PANTS: 1 Pattern = 3 Designs

PANTS: 1 Pattern = 3 Designs

My Capitola Pant Pattern (PAPER) is a winner and the perfect choice for these 3 Fall variations. To get the fit you want, start by taking a few measurements of your favorite comfy pants. How wide are they across your hip? stomach? and around the thigh and calf? An inseam measurement will give you a good sense of the leg length too. By comparing your measurements (remember to divide the waist, hip and stomach measurements in 1/2) to the Capitola pattern (PDF) piece out flat, you can easily adjust before cutting into your fabric. Follow the suggestions in the prep section of the pattern to get started

 Suggestion: No matter what size you are making, cut the pattern out on your size then all the way up to the xl waist fold cutting line. This gives the length needed to determine how much crotch seam it will take to the front, sides and center back for the finished pants to be really comfortable ! 

Once I determine that line in fabric, I make a copy of the pattern with MY waistline and fold-over …everyone's will look different depending on where your fullness is…This part is worth doing! See in the directions in the pattern for using your elastic to determine the perfect waist line and adjusting it in fabric once the pants are sewn up.


I have used the same pattern for a drapey soft pant, a more fitted spandex version and even some leggings! It is easy to do by pleating the pattern piece as shown in the directions. I mark my copies by stitching a piece of the fabric on the adjusted pattern piece, so it is always ready to drop onto a new piece of fabric and cut it out! 

My 3 Fall Versions-

                                 #1 Pieced Linen Pant-

These pants were pieced, serged then washed and dried BEFORE cutting out with the pattern. By making 2 pieces, slightly bigger than the pattern piece, and serging around the edges there will be enough when they come out of the dryer.

This gives that soft, relaxed, rumpled look that some of us like. Once the pieces are cut out, handstitching is my next step…so easy when the pieces are flat.

A 2-3” hem/facing piece was added to this version for weight and finish at the bottom. 

 For this pair, a soft, lightweight cotton (see below) was added as the fold-over to hold the elastic…that way, whatever piecing is at the waist, it doesn’t add bulk. Sometimes darts can be added in the back to eliminate some of the bulk if there is enough width to pull them on. 

                                    #2 Soft & Wrinkled-

These pants are cut out as a soft roomy version, with enough ease to drape nicely when finished. The fabric was washed to start.  Once the pants were finished, they were wet and twisted…like wringing water out.

Each leg could be twisted in opposite directions or both legs twisted together. Next let them hang to damp, them shake them gently to start ‘opening’ them up.

Once they are completely dry, try on and determine placement for the ties and stitched details at the ankles. Repeat the same twisting process. In between washings sometimes they need a bit of water spayed on them and twisted for a while. Natural fabrics will relax, and will start to get a nice memory as you continue to do this.  


                     #3 Foldup Pocket Pant with Topstitching-

This technique is an easy way to add several cool details BEFORE cutting out the pants! For these pants you might want to make a pattern piece for each leg. Leg #1 with Pocket- Holding the adjusted pattern piece up to yourself. Determine the line for the pocket to open on ( and on which leg). That line can be drawn across the pattern piece. Next, with the fabric panel lining up with the top of the pattern,  fold a 9" pocket (which will take 18"s of fabric). Place the folded edge on the line drawn for the opening, *Next, pull the fold 2-3 " (towards the pocket) for a hand opening from the *edges of the fabric then pin the pocket line and where you want the pocket opening to be. Machine stitch from the inside, then topstitch on the outside.  

With heavier fabrics, you have the option to trim away  (on the inside) the areas as indicated below. It may not be needed with light weight fabrics. Once the pocket line is secure, cut out the leg from the pattern piece. 

Leg #2 with Vertical Pleat & Layered Hem-Separate the second leg on a vertical line over the knee. Add seam allowances to both cut edges and set aside. The overlapping layer at the bottom is an inverted version of the pocket in leg #1. My flap is 5"deep which means 10" of fabric folded up. Fold flap in place and press. Next, cut the hem length of the pattern piece. Note: A hem facing piece can be added to finish both pant legs at the end if desired. Next add a vertical dart in the middle of the piece (where the side seam would be) and stitch it closed to a point at the inside fold line. The dart is optional, but accentuates the silhouette that the flap creates. Drop the flap back down and topstitch across the top of the flap to hold. Now add the center front piece and sew from hem to waistline. Next check leg #2 with pattern piece and trim the edges as needed. Press vertical seam flat and topstitch from top down.

More variations to come...I am wearing these out already! I hope you explore some design options with your favorite pants patterns to enjoy this fall.  DIANE



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I am getting ready to sew my first pair of these pants. Your crotch seam information is a bit unclear but I will make the pants anyway as I don’t expect much in the way of change. The pocket on the front of your current pdf pattern is really cute and I would love a copy. However, I think that this pattern will be mine to play with and sew for some time. Thanks for it.

Marta Sullivan

I love the pieced version!! I just ordered the Capitola pattern…can’t wait to add these to my project list! (ever growing) I’ve made the short linen shrug; so cute! I’m always inspired by your journal posts!! Thank You!

Cindy Chavez

Very interesting take on your pattern Diane. I love the pieced version.


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