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Fast & Easy, But Still Chic: Elastic-Waist Pants

Inspiration: Isabel Marant silk pants from Net-a-Porter

Isabel Marant silk pants available at Net-a-Porter, $665

My dream closet would be filled by pieces from Isabel Marant. So chic, so French, and so wearable. Take these silk pants from her, pictured above. They are utterly elegant, but they have an elastic waistband. Incroyable!

I rarely sew pants because I can always find a pair or two at Zara that fit my needs, but my sewing mojo was a-twitching at the thought of making chic elastic waistband pants. First came the fabric: this wonderful green wool twill print from Oscar de la Renta that I found on our wool floor here at Mood NYC. It’s very drape-able and soft to the touch, so much so that I decided not to line these pants.

Oscar de la Renta wool print from Mood Fabrics NYC

That’s the Oscar de la Renta wool in the middle. It’s reading way brighter here in this photo than it is in real life. More of a dark green with a black print. Call our wool department at 212-730-5003 to buy or request a swatch; quantities are limited.

Next came the pattern: Simplicity 1808. There are a gazillion elastic-waist pants patterns out there, but I liked this one for the flat front panel part of the waistband. Figured it might eliminate some poofiness at the waistline, which it does. Also, pockets. Love pockets!
Simplicity 1808 elastic waist pants
If you sew this pattern, I strongly recommend you take the time to make a muslin first. I did and it was worth the time because these pants are very wide. I probably took about two inches off the outer seam, just to make them a little more narrow.

Another thing I recommend is to consider the weight of your fabric. The pattern calls for the waistband to be self-faced with your fashion fabric. In hindsight I wish I had made the underside of my waistband out of a thinner fabric, like silk, just to reduce some of the bulk. Or, made the entire waistband out of black silk charmeuse, like the Isabel Marant pants.

Chic elastic waist pants made from Oscar de la Renta wool from Mood Fabrics  and Simplicity 1808

Apologies for the photo quality! I actually have these hoisted up a little higher than I should. They fit about one inch below the natural waistline.

Oscar de la Renta wool pants; fabric from Mood Fabrics

Detail of the front waistband placket. Yeah, I probably should have made the entire waistband out of silk charmeuse or some other lightweight contrast fabric, but I’m ok with it as is.

I am so happy with these pants. I love, love, love this Oscar de la Renta wool. I went the whole day at work feeling comfortable with this wool next to my bare legs—no itchy feeling at all—and then I never changed out of them until bed. I’m already searching the shelves here at Mood for more fabric to make another pair of these pants!

Want to make your own Isabel Marant-inspired pull-on pants? I suggest looking at’s silk prints, wool challis (you may want to line), wool crepe (choose lightweight crepes; consider lining), and 4-ply silk. Now go get sewing!

16 Responses to “ Fast & Easy, But Still Chic: Elastic-Waist Pants ”

  1. Taya M

    do you think that i would be less of a designer if i used patterns to create garments? i know that most if not all designers create their designs from scratch.

    I really would like to know because i want to start making clothes for work and every day wear

    Thank You

    1217 days ago   |   Reply
    • Meg at Mood

      Absolutely use patterns to help with design! As you get more proficient you’ll have your own slopers to use as patterns.

      1217 days ago   |   Reply
  2. Pingback: Pattern Review: Simplicity 1808 – Pants | SEWN

  3. Joen

    I already have this pattern, and after seeing how nice your pants look I just may give them a try. Great to know your pattern fitting suggestions, I will definitely make a muslin. Now to check my stash at home to see what I have on hand that would work.

    1244 days ago   |   Reply
  4. Beth

    Love the jacket with it .. what a nice outfit … I want.

    1244 days ago   |   Reply
  5. Rita Lucido

    So how do you think this pattern would fare in a knit? Say, high quality ponte?

    1244 days ago   |   Reply
    • Meg at Mood

      Rita, really well in a stable knit like ponte, though I’d probably make the waistband out of silk charmeuse or satin to eliminate bulkiness and add a designer touch.

      1244 days ago   |   Reply
      • Rita Lucido

        I have some lovely ponte, but I do worry about the bag at the knees with a knit.

        1244 days ago   |   Reply
  6. Carolyn

    So I go to the simplicity site to check out the pattern thinking I don’t have to worry this won’t come in a plus size…and it DOES! Egads ~ now I’m wondering if I can pull off the pants and the top in one of Mood’s silk crepes! In a dark color with a belt it will almost look jumpsuity – yeah I know not exactly your Isabel Marant pants but they did inspire me! :)

    1244 days ago   |   Reply
  7. Erica B.

    I love these kind of pants. I’ve made one pair and I’m about to cut a pair out of red ponte from of course Mood!

    1245 days ago   |   Reply
  8. Lauren

    I never would have thought elastic waist pants could look so classy (although I’m not surprised – you always look super classy!). Love these, and of course now I want a pair :)

    1245 days ago   |   Reply
    • Meg at Mood

      Thank you, Lauren! I just looked this morning for more pants fabrics…

      1245 days ago   |   Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    LOVE these pants!!!! Very flattering! Did you just remove the width from the side seam? I thought with pants you had to take away evenly from inseam and outer seam? I’m off to buy the pattern!

    1245 days ago   |   Reply
    • Meg at Mood

      You know me, I never sweat the fit details. I’m sure you’re right, but taking in from the outer sides worked for me. Glad I made a muslin to test it! Glad you like the pants.

      1245 days ago   |   Reply
  10. Lori

    Gorgeous pants, love the fit, the pattern suggestion and the fabric. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1245 days ago   |   Reply
    • Meg at Mood

      Thanks, Lori!

      1245 days ago   |   Reply

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