May 17, 2010


After a month of tops, and six dresses, I am finally back to pants fitting again - in particular summer white pants. I think I made a pair of white pants last summer, or maybe it was the summer before, but alas, I was not actually happy with them after the first wearing. I think they were made from some type of white sportswear, but it turned out the fabric was really stiff even after washing several times. I'm not into rearing cardboard pants! During my 2009 Sewing Expo trip I bought some stretch cotton sateen for white pants because I had read some where that it was suitable for pants. I finally got around to using the sateen last week for my summer white pants. The results...wrinkled fabric that I really don't think I'll be able to iron to perfection. Egad!!! CAN SOMEONE PLEASEEEEEEEE RECOMMEND SUITABLE FABRIC FOR MY SUMMER WHITE PANTS??? I know what I'm looking for:
  • a fabric that is completely washable
  • something with a little stretch
  • something that I can at least press the wrinkles out of.
Does this type of fabric really exist??? Like I said before I tried sportswear, and I've also tried the gabardine that is available at Hancock's - and it has to much drape/or is a little too light weight. In searching the internet I found two stores that sell a stretch chino twill, but I don't know exactly what that feels like. I once owned a pair of RTW pants that were said to be chino and I LOVED THEM, but I'm not sure the stretch chino twill is the same thing.

Well, anyway, here's a picture of my wrinkly new summer pants. Will I wear them? Not sure yet.I worked with my slightly vintage TNT Simplicity pattern - which I still find myself tweaking. The last time I used this pattern I adjusted the crouch. This time I decided to go down a size because previous pairs were just too big on me. I had to finally realize that I am not size 20 in the hip area. In using this pattern before, I cut the larger size and just increased the seam allowances to fit. I decided that trying scale down the larger size was just creating too much work. Fitting fear has me bound. I always figure you can always decrease, but it's not always possible to increase the size. I'm just afraid of making the pants too small and wasting my fabric.

(shirt in to show the fit)
(did you notice that I installed my zipper to the wrong side. It was too perfect to remove, so I just left it in)

(Shirt out...shirt will be worn out)

I just need to do the buttonholes/buttons and hem and they will be finished. Then to see if I'll wear them.


  1. Ah, the quest for wearable white pants. Last year I used cotton twill and lined them with the same fabric, but of course twill has no stretch so that's out. Good luck and so share what you come up with.

  2. Ah Tanya had the same response that I had but Fabric Mart actually has some available right now:


    for $6.99 per yard. I bought this with my last box and when I opened it up actually thought that it would make a great pair of jean-like pants.

  3. I really like stretch cotton sateen for comfortable and low maintenance pants. It wears well and gets a little velvety after a few wash and dry cycles.

  4. I think a cotton with spandex would work.

  5. I think Carolyn and I had about the same idea. This might be a different one though. Worth checking out. It's 4.98/yd.

  6. I like cotton lycra sateen. I love the surface of it. I'd make any pockets out of skin colored lining so that they don't show.

  7. Anonymous5/17/2010

    This post has given me severe pants fitting envy. I must get back to this pants fitting thing but after working without success for a month, I had to take a break.

    If you have the patience, I say order swatches and see what you like the best. I would love something like a linen/cotton/lycra blend. But a cotton twill/gab with a little lycra would work very well. I love sateen for skirts but have not tried it for pants (yet).
    Blogger is refusing to let me sign in with my Wordpress account).

  8. I love Carolyn's idea about the cotton twill... I am also a fan of linen...

  9. Stretch poplin? I have some, and it's nice and light and not wrinkly.


  10. No ideas on a good fabric but I do think you have achieved a nice fit on those pants. Wear them a few times - maybe the fabric will soften a bit.

  11. White ticking would be hardwearing and unusual for pants.

  12. I used white cotton sateen recently, but it still needed lining. I have always shied away from white. EricaB made beautiful white pants last summer I think and at the time she showed pictures of an expensive designer brand (don't remember which one) that still had pocket show through. It's such a difficult colour to work with that I rarely use it. Your pants look great, though, and I think the fit is excellent.

  13. I don't have any fabric ideas but wanted to say that the fit of these pants look great! I am slowly working away at fitting pants right now and hope I come up with good fit too.

  14. Is there a thick white ponte out there?
    Or a cotton pique twill that has some stretch?
    I agree- it looks somewhat elusive!
    Good luck Faye!

  15. What about a cotton broad cloth or pique with some synthetic something in it for lessening the wrinkles and having some give? I don't know if something like this exists or not. These look great on you. Perfect fit! I figure that people expect some wrinkles after having them on all day, so I'd just go ahead and wear them.

  16. Or what about one of the cotton blends that is supposed to look wrinkled. I don't know what you would call this fabric, but I have a couple of pair of capris from this fabric that I bought RTW.

  17. Wow, I need to get back to my pants project! I have a white cotton/poly blend that I bought at Metro textiles last year for yet-to-be-made pants. Good luck!

  18. Faye, a lot of these ladies are all on point...I've had nothing but success using any type of cotton fabric with "stretch" (lycra). That's the key! Whether it's stretch twill, poplin etc., I think you'll be pleased. Sounds like a new "sew along" category! Good Luck!

  19. Faye ,how about bull denim or might it be too heavy? I intend to make a pair in June after my trip to Montreal. I'll let you know how they turn out.

  20. I have a heavy white sateen with a bit of lycra that I got from fashion fabrics club last summer. They pants that I made from it have worn really well!

  21. Oh dear, it's too bad the fabric is not wearing well. They're a great looking pair of pants!

  22. Maybe white linen? good luck :)

  23. Ah, the quest for the perfect pants fabric... good luck! That stretch chino twill sounds pretty good, I'd give that a try myself...
    I nearly always make loose white summer pants of linen, but then I like the crumpled look. Stretch gabardine is a great fabric; the top-of-the-legs creasing I think is always going to be an issue, but is somewhat minimised with this kind of fabric...

  24. I am thinking about a Polyester Crepe, rayon blend gabardine or 8oz stretch denim.

  25. The zipper thing is no big deal, I've done that plenty of times. They look great as far as white fabric, I would try a lightweight denim or bottom weight with stretch, a linen blend, or a stretch poplin.




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  • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
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  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • Couture Sewing Techniques
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  • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
  • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
  • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
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