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Scuba Simplicity 8378 Pants

Hello everyone!  I enjoyed sewing with the scuba fabric so much from this project that I was excited to work with a grey version to make a lovely pair of pants.

I picked this Scuba Fabric for this project (1.50 metres).

I’ve found that my handmade wardrobe includes a lot of tops, skirts, and dresses but not many handmade pants. I picked Simplicity 8378 for this project. I really liked the versatility of this pattern to include multiple pattern hack variations.

The two base patterns that are included are a wide and slim leg pants.

For the wide leg pattern base, the included options are:

  1. Basic wide leg pants

  2. High/low pants

  3. Side angled pants.

For the slim leg pattern base, the included options are:

  1. Basic slim leg pants

  2. Gathered jogger pants

  3. Cropped side slit pants

All pants include an elastic waistband and in-seam pockets.

For this project I used the slim leg pattern with the cropped side slit variation.

I made a muslin first to test out sizing. My sizing for the pattern fell within a straight medium (no grading across sizes).

Modifications for the Muslin

I made a couple of modifications for the muslin. I recently made a different Simplicity pants pattern (earlier this month) and I found the crotch was quite baggy on me.  Referencing the fit of that pattern, I decided to try lowering the waist with this muslin by 3.5” (to try to prevent the baggy front crotch).  

I did want to note that this pants pattern does not have a separate waistband pattern piece (like the other pattern did). This pattern has the top fabric folded down to create the waistband.

I chose to take out the 3.5” by folding the top of the slim pants pattern piece down by 3.5” for the front and back pattern pieces. I reference this location in the photo with a pink line (and with the location I'm pointing with my finger in the photo).

I also shortened the length of the legs by 2.25”.  I made this change as I didn’t have enough of the muslin fabric to make the original cropped slim pattern length. The fabric that I used is a double sided ponte knit. The photos shows where I cropped the length, for reference. I folded up at the shorten/lengthen line by 2.25”.

To cut out the length modifications on the muslin (without modifying the tissue) I used a french curve ruler to smooth out the new transition for the shorter pants length (at each of the pattern pieces).

Here are a few photos to reference the fit.  I think it would have been fun to have used the reverse, striped fabric for the pockets but I left them the matching the outer fabric, this time around.

After wearing the muslin pants a few times, I found that I lowered the waistline too much.  I do like the shorter leg length and the side slit is very comfortable. I’m wearing a nude tank top underneath my top (in the photo) so as not to bare my midriff for the photos. This photo references the lower waistline height.

Final Project

Modifications for the Final Version

For the final pants I decided to go back to the original waist height and change the waistband elastic width.  I used a 2” waistband elastic so I folded the waistband down 2.25” (down from the original location). The pattern originally calls for 1” elastic with a 1.5” folded waistband.

I got a bit hasty when I cut out the pattern in the final fabric. I didn’t look at the cutting diagram to reference the suggested fabric layout.  I folded the fabric slightly off center rather then noting that the diagram called for cutting the fabric while folded directly in half (matching selvedges).

Why would you look at the cutting diagram in a pattern (you might ask)?

  • You use less fabric (saving larger fabric scraps for another project).

  • You don’t run out of fabric (referencing the suggested fabric length on the back of the pattern envelope).

  • You make sure you cut out all of the right pieces for your project (for the version that you picked to sew).

This mistake meant that I needed to cut out the front pants pattern pieces flat, twice (instead of cutting the pattern out once with the fabric folded).  I had enough fabric for the project but I wish I would have checked the cutting diagram before cutting out the pattern pieces.

To reinforce the pocket markings in the pattern tissue I found that using washi tape was quite helpful.  I used a hole punch after adding washi tape to the tissue to mark the pocket locations. I use to always trace off each pattern onto tracing paper (prior to sewing the project). I’m more recently changing to just using the pattern tissue (to save time).

With the taller folded waistband I decide to trim the seam allowance at the top edges of the pockets.  

I sewed the waistband elastic together with a traditional X boxed stitch (which is different from the pattern’s suggested method with the thinner elastic).

I really like the length of this pants for this version.  The side slits are really comfortable and I like the movement that it adds to the pants, as I walk.  The pockets are a funtional feature as well.

I like the slightly higher waist much better (versus the muslin that I made).  The muslin became a comfy pair of pajama pants. For my next version of this pattern I will sew two more rows of stitch lines around the elastic to further enclose the wider elastic into the waistband.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this project.  I like the flexibility that an elastic waisted pant offers (both with pattern fit and extended flexible wear, over time).  I really like the pattern/fabric pairing as the Scuba fabric is a polyester base and tends to not be a breathable fabric.  The cropped length and side vents offer nice breathability and a dressy yet comfortable fit.

Scuba is an easy care fabric that is a great option to use for a travel wardrobe (comfortable, not prone to wrinkling and a classy look).  I find that I tend to be drawn to printed fabrics for handmade tops. Solid fabrics for bottoms offer more versatility for my capsule wardrobe planning.

I wish you all a very happy sewing day with your own sewing adventures!

Rachel (@oakbluedesigns)

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