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I have an aversion (possibly unreasonable) to the term 'hack' when used to describe an alteration on something existing. I'm pretty sure it stems from all those clickbait articles a few years back, promising 'Seven Life Hacks That Are Borderline Genius!'. Around the same time there was a glut of articles telling us we've been 'doing it all wrong' all our lives. I don't know about you, but I haven't seen a single human start to peel their bananas from the bottom end after being educated by the internet.

So in other circles this might be called a 'pattern hack' but I'll stick with 'slight alteration'.

Loads of customers come into The Drapery wearing funky and comfy linen pants, and I've been feeling seriously envious of their easy stylishness. But I'd tried with a couple of patterns before and they simply made me feel frumpy. Turns out I had a suitable pants pattern in my stash all along: the Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Core. It's actually now my go-to shorts pattern, which I used twice last summer. I've made a couple of pairs of the long pj pants (as pjs), which fit really well after a minor big-butt-adjustment. So if I tried them as linen pants, the worst thing that could happen would be I'd end up with more good pyjamas. (Pajamas, pyjamas, tomato, tomato....)

As I write, we're out of stock of this pattern but you can always grab a pdf at the Close Core website.

Pattern adjustments

Summer pants in Raisin linen

back view, pants in Raisin linen

There's not a lot to tell:

- I cut them off a bit shorter

- added a single back patch pocket

- topstitched two rows on the elastic waistband to stop rolling

- added loose elastic in the hems

- cut the pocket bags a little bit longer for more capacity.

It's an uncomplicated pattern that fits me well and sits right where I want it at the waist. They're just what I hoped and our 'Raisin' custom-dyed linen goes with pretty much all my summer tops - including this Merchant & Mills Mary White in 'Honeysuckle' linen.

Woman in linen pants and Merchant & Mills Mary White top

Back view, linen pants and Mary White top

Side view, linen pants and Mary White top

How much fabric?

I used about 1.75m of linen at 145cm wide. Since our custom-dyed linens are all pre-washed, there's no further shrinkage and no need to wash at home before cutting. Great for the impulse sewist :D

A note on thread

I go back and forth on the cotton versus poly thread debate. My preference is cotton wherever possible, for biodegradability. But I have had some unfortunate seam splits when using cotton at high stress points and/or with heavier fabrics. For these pants I opted for cotton all the way, but double-stitched a lot of the seams and used a short stitch length. I feel pretty confident that they'll hold up to the medium seam stress of loose linen pants.

Sign me up for the comfy linen pants club! I think I need a fun colour next. Maybe Summer Pudding.

- Jane xx


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