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Apr 21, 2014

Next Up: Cotton Jersey Pants!

Today I started working on a pair of lightweight knit pants to go with my lace shirt outfit.

I'm using a very soft gray cotton jersey and am trying for something more interesting than just plain old sweat pants.  To construct them, I'm stitching the seams first with a narrow zigzag on my Kenmore 158.141 (just to hold the two layers together) and then going over the seam with a four-thread serge.

Working from an old Simplicity track suit pattern, I added five inches of width to both of the two fronts, and am using that fullness to create an interesting pleating arrangement, inspired by my book of avant-garde Chinese designs, Flatness Folded.

Another source of inspiration is this photo I found on Pinterest, though with cotton jersey I can't quite recreate the fullness of it.  I'd like to try this in a stiffer fabric like linen in the future.

The crotch and side seams are all finished, so I'm just experimenting with how I want to arrange the front pleats before I finish the waistline, most likely by adding a waistband with elastic in it.  I'm leaning toward pleating the left front beyond the center seam, creating a slight wrap effect.

For tips on finishing, I'm using a pair of H&M cotton jersey lounge pants I own.  Also for adding pockets.  They're very well constructed and have lasted many years.

I hope to finish these pants tomorrow, and I'll be posting my completed project -- pants and lace shirt -- on Thursday.  I can't wait to show you the whole thing.

And that's it for now.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I'm interested to see how these pants turn out in this fabric and also your take on the Flatness Folded book.

  2. Ok, now I gotta' make a denim blazer and Thai fisherman pants. Thanks, Peter! Haha! BTW, Happy Birthday!

  3. Peter - that seam looks great but how did you do it? I need more detail, can't picture running an opend seam through a serger...

  4. Does your kenmore do other stitches suitable for knits apart from just the standard zig zag? How do you enjoy using this machine? I use a 201k for straight stitch sewing, and I adore it. I need something compatible for sewing knits, and a lot of people seem to score the kenmore highly. Unfortunately, since I live in Scotland, I've never even seen one!

    1. Yes, it does a about four utility (stretch) stitches that look a lot like coverstitch stitches.

  5. your projects have the essential ornament that all mine do - puppy hair :)
    Love your blog!
    Amanda xx

  6. The slight wrap is lovely! That photo from Pinterest is fantastic, love both the jacket and the trousers. Great inspiration.

  7. Can't wait to see these! I agree that some H&M clothes are surprisingly well constructed.

  8. I've been seeing fisherman pants on your pinterest page...was wondering what you were up to!

  9. Really interesting. That slight wrap looks good and I also like your other inspiration picture.
    About that one, I think it also has an unusually shaped side seam, which either has a point in it, or there's a box pleat at the side of the garment which only falls open completely at about knee height. Either of which would, of course, only work in a more solid and stable fabric than the cotton jersey you are using now.

    By the way, now that I think of it, I have seen wrap effects on trousers in RTW fashion in recent year, just, you'll have guessed it, in womenswear. Which is funny because I think the look is (at least in part) inspired by traditional East-Asian unisex and menswear.


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