Hot! The “I Made Pants!” Pants & Skirt

On my about page I make this statement about The Sew Weekly Project: "There are a few exceptions to my everything-in-my-closet rule. I'm not going to make undergarments or jeans." Well, since I made a pair of pants that happen to be made out of denim, I believe I made some jeans.
If I was to describe my nightmare jeans scenario, they would be high-waisted and pleated. And to top things off I'd tuck my shirt in. My stubby little torso would want to beat anyone up who tried to get it into that combo. Enter the 1940s when this look actually produces cute results.


The Pants
Fabric: Denim from Fabric Outlet  ~ $10 for 2 1/2 yards
Pattern: McCall 4803 ~ $.50 from Alameda Antique Faire
Notions: Vintage buttons from estate sale ~$.05
Year: c. 1945
Time to complete: About 10 hours
First worn: February 2010
Wear again? Most definitely. I'll probably live in these until I make another pair.

Total Cost: $10.55

The Blouse
Fabric: Vintage cotton from an Etsy lot  ~ $1.50 for 1 3/4 yards
Pattern: Simplicity 1554 ~ $8.50 from eBay
Notions: Vintage buttons from estate sale ~$.005
Year: c. 1945
Time to complete: About 3 hours
First worn: February 2010
Wear again? Most definitely.

Total Cost: $10

Pants-2This is the second pair of pants that I made from this pattern — the first being pretty much unwearable. The first pair make me resemble Sinbad (both the sailor and the comedian). My issues with my lower half of my body made me make a very tiny seam allowance because I figured "there's no way I can make pants to fit my thighs." After working on the first pair of pants and continually taking them in during the process, I looked at the pattern to see what size I was using. It turned out the pants were a size 36 waist. I think I confused my bust with my waist or something. Yeah, something. So for the second attempt I used the same pattern but realized that I needed to take it in drastically. That's why these pants took 10 hours to make. If the size was actually closer to my size, it would have been fairly simple to complete.

The little buttons at the front are my homage to sailor pants. I didn't want actual sailor pants but I also wanted to add a little flair to the stomach area. Have the seam going right down the middle sort of screamed "look at my baby-bearing belly!" I also attached pants cuffs because they seemed too short without them. Overall, I'm really happy with how they turned out. Sure, the front bunches up a bit but I think that's more a result of my body rather than the construction.

The blouse is my third version of Simplicity 1554 — the American in Paris combo being the first and another blouse that I haven't posted about being the second. I started the blouse last night after Lost and rushed through it since I was tired. The collar would have looked better if I tacked the facing down by hand. Instead I rushed through it with my machine. It's easily fixable when I have more time. The original version of the shirt called for lace edging but I decided to skip that step — next time I'll add it. If you're looking for a 40s blouse pattern, I highly recommend Simplicity 1544!


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. ok, those are darling pants! love that! and what a sweet outfit, too! I wish I wasn’t so short waisted, I love this look!

  2. Lovely pants/jeans. The buttons down the front look great. The blouse is really cute too.

  3. Adorable! The buttons you added to the pants are genius.

  4. The pants are adorable! You can definitely pull it off!

  5. So cute! I love the little “nautical” touch! I hear ya about the vintage pants thing; I do the same thing every time–making it larger when it really doesn’t need to be. haha! I finally got it through my head with the last pair I made (yet to be hemmed linen pants) and didn’t cut them out a size bigger (still had to adjust for 1930s mega-crotch-seam though :p). haha!
    I need to make myself a new pair of jeans this year. I actually just bought a 1949/50 pattern that I plan on adapting for jeans (totally copying Lauren’s jeans project last year: ). Just the idea of getting things to fit correctly AND working with topstitching and denim cools my resolve a bit. rofl!
    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  6. I think you’ve made a great outfit. I really like it.
    This is my first comment on your site so I’d just like to say how much I look forward to seeing what you have made each week.

  7. Love it! Both pieces are great and the red white and blue color scheme works perfectly for a WWII era outfit.

  8. i have to say this is my absolute favorite of all the outfits you’ve made. i love dresses but they’re not very practical for me and my life. it’s even making me want to make a pair of pants like that. now off to search on etsy for the pattern…

  9. CUTE!! Thanks for humoring me.. I was the one that asked about pants ;)

  10. What *is* the deal with the crotch? I had to keep on bring it up and its still lower than normal!

  11. Thanks for encouraging me!

  12. These are sooo cute! just love them!

  13. Your pants really turnedout cute. I love a sailor pant.