Our Advisor, Aimee, wanted a pair of flat-front pants, so she altered the Montauk Trousers pattern and ended up with a gorgeous wardrobe staple to carry her through the warm months. She walks you through her process in this post.
When I saw the Montauk Trousers pattern I loved the pocket details and the straight legs, but I wanted to alter them to have a plain front waistband. I’ve finally become confident enough in my sewing life that I felt sure that I could figure out how to do that.
If there’s anything I would love to convey to seamstresses around the world, it would be to go for it! I’m a total newbie when it comes to altering patterns and honestly the only way to figure it out is to just try.
I made the pants per the pattern directions, all the way up to the waistband. I went ahead and cut out the waistbands from the original pattern as a place to start.
My first attempt was using the basic instructions for the plain front waistband from the Everyday Skirt pattern. I had recently made this skirt and figured this might be a good starting point. I used the two pieces from the pants pattern, matched the seams to the sides, temporarily put some elastic in the back and tried the pants on.
Oh my! This attempt did not work! There was way too much gathering and puckering on my backside, making the pockets look totally out of place, among other issues. Back to the drawing board.
At this point, I did some research online. I looked at a bunch of different elastic waist patterns and ready-made pants to see where most people were lining up the seams and inserting the elastic.
After that, I decided to extend the elastic section of the waistband to the outer edges of the front pockets.
I measured the distance between the two outer edges of the front pockets, added a seam allowance and then calculated the length of the back waistband piece the same way. I cut a back and a front waistband and a back and a front waistband facing, each 2 3/4″ wide. I stitched each set together at the short ends. Then I stitched the waistband to the waistband facing right sides together and pressed and understitched the top. Finally, I folded the waistband and the facing wrong sides together and voila! I had a complete waistband piece ready to be attached.
Matching the raw edge of the waistband and waistband facing to the raw edge of the pants, I stitched from the edge of the front outer pocket around the back to the edge of the other front pocket, leaving the front waistband unattached. I inserted the elastic and after playing around with the length I stitched in the vertical waistband seams to attach the elastic on both sides. After this, I finished attaching the front waistband.
Overall, I’m really pleased with how these turned out. Fit-wise they are perfect. The front pockets pucker out some, but I am honestly thinking that they might do that even if the elastic went all the way around. Also, I keep my hands in my pockets enough that I really don’t care.
I am 5’6” and sewed a size medium. The fabric is a linen-look in rust from Joann’s Fabrics and has a lovely drape to it. It makes a perfect pair of loosely fitting pants just in time for warmer weather!