Today I'll show you the fabric and notions I've chosen for the sew-along pants I'm sewing and we'll take some time to discuss materials you could choose for your own pair.

I'm creating two pairs of pants for this sew-along:



This pair will feature the design details from Variation 1 of the Jutland Pants pattern.  I'm sewing them in a size 30 for Matt.

Materials I'm using:

  • Self Fabric: Olive 7.35 oz cotton canvas
  • Waistband Facing: Plaid Flannel
  • Pocketing: Densely woven cotton sheeting
  • Interfacing: Medium weight woven fusible interfacing
  • Zipper: 6" Talon metal zipper
  • Rivets: Brass.  I'll be using four of these to reinforce the front pockets
  • Otter Wax: Two bars.  These will be used for waxing the finished pair of pants!

Changes I'll be making to this variation:

  • Create narrower legs (as per Matt's preference...he's a skinny guy!)
  • Add buttons to the welt pockets
  • Use Otter Wax to create a water resistant finish



This pair will include the details from Variation 2.  I'm sewing them in a size 34 for my Uncle who covet's my dad's orange pair (from our Jutland Pants photo shoot).

Materials I'm using:

  • Self Fabric: Navy blue cotton twill - VERY heavy weight (avoid this fabric if your machine doesn't like thick layers!)
  • Waistband Facing: Plaid Flannel
  • Lining: Plaid Flannel
  • Pocketing: Densely woven cotton sheeting
  • Interfacing: Medium weight woven fusible interfacing
  • Zipper: 6" Talon metal zipper
  • Rivets: Brass.  I'll be using ten of these - two on each front pocket and three on each patch pocket

Changes I'll be making to this variation:

  • Add a gusset to the main pants and lining crotch
  • Add screw-driver pocket instead of the left cargo pocket
  • Create knee pad pockets that allow for removable knee pad inserts
  • Add additional strengthening top stitching and bar tacks

So now you've seen what materials I've chosen, let's have a look at why I made these choices and how you can make your own choices:



These pants can be sewn from all sorts of bottom weight fabrics.  You can try using anything from denim to waterproof Rip-stop!

A note about the cotton canvas we carry in our store: I chose our Olive cotton canvas to put in our store because it is strong enough to withstand a lot of wear but it is thin and light enough to cooperate with light weight domestic sewing machines. It is a great weight to use if your machine is afraid of heavy fabrics.  Because the pattern includes details such as flat fell seams, it is a good idea to choose a fabric that is thin enough for your machine to handle several layers and also to choose something that does not fray substantially as this can make ironing the tiny folds of a flat fell seam quite fiddly!

A note about thick materials: As for the thick twill material I chose for my Uncle's pair of pants - don't try this at home (if you're machine is lightweight).  I sew this weight of material on my industrial sewing machine.  If you would like to sew pants with a heavyweight material such as this one, I'd suggest skipping all flat fell seams and keep in mind that the details such as the knee and hem reinforcements can result in a lot of layers so it might be a good idea to skip them.

A note about stretch fabrics:  Stretch denims and other stretch materials can result in a great pair of Jutland Pants.  Just keep in mind that the stretch inherent in the fabric will change the fit of the pants.  You can either size down or make sure that key fit areas can't stretch.  For instance, you could use a non-stretch woven material as the waistband facing or as interfacing in the waistband to prevent this area from stretching bigger throughout the day while the pants are worn.


pockets the monthly stitch

(I love the personalized Star Wars pockets that Lindsay used on The Monthly Stitch!)

While actual pocketing will create light weight but strong pocket linings, it can often be difficult to find at your local fabric store.  Pocketing (whether labelled as such or not) just needs to be densely woven, thin and strong.  Any quilting cotton will work nicely (and it's so much fun to pick personalized prints!) - just keep in mind that the more densely woven your material is, the stronger your pockets will be.  I like to use high quality, high thread count sheeting (fabric intended for sheets) since I happen to have a lot of pocket size scraps of it from an old job I had sewing for an interior designer!  Waste not, want not :).



Choose a zipper with all metal components.  Look for quality brands such as Talon (an old American zipper company) or YKK (a Japanese zipper company).  Don't skimp or compromise when choosing a zipper!  This is a notion that needs to deal with a lot of stress and use.

Rivets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  Don't worry if the post seems too long to suit the thickness of your fabric.  You can trim the post to suit your material thickness perfectly to create a strong and effective fit.  Check out the tutorial Matt made to show you how to do this!


Choose a button that suits your style and the wearer's preference.  For a casual and rugged look, use a jeans button that is applied just like a rivet.  For a dressier look, use a thick hidden hook and bar closure.  You can read a detailed post on this closure style at The Cutting Class.  Or personalize your pants by using a wooden, bone or plastic sew-on button (check out the button sewing tutorial that I made to make sure that your button won't fall off of your pants!).

Tomorrow I'll be going into all sorts of detail about my approach to preventing and fixing fit issues.  Please email or comment with any questions you might have!

December 03, 2014 — Matthew Meredith