getting ready for the hollywood trousers sew-along

Hello friends!

I hope that you are getting ready for our Hollywood Trousers sew-along which starts next week! Many of you expressed an interest in having a sew-along for this pattern, so we’d love to see you participate.

Are you ready for our Hollywood Trousers sew-along?

My set of the fall patterns is still stuck in customs, but I’m hoping they’ll be freed in time!

So here are a few tips to help you get ready for the sew-along.

Which Size should I Choose?

For trousers like these, it’s best to pick the size based on your hip measurement. The waist can be adjusted at the side seam and at the back darts, so when you baste your muslin, feel free to let in or out at the waist, as needed.

choose the size based on your hip measurement

Let’s talk about getting a good fit, shall we? As always, I strongly recommend that you make a muslin. This will allow you to check the fit and make any necessary adjustments before you cut into your chosen fabric. This is especially important because of the pockets, and since you can eliminate the pockets when sewing your muslin it will be quick and painless to check the fit there.

adjust the waist as needed

In fact, here’s a quick and easy trouser muslin guide to help you through the process painlessly:

  1. Skip the fly and the pockets. Just cut the front and back of the trousers.
  2. Staystitch the waist of the front and back trousers so it doesn’t stretch out when you try them on. Baste the front and back trousers together at the back darts, rise, inseam, and side seams. Leave one side seam open above the hip so you can try on the muslin.
  3. Try on the trousers and pin the un-sewn side seam closed so you can check the fit.
  4. To make adjustments, turn the trousers inside out and pin as needed. Remove basting stitches where you need to let out. Use pins to mark your new seams.
  5. Once you’ve adjusted the seams by pinning, take off the trousers and mark the position of the pins to indicate your new seamlines. Transfer your changes back to the pattern pieces and add seam allowances where necessary.

That doesn’t sound too difficult, does it? It’s really not.

What About Changing the Width of the Trouser Legs?

I love doing this! In fact, it’s a great way to update trousers that have gone out of style. Simply put on the trousers inside-out and pin the legs to suit your preferences. Just be sure that you make the same adjustments equally at the side seam and the inseam so the trouser legs stay balanced.

alter the leg width by pinning from the outseam and inseam

Likewise, if you want to make your trouser legs wider, add the flare to the pattern pieces starting at the hip bone and flaring from there in a straight line. Then cut out your muslin and try them on to make any adjustments that you want.

Add width by flaring equally at the hip

By the way, for those of you interested in making the trousers narrower, I recently learned a cool trick I’ve been using when altering slim trousers for myself: concentrate on pinning the knees to be quite narrow and the entire slim trouser leg will look much better. It really works!

OK? Are you ready now, and are you feeling excited? I hope so. This will be fun!




  1. Erica

    I admit I’m a bit of a lazy sewer. BUT, this post (and my usual difficulty in finding well-fitting, ready-to-wear slacks) has inspired me to make a muslin this time! I have my Hollywood Trousers wool chosen and the pattern ready, and I will use some languishing fabric to make a muslin. I’m going to play around with the leg width, too. You make it sound easy to adjust!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad! And I hope you’ll find it worth your while. Let me know, ok?

  2. Lara

    I decided to be brave, and bought the Hollywood pattern. You have the BEST instructions, written and drawn, I’ve ever seen, so I’m confident I’ll get a quality result after I work out any fit issues. I am really hoping the trousers will sit at my waist, or that I will be able to make them do so. I also ordered the Neighborhood pattern because I really like the cross-over neck shown in the Oct 15 post. I want to use your instructions to keep the princess seams, and hope to modify it to make a slightly raised cross-over neck without a hood. My neck gets cold, but I don’t care for turtlenecks 🙂

    1. I hope you’ll have fun with it, and thanks for the compliment! You may find that these already sit at your waist, since by waist we mean natural waist, which to me if very high! I think we’ve all lost our waists after wearing low-rise trousers for so many years.

      1. Lara

        I agree, waists are lost in more ways than one! I’m probably the odd-ball these days, but I think low rise pants are odd, and mid-rise pants hit me in the worst possible place. It’s been interesting (and irritating, if I’m honest) to see how language has changed, and what once normal, at the waist, is now considered “high”. Now that at the natural waist seems to be a returning trend, the terminology seems even fuzzier, so I asked. I won’t be able to sew along in real time, but I do appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills. Thank you.

  3. Such a shame we don’t have the choice of fabrics in the UK that are sold in the us
    .It is cheaper for us to order from China that it is from America. Something needs to be done there. The prices in the UK can be much higher than buying quality clothing

    1. I’m surprised you say this since I’ve founds lots of great things on trips to London over the past few years! And if you shop carefully you can find some real bargains. I found a couple of amazing fabrics and very low prices on both trips. Ask around and don’t be afraid to go to out-of-the-way shops. I’m sure you’ll locate some great things!

  4. One of the best fitting tools I have found is a tripod for my iPhone and a WiFi remote. They make checking the back view so much easier, as you are not distorting yourself trying to get a photo of the back view.

    I have used my camera tripod and purchased a selfie stick with a wife remote. The iPhone holder on the selfie stick can be removed and it fits easily on the camera tripod. I would image this available for Android phones as well.

    I am so looking forward to this sew-along.

    1. Well done, Sharon! That’s a great solution and avoids forcing family members to take photos for you, which never turn out quite as you want/need them to…

  5. Liz

    Thank you, Liesl, for the details on fitting and making a muslin. I find this to be the hardest part!

    1. I hope it goes well, Liz!

  6. Wanda

    I’ve so enjoyed reading your article and all the post. Unfortunately my shape prohibits this style (as my “waist” and hips are only one inch different) but I’ll be following along and cheering the rest of you on. Excellent selfie stick idea Sharon! Sew On gals!

    1. Wanda, are you certain you can’t wear this style? I honestly think it’s flattering on almost any body shape, and it’s easy to customize to fit your body. I wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up really liking it!

  7. Michelle

    Hi there! I was wondering if you could elaborate a little on your last comment in this article” “By the way, for those of you interested in making the trousers narrower, I recently learned a cool trick I’ve been using when altering slim trousers for myself: concentrate on pinning the knees to be quite narrow and the entire slim trouser leg will look much better. It really works!” I was interested in narrowing the leg width of the Hollywood’s a touch.

    Thank you! So looking forward to making these – I’ve LOVED all the other patterns I’ve tried from you!

    1. Kathy

      Hi Michelle, I also would like to understand how to pin at the knee to narrow trousers. Did you get a response?

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