The Eve pant by Merchant & Mills

Making pants is a love-hate thing for me. I love it because, like a lot of people, I struggle to find ready-made pants that fit me. On the flip side, that means a lot of fit adjustments when I am making pants. While it’s all worth it in the end, it can be a bit trying to get all those adjustments right, especially when you are starting out and the techniques for making pants like installing a zipper fly take a lot of concentration.

I am so glad I’ve tried out this pattern now because sewing up these Eve pantswas a real treat! Everything was so easy and I love the finished result. The pattern is a breeze to follow, logical and you don’t have to spend ages staring at the diagrams trying to figure out what kind of sewing origami is required. 

I made this pair in a vintage coral cotton and I’ve already worn them a bunch in the first week to work and out shopping. The were really comfy and the cotton kept me cool during this muggy weather we’ve been having.  

Joan’s top tips

1. Baste, baste baste. I think that rule applies for all pants! Take the time to baste the pieces together to check your fit early on, especially if you aren’t confident with making pants. If you don’t want to cut in to your material, you can try using something like this. I use this stuff for special projects, you trace the pattern onto it, cut it out and then you can sew it up to check the fit beore cutting out your fabric. Simply cut your fit or mark your adjustments directly on it and then you can keep it as your pattern for next time. As a very beginner sewer I managed to make a perfect pair of jeans using this method so I really rate it!

2. Don’t neaten away the additional seam allowance for the zip like I did. In my rush to neaten my raw edges I snipped off this extra allowance that would have made the zip instal a bit easier. With some careful sewing I managed to recover but next time this will definitely make life easier.

3. If you are looking for pants with pockets, this is not the pattern for you. This initially put me off making the pattern, but I can see now why they aren’t included and it’s part of what makes them so easy to sew up and fit so well. I have achieved a much more professional finish with these simple pants that my others which have slant or slash pockets so I’m really happy with forgoing them on this occasion. 

I will be making more of these and my next version will be in this tan organic cotton twill. After that I might try a linen and give the front pleat a go. 

Fit and fabric choices

Although I said these were a dream to sew up, I did have a bit of false start. I started out adjusting the pattern pieces for a full tummy like I normally do and when I basted the legs together for a fit check I found they were waaay too roomy. So I went back and recut to the original. The waist and tummy was ok but they ballooned out around the thigh in an awkward manner. I decided to lengthen the front darts and voila, that tiny adjustment sorted the whole thing out and the fit is just perfect for me now. 

I’ve made quite a few pairs of pants but none had a front dart/pleat option so I’m really loving this feature and can’t wait to try out some more patterns to see if I can achieve a good fit as easily as I did with this one. 

I made these in a straight UK size 14 (my measurements are B99,W89,H101) with no adjustments other than the dart and I didn’t adjust the length so the hem is sitting just above my ankle at a 7/8 length. If you’re on the taller size and want to keep the 7/8 look you might want to add a bit of length, especially if you are going for the turn up option. 

Originally I had planned to make these up in a heaver weight fabric but I changed my mind at the last minute and went for this mid-weight cotton. I am really glad I did for this first time as it allowed me to get the hang of the zip and waistband without having to manage any bulky bits. If you’re on the beginner end of intermediate, or struggle with pants, I would recommend trying something a bit lighter weight for your first pair. 

Looking for the perfect fabric match?

If you’re thinking about making these pants and are looking for some fabric options, here are some suggestions from our store in suitable widths and weights at different price points:

• Nice for beginners: this easy to work with vintage mid-weight cotton or a friendly laundered linen 

• Joan’s perfect match: this sumptuous organic cotton twill in a sharp navy or rich tan

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