Because my time has been taken up with shop business, what with the move and everything, sewing has unfortunately taken a back seat.  Thankfully, some of my sewing friends have volunteered to sew and review some patterns for me.

I have known Janet for more than 20 years now.  She is a meticulous sewist (you should see her bias cut doupioni plaid dress!) with a special fondness for linen.  Having just retired, she is now volunteering her time in the gardens of Government House.  No more office suits for her!  Instead, she found herself needing a comfortable pair of pants.  Here is her review for the Almost Long Trousers by Assembly Line Patterns.


Do you yearn for a pair of comfortable, stylish, pull-on pants that are easy to sew and actually fit?  I did, and tried a few different patterns with limited success, and then my dear friend and sewist supreme, Susan, told me about the Almost Long Trousers from The Assembly Line pattern company.  The Assembly Line describe the pants as follows:

The Almost Long trousers pattern can really change style depending on fabric choice – from office cool to loungewear.  These pants have a relaxed fit, positioned at lower waist and dropped crotch.  The leg tapers to the ankle, waistband and bottom cuffs are elasticated.  The trousers feature in-seam pockets.

The sewing skill level is rated as “easy”.  Don’t be put off by the “dropped crotch” description.  I think “relaxed fit” is a better description – like a pair of dress pants as opposed to the snugger fit of slim fitting stretch jeans.  The in-seam pockets are well designed – deep and useful.

Susan, who is a keen bicycle rider, told me the pants slightly longer rise makes them comfortable to wear when cycling and the elastic cuffs on the legs kept the pants from getting caught in the bike chain.  I would add the fact that they look absolutely fantastic on her.  I am not a cyclist but I am a volunteer gardener at Government House.  The garden that I work in, the Terraces, has many rocky slopes that I must constantly clamber up and down, so a comfortable pair of pants is a must and the Almost Long Trousers sounded ideal.   Not having any suitable fabric in my stash, a visit to see Penny at Gala Fabrics was my next step and, of course, she had the perfect fabric, “Stretch Repreve Denim”.  It is a lightweight stretch denim – 68% cotton, 30% Repreve, 2% Spandex.  If you are not familiar with Repreve, it is a made from 100% recycled goods (polyester).  The denim has a nice soft hand, a bit of stretch, and washed and dried beautifully with minimal shrinkage or colour loss.

I made a muslin of the size that fit my measurements.  However, I found the pants fit too big so I made a size smaller.

Susan warned me that the “Almost Long” pattern name was a clue to check the leg length.  I am 5’5” with longish legs and sure enough, I needed to add 3” to the leg length (2” above the knee, 1” at the hem) to bring the finished length to the top of my ankle bone.  You may not want the pants that long but when checking the leg length, don’t forget to include the ankle cuff depth in the total leg measurement.  If the “jogger” look of the pants isn’t your style, just leave off the cuffs and lengthen the pants accordingly for a pair of casual tapered leg pants.

Fabric requirements are based on a without nap layout so you may need a bit more fabric if you want to use a with nap layout.  The sewing instructions are very clear and easy to follow however I did not follow their method for attaching the “elasticated” waistband and cuffs.  The instructions direct you to sew the elastic into the seam allowance which would make a rather bulky seam.  I opted for the more standard waistband casing with the elastic threaded through it.  Note that seam allowances are 1 cm, not the usual 5/8” some of us are more used to.

I believe at last count Susan has made the Almost Long Trousers six times and I understand why – they look nice, are very comfy and fit well.   I completed a second pair in Tencel and decided to add a third pair in black linen, for a slightly dressier look.  Looking ahead to cooler weather, I plan to make my fourth pair from a slightly heavier brushed black stretch denim, also from Gala Fabrics.  I haven’t yet caught up to Susan but I’m getting closer.

The Almost Long Trousers in stretch repreve denim. (side view)


The Almost Long Trousers in linen

Janet M.