SWAP Sewing: Olive Capri Pants

Okay, these weren’t on my original drawing.  You caught me!  But I think I’m going to sneak them into my SWAP because I like them so much.  Maybe they’ll replace the black french terry gauchos with the ruched waist (that I haven’t made yet).  This was my first try at “real pants” for me.  And I’d call it a success.  I learned a lot in the process, and know what changes to make with the next pair.

I used an olive cotton ripstop fabric with a touch of lycra for stretch.  I got it at JoAnn’s and it was crazy cheap, regular price was $4.99/yard, and it was on sale for half off.  So, the fabric for these cost me a whopping five bucks.  The weight is okay, nice for summer, but a bit lighter than I’d like for winter bottom  weight fabric.  I really like the ripstop texture, as it gives these a sportier look.  I’ll admit, I went back to JoAnn’s and picked up more of this fabric in khaki and dark olive.

The pattern I used is #13 in Ottobre 2/2008, which is shown as wide leg linen pants.  I shortened them to a capri length that falls just below my knee.  The biggest issue I had with the pattern was the fit.  I chose a size based on my measurements, then traced and cut.  As I was sewing, I tried on and realized that they were too big, so I took in the seams to make them smaller.  I really feel I could have gone down two sizes on the pattern and been just fine.  I’m not sure how much of that has to do with the fact that the fabric has a little stretch, though.  The fit is comfortable, but I prefer a lower waist than is show in this style, so if I were to make this pattern again, I’d lower the waist by at least an inch.  Of course, this is a personal preference rather than an issue with the pattern itself.

I have to say I’m insanely proud of how well the zipper fly came out on these pants.  It is practically perfect and lies nicely flat.  I guess I have an aversion to sewing using the “right” color of thread, because I stitched these up with contrasting baby blue thread.  I went a little crazy with the bar-tacks on these as well, but I feel like the added details make them look less “homemade”.  Once again, I used a pretty piece of gingham ribbon as a tag, sewn into the back waistband.

The details continue on the back with patch pockets.  I added belt loops on these after they were done out of necesity, since they are a tad too big.  But, I’ve worn them many times since I made them, so the size issue hasn’t kept me from enjoying them.  This has been a huge step for me, getting past the fear of sewing pants for myself.

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5 Responses to “SWAP Sewing: Olive Capri Pants”


  1. 1 Weedwacker June 5, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Would you be willing to model them for us, your loyal readers?

  2. 2 Dianne B. in England June 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    You have a right to be proud of that zipper fly — it looks absolutely perfect in the photo. That is always my biggest challenge in sewing trousers, and I usually end up looking at patterns with side zips instead. Well done to you! Best regards — Dianne B. in England

  3. 3 Sun-Kissed Savages June 10, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Those look fantastic. I’m not at that ability level yet, but it is inspiring. I have 3 boys, and I need to sew SOMETHING for them!!

  4. 4 mermaids June 13, 2009 at 3:18 am

    terrific pants! yes, lycra in the fabric makes a difference in the sizing. this pattern is on my “to sew” list.

    teri

  5. 5 Agnes Nz June 17, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Amazing pants!
    I am impressed by your sewing…


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