The ‘Midwinter Mole’ slacks

I love skirts, but I loathe tights, so for all that I am super-vintage girl, I wear pants/trousers/slacks (whichever you prefer to call them) almost exclusively all winter long.

So, for the winter challenge, I decided to go for my winter uniform: wool slacks.  It’s not winter here, but I’m sure I’ll get use out of them during every summertime southerly.

I used Butterick 7988, because I’ve been desperate for an excuse to make this pattern every since I bought it:

Since I’m not doing the adorable safari styling, have you noticed why I was so excited about making the pattern?  No?  Scroll back up to the top and look at the first image again.  See it?  No?

Want another look, without any photoshop at all?

See it?!?  See it?!?

Or rather, see what isn’t there?

Yep, no side seam.  It’s all done with a dart at the side.  I love it!

Unfortunately, some of the other things with these pants aren’t so fab.  I got distracted cutting them and made a major boo boo:

Eeek.  That’s an 8″ cut straight up the leg from the hem on the inside front edge.

I mended it with some bias tape and fabric fuse, and overstitched with machine darning.  It will help, but the slacks are never going to be perfect again.  Boo.

Still, they are great pants, the interior finish is rather nice, and they go with everything in my wardrobe.


Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric: 1.5 metres of wool with a subtle tartan pattern in blue, grey and beige ($8)

Pattern: Butterick 7988

Year: mid 1940s

Notions: One invisible zip (stash) and vintage bias binding (20 cents)

And the insides? Bias-bound rise, overlocked inseams, bias-turned hem.

Hours: 8.  I spent a lot of time fussing with the hem and cuff/no cuff

First worn?: Monday 3 Dec for the photoshoot

Wear again?: Yep.  It goes with everything in my wardrobe.

Make again?: Yes!  And I want shorts made from this pattern.

Total cost: $8.20

So why are they the ‘Midwinter Mole’ slacks?  Well, because the pattern calls them slacks (not trousers or pants), I started them while watching a very appropriate episode of Midsummer Murders (it centred around a bespoke tailors, there was lots of talk of tweed, and all the murders were committed with tailors sheers), and finally, what colour thread matched the fabric best?

Mid Mole!  Best thread colour name ever!


Leimomi Oakes - The Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes learned to sew as a child in Hawaii, and hasn't spent a day without doing it in the-more-years-than-she-would-like-to-admit-to since. When she was 18 she was nicknamed 'The Dreamstress' and bought the domain name, and now she's stuck with it. After getting degrees in Art History, Costume Design and International Relations she worked in a number of fabulous museums before going freelance as a textile and fashion historian and historical seamstress. She lives in Wellington New Zealand with a lovely husband and a world-famous cat.


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  1. Oohhhhh….pretty : ) I love pants with no side seam. I used to have a pattern like this that I can no longer find. I LOVE it that you can put it with such a variety of tops. And the thread name, what a hoot! It reminds of the night my Olivia kitty brought me a present. I heard her come in, felt her burrow her way under the covers and then felt a small, very silky little creature run up the entire length of my leg. I sat up, pulled the covers off and found a very scared little mole, about the color of your thread! I scooped it up, took it outside and wouldn’t let any kitty’s out the rest of the night. She was MAD at me : ) It’s a very pretty shade of grey, lovely pants : )

    • I’m glad you appreciate the tops – it was so warm when I did this photoshoot, not at all winter-y, and I got so hot and grumpy taking on and off every top (and of course with such high-waisted pants I had to unhook and unzip them every time to tuck in my tops properly). I was a very flustered and pink dreamstress when I was done!

      Oh my goodness! Kitty brought you a mole? I used to sit very still and watch them come out of their holes in Cali, but I never managed to see one up close. I’m pleased to know they are really that colour!

  2. Those are beautiful, and I think they look especially good with your aloha blouse in the first photo. I have to admit to being very curious about your post when I saw the little thumbnail with snow in the background….snow, this time of year in NZ??

    • Thank you! I do particularly like them with that blouse – I’ll definitely wear that outfit dancing.

      There is still snow down on the mountains in the South Island this time of year – especially after the weather we have been having. But Wellington never gets snow like that, and I’ve never seen snow like that in my life. So I had a play with photoshop to pretend ;-)

  3. So stylish and versatile with so many tops! I love your photoshopped feature picture! Snow in NZ. ;)

  4. Oh wow Leimomi what a great cut and so flattering too. Boo about the cut but it sounds like a great save and yay for no side seam. The insides look great and with all the different tops you can wear with them, versatility wins.

  5. Love these! A beautiful silhouette on you with all your blouses. I would also be super excited about no side seams, very nerdy/cool. Your finishing is immaculate. I like the pop of matching color of the zip and binding.