Baggy trousers are surprisingly flattering and I’m a total convert. I don’t wear tight jeans…..ever! I really don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong, I like a pair of jeggings under a tunic but jeans yuk…. I find them way too uncomfortable. These beauties, however, with their elasticated back waist section, are my go to trews for lounging about it or when I want to feel like a Hoxton Hipster ! : ) They also look great with sandals or flatties. Wear with short or long tees. You don’t have to tuck in your tee either, cover any lumps and bumps (we all have them!) with a tee or a tie belt (I love a tie belt).
Remember Elsie can be made in linen, heres a link to a fab linen supplier at reasonable prices…..
These trousers can also be made in a floppy viscose or polyester fabric for a ‘Palazzo Pants’ style which are perfect for holidays. Imagine lounging around the pool on a hot evening, sipping cocktails in your palazzos …… (well a girl can dream cant she!).
Elsie has front pleats on to the waistband and an elasticated back waistband (yippee!) so no zips just pull em on! There are also two rather lovely inset side pockets and an optional tie belt…..did I mention that already?
Heres a picture of Matilda wearing a longer version of Elsie made in a polyester print.
Actually Ive also made them from African Dutch Wax and I think they look oh so cool, perfect for holidays.
The pattern comes in two lengths – cropped or full length so if you can check the size chart for more details about the finished measurements and fabric quantities.
My cropped Elsie trousers (pattern cover picture) measured 22cm from the bottom of the hem to the ground, you may like to use this measurement as a guide as to how long your cropped trousers should be on you. Some of us have longer legs than others, so you can adapt the length to suit your body if needed.
Here is a chart showing the measurements:
You will need to allow at least 10-15cm at the waist/hips (whichever is the largest measurement) for ‘ease’ this allows you to pull them on and off without struggle. Here are the finished waist/hip measurements:What are the fabrics suitable to make Elsie trousers in: linen, linen mixes or 6 oz denim (make sure its really nice and soft and has some drape to it). Then viscose, polyester drapey fabrics. Try to avoid anything too lightweight and nothing see through (no VPL s please!).
For Cutting instructions and Layplans see the paper pattern. You also need a half metre of 4cm elastic (soft variety) and 20cm of fusible light/med weight interfacing.
Here is an edited down version of the pattern instructions to give you an idea about whats involved.
Seam allowance is 1cm.
SEWING THE FRONT & BACK
Sew the fronts together RST at the centre front edge. Do the same with the back pieces at the centre back edges. Finish the seam allowances together.
Pin the pleats as shown on the template on the front only.
Two on the left hand side of the centre seam.Two on the right hand side of the centre seam.So it looks like this. Machine tack stitch the pleats to hold in position along the top edge so you can remove the pins and the pleats are held in position.
Pin a pocket lining to the outer curved edge with the RST. (right sides together). Sew along curved edge. Fold over and press to the reverse side. Pin then top stitch close to the curved edge.
Repeat for the other side and other pocket lining piece.
Add the pocket piece to the outer curved edge of the pocket lining with the RST.
Finish the raw edges and pin then machine tack to the trouser top and side edges. Machine tack. Repeat for the other pocket.
Sew the front to the back at the side edges with the RST. Finish the raw edges.
Sew the trousers together at the inner leg edges again with the RST. Finish the raw edges.
Now to the……drum roll please!
First make your tabs for the belt, or omit this if you are not having a belt.
Fold over the tab long sides 1cm to the wrong side. Press. Fold again in half. Pin, topstitch close to each long side.
Press over 1cm at one short side. Place to one side. Repeat for the other three tab pieces.
SEWING THE WAISTBAND -Method 1
If you have an over locker you could insert the waistband this quick way…for an alternative way see the following section -Method 2.
Interface the front waistband only. Pin and sew RST at the short sides. Press the seam allowances open. Fold in half so the WST (wrong sides are together), match the raw edges.Pin the elastic at the side seams and extend across at the Back section.Machine tack close to the raw edges, making sure you don’t sew in any elastic. Finish the raw edge, also on the trousers front and back top edge.
Pin the waistband piece to the trousers top edge, align front and back, match up the side seams. Insert the tab piece short end under the waistband before you stitch, align with the outer pleats and insert two tabs in the same way under the back waistband. Hand tack stitch. Sew all around pushing the elastic beyond the (dropped down) needle as you go, careful not to sew the elastic so push it away from the seam edge or pin it in position.
Press the waistband upwards, seam allowance downwards on the reverse side.
Pin the folded tab end at the top secure with a small stitched rectangle end encasing the raw tab edge.
WAISTBAND – Method 2 (alternative method) where you encase the raw edges in the waistband.
So just like the previous method you sew the waistband together at the short sides with the RST.
Sew the elastic to the side seams, extend over the the back section.Fold over and press 1cm to the wrong side all around one long raw edge of the waistband.
Pin the waistband unfolded edge to the trousers top edge., match up the side seams and align the back and front. Sew all around. Insert the tabs as in Method 1.Fold the waistband up. Press at the seamline.
Fold over to the reverse side of the waistband encasing all the raw edges, keep passing the fabric along the elastic so you are always working with a flat piece of waistband.
Pin all around then either ‘stitch in the ditch’ or hand sew all around with a small slip stitch to secure the waistband edge. Press.
TIE BELT (optional)Join the tie pieces with the RST. Press the seam allowances open.
Fold the tie in half lengthways align the raw edges. Pin. Sew along one long edge and down each slanted edge leaving a 4cm approx opening at the centre join section. Leave a long end for turning. Trim the seam allowances to 5mm.
Tie the thread end on to a blunt ended chunky needle and pass in between the tie folds and out through the opening. Pull gently to turn inside out. Push out the pointed ends with a poking tool or tease out with a strong needle. Press so the fold is in line with the seam.
Top stitch all around which will close up the opening at the same time. Job done!
Insert through your little tabs and tie in a lovely bow. Esme would be proud. (this won’t make much sense if you don’t watch The Great British Sewing Bee!).
Lastly make a 2cm hem on the lower edge of your trousers.