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Openings in DIY Pants

Seems like an age since we wrote about sewing Eureka! Pants in this blog.  We will solve that here with a deep dive into the openings and closings that work best in pants. This, of course, is a promotion for the last class I am teaching in Fabric Mart’s How to Sew Great Clothes, online series. The April 9th class is about openings and closings in well-made clothing with a bonus discussion about successful wardrobing with Fit for Art’s core patterns.

Pants ready for the suitcase underneath.

Pants, of course, require some sort of entry as we slide our legs down into the pants themselves and then secure them at the top to the body’s core. From the simplest opening, an elastic waist, to the most complex, a boned Hollywood waistband with invisible zipper, we have you covered with the Eureka! Pants pattern and three variation patterns.  Here is a review of our in-depth posts about each option we recommend. Click through the links to read more about each highlight. If you see something that is missing, let us know so we can remedy that by including a post in short order.  

As I reviewed the list, I observed that we do not have a post about zipper insertion in a pair of jeans. It is basically accomplished in the same way that a fly front zipper is inserted in a trouser, but there are extra steps that I will cover soon in a new post. (I used to send everyone to a link at SewDaily that showed the steps, but it is now behind a members only pay wall.)

Easy Methods to Get Into Pants

Check out our post about Waist Finishes for Pants as you consider how you will get into and out of your pants.

Several waist finishes on Eureka! pants.

As mentioned, elastic waist openings are the simplest way to anchor a pair of pull-on pants to the waistline. While elastic pants are comfortable, on some women’s bodies they are not very secure and easily slide down in the back when sitting or bending. Elastic waist openings are great option when the fabric is very stretchy or the fabric is somewhat translucent and a zipper, with its recommended support, is not practical. Read our post on elastic waist pants to see how it works. Or see the last two pages of the Eureka! Pants pattern instruction booklet to see how easy it is to create them using your personalized pattern.

Elastic waist pants with inseam opening for elastic. The ribbon denotes the back of the pants.

If you are using a classic waistband, and want a zipper opening with darts for shaping, a lap zipper is an easy solution.  Though rather old fashioned, it uses a standard zipper. It is perfect for a center back zipper or it can be placed on the side as well, if that is preferred. See the steps for a lapped zipper insertion by clicking through to that blog post.

Waistband with stiffener and a lap zipper.

An invisible zipper is an excellent entry into pants with either a facing or a waistband. It can be placed in the center back, center front or side. Learn the details for inserting an invisible zipper from this post. Our Glamour Details pants pattern has a sidebar to streamline the conversion of back opening pants into side opening pants.

Elastic stitched into the waistband with an invisible zipper.

More Complex Zipper Opening Options

If you like a classic trouser look and/or find the back and side openings difficult to manage, our Trouser Details pattern gives you the directions to add a front fly to the Eureka! Pants. This post shows you the steps for the pattern alteration and insertion of an easy fly front zip, which is best on pants with an applied waistband.

The finished fly sample

A similar fly front zipper is inserted into a jean style pant, which is described in our Sporty Details Variation. As mentioned above, stay tuned for a step by step of the zipper insertion into jeans. Check out the Sporty Details from a previous blog post for more on adding jean details to your pants.

From a post about Eureka! Pants with Sporty Details.

The Glamour Details pattern includes contoured waistband details for a low or natural waist and an extended Hollywood waist. Read about crafting the extended Hollywood waist in this post.  There is also a post for pull on ponte pants made with this pattern which have a 2” wide elastic waistband.

Choose the Best Opening for You

Choosing the best waist finish and entry for your pants project will help you sew pants successfully with less frustration if using a personalized Eureka! Pattern. Want to read more about pants? Check out the pants section of our blog archive to find pants inspiration for all seasons and occasions. 

Learn How to Create a Pants Wardrobe

Join me and The Fabric Mart on April 9 to see openings and closings in all sorts of garments as we finish up our exploration of How to Sew Great Clothes. You can register for this class with Fabric Mart.

Making Pants at a Sew Successfully retreat.

Want to sew pants but don’t know how to get started? We still have a couple of spaces in our Spring Retreat this coming weekend, April 5-7. It is the perfect time and place to begin your pants journey. Can’t make it to the retreat?Consider picking up the Pants pattern with the Mock-up kit so you have everything you need. Follow the extensive directions in the pants pattern, then grab a virtual coaching session or two to make sure your fitting work is spot on. 

Happy Sewing RAE

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