Bag-waist Pants: A PDF Sewing Pattern

Pants and Photo by @lepetitpuff

It's so funny how things happen. One minute you're pregnant and dusting off your great-aunt's sewing machine to bust out a pair of the easiest, fastest, cutest pants you can come up with, and a few years later, well, here we are, introducing the Bag-waist Pants PDF sewing pattern.

I made my first pair of baby harem pants when my little girl wasn't yet born. At the time, stretchy knit harem leggings were all the rage and starting to show up in many of the small shops I followed on Instagram at the time. I loved them, but I also had zero experience sewing with knits, and zero funds for buying any sort of trendy fabric. My resources were a knowledge of sewing wovens, and my fabric stash which consisted mainly of thrift store finds and a few quilting cottons gifted to me by my husband's grandmother. One day I went through my stash of fabrics and picked out the softest, light denim colored cotton and sewed them up into the tiniest little pair of harem pants. They fit my newborn babe for approximately 5 minutes, I literally remember her wearing them to her first checkup and our family doctor cautioned me that her non-stretch pants were almost too tight, and it's true, they really needed some tweaking for the best fit.

Tiny Newborn Pants!

Since then many other versions of these pants have been made on my machine, and when I opened up my shop my husband was surprised to hear I wasn't planning to include them as part of my clothing collection. At the time I just didn't think they were really special enough to include in my shop. They were so simple and basic and I didn't think people would really be interested in that style when my Instagram feed was filled with lovely, frilly dresses and ruffle-bum rompers. But eventually I did take my dear husband's advice and added Bag-waist pants to the shop. And wow, they immediately became one of my top-selling pieces! 

Photo by @kindred_indigo

Now as I've made the change from selling baby and toddler clothing, these pants have undergone another final revision as I've updated my sizing to include a greater range of sizes and more consistency in fit and proportion from one size to the next.  As the testing process has gone on it's been incredible to see these pants created in completely new and beautiful styles by the hands of other amazingly talented sewists. 

Pants and Photo by @morera.home

So let's go over the fit and style of these pants. The Bag-Waist pants are a simple, unisex style that is easy and satisfying to sew. They are designed to be generous in volume, worn at the natural waist (above the navel), and hit at full leg length. They will fit for a long time and gradually morph into equally beautiful lower-waist, ankle pants as your child grows. They can be made with a “bag-waist” ruffle or a classic elastic waist.

Pants and Photo by @mymemade

My testers overwhelmingly agreed that this pattern is a very easy beginner project, perfect as an introduction to sewing children's clothing. At a beginner sewing level, it may take you a few hours from printing the pattern to finished garment. Experienced sewists may complete a pair of pants in less than an hour. 

Pants and Photo by @kaylagies3

Let's talk about fabric! While choosing a high quality linen fabric has been my style preference for these pants, my testers made these pants in a variety of fabrics, from cottons, to seersucker, to linen blends and vintage linens with gorgeous results.

Pants and Photo by @lepetitpuff

Since these pants don't take much time or fabric (especially the smaller sizes), one suggestion I have is to try to make your first pair out of something up-cycled. This could be a thrifted sheet, a large women's skirt, or a number of other textiles you may discover at the thrift store. This is a low-cost way to make sure you're happy with the size you've chosen and a good way to practice the skills involved before cutting into any higher-cost fabric. Plus it's good for the planet of course!

Pants and Photo by @thisdarlinghaus

Get creative with it! You can share your designs in the Rose + Rail Pattern group on Facebook and on Instagram using the hashtags #bagwaistpants and #roseandrailpatterns. I'd absolutely LOVE to see your makes!

Keep creating, keep sewing, friends! 

♥ Whitney


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