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Good pattern for side zip pants

Hansi | Posted in Patterns on

Can anyone recommend a pattern for side zip pants that they like?  My waist is small in proportion to my hips (sounds better than hips large in proportion to waist :>) )and I’ve found that the side zip pants in the department stores fit me best.  I also love it when the facings are elasticized.  I thought I might try making my own. 





  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Jay, most pants patterns can be easily altered to move the zipper to the side. More important is to find one that has shaping details (darts, contoured waistband, or panel seams) that can be adjusted to bring them in closer at the waist. I don't know of a good pattern with an elasticized facing (I'm not sure I quite understand how that would work), but I have found that Burda pants patterns work best for me--and I have the same type of figure (small waist in relation to hips, which I also prefer to "pear shape" or "proportionally large hips").

    Sandra Betzina's "princess pant" (Vogue 7179) has seams running vertically down the front and back of each leg, as well as the usual in- and out-seams, so you can fine-tune the fit in several places around the waist and hips. These have a center back zip, I believe, but you could move it with no problem to the side if you prefer. And remember, you can always adjust darts as needed to bring the waist of any pany in a bit closer if necessary, just remember to alter any facings or waistbands as well.


    1. Hansi | | #2

      Thank you, Carol.  I'll look at those patterns.

      I thought I would try to clarify the elasticized facing thing.  The pants I like don't have waistbands.  The facing has a 1" wide elastic sewn on the inside, both front and back.  They don't look like elastic waistband pants; you can tuck your shirt in and still look very neat.  And they're incredibly comfortable.


      1. carolfresia | | #3

        Are these pants stretch knits, stretch wovens, or regular woven? They sound great!


        1. Crafty_Manx | | #4

          I have several pairs of the same type of pants, I got them at a department store during a sale.  They're made from a stretch woven material.  They look great at work or lounging around and are SO COMFY.  They're waistband-less with darts in the front and back for shaping and an invisible zipper in the left side seam.  The facing is 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide and instead of being interfaced is lined with elastic (serged to the fabric on the long edge).  The facing is tacked down at the darts and seamlines.  I've actually got to replace the zipper in one of my pairs; the kitten got to it and decided to chew the teeth (gods only know why).

          I will keep my eyes out for a pattern that might work (going shopping today!).


          1. Hansi | | #6

            That's exactly what I'm talking about.  If you find something, I would love to know about it.  I looked up the princess pants Carol Fresia suggested on the Vogue Patterns and they do look nice.  I couldn't find a chart for that Today's Fit sizing and thought I'd hit a pattern store this weekend.


          2. betsy | | #7

            I'm yet another waist smaller than hips woman, and I'd love to get pattern numbers that have worked for people. As a 49 year old, I've also found that many pants feel snug in the crotch; I now understand the fit of pants that I used to try on and find the crotch seam too low. I've tried many ways of adjusting pants patterns, but haven't found the right solution for my body yet. Also, If anyone knows of ready to wear pants that would fit, please tell me. That would free me from spending any more time on "practice pants", and let me do some more gratifying sewing. Thanks!  Betsy

          3. SewingSue | | #8

            Betsy, I am another smaller waist then hips gal. I will be 49 this year and have been sewing for many years. Until menopause I really didn't have any problems adjusting patterns to fit. I have been trying for many years to get it "right". For Christmas I bought myself Wild Ginger's Click and Sew casual pant and casual top. Best thing I ever did for myself. The pants fit perfect. They look and feel like they were made for "me". It only took two trys to get the measurements right. After many years of sewing I thought I knew how to take measurements. Read the instructions carefully if you decide to try them out. Their measurements are a little different then you would expect. But they fit. Perfect.

            I have no affiliation with this company. Just a happy customer. Good luck to you. Sue

            P.S. I was so happy with the patterns, I have ordered the full Pattern Master Boutique. Quite a little investment so this was a well thought out decision.

          4. betsy | | #9

            Sue, I will make this brief, because I am very eager to look up Wild Ginger. Thank you!  Several years ago, an "over 50" friend of mine got a tattoo on the top of her foot (beneath where your shoes would tie) because she figured that was one place on her body that wouldn't sag with age. I walk my dogs briskly and faithfully, so I'm trying to accept these physical changes gracefully and chuckle when I can. I  now look forward to doing that in pants that fit! Thanks again, and good luck with the pattern master boutique. We'll all want to hear how that works for you.    Betsy

          5. SewingSue | | #10

            That sounds like a safe spot. I have been searching for a good forum concerning pattern software but haven't really found one yet. Some sporatic discussions here and there but nothing really devoted. If you find one let me know. If you decide to get the software I hope you are as happy with it as I am. I tried all the free downloads I could find and was undecided for the longest time. Patternmaster let's you actually print a pant pattern from the demo but it absolutely did not fit. I tried several times but the pattern sloper was completely different then anything I've seen before and just would not work for me. After reading in the Threads review that you could make custom patterns with Pattern Master Boutique I made up my mind to go for it. I'll let you know how it goes.

            FYI, I saw a couple of eBay auctions for the old 1.1 version of Pattern Master Boutique. Supposedly if you have that you can upgrade to the new 2.2 for 50 dollars. The last time I checked the status of the bid it was 46. I just relooked and it sold for an incredible $153.46. Add shipping and 50 dollars to upgrade and that's more then just buying new. If you do eBay you really need to know your values. Good luck. Sue

          6. carolfresia | | #11

            Sue, have you looked at http://www.fittingtips.com? It's not a discussion board, but a very good resource for users of pattern-drafting software. The women who run it are very knowledgeable about the various types.


          7. SewingSue | | #12

            Carol, I have looked at that site and agree it is a good resource but not exactly what I was hoping to find. I was hoping for a place where others discussed tip and tricks that they have discovered. Kinda like I figured out that you can set the printer to banner print and that cuts down on some of the fitting together of the pieces of paper. I am sure there are many many tips from those that have been working with the software. I am very much looking forward to the full software program. I am so excited, just like a kid in a candy shop. Thankfully I am pretty computer savy and don't really anticipate any great difficulty but it always nice to hear from those that have been doing it. Thanks a lot. Sue

        2. Hansi | | #5

          The ones I'm wearing today are 95% cotton, 5 % spandex.  They look like woven pants.  You  can machine wash them but they need to be line dried or they shrink.  I have 3 pair that just have 4 darts.  My best fitting pair has eight darts and the zipper disappears into a side seam.  I love them!


      2. Allyly | | #13


        Textile Studio makes the Soho Pant pattern which is as you describe.  It looks neat, but fits comfortably with the elastic as facing.  I bought my pattern at Gayfeather Fabrics in Madison, Wisconsin (ads and address in Threads)


        1. Hansi | | #14

          Thank you Rosann!  I'll check it out!


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