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Dec 24, 2010

Purrrrfect holiday sewing: Men's Leopard Pants!

What is it about Christmas and leopard?  They just go together.

Yesterday, my back nearly back to normal, I got started on my leopard pants project; why wait?  I'm using my TNT Kwik Sew 2123 mens jeans pattern from 1991, with a few minor alterations to the pattern like a lowered waistline.

I love the fabric, which has a wonderfully soft nap.  I just want to roll in it.


I picked up a few necessary notions locally -- a zipper for the fly and some thread.  Initially I thought I'd topstitch with black thread left over from my toggle coat project, but it looked too dark.  I also tried a cream color but that was too light.  I settled for a traditional rust like you'd find on denim jeans and which happens to blend in well with the leopard spots.

I experimented a lot with topstitching on the cotton velvet with my new Singer 15-90 treadle.  Rust on left, cream on right:


My machine:

The thing about cotton velvet, leopard print or otherwise, is that it's somewhat pillowy.  My first flat felled seams connecting the right and left back yoke came out fine, but they were a bit thick-looking and cotton velvet can't easily be pressed.  Here's the seam from the wrong side.

I decided that for this project I'd use the faux flat felled seam method.  Rather than stitching wrong sides together, cutting one side of the seam allowance down to 1/4" and folding the other (5/8") side over the narrower allowance and topstitching, I'm stitching right sides together, serging my seam allowance, and topstitching the serged allowance down approximately 1/8" from the seam and then 1/4" from that seam.  It looks identical to an actual flat-felled seam but it lays much flatter.

Here's a sample -- nice and flat.

I didn't get terribly far and I'm not sure I can finish them today, but I did get the back done -- no pockets or waistband yet of course -- and Michael was willing to let me drape them on him just to give you an idea of where we're going with these. 

Quite leopard-y, wouldn't you say?

Friends, let's face it: if you're wearing leopard pants, it's not because it happens to go with your sweater.  It's all about that cat print.  We'll see how these turn out and whether they ever get worn out of the apartment.

I imagine many of you are traveling or shopping or baking or vacuuming today -- and perhaps even sewing!  I wish you well in your endeavors.  Rest assured, Male Pattern Boldness will be back tomorrow. Like Santa, there's no rest for the blogging elves on Christmas!

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Hi Peter.- Only wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. My best wishes for another year full of happy sewing ...!!!

  2. Love, love, love them and can't wait to see the finished product! As Christmas is now only four hours away (for us) I'm wishing you, Michael and the puppehs a very Merry Christmas from Oz.

  3. I love, love leopard, and these are going to be fabulous! I bought some leopard that is languishing in my stash that wants to be a pair of pants, but I'm not sure that my hips want them to be pants. I may go for it anyway; you've inspired me.
    Happy sewing in the new year.

  4. The faux flat felled seams were a good decision.

  5. Rrrrr! Fabulous.
    And yes, don't even think of flat-felling velvet.

  6. Mm, so christmasy. Now I want leopard stockings for Christmas.

    I am hoping to get my coat finished today, but we had a sudden and not entirely expected influx of relatives so I'm not sure how productive anything will be.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Very cool!!! My family celebrates together today, so I have the next 2 days to work on my Crepe muslin for Gertie's sew-a-long..woohoo!!

  8. I am not sure I would be brave enough to wear those out of my home. Nor am I sure that my husband would let me wear them out of the bedroom ;)

    Have a Happy Christmas!

  9. Your enthusiasm, skill and productivity continue to impress me. Those pants are awesome. Enjoy!

    Will the scraps be used for doggie coats?

  10. Peter - those are adorable on you! Wow! Jealous.

  11. I think they look really good on Michael. Merry Christmas, Happy Sewing.

  12. Great looking seams! Merry Christmas. I've pulled out some fabric and a pattern. Little chunks of time pop up and I am moving forward on my next project. That's good because I have not sewn for about 2 weeks and getting cranky.
    Those pants are so fun!

  13. Does anyone know where men can buy this kind of leopard trousers or order this kind of cotton/velvet fabric online? I'd be grateful for your help! Alex


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