Versatile Bow Tie Pants Sewing & Pattern-Making Tutorial

sew bow tie pants feature photo

These pants are inspired by Thai Fisherman Pants and resemble paper bag pants. You will learn simple pattern drafting and use beginner sewing techniques. Our family likes a minimal look with versatile fit options – these pants are just that! They have no front and back and can be customised to your own needs. You can make a pair that fits you no matter how your weight/shape fluctuates; if you are pregnant or want to share the same pants with your partner who has a similar shape – you will always look good in these versatile bow tie pants!

Video Tutorial

open video on PeerTube

You can also watch it on YouTube.

A little back story... (why bow tie?)

Since we started sewing our own pants and shorts, we've only used elastic rubber bands to make the waistband. It was what we knew best from growing up. It's a good option as it has a decent fit for moving about during the day and wouldn't squeeze you like a balloon after eating a meal.

Those were the (main) gripes we have with wearing rubber elastics in our pants. This is when we began researching for an alternative that our ancestors would recognise and approve. We learned about the Thai fisherman pants and the wrap pants. Both were adapted from wearing sarongs in a hot climate. We love the bow tie idea as that would eliminate the elastic band. We have previously made a dress with a bow tie waistband so it seems like now it's the time to incorporate that into pants and shorts!

Why bow tie?

Part 0 - Tools & Materials

Part 1 - Measurements & Calculations

Take a piece of paper or use our PDF worksheet to write down and calculate measurements needed for this pattern.

Measurement βž€

pant width = hips/waist (widest of two) Γ· 2

Β· choose the rise you want (high-waisted/normal/low-rise)

Measurement ➁

crotch depth = rise to floor when sitting

Measurement βž‚

pant scoop = crotch length (front β†’ back rise under crotch) Γ· 2

Measurement βžƒ

crotch width = thigh (widest part) Γ· 4

Measurement βž„

Β· if making shorts:

shorts length = rise to thigh (adjust to preference)

Β· if making long pants:

pants length = rise to anckle (adjust to preference)

Β· (optional) adjust pant shape & silhouette

take inspiration from pants you already own or make anything your imagination fancies 😺 (bell bottoms? palazzo? or just leave it for a wide fit!)

Measurement βž…

pant width @ thigh

Measurement βž† (for long pants)

pant width @ ankle

Part 2 - Make Pattern & Sew

We will be drawing the pattern straight onto the fabric, let's go!

*remember to add seam & shrinkage allowance as needed!

Step 1 - prepare fabric

cut out two pieces of fabric that are sized Measurement βž€ x 2 by Measurement βž„

step 1 cut fabric

fold cut fabric pieces in half

step 1 fold cut fabric pieces

Step 2 - draw pattern

draw Measurements ➁ , βž‚ and βžƒ onto folded fabrics

optional: draw on Measurements βž… and βž† (for long pants) to adjust pant shape and silhouette.

shorts pattern

step 2 draw pattern onto fabric

long pants patten

step 2 optionally draw long pants measurements

Step 3 - make pant legs

cut along Measurement βž‚ ; sew outer pant leg (Measurement βž„ edge) close, right sides together (or wrong sides together for a french seam)

step 3 cut and sew pant legs

Step 4 - connect pant legs

open up pant leg fabric pieces into tubes and flip one right side out. put one inside the other with crotch seam touching (originally Measurement βž‚); sew them together (with rights sides touching or wrong sides touching for a french seam)

step 4 sew pant legs together

Step 5 - finish up

finish seams, hem and make other adjustments. We like to keep some raw hems and fray the edge a little for a fun look.

Step 6 - tube ties

cut and sew waist tie (preferrably using scrap fabric); turn using tube turner/safety pin; a reference length is 1m/1yd of tie length in total. Sew ties at sides of pants.

*if you used a heavier-weight fabric or intend to do lots of jumping exercise in them, we recommond putting some belt loops along the top for the tie strings to better hold up the pants

Pants (trousers) are finished!

How to wear them?!

bow tie can be tied at the front or at the back
tie method no.1 for versatile bow tie pants
tie method no.2 for versatile bow tie pants

Download PDF worksheet

Thank you for reading!

We hope you were able to make some good fitting pants! Share your creations with us or ask any questions by email (see footer)!