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As every sewist knows, sewing your own pants can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re new to sewing! Today we’re sharing project ideas and tips to help take the mystery out of the pants-making process. We’ve gathered examples of our favorite styles of pants and we’ve paired them with great fabric ideas to get you started. We hope you’ll join in the fun!


Before you begin any part of your project, you’ll want to measure yourself. Fit is especially important for pants, so working with current, accurate data makes a big difference! Need some tips on how to take your measurements? We love this tutorial from Cashmerette!

When we’re trying out a new pants pattern we like to make a wearable muslin. This is a pair of pants that we’ll use to customize the fit—it’s not made out of our best fabric, but it’s still something we’d like to wear. If you’re making elastic waist pants, a wearable muslin of quilting cotton can be an affordable option, and as a plus, you’ve just made a fun pair of pajama pants! If you’re making a more fitted or structured style of pants, sewing shorts is an excellent test of the pattern and fit before you cut into your good fabric.

If you’ve never sewn pants before, elastic waist pants are a fantastic starting point! Sewing this style of pants will help you to understand the process and practice the basic skills of sewing and fitting pants. We love Tula, the Free Range Slacks, and the Miller Trouser for easy, wearable beginner pants patterns. For this style of pants, you’ll want to choose a midweight fabric that is sturdy and opaque, yet flexible enough to gather into an elasticized waistband. We love a yarn-dyed cotton, linen, or a cotton/linen blend for this style of pants.

Trousers are a bit more fitted, with a slightly more polished look. Sewing trousers is a great opportunity to level-up your sewing skills with elements like pleats, pockets, zippers, and decorative stitching. Patterns like Rose and Pietra ease into a more fitted shape with elasticized waistbands at the back, while the Eve Trousers include an invisible zipper and a bit of elastic for a perfect fit. A fabric with some soft structure (think pinwale corduroy or a midweight washed linen) is a great match for a trouser pattern!

Once you’ve got a few pairs of pants under your belt (pants pun intended!), you’re ready to attempt sewing a fitted, structured pair of pants. Whether you choose to sew with denim, another type of twill, or a canvas, a jeans pattern like Chloe, the Ames Jeans, or the Heroine Jeans is a great place to start. Our best advice for sewing a structured pair of pants is to double-check your body measurements, and baste all of your seams to check (and adjust) fit as you go. Sewing fitted pants can be a challenge, but there’s truly nothing like a custom-fit pair of pants—sewing your own is so worth it!