look lovely! I'm still going with my draft but they are slowly coming together. Can't wait to see how you go with the next fit after those tweaks.

  3. I love the hip wiggle pic :) You made a great pair of pants. Maybe I will have to pull out the fabric I bought long ago for pants too...

  4. That gif made my day! :) Love the outfits you paired them with.

  5. I'm going to spend a fortune on Colette patterns: they're all so gorgeous. And your Clovers are no exception.

    Well done! And I'm trying not to be jealous of the flat belly adjustment (can't help thinking it sounds like a "procedure".....)

  6. Thanks everyone! I'm glad you're as excited as I am about pants!

  7. Very cute and I love the color! I never think I look good in slimfitting pants or ankle length ones either. I gravitate toward trouser style pants and jeans, but I may just have to give that patterns try, maybe if they fit me better I'd like that style of pant and if I sew it myself I can work on the fit, so ya never know!

  8. You accomplished most sewers scariest project to tackle...pants! Yay so happy for you. Now I might have to try after seeing your success!

  9. Wow, they look incredible. I'm tempted to try them straight from the pattern, without making any alterations to the pattern first. Your version is really pushing me that way. Great job!

  10. Thanks Isaspacey! I hate making muslins, so just going for it in a fabric I liked was my best chance at finally making a pair. They're not perfect, but the results were encouraging!

  11. wow! what great pants! I can't believe this is your first pair, since we're not considering your muslin an actual pair. Thanks for all the illustrations too. Super helpful!

  12. It was so great to meet you at the Colette party and get your fresh from the battlefield advice on the clovers! I'm off to try out my own pair...hope mine turn out just as awesome!

  13. oh i never thought i would want to make these but i kinda do now! :P thanks for the awesome drawing comparing skinny jeans!

  14. they look great! your fabric choice and color is really unexpected. i like them a lot! and I liked your analysis of fitting changes you want to make - it's interesting, i have a friend who had that same issue with them being slightly too high in the front and a slightly too short in the back. something i'll keep in mind when i want to make them.

    oh and cute gif!!

  15. Great pants! I'm attempting to make them as well and have been scouring the internet for someone who has done the flat belly adjustment - how did you go with that? Do you cut the red line only? I don't quite understand the diagram (complete beginner). Would love some advice!

    1. Hi Me! Good luck on your first pair! For the flat belly adjustment, you cut along the red len, then overlap the pattern. If you look at the full belly adjustment, it's the opposite - overlapping instead of spreading. If you really want a step-by-step guide, taking a Craftsy course may help as well. :)


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