I am repeating myself, but I am pretty lazy and when I go through the pain of fitting a pattern to my body I will hack the hell out of it. If it fits, why not use it for different looks, right? So this time I hacked my Hampshire Trousers into cropped, skinnier, pleated pants and I am in love with the result!
In the end it was a perfect combination of the pattern with the suitable fabric. The fabric came from my stash and I really have no idea what fibers are in it… I have to start writing this stuff down! But the fabric seemed like some kind of medium weight suiting blend, with a nice drape and a little bit of stretch. I am pretty sure the fabric spent a year or two in my stash, but it was worth the wait.
There really is not much to say about the trousers themselves except that now I want to have one in every color! I think they are pretty perfect for summer and I can not wait to wear them non-stop.
As always, I like to share my successes, trials and errors. I am not a pattern drafter, I’ve never taken courses and all I know is from blogs and books. I have no idea if this is the right way to do the alteration, but it made logical sense to me and it worked!
Pleated Skinny Hampshire Trousers Tutorial
I started off with my pattern pieces. I drew in the missing pocket piece (blue dashed line on the Front leg) and divided the total distance in half. That is where my pleat is going to go. I also cropped the pants right away. This was an estimated guess. I measured my inseam of where I thought I wanted the pants to end, added 2″ for seam allowances and mistakes and took that as my new inseam length.
I left the Back leg as is. I didn’t want any pleats there, so that is done! For the Front leg, I drew a line starting at my point marked in Step 1. The line is parallel to the grain line and goes all the way through the Front leg – red line.
I cut the red line all the way to the bottom, but not through the new hem. I made a cut on the other side of the hem to the hem line but not through it. This created a hinge and made it easy to move the pattern around.
This is the fun part! I decided that I wanted my pleat to have a depth of 1″. I didn’t want it too deep and I thought that 1″ was just right. You can pick whatever number you want! Since the depth of the pleat is 1″ and it is essentially folded onto itself, the total amount I needed to add was 2″. I spread the Front leg pattern out by 2″ at the top. Because there is a hinge at the hem, the hem is not spread out and remains the same width.
I taped it all down and decided that I wanted my pleat to face away from the center. But it’s just a matter of preference! The pleat can face towards the center, it can be a box pleat or you can repeat this again to add another pleat!
I didn’t photograph this because I completely forgot. After trying the pants on and before hemming them I decided that I wanted them to be a little tighter around my calves, so I took them in about 3/8″ on each side at the bottom and graded the line out back to the side seam and inseam at the knee.
Here they are again in a super brightened photo so you can see the pleats better:
I hope this helps you hack your own patterns. You can do this to any trouser pattern you have that you like the fit of. That’s the beauty of it! Enjoy and let me know how it goes if you give it a try. I am off to do some major pattern testing this weekend. Yeeek! So excited! I hope you have a fabulous one as well!