How to Make Soldier’s Trousers {World War 1}

Making soldier’s trousers

As you all know, we have been learning all about World War One. As is our norm, the girls will be doing a presentation to mark the end of the unit. Abigail will be dressing up as the only woman ever to fight on the frontlines in the Great War: Flora Sandes. So we needed to make soldier’s trousers for her to wear for the occasion. I have already posted about how Becca made a trouser pattern. In this post I will be showing you how to make a pair of soldier’s trousers.

How to Make Soldier’s Trousers: Cutting and Sewing the Basic Pattern

Remember to iron the material first:

Using the pattern we made from old pyjamas trousers, cut four separate leg pieces:

Keep any strips of material left over, as we will be using these to make the puttees (material wrapped around the lower legs of soldiers to provide protection from dirt and insects):

Pin or clip two pieces together. If your material is the same back and front then it is as simple as matching two pieces together. Pin all the way down the long side and all the way up the straight part of the short side. Leave the top, which will become the waist band, and the curved edge which will become the crotch and bottom area:

Do the same to the other two pieces:

Make soldiers trousers

This is how they should look.

Loving our new clips:

Choose some matching thread, and you are ready to sew:

sew along the pinned areas on both legs:

Turn one pair the right side out:

Keep the other leg, inside out:

Make soldier’s trousers

Making Soldiers Trousers: Sewing the Pieces Together

Sewing the Crotch and Bottom areas

Place the leg, which is the right way out, inside the leg which is inside out. Ensure the long sides of both legs are together:

Make soldiers trousers

And Aline the curved edges together:

Pin the top two curved edges together, and then pin the lower two curved edges together:

Make soldiers trousers

Sew where you have pinned, leaving about a centimetre hem allowance:

Remove the inside leg from the outside leg:

The resulting item should resemble a pair of trousers without a waist. Becca thought they looked ginormous, hence the look on her face!

Make soldiers trousers

But when Abigail tried them on, they were the perfect fit:

Making Soldier’s Trousers: Finishing Them Off

Sewing the Waistband

Fold the waistband inside the trousers, making it about five centimetres wide (or wide enough to fit your elastic). Pin and sew, leaving a small area to thread the elastic through:

Using a bodkin, thread the elastic through the waistband casing. Pin the two ends of the elastic together and stitch until firmly attached. Hand sew the gap left in the waistband:

Try the trousers on and contemplate a career in modelling instead of one in sewing 🤣

Make soldiers trousers

Then, hand them over to their actual owner and have them take a twirl:

I bought an army shirt from the army surplus shop. This will be used as AB’s army jacket and decorated as such. Thomas lent us his belt and I bought an army hat. She’s not looking too shabby, is she?

Make soldiers trousers

I am chuffed with the costume so far, although it may not be perfectly authentic. Next term we’ll be making medals to ‘decorate’ the uniform with.

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