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Feb 15, 2014

Thai Fisherman Pants + Shirt Update

Readers, thank you for identifying the pattern diagram above as Thai fisherman pants.  I made a pair today!

I realized that rather than trace the pattern from the Japanese pattern book, it would be easier to cut my fabric according to some basic measurements.  I found this tutorial, and it worked just fine; no pattern necessary.

My only limitation was the amount of fabric I had -- just a smidge over one yard.  I used the entire thing.  The pants are calf-length.

I chose this cotton print because I liked the way it looked with the plaid I used for my pleated (or pin-tucked) shirt.   They will part of the same outfit, which I will photograph next week, hopefully without two feet of snow on the ground.

The pants weren't difficult to put together, though there was a lot of seam finishing to complete.  Plus a long sash to make.  I used my Featherweight for this project.

I wanted a slightly higher waist, so I added about two inches of black cotton sateen (this is the part that gets folded over the sash).

Once I got the gist of how to put these on, I was very happy with them; they're extremely comfy.  There's a lot of info about Thai fisherman pants online, including how to tie them!

They can be purchased ready-made in all sorts of fabrics, lengths, and colors.

I love that they're somewhat drop-crotch and also slightly culotte-y, but still pants.  You'll see mine next week.  Michael wants a pair too.

As for the shirt, it's finished.  I paid special attention to the cuffs after last Tuesday's Menswear Sewing class. Ta da!

The shirt has a band collar.

The plackets are cut on the bias.

Here's a little technique I learned in class: if you're pressing down a narrow edge, pin one end into the ironing board to free up your hands.  It makes things much easier!

And that's it!  I think I'm going to make at least one more garment as part of this outfit.  I still have a lot of gray cotton jersey and a few yards of dark blue coated cotton.  I'd originally intended to make drop-crotch pants with the jersey, but now that I've made the fisherman pants I don't think I'll need them.  I guess I'll decide tomorrow.

Friends, if it's snowing where you are, you have my sympathy.  We've had snowfall nearly every day this week and it's still snowing now.  Not exactly Thai fisherman pants weather, alas.

Stay warm, everybody!


  1. Beautiful job, Peter! Also, if you are looking for some interesting pants, my friend John Marshall has a wonderful book on sewing Japanese clothes. You can find it here on Amazon:


    1. Oh, I borrowed that from the library a few months ago. Wish I'd held onto it longer!

  2. Those are going to be some wacky trousers. I think I want some. :-)

  3. Ooh--I like the way you employ the ironing board with a pin! Have you seen Pam Erny's sleeve placket tutorial? You might find this interesting:

  4. I could live without the fisherman pants, but if you like a dropped crotch go for it.
    I do love your shirt. The workmanship is lovely. Looking forward to seeing it finished.

  5. I love your choice of colors and fabric. My step family use to wear some funky type of pants like that and wrap around thingys. They are Burmese and I remember they would bring them back from their trips. I am very excited about your shirt. How do you get the stitching so close around the cuff? If I did that then I would be sewing completely off the fabric. It is so perfect.

  6. Love your Thai fishermen's pants (love the print) and the exquisite sewing on your shirt. Bravo. They will look so fine together.
    If you go to Koos van den Akker's Facebook page (via Marcy Tilton's blog) and scroll down to June 9, 2011 and May 10, 2011 you will see some stunning fishermen's pants.The first ones look like shorts but the legs have been rolled up for a different look. The second set look very exotic because of the fabric. I can hardly wait to make some myself.

  7. Love the fabric!!!! I used a lightweight grey lineny denim for my sons. I used the fringy selvage as a detailed seam for the foldover. And D ring for the sash to help with potty time. He's a musician and wanted it for stage, and he learned he had to tie the excess so the D ring didn't slip. That would be major wardrobe malfunction, because those pants drop like a strippers once untied!

  8. Pressing: Another reason for glass head pins!

  9. From a practicality does one maintain the garment when using the restroom? Speaking from experience with McCall's 3230 wrap pant, keeping the ties clean can become an issue. While I loved the 'wrap' concept, the actual wearing isn't easy; akin to wearing a must nearly disrobe to use the restroom. I remodeled the concept into an elastic-waist, pull-on pant, stitched the leg down to a more modest length about mid-thigh. Got the same 'look' without the troublesome issues and wind-related gaposis!
    S in MT

  10. I am seriously jealous at the topstitching on your cuff and placket! It is so close to the edge and so neat.

  11. I love these pants! Remember "wrap around" pants? I made a green pair in high school. I am also amazed by your beautiful cuffs!

  12. Peter, was wondering if you could outline the techniques they taught you at FIT for doing the shirt. I think you put some of it in another post, but i would be interested in "professional construction techiques" I appreciate following your blog as always.

    1. Maybe not quite that explicitly but I'll come up with something shirt-related when the class is over; maybe a new sew-along.


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