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When Ensemble Patterns and Chalk and Notch came out with the awesome ParasolxOrchid collaboration I snapped it up immediately. The multiple jumpsuit, dress and trouser options made it a no brainer for me. A parasolxorchid jumpsuit is in my near future but for my first make with these patterns I decided to jump right in and hack the trousers!

Two of my sewing goals this year were to make pants and to experiment with pattern hacking. I made my first pair of trousers recently with these Terra pants. But a pair of sailor pants with two rows of giant functional buttons has been lurking in my mind for years! So I added them to my ‘make nine’ challenge for this year and finally decided to work out how to make them a reality!

The process of making them was so much fun, and wearing them now – fills me with joy!! They’re so comfy, bright, and one of a kind! 


There are actually lots of patterns available for sailor pants but I struggled to find any with functional buttons. Those I came across had an invisible zipper and only decorative buttons.

But if there is one thing about me, I’m stubborn (my husband will readily confirm this for you)! Once I get an idea in my head and decide to go for it, I will put everything into making it happen.

So I turned to the patterns I owned and saw that the front seam on the parasol trousers would be perfect to spilt into my button placket.

When I cut out my pattern pieces I transferred the fly guard (plus a little extra length and width – which I wouldn’t bother with next time) to both side pattern pieces instead of the just the front left, and removed it from both front pieces. The fly guard on the side pieces then form the button shields on both sides.

I skipped the steps for sewing the fly and sewed the two front pieces together at the crotch seam. I used this piece to trace a facing and attach it to the front pieces. Next time I would make the facing shorter so that It doesn’t add bulk at the seam where it joins the pocket.

I proceeded to finish all my edges and follow the remaining sewing instructions until it came to attach the side pieces to the front. I only attached them as far as the top of the pocket. I measured the waist facing length against the side and back pieces, (only having to make it 1cm longer than the original pattern piece), cut it out, finished the bottom edge with some contrast bias binding and attached it. I ignored the instructions to attach it to the zipper fly facing and just attached both sides as per the fly guard side instructions.

Added these spectacular shell buttons found in my stash and, voila! Sailor pants!

The fabric!

For the main fabric I used this bright blue cotton from my stash but I had to include this Balloon Dogulee print by Mannine for the facings to add some extra fun on the inside! The blue tones matched perfectly and I love nothing more than additional details like this. I find that paying attention to the parts that no one else will see except me always adds another level of satisfaction to a finished make.

Scattered across this fabric are the fantastical creatures that designer, Manri Kishimoto, has brought to life! In the pic below, you can see Pegon (25) in the middle, he’s an astronaut working at a space station. His favourite food is Curry Udon (A favourite of mine too!)

Just peeking over the binding you can see this fabric’s namesake, Dogulee (16), in her green and yellow hot air balloon. She was brought to life by the magical creature ‘Boes’ and can travel freely between the past and future.

On the left and at top right is Doguo (34) the Regional Patrol Squad Leader. He saw Dogulee while roving in outer space and has been in pursuit of her ever since.

The result

I love these pants.  I’ve worn them three times already. Next time I will use a fly extension to sew the button closures like you would with a standard exposed button fly. Just to so it’s a bit neater on the inside. If you would like a tutorial for these sailor pants do let me know. I will be making them again and can make sure it’s in the daylight next time so I can get some decent pics of the process!


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