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Getting Started
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Pattern Development
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- Basic Pattern Development
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- Basic Rectangular Patterns

Sewing Tech
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Western European
- Underwear
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Eastern European:

- Shirts
- Pants
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- Shoes
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Ancillary Arts
- Fans
- Pouch Hinges, Part 1
- Pouch Hinges, Part 2

Demonstrations>Accessories:Eastern European>Rectangular Pants

The rectangular construction of garments is one of the best methods to use in constructing pants. There is virtually no waste associated with the more simple patterns and the stress points that we are familiar with in modern pant design and construction are completely eliminated. This means that if you are going to be using the following pattern for 'fighting' pants, you will not have the 'blowout' commonly seen in modern inseam construction.

As with the Rectangular Coat demonstration, the main emphasis of rectangular patterns is not formed from the body but rather constrained by the width and length of the cloth. Rectangular construction is typically loose fitting rather than form fitting but can involve some tailoring. The following pattern does not involve any tailoring but some of the other patterns presented at the end do.

Getting Started

Like the Rectangular Coat, there are only a few measurements that are required at the beginning. Length of leg from natural waist to ankle or lower if you want a bit of 'bouffe' to your pant leg, the full rise measurement which is obtained by placing a measuring tape on your belly button, running the tape under your crotch and up to your waist line at the small of your back, and the circumference of your ankle.

A good method to find out just how much fabric you will need for a pair of pants is to take the length of leg measurement and double it. This does not take into account if you will be making a casing for your waistband or ankle cuffs. As an example, if your length of leg to ankle is 36" and you want a little bouffe in the pant leg, add another 3". Add on to this another 1" for seam allowances and the grand total is 40". Double this to 80" and you will need 2.25 yards of fabric (either 45" or 60") to make your pair of pants.

Laying out the Fabric

Lay your length of pre-washed fabric out, unfolded. Fold it widthwise like the illustration above. If you are working with stripes or patterned fabric, take the time to match your stripes or patterns up. Once you have every thing laid correctly, fold the fabric lengthwise as in the illustration to the left.

Once you have done this, you are now ready to cut the gusset out. Fold the fabric once again according to the illustration below. As you are folding it, make sure that the area indicated in the illustration is equal to the circumference of your ankle doubled. If you wish more tightly fitted cuffs, you can measure around the widest part of your ankle and heel. Alternately, if you wish to pleat the cuffs into a ankle band, you can make this area larger.

At the point where the fold originates at the top, make sure you leave enough for seam allowances and drawstring or elastic casing (if you're planning on building these in).

At the widest point of this fold, measure it and compare it to the full rise measurement you took earlier. Make sure that it is at least equal to or greater. This fold will become the crotch once the gusset is cut out, rotated and set into the pant legs. It is important that it fit but not be too tight.

One Cut Will Do It

Once you have done all of the above steps, you are now ready to make your first of only two cuts into the fabric. Cut along the fold of the third fold you made, as is shown in the illustration to the left. This is really the only major cut you will need to make. With this one action you have just cut out both backs and fronts of your pants and the gusset that will be set in between them.

After you have made your gusset cut, cut the fold which is still present at the bottom of the pant leg. This becomes your ankle present at the cuff area on the pant legs. Open up the fabric and lay out the backs and fronts of the pants as well as the big, triangular shaped gusset. Here's the only tricky part in this whole pattern. You will need to rotate the gusset 90 degrees before re-insetting it into the pant legs. In other words, the point that came from the ankle section must be set into the crotch area. The illustration below should help.

The big triangular piece is your gusset. It has already been rotated so that the point that came from the ankle area is facing where it will be inserted into the crotch area.

Sew together one set of pant legs and the gusset. You can either sew a regular seam or you can French seam the gusset. Flat felling is not recommended simply because it will get very complicated and difficult at the crotch area.

Once you have the gusset inserted into one set of pant legs, do the same for the other set. Pay very close attention to these seams. Both are cut on the bias and extremely prone to stretch. Treat them kindly and try not to stretch them. Pinning is almost an essential.

The Home Stretch

Once you have your gusset inserted into both of your pant legs, your pants should look like the illustration to the right. At this point, the hard part is over.

Fold the pants together and sew up the side seams. After finishing off the side seams your pants should look like the illustration below. You can either make a drawstring/elastic casing and attach it to the pants or you can make the casing from the rough edge at the top.

Finish off your cuffs in a similar manner. Very often, in period, the cuffs were heavily embroidered and made separately - sometimes of a different material and very stiff.

Viola! A pair of rectangularly constructed pants. Virtually no waste to speak of and fairly simple to cut and construct. This particular pattern was and still is very popular in the Middle East and South Central Asia. It can also be found in Central Asia and in one or two examples in the Nordic countries.

For more rectangular patterns, click here.

For pictures of what the pants look like when worn, click on the thumbnails below:

A rear view of the pair of pants constructed in this demo. An action view of the pants - highly recommended by four year olds. Another action view of the pants.
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