1940s | Vintage Sewing

Wearing the Pants…

June 24, 2013

You guys – I MADE PANTS!

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Finally, after many years of sewing, I tackled my sewing nemesis.

Sure, they aren’t fitted pants or anything – I wanted big, wide, swing-y 40’s styled pants. But I made them. And they fit. And there isn’t any – ahem – wrinkling where there shouldn’t be.

While it did take me 3 muslin attempts, I finally managed to wrangle this 40’s pants pattern into submission. But it wasn’t easy. Oh dear, this pattern…

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The cover image makes them look so sleek and Katherine Hepburn-esque. Even the pattern outlines on the back promise this exact outcome. But in actuality, the paper pattern tapers, majorly, towards the bottom of the pant leg. Leaving you with ballooning hips and skinny ankles. Not a good look people. It’s a little Fresh Prince-Harem-Pant gone wrong (was that ever right?). Oh, and they taper on both the back and front pant pieces, in both the inner and outer leg.


That first muslin made me really question my friendship with this pattern and making pants and so we took a break. We both needed some time apart. I needed to make patterns that weren’t completely different to the front and back cover images. And the pants pattern needed some time alone to think about what it had done.

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After a few weeks, we sat down together, sort of made up, and muslin 2 came into being. I made a completely new muslin, straightened out the outer leg taper on both front and back pieces (at this point, I hadn’t connected the dots to realise that the inner leg tapered as well, because it didn’t taper quite as much as the outer). I also added some extra hip and waist room. I tried them on, and to my surprise, we were nearly there.

Onto muslin 3 and I unpicked the inner legs, basted on some extra muslin and straightened out the slight taper there. Now the legs were pretty much perfect. Looking much more Katherine Hepburn than Fresh Prince.

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Oh, these pants I’m wearing? Yeah, I made them.
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If you would like to read a bit more about the changes I made and for more pictures, head on over to my blog here.


  1. Oh they’re perfect , first time ever I’ve seen the finished outcome looking better than the illustration on the envelope, well done!

  2. 1) Those are awesome! Pants are my clothing nemesis, too, and someday I will have the guts to attempt sewing them, and when I do, they will be hard-core, wide-leg, 1940’s pants. But I haven’t worked up to it yet.

    2) I wonder if a previous owner didn’t re-cut the pattern? I’m looking at . . . well, it’s not that similar, but it’s the closest 1940’s pants pattern I have on hand: Simplicity 4757 (1943), and the back of the packet shows pants that are not tapered. Granted, they’re pajama pants and not really the same animal, but still. Although, the diagram for your pattern doesn’t appear to have tapered legs, either. Hmm. It’s a mystery, Charlie Brown.

  3. I have this pattern too, and I’m sad to hear that it’s a naughty pattern. Guess I’ll be putting it in time out as well, but it’s good to know what to expect.

    I think yours came out wonderfully and I absolutely love the color!

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