Elastic Comfort for Tailored TrousersA stylish new twist on elasticizing the waist, straight from the French
Wandering through a market in Marseilles, France, on a recent vacation, I saw a man wearing a fascinating pair of slacks. The pants were fully tailored front and back, but directly above each side seam, at the waist, was a deep, V-shaped elastic insertion. I was so taken with this approach to adding comfort to trouser waists without spoiling the elegance of a traditional waistband finish that I couldn’t wait to get home and try it.
The trousers shown here are the results, adapted to a women’s figure, and they’ve proven comfortable and sleek. In the drawings on below, I’ll show you step-by-step how to convert any basic pants pattern into an inset-elastic pant and show you how I constructed the pants shown here. In this case, I removed the entire existing waistband, finishing the pants with a faced waist that stops right at the waistline. As long as your pattern has side-seam detailing that could be cut away, you should be able to apply this insert idea, whether you remove the waistband or not.
Convert your pattern
Work on a copy of any well-tested pants pattern with a waistband, which won’t be used. The pattern can have either a cut-on or a sewn-on fly facing. If your chosen pattern has in-seam side pockets, you’ll need to convert them to slanted pockets or eliminate them.
Create inset opening
Create facing Patterns