Friday, December 6, 2013

Houdstooth Bow Bum Pants with Invisible Zipper Instructions.

While going to a meeting at church, I spotted a woman in the parking lot wearing a fantastic pair of pants. I had to know more and ask her about them. I made a u-turn and parked to get a closer look. It happens to me a lot, but I felt kinda silly accosting a random woman on the street to talk about her clothes. As I got closer and the person turned, I realized I knew her. Luckily, she is in the in my Sewing for Starfish Kenya Journey Group and knows I am sew crazy. She was wearing a wide leg pant in a multicolored chevron print. They were adorable and I decided I needed a pair.

When I returned home, I immediately searched my stash to find a pattern I could use to create my version. I found a retro Butterick 3272 pattern. I love that this pant is made from a one piece pattern with a back zipper. It also has a casing for elastic in the band. I was not excited element, but I knew I could work around that feature.

I do not have the chevron fabric similar to those of the inspiration pants in my stash so I am shopping around for the perfect fabric. In the meantime, I decided to make a muslin with fabric I had on hand. I had some extra houndstooth fabric leftover from this dress,  and I thought it would work. It is a double knit with just enough stretch to move while keeping its shape.

The pattern instructions were super easy to follow and called for the installation of an invisible zipper. Every time I install one, I have to pull out my instructions to refresh myself on how to do it. I decided to include my steps here for my future reference and yours.
Pin right side of open zipper to the right side of fabric one fabric opening. in this case the right side.

Using your regular zipper foot stitch zipper in place to secure it.
Attach your invisible zipper foot. This is a universal foot you can purchase at any fabric store and attach like your other feet.
Position your zipper teeth in the right side grove and stitch.
When you get close to the zipper pull, keep your needle down and raise your foot to close the zipper. This allows you to sew to the end of the zipper.
Look how close to the teeth it gets.
Repeat the steps on the opposite side.
Voila! All done!
After installing the zipper, I continued construction on the pants. I discovered that they have a higher than expected waist. Additionally, because of my fabric choice and size, I did not need the elastic casing. I fit the pants and had a flash of inspiration! Why not use the casing to add some pizzaz to the back of the pants! I threaded a purchased sequin ribbon tie through it and tied a bow in the back.

B.i.r.a wearing the bow back pants.
Side view.

Full back view
I think this is super cute! For someone with just a little on the back step, I think the bow adds some fun interest. I like that I can change the tie for a pop of color. I can also remove it altogether to wear it flat as seen here in another peplum cardigan  I made using Mccalls 6844. The review for it is here.

So, this began with a quest for some funky chevron pants and turned to these fun Houndstooth Bow Bum pants. I am very pleased with the fit and ease of construction. I will likely lower the waistline and depending on the fabric, omit the zipper altogether when I make the inspiration pants.

Be sure to check back for the chevron pants update.

Happy Sewing,



  1. Can you make these pants for my wife?

    1. Sure! I am sure she would look great in them!

  2. Those are too cute, and I'm jealous of your invisible zipper! Mine always have a little pucker at the bottom - maybe its because I don't have that foot - duh! The back step comment made me laugh too. ;)