Need to make a pair of trousers for an upcoming larp? Here is the easiest description of how to do so. Following the instructions you will get a pair of poofy and comfortable trousers.
Materials and measurements
- Fabric (the length of your trousers + the poof + SM)
- Matching thread
- Measuring tape
- Pins + 2 safety pins
- Drawstring or elastic
The amount of fabric required depends on your measurements and how much poof you want the trousers to have. I use 140cm wide fabric which I deem to give enough poof for my taste (my widest part at the hips being just under 100cm). If the fabric is not wide enough you will need to use two leg lengths worth of fabric.
The length of the leg (and fabric) is your desired length for the trousers, plus the amount of poof they should have at the bottom. You should add 10 cm seam allowance (SM) to this. I calculated mine as: 100cm + 10cm +10cm. The 10cm SM is required to make the gathering channels at the top (5cm) and bottom (5cm) of the trousers.
You also need to measure from your waist at the centre back (CB), between your legs and to the centre front (CF) at your waist. A tip is to wear a belt while measuring so that you find the waist a little easier. Trust me, you do not want this to be too tight. This will give you the measurement for the crotch. Divide by half and add the top 5cm SM to this.
How to make them
1. Lay out your fabric, right sides together and folded in half lengthwise. Mark the crotch line on each side. I marked mine as 45 cm long, slightly longer than need be to give more comfort.
2. Pin along the lines and along the folded edge to keep the fabric in place while cutting. Make sure you won’t cut the pins by mistake. Cut out the two pieces on the side and cut open the folded edge. You now have two pieces, two legs. Remove the pins.
3. Now take your two safety pins. You will use these to mark the right side of the fabric and CF of both pieces. At the top edge, before moving the pieces, fold over one corner and pin to the right side of the fabric and do the same to the other piece. When you fold it back the safety pins should lay against each other. Now you will always know which side is the right side and where the CF is.
4. Take one piece and fold it lengthwise and right sides together. Pin the long open edge and sew this line. Zig zag or overlock any raw edges to keep them from unravelling. Repeat with the other leg piece.
5. Now it is time to hem the bottom of the legs. Fold the edge over 1cm and then 2cm and pin in place. Make sure you fold toward the wrong side. Sew as close as possible to the folded up edge but leave a small gap so you can insert drawstring or elastic later.
6. To join the legs at the crotch turn one of the legs so that the right side is out and place it inside the one that still has the wrong side out. This way the legs will be right side to right side. Match the seams and pin the layers together. The two safety pins that we put in earlier should be facing each other. Sew the crotch seam and again zig zag or overlock to keep edged from fraying. Tip: Reinforce the joining seam in the middle by sewing back and forth a couple of times.
7. Turn the pants right side out. At this point you can try them on to check the fit. Don’t worry about the overlong legs. I made a little adjustment to the waistline of my trousers: I cut away a little of the fabric from the front because otherwise the trousers would have been too hight there. But the original length was okay in the back.
8. Almost there! Take out the safety pins and turn over the top edge 1cm and then again 2cm to create a channel for your drawstring or elastic. Leave a small opening at the front for inserting it.
9. Now you can insert drawstring or elastic into the leg hems and the waist and your trousers are ready to wear.
You could opt to leave out the drawstring at the hem of the trouser legs. That would give you very wide straight trousers, but you would need to adjust the length to be a bit shorter so you don’t trip.
These are the finished trousers. They are made from a slightly sturdier cotton. The fabric was a true bargain, and only cost me 3,60€. With elastic and thread I estimate the total cost of these trousers at around 4€ and they took me about an hour to make. Not bad.