Friday, June 24, 2016

1860's Summer Trousers for Judah

Well, it's summer! So far summer has meant hot, sultry days with air almost too thick and damp to breathe and nights that are cooler, but not less humid. I'm hoping that all the next few months won't be so uncomfortable but I'm not counting on it. Summer means humidity and heat. So we must deal with it. Two weeks from now we have an 1860's living history to go to, and then another one at the beginning of August. And then one in September.

A few days ago I cut out some new trousers for Judah for Civil War reenacting. His current ones are rather heavy wool, which is great for cool weather. Not so great for summer. While lightweight wool certainly is a nice summer option, his trousers are decidedly not lightweight. But these will be!

The pattern is my go-to Light Summer Trouser pattern from Past Patterns. (though it seems since the time I bought this pattern the company has changed the name to Classic Plain-Cut Summer Trousers). The fabric is a nice tan cotton twill that was actually curtains before being recycled into trousers.

These curtains hung in the boys room back at the farm and also in their new room but as we recently redid their room and hung new curtains, the twill ones were saved and provided more than enough fabric for a nice pair of pants, with two panels left over for future projects.

This pattern sews up so quickly. I love it. Even with hand finishing all the seams they've taken less than 3 days to almost-finish. I still need to do the hem, do the buttonholes on the mule-ear pockets, and then sew on the buttons for braces but the best part of construction is done and went fast.

The back waist seam is meant to be sewn 3 inches from the raw edges to allow for a lot of flexibility in sizing. This is a great feature for growing boys. I like to bind the middle of the crotch seam because that seam takes the most strain and is more likely to pull out than any of the other seams (don't ask me how I know. . .experience is a great teacher!) and binding seems to eliminate that problem. The back waist is adjustable with two tabs. I ran out of buckles, so made do with eyelets and a tie to adjust the fit instead.

Hopefully I can drape and sew up a little lightweight waistcoat for both David and Judah this weekend and then they will both have appropriate attire for hot weather, at least for non-formal things. Then back to the 1810's I go. It's going to be a busy summer.


  1. These pants are Wonderful. I need to make a pair. LOVE EM. I would never think to recycle old curtains. Never stop blogging!!!!!

  2. Those look like a really nice pattern!

  3. Is there a way to change the pockets to the mule ear style? My pattern has side seam pockets, I'd love something visually different than my boys' other trouser .

    1. Yes! I do not use the instructions for the pocket that is included in the pattern. For a mule ear pocket, you basically just face the corner where the pocket is. This thread here has good instructions with photos on how to attach this kind of pocket:

    2. Thank you! Do you use the pattern pocket bag?


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!