Monday, February 3, 2020

The Pants I Made from a Tablecloth

First, these pants are basically a glorified mock up. I made them up according to the pattern, refined the fit a bit here, took it in a bit there, until I had the fit almost how I wanted. I copied the modified pattern onto fresh paper and I wanted to make my denim striped pants last week and see how they fit. But, I didn't make them yet. The dreaded flu, making its rounds at school, started working its way through the family and so, as a result, very little sewing was accomplished.

My long vest, probably not getting
its own post so here is a photo to prove its existence 😂
 Here shown with my denim Persephone Pants

This week will be different! I hope, at least. Once the pants are out of the way I am going to plunge into my 1890's petticoat project. Do you know, I think I made absolutely no new historic clothes for myself last year?!

Yep you can see my post-six-c-section belly pooch but you know what,
I don't care. I love these pants anyway. :D
So, the tablecloth pants! These are made from a red striped cotton tablecloth I got last summer. I loved the rustic look of the tablecloth and the heavy weave. The red stripes reminded me of summer evenings and sunsets and rocks and sand on the beach and I had no idea what I'd make with it. It turned out that the tablecloth was exactly enough to make both a long vest and these pair of pants. I had almost no scraps left! So, I will consider it fate. 😁 

These pants are a typical style of the time, fitted through the hips and waist with darts both front and back, and the pattern calls for a center back zipper to close them. I wanted to make these with a front zipper, so I modified the pattern for a zipper fly and with great anxiety sewed my very first ever zipper fly. It worked! And I love how easy it was. To construct the fly, I used the wonderful tutorial from Pauline Alice. 

For construction, I sewed the side seams together with a felled seam and then used my serger to overlock the raw edges on the inseams and crotch. The inseams were sewn and pressed open. The darts were sewn and pressed to one side and topstitched. The fly was inserted, then the crotch seam sewn, clipped and pressed and topstitched. Finally, an interfaced waistband was attached. Super easy! It went fast and well, even with multiple pauses to fit. 

This first set of pictures is of my newly finished pants, over a week ago. I was so happy I actually made pants that fit and looked okay. Pants are difficult, which is one reason why I've never made many of them in the past. It's also a bit scary addressing ones body when making a fitted pair of pants. I've always been super self conscious and have had terrible self esteem issues from childhood. You can't hide lumps and bumps under fitted pants like you can beneath elastic waist pants or skirts. But why hide them? I am so thankful that I am learning to accept and honor my body for what it is and all it has accomplished! (Also, the purple blouse I'm wearing in these pictures is one I made the summer before last, from a 1968 pattern and I never blogged about it. But I love it and it's super comfy and it's from Wal Mart fabric 😀) 

Fitting the hips better actually helps with the belly pooch! Probably would get a smoother fit with properly controlling underthings buuuuut....I can't go back to wearing that stuff. I'm freeeeeeeeee!

After wearing the new pants I found there were a few fit issues that really bugged me that I needed to address. First, the difference between the hip and waist was more extreme than  my own figure. I needed to take the hips in. So, I unpicked the waistband from the hip area, opened the side seam, cut away a bit at the hip and resewed it. While I was at it, I unpicked the waistband from the back and shortened the rise a bit. While I like the high waisted look, it was just a little too high and I was getting wrinkles in the back above the natural waist anytime I moved. 

So here are the pants now, after the alterations, a machine washing and drying and being worn and lived in all day. There are wrinkles of course, but they are in the right places. Pants wrinkle! And that's ok. But I no longer have the back wrinkles from a too-long rise, and the hips fit more snugly. I could possibly shorten the front crotch seam just a tad by slicing and overlapping the pattern piece at the crotch, tapering to nothing on the outseam. But when I sew these in the heavier denim, I think they will be just right! (I didn't make this pink blouse; I found it at St. Vincents on their 10 cent rack 😁)

It is a gorgeous, lovely, deceivingly warm February day today. I've been outdoors doing some much needed yard tidying after some cold spells and refilled the bird feeder and helped Malachi, who is being homeschooled for 5th grade, make a woven Navajo style blanket (mini, it's just a few inches tall!) for social studies and art. It has been a lovely start to the week! Much love my friends!

Malachi's finished blanket!



  1. You are incredibly talented and creative!

    1. It's always fun to give new life to an old textile! Plus tablecloths are such an inexpensive source of a good amount of material. Thank you!

  2. I love these pants! You look amazing. You're a role model for being proud of your body and showing how fantastic one can look without constraining undergarments. Spanx are stupid and painful.

    1. Yes, I've heard horror stories about spanx! If women (or anyone, really) likes shapewear to help them feel good then that's awesome, but no one should feel like their natural body is any less lovely than an artificially shaped one. I never tried spanx but eliminating undergarments altogether (except in historic situations, of course! 😁) has been such a hralthy thing for me, in several ways. Thank you for your kind words. 🙏


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!