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How-to

Patterns: Wide Leg Pants

Nov 03, 2011
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Patricia Keay's original design

In Threads issue 158, Fundamentals: Lining Pants 101, Patricia Keay demonstrates now to line pants using her own wide leg pant design. We here at Threads, and many of our readers, love the flattering silhouette of her pants. We asked Patricia to recommend a similar wide leg pattern and to share her insights into this popular style.

Patricia says that she likes pants that “have a flowing or swishy quality. I think wide leg pants are more feminine because of the ‘A-line’ shape.” She recommends Simplicity pattern 3686 due to the overlapping waistband and great cut. To add the extra fullness and pleats Patricia says, “You can add fullness by vertically slashing and spreading the front of pants. I added the additional width evenly up to the yoke.” 

She also recommends making a mock-up fitting garment in muslin to determine if you like how they fall. Referring to her pant design she says, “I made a muslin and tried pinning the pleats either towards or away from the center front to see which looked better. I opted to fold them towards the center front because I thought they draped better.”

Other wide leg pants patterns
In addition to Simplicity 3686, here are a few other patterns to consider.

McCall’s 6403 view E and New Look 6873 view C have waistline pleats giving them extra fullness. For an easy, casual look try Butterick 4807 view B in knit fabric. To get a more tailored style consider Simplicity 2562 that has optional cuffs. And finally, try Vogue 1050 with a side pleat for an artistic style.

Styling tips
Not sure if the wide leg pant style is for you? Check out Angela Wolf’s wide leg write-up for PatternReview.com. Read her tips on how to get the appearance of extra length and things to consider when choosing a style.

What do you love about wide leg pants? What pattern do you recommend?

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  1. carolhenderson November 11th

    I have been using Burda 2938 with a few modifications for several years now. It is a straight leg pattern which is easily converted to a wide leg. However since I am only 5' tall, I like to wear my pants fitted to the knee. At this point I increase the width gradually to the hem adding 1" to each of the four bottom seams. This works especially well with soft "silky" fabric and is quite comfortable and flattering.

  2. LaurieDiane November 8th

    Great post and I like seeing you mention Angela Wolf's article through PatternReview.com I have the Vogue pattern in my stash and with your reminder here of great wide leg pants I will pull that one out. I just got this issue, love your magazine and your online articles.

  3. ustabahippie November 7th

    I made New Look 6873 (above) in lightweight medium gray pinwale stretch corduroy and they are fabulous! I have been longing for wider legs and waists back at the waist. I love low-slung skinny jeans, too, but it's just time for something different.

  4. Esmarelda November 7th

    The pants are beautiful and stylish. I am 5'3" so I don't feel they are for me...but on someone tall they would be fantastic!

  5. User avater WayOutWest November 7th

    Looks like I wasn't the only one asking!!! I was looking at the magazine this weekend and looked everywhere for the pattern number and for where one could get that georgous clutch/handbag seen with the pants! I'll check out some of the patterns listed above, but was hoping to whip something up quickly in time for the holidays. Right now I just don't have the time for modifying and re-fitting a pattern. Will keep all in mind for future use. But...love the pleats and style of Patricia Keay's pants. Definitly would love to see her make a pattern for these.

  6. User avater eatsallinsects November 7th

    I have used Sandra Betzina's one-seam pants pattern for several (about 15?) pair and love them! Silk dupioni for the most part and some in drapery-weight linen. Some with cuffs and some without.

  7. User avater Stitcher75 November 4th

    I have been looking for a good wide leg pants pattern for awhile now. I was excited to see them featured in the most recent issue of Threads. I finally found Burda 3927 on eBay. The picture is VERY 80's (what were we thinking????), but I think with the right fabric and a few modifications I can come up with just what I've been looking for!

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