Easy Patterns for Beginning Sewers: Pants

Easy pants patterns by the McCall Pattern Company. These sew up fast!

Pants are one of my favorite low-effort, high-reward sewing projects. If you choose a loose or semi-fitted silhouette, and an elastic waist, you can whip up a great pair of pants in no time. To sew pants that are really on-trend this season, choose a wide-leg style and pair it with a bold print fabric that’s lightweight—but not sheer—with a decent drape.

Roberto Cavalli wide-leg trousers available at Farfetch.
Roberto Cavalli wide-leg trousers available at Farfetch.

Here’s my number one tip for sewing pants:

Clearly mark each pant piece as FRONT or BACK. Doesn’t matter how you do it, whether you notch them or write a big F or B on these pieces in disappearing fabric marker. This will make your life easier, trust me.

Sometimes new sewers can get confused by the order of construction for a pair of pants, so here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Stitch the crotch seams. Pair the front pieces together and stitch the crotch seam; pair the back pieces together and stitch the crotch seam.
  2. Stitch the side seams. These are the seams that go along the outer side of your pants.
  3. Stitch the inseams. These are the seams that go along the inside of your pants.
  4. Stitch the casing for the elastic at the waist.
  5. Stitch the hems.

Pretty easy, right? If you are making wide-leg or loose-fitting pants you can knock out a pair in a couple of hours, since you don’t need to worry so much about fit. Here are two of our favorite beginner pants patterns:

McCall's easy pants pattern M6588. Great for beginning sewers.
McCall’s M6568. No in-seam pockets makes these pants fast and simple to sew.
Butterick B3460 pants pattern has pockets, but they're actually easy to add to your pants. And who doesn't love pockets.
Butterick B3460 pants pattern has pockets, but they’re actually easy to add to your pants. And who doesn’t love pockets.

You can see more of our patterns for beginning sewers by clicking on the Pinterest widget below. We chose these easy patterns for new sewers who have some sewing under their belts, like a tote bag or an elastic-waist skirt, and are ready to move on to sewing their own clothes.

Follow The McCall Pattern Company’s board Beginner-Friendly Sewing Patterns on Pinterest.

Make a pair of summer pants out of cotton voile or silk crepe in a cool print. Check out Alabama Chanin’s take on a Marcy Tilton for Vogue Patterns design for inspiration. Once you sew your first pair of pants you’ll be hooked. If you’ve made pants before, do you agree with how easy-to-sew and wearable they can be? Tell me about the pants you’ve sewn in the comments section. Thanks!

Sew a pair of pants that are perfect for beginning sewers. Pants can be so fast and easy to sew.

We’ve been sewing since 1863.

  1. Thanks for.the suggestions I think I might make M6568 for summer shorts.

  2. I love these pants! Is it possible to replace the elasticated waist with a real drawstring waist? I think I could do it myself by sewing in two round buttonholes at the front of the waistband, but how would I make the drawstring?

    1. Hi Emma! The drawstring is basically a long tube. You can either sew it out of the pants fabric, or maybe use some cording? The only downside to a drawstring is that it can get a little loose and you’ll find you’re pulling up your pants all day long. An option would be to make a faux drawstring: Make the buttonholes in the waistband, insert two drawstring ends into the buttonholes and stitch in place, then tie the drawstring into a bow. That’s what I do when I want a drawstring effect.

  3. I’d just sew in waistband elastic or do a casing with elastic, much easier for a beginner than a fiddly drawstring.

  4. I’ve always been taught to stitch the crotch seams just before you add the elastic casing. I’ve never heard of sewing that first.

    1. You are correct, except you can see the sides last and then the waist band. This is the proper way because it increases the strength of the crotch seam to prevent blow outs. The other way has come about because it is easier, but not as good. This is part of the dominant seam. There are seams on shirts and coats that are sewn wrong because it’s easier these days.

      Not only will the garment hold up better, it will look more professional and nicer.

  5. I believe this to be incorrect. You should stitch the inside leg seams (front to back) on both legs, then stitch the crotch seams and then the outside leg seams. So much easier that way!

  6. Hello Meg,

    Thanks for the information but can you help further with crotch cut pattern? I need dimensions so that I cut and sew without having the crotch gathering between legs .

    1. Hi Francesca! Please call 1-800-782-0323 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for help with this. Thanks!

  7. I’m really wanting to try this. I haven’t sewn in YEARS, but I can’t find any pants that fit me, and I’m frustrated. I’m still wearing jeans that are starting to wear out because I can’t replace them, and frankly, I’m tired of always wearing jeans.

    I wish these instructions were on YouTube so I could see exactly what you are doing.

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