Puns N Needles

Dispatches from my adventures: sewing, knitting, and otherwise.

Mission: Pants


My pants-making mission continues. I fondly recall 2000-2001 when I made multiple versions of a pants pattern that fit quite nicely – I had shorts and capris, too. I wear pants a lot more than skirts or dresses and have committed to making more. That 14 year old pattern is missing and, let’s be honest, wouldn’t fit anyway.

I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about making pants that fit and have used the following tools:

  • Craftsy classes: Jeanius and Pant Fitting Techniques
  • Fit for Real People Palmer/Pletsch
  • Various sewing blogs and pins on Pinterest
  • New Mexico State University extension tutorials
  • Singer and Vogue sewing reference books.

I’m eagerly awaiting another book purchased on eBay: Pants for Any Body (also Palmer/Pletsch).

Palmer Pletsch book on pants fitting

Palmer Pletsch book on pants fitting

And while wandering around the antique mall with the Machinist yesterday, I found what is my new favorite resource for pant-making.

$1 antique mall bargain

$1 antique mall bargain


It cost a dollar – I couldn’t resist. I love the cover image – classic 1963 graphics – but had a feeling it might be geared toward sewing with heavy polyester knits, or super high-waist styles. It’s only 64 pages long (including an index) and there are ads on the back of the dust jacket.

But what is inside is priceless.  The preface begins, “Until World War II, pants were a man’s prerogative, designed for men by men. Then Mother became an inventor of necessity. Off to defense plants she went, doffing aprons, donning pedal pushers, Capris, Bermudas, Jamaicas, and even short shorts. The clothing industry was caught with its preparedness down.”

That’s right! Not that many generations before me, women only wore dresses and skirts. A girl or woman sewing in 1963, when Else Tyroler published Sewing Pants for Women, may not have had many resources available for sewing pants.  Besides the perspective provided in this book, and the goofy humor, there actually is some good instruction. As a matter of fact, the basic concepts have remained for 40+ years. I believe I’m ready to get on with the pants fitting, to stop thinking about it and start doing it.


Author: Accacia

I'm a librarian at a college in Lexington, Virginia. I sew, I knit, and I cook.

2 thoughts on “Mission: Pants

  1. I was born in 1954. My father would let us wear pants at home to work in the garden or to round up and chase the cows. But if we went to town then we had to change to a skirt or dress. No pants were worn to school either. My memory is that all changed in the late 1960s when I was still in high school. It was not easy getting daddy to change his mind. My sister’s mini skirts might have helped my cause. I also made all my clothes at that time. My attempt at making blue jeans was full of broken needles trying to sew across the thick seams.

  2. Pingback: I made some pants and I’m so excited. | Puns N Needles

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