Alina Sewing and Design

Prepwork Feat Img-01Today we have a little less talk and a lot more action! 😉

We need to:

  1. Print and assemble the pattern
  2. Cut out or trace our size
  3. Cut the fabric
  4. Prepare all of the pieces

It’s a lot, but you’ll have a couple of days to tackle all of this before we start assembling the front pockets, and then this weekend to catch up on everything altogether.

Before anything else, always pre-shrink your fabric. If you plan on washing and drying the final garment, then wash and dry the fabric before before cutting into it. If you’re going to hand-wash and line-dry, then do that to the fabric. This helps ensure that any shrinkage happens before you’ve already sewn your precious final product!

First, print and assemble the pattern. I have included a printing guide–read this thoroughly and you will be more than prepared to print and assemble. I tell you which pages to print for which views/back pockets you choose, how to print only one or two sizes (instead of all 10), how to set up your printer and make sure it’s not scaling anything up or down, and how to use the copyshop files as well.

Second, either cut out or trace your size. This is completely up to you. For most PDF patterns, I prefer to cut them out. If I need another size, I can easily print it out again. If I’m really not sure, I’ll print everything and trace my size off on medical paper (the stuff you sit on at the doctor’s office).

Third, cut out your fabric. I’ve included cutting layout diagrams for each size and view on pages 13-17. Pay special attention to the grain lines. To use the grainline arrows, make sure that each end of the arrow is an equal distance from the selvage (factory-finished) edge (not the edge they cut at the store). Grain lines are important to make sure that the garment hangs straight–if the grain line is off, you’ll probably notice the garment twisting on your body while you wear it. (Annoying!)

Fourth, we will prepare all of our pattern pieces. It’s nice to do all of this first so that once we’re done, we are ready to complete all of the major construction steps.


Chi-Town Chinos-Back PocketsBack pockets:
(1) On the top edge of each back pocket, iron back pocket interfacing to the wrong side.
(2) Turn under 1/4” on the top edges and press. Turn under an additional 1” and press again.
(3) Top stitch 7/8” from the top edge, catching the folded edge underneath. Turn under 1/2” on remaining sides and bottom, press, and set aside. (TIP: for the angled pockets, press the bottom angled corners first, then the bottom and sides. For the curved pockets, you may want to create a cardboard template from the pattern piece with 1/2″ trimmed from the sides and bottom; placing this on the pocket, iron all of the edges around the template. You may also place a gathering stitch around the corners and use it to ease the corners so that they lay evenly.)
(4) You may want to clip the insides of the top corners to prevent them from peeking out.

Chi-Town Chinos-Pocket FlapsOptional pocket flaps:
(1) Take two pocket flaps and place them right sides together. With a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew along the sides and bottom, leaving top open.
 Trim seam allowance and clip corners (clip the corners a bit more than I have pictured–this helps give you sharp corners when you turn it right side out).
(2) Turn right side out and use a point turner to turn each corner out, then press well. Place lines of topstitching at 1/16-1/8” from edge and then 3/8” from edge.

(3) Sew the buttonholes now before they are sewn onto your pants. Repeat for remaining pocket flap. (Best topstitching tip: GO SLOW, practice first.)

Chi-Town Chinos-Belt LoopsBelt loops:
(1) Grab your belt loop piece and finish one long edge. (TIP: you can cut this along the selvage edge and already have one perfectly finished edge.)
Fold into even thirds lengthwise, placing finished edge on top of raw edge and press.
(2) Topstitch 1/8” from each edge and cut into even fifths (each should be 3-1/4”).
(3) Turn under 1/2” on each end. 

Chi-Town Chinos-5Front pocket facings: Finish curved edge of each front pocket facing. You may do this with an overlocker or by turning 1/4” under and pressing. 

Chi-Town Chinos-Fly ShieldFly shield:
(1) Fold in half lengthwise RST, matching all edges. Sew along bottom angled edge only with 1/2″ seam allowance, (2) trim seam allowance, (3) turn right side out and press. 

Chi-Town Chinos-Preparing Fly ExtensionFly extension:
(1) On the wrong side of each pant front, iron the fusible interfacing on the fly extension. This will reinforce the area for inserting our zippers.
(2) Finish the raw edge of each fly extension. If using a serger to finish this edge, disengage the knife and tuck the crotch curve out of the way as you get close to it. (Look closely and you can see a faint crease where I folded mine out of the way.)

Chi-Town Chinos-Waistband FacingWaistband:
(A) Turn under bottom edge of waistband facing 1/2” and press.
(B) Alternatively, you may trim off 1/2” and then finish the bottom edge by attaching bias binding.

Press 1/2” under on each center front end (center back is indicated on the pattern piece).

Chi-Town Chinos-17Bar Tacks: One last preparation I recommend is practicing bar tacks on your machine and deciding what looks best.

Bar tacks are a narrow and dense zigzag stitch used to reinforce areas of high stress on garments. In this pattern, we will use them to reinforce the pocket edges and fly zip, and to attach the belt loops.

Start with a zigzag stitch between 2mm-3mm wide and 0.3-0.5mm long. Test a few different stitch widths and stitch lengths to decide what works and looks best with your thread and fabric combination, then write it down to save for later. The standard length for bar tacks is 1/2″; use that as a starting point.

If you don’t want to sew bar tacks or if you have a straight-stitch-only machine, you may also stitch and backstitch several times in their place. Tie off loose thread ends on the wrong side of the fabric.

Set all of this aside; we’re ready to move on to putting it all together! I’ll be back on Friday to walk you through the front pocket assembly (my favorite part!).


Below you will find the list of links to each blog post in the sewalong. If you have any questions, absolutely feel free to e-mail me.


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