Pattern Review – Simplicity 3690 Pants


Pattern Description: Wardrobe includes flat front pants or shorts with faced waistband and side zip; long-sleeved blouse with mandarin collar, tucks at neckline and sleeve detail; vest in two lengths. I made the pants.

Sizing: 4-20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, though as always, I made some changes.

How were the instructions? I don’t know. I never looked at them other than to check which pattern pieces to cut. The pants are well drafted enough that I didn’t need any instructions.

Likes/Dislikes? I love the flat front. I wanted a pair of wider leg pants to wear for business and social occasions. This fit the bill. I didn’t like the fact that they had no pockets. Whazzup with that?

Fabric Used: I’m making a concerted effort at stash reduction, so I used a gray pinstriped silk/wool blend that I bought in New York either last year or the year before. I call these pants the “My Blue Heaven Pants” because they’re pretty darned shiny. They are just this side of taffeta thanks to the wool. They’re not quite as bad as the flash reflection might make you think, but they definitely remind me of that scene in the movie “My Blue Heaven” where Steve Martin is mowing the lawn in a shiny sharkskin suit.

Any alterations or changes? A bunch. First, I decided not to use the one-piece back waistband, and instead cut the band and the facing as two pieces. This was easy: I used my clear gridded ruler to add a 5/8″ seam allowance to the center back. I did this because it gives more fitting options. It’s especially useful if you have a swayback or protruding derriere and it allows you to take in or let out as needed. You can’t do that with a single-piece waistband.


This required some rearranging of some of the usual steps to making these types of pants. Here are the steps and the order:

  • First, I attached the back waistband pieces to the back pattern pieces before sewing the backs together.
  • Then I sewed the backs and fronts together at the inseams.
  • Next I sewed the fronts together at the center front seam using a 2.5mm stitch, ending at the inseam.
  • I then basted the backs together from the inseam to the waist.
  • I attached the front waistband to the front.
  • I stitched the right side seam.
  • I tried on the pants, pin basting the left side seam, and made my adjustments to the back.

Then I continued sewing the pants. I used an invisible zipper.

One thing I should note is that before I sewed the backs together, I made welt pockets using the method I show in This Post. Here is the result:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it? Oh yeah. I will probably make this again. These were super easy pants. They only took as long as they did because of the changes I made to the design. Here is the finished result:
See what I mean about My Blue Heaven? I still like it. It’s ironic. It makes me want to dance the merengue in a seedy bar. Speaking of which, my DS the youngest is taking ballroom dance lessons (his choice – he loves Dancing With the Stars), and he did his first exhibition last night. I can’t tell you how cute 9-year-olds are when they do the tango and the cha-cha! I did the merengue with Marcus, one of the instructors. I think he was surprised to find that I could actually dance. I know I was surprised at how quickly it came back. But I digress…

Conclusion A winner! I was giving thought to making the vest, but I’m afraid it would be a lotta look if I make it in the gray silk. So I may save the rest of my fabric for a pegged skirt. Definitely an easy, well drafted pattern that gives great results.

Happy sewing!

About Gorgeous Things

I own an online fabric store, www.gorgeousfabrics.com. Everything else you need to know about me is what I tell you on my blog, darlings!
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