How to Make a Trouser Pattern {Sewing School}

Make a Trouser Pattern

We are currently studying the First World War and wanted to make a soldier’s uniform for Abigail. A quick online peruse, and I could not find any patterns specifically for this period. There were lots of ready made costumes, but no instructions on making our own. So I decided to give it a go myself, with the help of my trusty seamstress daughter. When my older ones were little, I made three sets of firemen costumes from felt. They were, even if I say so myself, very cool! I used a pair of their deconstructed pyjamas to give me an idea for the sizing and shape. This post is a very quick and simple method to make a trouser pattern to make some brand new trousers in a bigger size.

Make a Trouser Pattern: Supplies

You will need either some pattern paper or some newspaper paper (both can be bought from Amazon), an old pair of trousers (pyjama trousers are the best because they tend to be simply made without complicated zips or buttons), some tape, a marker and a pair of scissors.

Make a Trouser Pattern: Method

Preparing the Paper

The first thing to do is to make sure your paper is large enough to hold the pattern. Proper pattern paper usually is, but newspaper is sold in separate sheets so you’ll need to tape a few together:

Make a Trouser Pattern

I estimate how much paper I’ll need by holding up the old pyjamas and making sure they are smaller than the paper. Then, I tape the sheets together with gaffe tape:

Preparing the Pyjamas

Next, you’ll need to deconstruct the old pyjamas. I had Becca unpick hers and then cut the waist band off. You only need half of one leg, as you will be cutting four of these pieces out of the material:

Make a Trouser Pattern

Creating the Pattern

Lay the trouser leg on the newspaper, ensuring you have room to expand the pattern on all sides. If you tend towards being sensible and desire an accurately sized pair of trousers you can go ahead and measure the waist of your child and the length you want the trousers to be. I am neither sensible nor terribly accurate, so I just expanded the trouser leg pattern in every which way. This is shown below:

Make a Trouser Pattern

You only need to cut out one paper pattern. For illustration, I have included the other side of the same leg and you’ll see they are exactly the same shape and size:

Cutting Out the Pattern

Cut out the pattern approximately one centimetre from the drawn line. This centimetre will be your seam allowance:

Ironing the material makes the cutting much easier:

Lastly, you’ll need to cut four leg patterns. We folded the material in half and then in half again and laid the pattern on top of the quadruple layer. We could do this because the material was the same back and front:

Make a Trouser Pattern

Alternately (because cutting through four layers of material is hard) you could double and cut, then use the pattern a second time doubling the material before cutting. If your material has a pattern on one side, you will need two of the patterned side and two of the unpatterned side. This will give you the required four separate pieces. Pin and cut:

You will now have the four pieces of material to make a brand new pair of trousers! I will be writing about that in my next sewing post.