Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sewaholic Thurlow Pants Pattern - I recommend!

Pants.  The word strikes fear into the hearts of many sewers, mine included.  Is it an exaggeration to say a good pants pattern is the holy grail of any sewers' wardrobe?  I have been on a quest to find a workable pants pattern for about 3 months, since I foolishly threw caution to the winds, abandoned my facility with dresses and selected V1143 as an outfit that I would make as nominated by one of my blog readers, Ruta.  I have no problem with the pattern, and everyone who comes into my sewing room remarks on how cool the jacket is (gathering dust on one of my dress forms these many months).  But finishing this ensemble requires making pants, something I used to do occasionally but not for a while.

I had made 5 various pants muslins (yes, 5 different patterns, the horror)  3 were paper patterns, and 2 were garment clones of existing pants.  They varied from frightful to just OK, but none were really wearable. So when Tasia asked for pattern testers for her newest Sewaholic design, I responded immediately.

Now the pattern is available for sale and I recommend you give it a try.  Pants are so tricky, they are a multi-dimensional puzzle and a moving target over a lifetime of sewing, however this pattern has lots of nice details that should appeal to many. I have a difference of 12 inches between waist and hip measurement, so her pattern takes the "curvy" figure into consideration which is useful.

Thurlow trouser pattern image
My favorite thing about this pattern is way the pocket and fly turn out.  Very easy to do, and the result is like (or maybe better) than RTW.  For my first attempt I was in a super rush and so made some shorts, mostly so I could give feedback on the pattern markings, fly and pocket construction, etc. I used some denim-look fabric, a poly-cotton plus lycra blend that I bought on super sale at the big chain ("she" who must not be named, formerly a fabric store but now a craft monstrosity, he he). Here are my shorts, which have been worn and washed multiple times already so they have that lived-in look.  I did use the shorts portion of the pattern, and then tapered the legs in quite a bit, as they are slightly wide in order to be able to cuff them as shown on the pattern. 

Denim shorts flat front
As per my usual tendency I did make one change to the pattern, and cut the waistband in half so I had 4 pieces, a right and left front and then right and left back waistband.  No matter what I make or buy, things are generally too big in the waist if they fit my hips, so taking in a bit on the side seam as well as the generous center back seam is a necessity. 

Denim shorts flat side seam
Here is a look at the zipper fly, which comes out really well. In fact when I wrote feedback to Tasia I told her I liked the fly but would probably make a cut-on fly next time I made the pattern. However when I made a 2nd pair, I used her fly pattern pieces and now I think they are super, so she has changed my mind! 
Denim shorts zipper fly
The shorts in action.  As it turns out, I have finally made something that fits into my actual everyday life, i.e. shorts with a t-shirt (my favorite t-shirt bought in Kailua town, Oahu, one of the best places on earth...but I digress).  Looking a bit wrinkly, and shirt tucked into waistband to show off the pockets, photo taken on the last evening of the sewing lesson marathon with my recent student Karen.

Denim shorts worn front

I also made some pants, not my best stitching and a couple of embarassing sewing errors so if you are really interested you can see the photos in this Flickr set

What am I saying here?  "Enough already with the photos.  Put down the camera. Hand me a beer. Look at my cool summer shorts.  They are just like my RTW shorts but I made them. Try this pattern, it is great. Where is my beer?" 


So I am two-for-two with Sewaholic pattern success!  following my Cambie dress.  Thank you to everyone who wrote such nice comments here and on pattern review. That is definitely one of my floral print dresses that falls into the wearable (and re-wearable) category.  But stay tuned for more of my one-hit wonders, there are more to come. To take a different turn this week, I have completed some knit tops, yeah! Trying to keep to my new plan to create useful separates.  

Happy Summer Sewing, Beth


  1. Yours shorts look great!! Pants - yes tricky things. This pattern sounds great, so it's on the list to buy. Thanks for posting.

  2. It is indeed beer-o'clock. The shorts look great on!

  3. Great shorts! It's so weird to see you in a bifurcated garment. :)

  4. I love the shorts! I just received my pattern today. Can you tell me how far below the waist your shorts sit? I can't seem to find that information in the pattern. Thank you!

    1. Hi sewdarnlucky - you asked how the shorts sit on the waist. I am a bit long-waisted despite my not so tall stature, so most RTW jeans land somewhere below my hip bones. I had concern on these since it calls for a 4 inch zipper, but on these the top of the waistband is about 3 inches below my waist (smallest part). Just where I wanted it to be. Also the center back of the pants is a bit longer, so there is good backside coverage :)

  5. You look so relaxed and happy in your casual clothes! Thank you for this detailed review - I also have a 12" difference between waist & hips, so maybe I should check this pattern out, hmmmm....

    If nothing else, little lights of understanding went off with your comment about 4-piece waistbands - I get that I need to try this, thank you!

    Did you get your beer?

  6. Great shorts! You look so happy and carefree in these pictures :)

  7. The shorts look absolutely wonderful!

  8. Well-fitting pants are the holy grail indeed! These look great. I also like your inner monologue in the photo.

  9. Great shorts, one day I may be brave enough to make another pair of pants ( one that actually fits )

  10. Your shorts look fantastic! Hooray for a great pants pattern! Looking forward to seeing your t-shirts too. We are definitely on the same wavelength with creating useful separates!

  11. I love your shorts and review of the pattern. It wasn't on my list to buy, but your review has made me reconsider.