Kitchen Sink Pants

New pants! Brace yourself; the following contains a lot of words but not necessarily a lot of information.

These are my kitchen sink pants (as in ‘everything but the’). Here’s a quick rundown of their features:

  1. A faced front with a center fly zipper.
  2. Elasticated back waistband.
  3. Back darts.
  4. Single-layer pockets with faced inseam openings.
  5. D-ring straps for cinching.
  6. Mild balloon legs.

Of that list, item 1, a jeans-style center fly opening-plus-faced front sans waistband, was the one that kept me up o’ nights. Ever since sewing a faced pair of paper bag pants I wondered how to actually get the zipper to go to the top and finish everything nicely. The answer: I don’t know. The result: somehow very, very tidy. ??!!?? Ordinarily when I have trouble describing a technique in words alone I whip up a technical illustration, but I felt my way through this process, and I understand neither what nor how anything I did. What a terrible start to a post, ha!

I sifted through a lot of internet to find this tutorial for a front fly/front facing. I read through it several times and then went ahead and sewed my zip the same way I always do, only to end up unpicking the top three or four inches of my topstitching (the center seam edgestitching and the straight vertical part of the ‘J’ around the fly extension) and redoing it after adding the facings. It’s not particularly obvious in this dark tone-and-tone thread, but follow the wise advice found at that link, because my way was bad. The universe graciously forebore and it all worked out, but there’s no particular reason why it should have.

The pattern is also uncertain – I smushed together my PA Morella trousers with my traced Madewell balloon jeans, but I didn’t use any specific lines from either. I laid them in a stack under some tracing paper and drew new lines based on my feelings, usually somewhere between the two. This is so contrary to the organized way I usually work, and I don’t plan on rebranding myself as an intuitive artiste, but I guess I’ve made enough pants for myself that navigating by feel was a reasonably effective process. Still, yikes.

The flat faced front/back waistband technique is all Morellas. I ended up cutting my front facings twice, because the center zip complicated the process. The first time I cut them without additional seam allowance at the center. When I went to attach them, it felt like a mistake, so I recut and reinterfaced with more SA, only to trim to the original size when sewing. Again, I’m expressing this poorly because I understand it poorly. I’d like to sew another pair of pants with this feature (it’s so SO so SO comfortable to wear) and maybe take pictures that time, to really get the practice cemented in my mind.

You might have seen the pin these were based on, by the way. It’s this one below – I couldn’t find any other images of the pants, but I tried to copy what I could see. I decided to add elastic to the back instead of relying entirely on the straps for cinching because I thought it would sit more evenly (I was throwing all my spaghetti at the wall anyway), so I didn’t get those pleats but otherwise – yeah?? 

In case you were wondering why darts + elastic (surely choose one), it’s because there’s darts in the picture! And that’s it!

The rectangle rings are leftover from my Raspberry Rucksack, by the way! I sewed the straps to match their measurements.

My single best innovation was adding a buttonhole in the fly shield so I could sew a button to the inside waistband and the layers would sit flat when worn. Game changer. I’m the Banksy of fly shields (no I’m not, but I am disproportionately excited about it).

Hopefully these interior shots will supplement my complete lack of explanation!

You can actually see the shape of the single-layer pocket bag there – that line of topstitching basically vanished completely.

I used 8 oz. denim (Kaufman per ush), which was light enough that all the hoopla at the waist didn’t get too thick, but perfectly suitable for pants. I almost bought 6 oz. but that would have been pushing it, I think. Anyway I’m very happy with the fabric. I used the selvedge on the edge of the fly shield and the edge of my pocket facings, which look like nothing on earth in a photograph, but function perfectly well!

Lest you think I think I am a pants savant, I forgot to reshape the hem allowance to angle outwards, so when I folded them up, the hems were slightly smaller than the diameter of the legs. I eased them together but the hems are *almost* gathered as a result. Tsk. I said tsk!

If you’re wondering where I’ve been hiding this fireplace: alas, this is not my apartment, but a very chic AirBnB (this one, well worth a look!!). These are the last of our vacation shots. Someday I’ll go on a vacation without needing a haircut. Someday!!

Anyway, I sort of expected these trouser-jeans to be clown pants but actually they ended up staid! But I really like them! I’m still nervous about *how* I made them (the word “mushy” comes to mind – mushy pattern, mushy understanding) but I’m finding them quite easy to wear.

And now I want to add hardware to everything. EVERYTHING.

Next up, July. Blergh. See you there!

Pattern: No pattern??

Pattern cost: NA

Size: ??

Supplies: 2 yards of Indigo Washed 8 oz. denim, $25.20, Gather Here; 7″ zipper, 1.5″ non-roll elastic, $4.59, Gather Here; thread, rectangle rings from stash

Total time: 8.5 hours

Total cost: $29.75

12 thoughts on “Kitchen Sink Pants

  1. I love them so much! So many excellent details and I am now also fascinated by the idea of sewing a faced fly front (also cannot picture it). Also the Airbnb is highly swoon.


    1. Right?? I can take no credit for the Airbnb but I wanted to brag on it anyway, haha. I need to sew another faced fly front soon – if I wait too long, the technique will feel like a fresh mystery again. And I’m not that often confused by my own pants.


  2. Although they’re kind of experimental, these look so professional! All of your hard work paid off. These are super chic and cute!


  3. Well, I was wondering about the fireplace, actually, because I’m considering painting my own brick fireplace black, or charcoal. I don’t like white painted brick, but that fireplace looks pretty good, I’d say. Hmmm.

    I took off the pants I’m wearing tonight and took a couple of photos because These pants have a faced front and fly zip, but the zipper doesn’t go all the way to the top, and i5 works just fine that way. I use a metal bar closure at the top, and I find it quite smooth/invisible and easy to use. These are chino style pants, that’s why no waist band.

    I’ve tried to share the photos, we’ll see if that works!

    I do love the style of your pants, I think I’ll give those side buckles a try myself, one more way to make pants fit comfortably, and look good at the same time. Hardware, yes!

    Plus, your fit is terrific, you are just so smart, Lia.



    1. Those photos are so helpful, thank you!! So from the outside, it’s clearly a facing, but on the inside it almost functions as a waistband. That makes sense! I love the color too.

      I’m guessing a dark-painted fireplace is easier to keep clean (or should I say, maintain the illusion of cleanliness) than a classic brick one, and I do like the way it looks. But I would settle for *any* fireplace! I’m glad it was actually cold enough to use it on our trip!

      I feel more lucky than smart for this make, but I’ll take it, thanks so much!! ^^


  4. Very nice! I like all your features, particularly the D-rings (can I call them D-rings when they are rectangular?) for cinching. Rather interested in using a similar technique for flies myself – just because I have an RTW pair of trousers where the front actually looks flat when I wear them. I have all sorts of issues with waistbands, which I think are due to having a bulging belly at my natural waist. Sometimes waistbands just want to fold in half across the front when I wear trousers and I really think a design where the pressure on the closure is spread over a greater area might help. Worth a try?


    1. Absolutely worth a try!! I also crumple all my waistbands in half but this doesn’t seem to do that as much (I always photograph clothes after wearing them for a while, so you can see where the front creases and folds, but it bounces back better than a waistband). I’ve been calling them D-rings, so I don’t mind if you do! ☺️


  5. So I’m wondering how tall you are, because I am 5’2” and most of my pant patterns call for 3 yards and I am hoping 2 will work for me as I have short legs? I am an expert in constructing elastic waist pants but that is about it . I am probably going to try a fly eventually…. Thanks for the informative post.


    1. I’m 5’5″; I usually buy 1.5 yards of 60″ wide fabric for pants, sometimes 2 yards if I’m nervous. I also cut everything on a single layer! I like sewing flies way, way better than invisible zippers (though they’re obviously not as speedy as elastic), and I hope you have fun giving it a whirl someday. Good luck! 😀


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