Linen Cass Pants by Make by TFS

It’s been over a year since I’ve made standard work pants with a non-elastic waistband. Since I only have elastic waistband pants in my closet or overalls with no waistband, I thought I should try my hand at a more traditional pair of pants.

Pattern

I initially tried out Trend Schnitt No60 pants but found the pattern really poor for my body, and I also didn’t like how limited the size range was, so I just abandoned that pattern. I’ve had the Cass Pants on my wishlist for a while, and the style was very similar, so I broke down and got the Cass pattern. The size range is much more inclusive, with 15 sizes and a range of 22.4 – 51 inches for the waist and 34.3 – 62.8 inches for the hip.

The Trend Schnitt pattern only has 8 sizes and a range of 27.5 – 40.2 inches for the waist and 39.4 – 53.5 inches for the hip. I selected size 44 (36.2 inch waist and 48 inch hips), and I couldn’t physically button the waistband because it was too tight, while the hips were roomier than first-class! I was angry because the pattern is sold per size, and I wasn’t about to purchase another size. Luckily the Cass pants come with all sizes included.

Fabric

This fabric was in my stash from the fall, 6oz Signature Linen in Antique Gold from Blackbird Fabrics. I’m going to say right now that I need to stop trying to make wide-leg pants in billowy fabrics. I love the pattern. I think the fit is incredible. But I just absolutely hate the fabric choice for these pants. I’ve already purchased cotton twill and will be sewing myself another pair because linen and wide-leg pants just don’t bring me joy!

Size

For the Cass pants, I selected size 16. Based on my hip measurement of 42.5 inches, size 14 might not give me enough room (42.1 inches). There would be plenty of space with size 16.

Front Alterations

Measure

Following my process for altering pants, the first step is to measure. First, find the center of the ankle and draw a vertical line. Next, draw horizontal lines at the knee, the bottom of the crotch curve, and the top of the crotch curve. Remember, the bottom of the crotch curve is excluding seam allowance. Finally, mark the center of the knee. Couple of things I noticed based on the measurements:

  • The knee isn’t quite centered.
  • The grainline at the hip level is too wide. My front grainline placement at hip level should be 4.75 inches.
  • Crotch length (distance from grainline to the inside seam) is just about perfect.
Fix the Drape at the Knee Level

If needed, adjust the drape at the knee to ensure the center grainline bisects the knee. Honestly, this was really close enough to not bother changing. I’m just being extra persnickety here.

Fix the Drape at the Hip Level

This was the significant alteration needed. The center grainline was 6.25 inches from the center front at hip level. I only need the center grainline to be 4.75 inches. Therefore, I needed to adjust grainline placement by 1.5 inches. Because I knew I would have to possibly alter the crotch curve, I cut along the crotch level and shifted the top portion of the pants over 1.5 inches. Then I redrew my side seam from the hip level to the knee. I didn’t need the extra curvature around the hips, so that’s why there’s a little bit removed in the diagram. Remember I selected size 16 with 44.1 inch for the hips and my hips are only 42.5 inches. I could afford to shave a little bit from the hips. Typically, you would redraw the inseam from the bottom of the crotch curve to the knee, but this would result in a very short front crotch length for the front.

Adjust the Crotch Length

The final adjustment is to check that the crotch length is correct. Because the crotch length was correct before I adjusted the drape at the hips, I could actually use the inseam as is. I just redrew the crotch curve with the long crotch length.

Lengthen

The pants are drafted for someone 5’7″, and I’m 5’11”. The pants are also designed to be around ankle length. I lengthened my pants 5.5 inches to make the pants full length.

Original (orange) vs. Altered

This pattern comes with slash front pockets and a single front pleat. I didn’t need to move or adjust the pocket or pleats on this pattern. Because of how I approached my alterations, all of that information was preserved.

Back Alterations

Measure

I followed the same process for the back pattern piece. Find the center of the ankle and draw a vertical line. Draw horizontal lines at the knee, the bottom of the crotch curve, and the top of the crotch curve. Finally, mark the center of the knee. The story is about the same for the back pattern piece:

  • The knee isn’t entirely centered.
  • The grainline at the hip level is too wide. My back grainline placement at hip level should be 4.5 inches.
  • Crotch length (distance from grainline to the inside seam) is too much.
Fix the Drape at the Knee Level

The center grainline was off by a bit more in the back than in the front. The back was 0.2 inches off-center. FYI, if the front and back knee is off different amounts, this will cause the leg to twist in addition to swinging off balance. I definitely needed to fix grainline placement at the knee.

Fix the Drape at the Hip Level

Remember that adjusting grainline placement at the knee, will change the values of grainline placement at the hip and crotch levels. Grainline placement still needs to be adjusted at the hip level based on these new values. Initially, the center grainline placement at the hip level was 5.95 inches. After adjusting grainline placement at the knee, the distance from the center back to the grainline was 5.75 inches. I need the distance to be only 4.5 inches. Therefore, I needed to move center grainline placement 1.25 inches at the hip level. I cut along the crotch level and shifted the top portion of the pants over 1.25 inches. Then I redrew my side seam from the hip level to the knee. I didn’t need the extra curvature around the hips, so that’s why there’s a little bit removed in the diagram. I also redrew the inseam from the bottom of the crotch curve to the knee.

Adjust the Crotch Length

Even after adjusting the center grainline placement at the hip, the crotch length was still too wide, 9.75 inches. My back crotch length only needs to be 8.25 inches. Leaving the crotch point on the same horizontal level, I removed 1.5 inches and redrew the inseam from the new crotch point down to the knee.

Lengthen

I lengthened the back piece by the same amount as the front piece, 5.5 inches.

Original (orange) vs. Altered

The back pattern piece includes welt pockets and two small darts along the waistband. I didn’t need to move or adjust the pockets or the darts.

Don’t forget to true your pattern! Make sure the side seams along the stitch line are the same length. The back inseam can be within 1 cm less than the front inseam.

Conclusion

I was thrilled because I didn’t need to adjust the waistband curvature or placement. The center front waistband was low enough for my forward tilting pelvis. The back darts and pocket placement were perfect for my body. The only adjustments I made were to the front and back pattern pieces.

The pattern instructions were a little difficult for me to follow, but this week has been tiring. I struggled to focus on all the details, but I still managed to make it through the pattern. Having online sew-along always helps, and I found those more instructive than the printed PDF.

I really love the details with this pattern: double welt back pockets, front zipper guard that buttons to the waistband, and wide waistband. I hope I’ll feel better about wearing wide-leg pants with cotton twill fabric. The linen I chose wasn’t a good choice, but that’s on me.

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