Bonita's Vintage Pledge Project: The Land Girl Pants

Bonita of Lavender & Twill is a lover of 1940s and 1950s styles, and aims to recreate "the glamour of the past, with the freedom of today." Her choice of project for #vpjuly does just that; using a popular Simplicity reproduction pattern to make some stylish and practical trousers:
Pattern Details
Simplicity 3688. It’s a retro re-release of a 1940’s four-piece suit pattern, with a jacket, blouse, skirt and trousers.
It’s a great pattern, and there have been a lot of good reviews on it. Every time I saw the pants I was like: “They look great! I should make those!…But pants are so hard… Eh, I’ll just sew a dress instead.”. This year, however, I put on my brave face, made it my vintage sewing pattern pledge to actually give it a go, and whadda you know… It wasn’t that scary at all!
Fabric and Notions 
Unknown length of undetermined stretch hounds tooth knit fabric. This fabric came from my Grandmother’s stash. It was passed on from her to my Mom, and then to me before it was finally made up! For my notions I used two buttons, one on the outside, and one inside to create extra sturdiness for the closures, Grosgrain ribbon for the waistband, and one metal zipper.
Sewing it Up
The ease of construction and the loose, vintage style of these pants means that this pattern is a fantastic beginner’s introduction to sewing trousers. It went together really smoothly {I only had to unpick a couple of seams when I got the front and back pieces confused, but when I figured out that I’d sewn it front-front and back-back instead of front-back, front-back it was a very easy fix}, and there aren’t any difficult techniques you need to know to make them up.
I did switch out the standard waistband interfacing for Grosgrain ribbon to create the waistband. I like using this couture technique for building the waistband because I feel like the finished result is far more sturdier, actually stands up better instead of folding over or creasing down {like a lot of my skirt waistbands used to do before I started doing this}, and doesn’t stretch out of shape. Plus, I think it makes button holes easier as well! But on that note, yes, my button tab is too long… Whoops!

I also added a pocket into the side seam opposite the zipper, because who likes pants without pockets?? I mean, really…. But I do that with all my skirts and dresses too. I find if it doesn’t have pockets, I’m much less likely to wear it!
I handpicked the zipper and the hem for the pants ~ and while I adore hemming by hand, zippers still elude me when it comes to a perfectly neat finish, so I think I need to keep practising my zipper insertion for sure.
Final Verdict
I am so happy with the finished trousers though; I can’t even say. This winter I’ve really been into swing pants ~ I kind of feel like they are the vintage girl’s version of trakkie-daks…. Or pyjamas… Have I mentioned that these things are darn comfortable?

I’m definitely leaning towards 1940’s land girl inspiration for styling options rather than glamourous Hollywood slacks ~ those ladies had to work hard, and had to have outfits that were not only durable, but also easy to move in. These pants definitely fit that bill, and are a wardrobe staple for me right now. I’m just wondering how many more pairs I should make!

So, considering that I’ve worn them every day since I finished them up, and I’m wearing them right now as I write this post ~ I’d say these a new favourite. Plus, I finally got to make my first foray into the world of trouser sewing… Now to conquer the jeans!

Thanks Bonita! Delighted that those trousers are a new favourite, they look pretty but practical. And I love the everyday vintage styling of your photos. I will leave you with a beautiful landscape image from her photoshoot that Bonita also sent....sigh....

K x


  1. Thank you for hosting the tour and having me here K, it's been an honor to participate and see everyone's amazing makes. :) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  2. Oh they're lovely! The story of the fabric passed down to generation #3 is pretty amazing - how great you were finally able to turn them into a lovely finished garment that you love so much.


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