Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Making the Perfect Summer Pants: Vintage Pattern + Bamboo Fabric

While summer is technically a week away, the hot weather temperatures are already showing up around here and testing the limits of our pre-summer wardrobes.  It's time to sew for the season and I've just found a great combo - bamboo fabric + vintage pattern revamp!

Recently, I'd been a bit frustrated that my little lady had outgrown the go-to pants patterns I had.  I've got loads for knit leggings and baggy pajama bottoms in her size, but none with the perfect rise and cut for everyday wear in wovens.  I'm really particular about fit for pants and wanted to get sewing instead of spending time drafting, tweaking & testing. Sometimes you just want to start making something, right?

Then, serendipitously, while I was sifting through patterns I don't use - to thin things out - and I stumbled on this vintage pattern my mom had given me years back when she was purging her stash.  I'd never noticed that it wasn't just overalls & a jumper dress before.  It had pants too!!  It only includes size 6, which up to now had been too big for her, but is now ideal.  It's weird how back in the day patterns were available in just a single size!  I have seen some available on Etsy in case you want to grab one too.  These classic designs are still in style with the right fabric choices:

For fabric I was going to use up some quilting cotton, but then found this bamboo twill eco fabric my sister had gifted me with over a year ago (FYI I did find it's still available here).  This stuff is SO much nicer than woven cotton.  It has a lightweight and silky hand to it.  Yet, while I loved how soft & lovely it felt, I'd had no idea what to do with it.  Until now.

This fabric is perfect for summer pants.  Its fluttery feel keeps things breezy and cool.  My daughter tried them on and instantly said "Oooo, these feel so soft!!" and started prancing around.

After basic hemming, per the pattern, I added four rows of shirring at the bottom of each leg to give them the harem style that seems to be a popular look right now and help them flutter a bit more.  Added practical bonus, it keeps bugs out when frolicking in the grass.

These were such a quick sew and I love how the fabric and fit are comfy and cool.  Some days covering the legs is needed, but you don't want to bake from trapped heat in jeans or some knits.  I also love that I used up some more of my stash to make a "bought from a catalog" look.  I'm going to try a few with cotton to see how they turn out and despite my stash busting goals, keep my eyes open for some more of this sort of fabric.  This mom's going to need some comfy, airy pants too;)



  1. I wish adult patterns were in one size. It used to be much easier when that tissue paper was ready to use in your size right out of the packet. I do like kids' patterns that I use over and over to be in multiple sizes, though. Ha... I want the best of both worlds. Cute pants, Cheryl and interesting to hear your thoughts on bamboo fabric. I'll have to start looking for some.

    1. I hear you Pam - I wish they were pre-cut too. Would be a huge time saver! And I agree on wanting adult patterns in single size, but still having the variety in the kids since they grow so fast. It would be nice if they were written like they used to be too. I never have any issues working with vintage patterns, but new patterns can require some serious deciphering. I'm surprised how much I liked this bamboo fabric and now want more of that as well.


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