Paperbag Pants and Skirt pattern review

I have been longing for a pair of Paperbag trousers for a year or two. There was a test underway with another designer a while ago that had to be abandoned for some reason, and so I was really excited when Judy at Patterns for Pirates had a poll amongst her testers, to see what she should put into testing next. I jumped at the Paperbag Pants and Skirt (affiliate, thank you) option and so did everyone else!

The pattern is drafted for a woven, stretch woven or even a stable stretch fabric (think cotton French Terry etc), and has the cute ruffled paperbag waist look, which I love. I sew the plus 2X size, in P4P patterns.

For my first version, I used some dark green cotton poplin left over from making a gazillion pair of scrubs last summer, during the pandemic. The shorts are pictured here with the Be Bold Bodysuit (affil).

For this version, I just did the basic waistband, omitting the belt loops and belt itself. I chose the 5″ inseam length and the patch pockets.

They’re a roomy fit, with plenty of ease for sitting comfortably without being too blousy, and I like the length, too.

For my 2nd version I made the cropped pant length, and this time I used a fabric that was new to me, a Viscose Marocain from The Textile Centre on Ebay. It was only £4.99 a metre and turned out beautifully. The fabric was very stiff feeling at first, but relaxed with washing and has softened even more with wear. It was very easy to sew with, feels light and breezy to wear, and I would definitely use it again.

I wrote up a Blog Post for the release, which shows how to hack a half belt enclosed in the waistband. I always lose separate belts, so this way I can get the look of the belt without losing it on wash day! Click the link above to be taken straight to it.

It’s a great little pattern, and as much as I love the Paperbag waistband I actually love the fit of the trousers so much that I am planning to hack on a regular elasticated waistband so I can make them again, using all of my favourite woven fabrics for the summer. Plus the pockets are big enough for my massive phone, so that makes me really happy too!

The only downside to the pattern is that the pockets can poof out a bit at the sides when being worn, if you don’t gather that waistband into the elastic properly. However, I am thinking of subbing in a side seam pocket for the next pair too, so I’ll let you know how I get on with that.

The pattern comes with print-at-home A4 and US letter files, aswell as a layered A0 and projector file. The tutorial is detailed as always, with plenty of photos and good instructions. The size range is very inclusive, which is really important to me. I think this is an adventurous beginner friendly pattern.

Overall: a comfortable pair of woven trousers/short. Very wearable. 9/10.

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