After almost a year of sewing mostly basics, I’ve been feeling the urge to bust up outta my sewing shell and add a few fun pieces to my wardrobe. To date, I’ve made about 5 pairs of jeans and 3 or 4 pairs of leggings. so I think I got my basics covered in the pants category. It was high time I sewed up these Closetcase Patterns Sasha Trousers!

Sasha Trousers with Deer & Doe Melilot shirt and hand-painted thrifted loafers

I was basically forced to go for it, too, when fate had me stumble on some really great black, navy, and grey check fabric with just a little stretch in the perfect weight for fall. Unfortunately, I can’t find it online (sorry!) but I bought it at Joann Fabrics.

Y’all know my love for Closetcase patterns runs deep, so I’d had my eye on the their trousers pattern for a while. The only thing I was a little hesitant on was the rise. It hits kinda mid-to-low and I knew I’d want to lengthen it on my long torso. After a bit of Instagram stalking the hash tag, seeing a couple of higher-rise hacks, I was sold. It really is a very flattering pants pattern!

Now, here’s my beef with trousers in general: the slanted front pockets. They almost ALL have them and it is quite possibly the least flattering pocket on my curvy hips. They ALWAYS flare open and visually add more width in that area (not that wide hips are bad, but it just looks odd to have my pockets hangin’ wide open all the time in front of God and errbody!).

So I debated whether or not to add pockets at all, then all these memes about pockets on women’s clothing fluttered into my memory, and I decided to be a good feminist and add the pockets…with a slight modification.

Also, I really wanted that tummy tucking panel courtesy of the pocket stays.

Here’s how I lengthened the rise AND modified the slant pockets by moving them higher and to a more horizontal position:

STEP 1: If grading between sizes, cut the larger size first and wait to grade until after you have lengthened the rise.

I lengthened the rise by about 2” by cutting at the lengthen/shorten line and taping extra paper to the gap. I used my Ginger Jeans (which I also lengthened the rise on) as a guide for how high I wanted these. I ended up going even higher!

After I had the pattern pieces sliced and spread to my desired rise, I graded between a size 10/12 in the waist and a size 16 in the hips. On the finished garment measurements, the waist circumference is noted to sit below the navel and is drafted to have zero ease. Knowing this, I saw that my waist circumference fell in between the 10 and 12, and since I was bringing the rise back up closer to my natural waist, I knew I needed to size down a bit. The orange line shows where I would need to grade between sizes.

I also did NOT cut the pocket line of the front leg—I cut them as if I would not be adding pockets.

Then I lengthened the back darts by 2” and redrew the dart legs so that the dart point would remain in the original location.

STEP 2: Transfer all lengthening to the fly, but do NOT lengthen the pocket bags, only grade them between sizes if needed.

Throughout this process, I was using all my thinky-brain power to make sure I got the pockets to line up properly with the grading and lengthening of the legs. I ended up cutting the pocket bags at the largest of my graded sizes and then overlaying it and tracing a new outline from the pants legs. And I decided not to make the pocket bags larger by lengthening them with the rise because they are already pretty large. In the end it was a good decision.

STEP 3: Draft new pocket openings and facings

I decided to rotate the pockets to a more horizontal position, while maintaining the pocket opening length (shown in purple). The length for my size was roughy 6.25”, so I used my metal ruler to position a line that was 6.25” and touched the side seam and waistline. I aimed for the pocket opening to touch the waistline kinda close to a belt loop position (even though I wasn’t planning to add the belt loops, I might on a future pair). Keep in mind that once seam allowance is accounted for, the line will actually sit approximately 5/8” lower, and be a little longer (and closer to the belt loop location).

Then I just folded the pattern pieces at the pocket lines (again, thinking of how I might reuse this pattern in the future in different ways, so I didn’t want to cut it).

Now to draft the pocket facings. This step took me a minute to wrap my brain around for some reason, but once I drafted the pieces, it was actually pretty straightforward. You need a roughly 2.5” wide facing for the pocket opening on the pants leg, and you need a facing for behind the pocket opening to be the pants material to hide the pocket bag. Both of these facings will be sewn to the pocket bag pieces.

I traced the outline of the back pocket bag piece, then overlayed the front pocket bag to trace the new slant pocket opening. Then I duplicated that piece and traced a wide arc beneath the slant opening, making sure to extend the curve about 2.5” past the slant line on the waistline and the side seam. The finished pieces looked like this (in blue):

And here’s how the facings (in black plaid) attach to the pocket bags (blue striped fabric):

Once you have all the pieces lengthened and cut, you are all set! Just follow the pattern instructions as you normally would to complete the pants construction.

I’m super happy with how these pants turned out! The fabric is heavy weight and slightly stretchy, so i feel like it holds me in while letting me move! The pattern fit nearly perfectly on the first basted fit. And I could probably take it in just a little more on the side seams for an extra snug fit, but I wanted to wait to see how the fabric stretch after a few wears.

Sasha Trousers with an old RTW turtleneck that I’ve had for more than 10 years!

September 21, 2020 — Casey Sibley