I think this may be the first time a Wardrobe by Me pattern has ever appeared on this blog! Not because I haven’t wanted to sew any of these patterns, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it (story of my sewing life).
But work pants are a huge hole in my closet, so I jumped at the chance to test the new Slim Fit Flat Front Pants from Wardrobe by Me.
These are a classic chino with slim legs. They have a flat front, full zip fly, back darts, and a waistband with belt loops. These photos are of the tester version of the pants, but the final pattern didn’t change much, so they should still give a really good idea of how the final pants look.
Let me start by saying this is exactly the type of pants I wear to the office, and I already have another pair in the works. There are a few things I’d like to tweak about it, and I think I’ll ultimately mash this pattern with the legs from the Love Notions Sabrina Slims (affiliate link), which have a leg shape that fits me really well, for my perfect pair of slim trousers.
But the details on these pants make them very professional. The flat front is great for an office environment, and there is minimal visible topstitching, which definitely reduces the casual vibe, as does the slash pocket.
My one big wish item on these pants is back pockets. Welt pockets would be so classic on this style of pants, but I think Christina didn’t want to overwhelm with techniques in a single pattern. She also alluded that she may do a free add-on for a welt pocket, which would be a very welcome addition.
There were only two things that presented some headaches for me. The first is minor and fairly easily corrected. While I really liked the zip fly installation method (it was the simplest I’ve used so far), it did make it a bit fiddly the sew the front crotch. I will probably change my order of construction a bit in future pairs.
I’ll also change my order of construction to help with my biggest modification to these pants — the leg width. I have slender legs so while some testers found the legs to be too tight, for me they were WAAAAY too loose. I ended up taking a substantial amount of width out of the legs to get them to be slim, and as you can see, they’re still not perfect. On my pair currently in construction, I will change my order of construction so that I can baste the legs together to alter the width before I finish those seams.
Other than that, these pants went together really smoothly! With a few tweaks, they have the potential to be a wardrobe staple for me. I am a pants girl, and this type of business casual pants can be a mainstay of my office wardrobe. I’m tweaking the fit a bit in my next pair (lowering the rise, and working on the leg), but once I have them worked out, I think some basic black and navy will be necessary for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe!
Pattern: Slim Fit Flat Front Pants by Wardrobe By Me
Price: $11.00 (currently on sale for $8.00)
Size: 10 (I probably should do an 8 in the future)
Techniques Required: Pants fitting, Inserting a zip fly, inserting slash pockets, sewing darts, inserting a waistband, turning a thin tube, attaching bias binding.
- Two lengths — capri (26″ inseam) and full length (30″ inseam)
- Stretch woven fabric (3-5% lycra)
- Woven apparel interfacing
- Lining fabric for the pockets
- Bias binding (store bought or homemade)
- 6-7″ metal pants zipper
- 1/2″ button or pants hook closure
- Matching thread
Similar Patterns: Named Alpi Chinos. A few other patterns are similar with important differences, which I have noted: Cali Faye Hampshire Trousers (straight leg rather than slim), Sewaholic Thurlow (trouser legs), Colette Juniper (trouser leg), Love Notions Sabrina Slims (affiliate link) (no closure).
Fabric: This is a surprisingly stretchy cotton woven from Fashion Fabrics Club. It’s a very nice fabric, but probably wasn’t my best choice as it does tend to stretch and relax quite a bit with wear, making me really wish I’d sized down.
Fit: The fit took some tweaking, but with my tweaking it is good. In my future versions, I plan to shorten the rise a bit, as I am short from the waist to the hip, and these come over my belly button. And I took quite a bit of width out of the leg to get them to be “slim” on me.
Modifications: I shortened the inseam by 2″ to a 28″ inseam, and took quite a lot of width out of the legs.
Pattern format: PDF. This PDF is surprisingly manageable for a pants pattern.
- This pattern fills a hole in the indie market for slim trousers with a zip closure. Until now, the only other pattern I knew of was the Named Alpi Chinos, released two years ago as part of their SS14 collection.
- The zip fly installation was really straightforward. It was a method I hadn’t used before, and it was probably easier that the other methods I’ve seen. However, sewing the front crotch seam was really tricky, so this method cuts both ways IMO.
- I like how the belt loops are done — it’s very appropriate for the style of the pants.
- I like the waistband installation — it had a really nice finish.
- I found sewing the crotch seam really fiddly. I will have to work on this in future versions.
- The leg shape presented some issues for me. There were some changes made to the knee placement after this version, which was appropriate, but I still found the legs to be quite wide and I had to remove a lot of fabric, but I have always had slender legs. Still, I would encourage anyone to baste the pants together before finishing so you can adjust the leg width as needed.
- No back pocket. I feel like I just have a huge expanse of a$$ going on right now that would really be helped by back pockets.
- Since the pattern calls for stretch woven with 3-5% lycra, I think it may run a tad big. In the future, I may size down as these pants really grew with wear as the fabric relaxed.
Overall Grade: B-. The fit at the hip and waist is good and the pattern is pretty polished. I really wish there were back pockets, though I think that may be offered as an add on at some point in the future, and the leg shape presented some issues for me. Still, if you’re looking for this type of pants, I think this pattern is a good one and would recommend it.