The original Arenite Pants have a roomy fit and draping crescent-shaped pockets, best made in a rayon challis fabric.
One hack that many sewists have been doing is slimming them down and making the pockets fit flatter against the body. This is the perfect hack for a more structured linen or cotton fabric. Meg has a video tutorial for this hack in Sew Liberated’s Instagram Highlights and on YouTube, and it’s been so popular that we’re putting the tutorial into written steps!
Get your Arenite Pants pattern and pick a fabric
You can grab the pants pattern here – note that we’ll be hacking the woven version, not View B which is designed for knit fabrics.
This is a really fun pattern adjustment, so gather up your pattern, some extra paper, tape, scissors, ruler and a pencil, and let’s start!
Video tutorial for the Arenite Pants Slim Hack
If video learning is your jam, here’s the compilation of the Instagram Stories highlight. If you prefer some more details, read on for the an easy-to-reference written version.
Please note that the pattern pieces shown in the tutorial are in 1/3 scale.
To get started, gather up your pattern pieces. You’ll need:
- Back (Hemmed Version)
- Front (Hemmed Version)
- Side panel (Hemmed Version)
- Pocket Facing
Add or remove length. Since you’ll be making a hemmed (uncuffed) version, you’ll need to decide how long you want the finished pant to be. Measure your inseam length. Check your inseam measurement against the pattern, and on the Back, Front, and Side Panel, add/remove length at the Lengthen/Shorten line (Figure 1), remembering to leave a hem allowance. The pattern is written with a ½” plus ¾” hem allowance.
Size: Size down approximately 4 sizes, using the measurement chart to make sure that you’ll have enough room for your hips. BUT in the rise, cut your normal size. (EDIT: for Arenite 2.0, size down 3 sizes rather than 4.) So along the waist on the Front and Back, you’d cut your normal size, and on all of the other cut lines, you’ll cut your chosen smaller size. Figure 2 (Meg usually cuts an 8, and went to a 0 for her sample, but cut the waistline on those three pieces at an 8.) (EDIT: In Arenite 2.0, released in early 2021, Meg would usually cut an 8, and choose size 2 for her slim hack.)
Add length to the pocket piece. Measure the difference between your circumference size and your rise height size either at the waist or at the pocket notches. Figure 3
Add that measurement to the length of the pocket piece by making a horizontal line above the notches (see the diagram), spreading the pieces apart the amount of your measurement, and taping tissue in to fill the gap. Figure 4
Taper the leg a bit more: ¼” off the width of the side panel, the front, and the back. Mark ¼” in from the edge at the hem, and taper it up to the double notch. Taper up to the same height measurement on each side seam. Trim to the new cut line. Figure 5
Parallel to the grainline, mark a vertical line in the middle of the pocket facing. Figure 6
Cut along the line, leaving a hinge point at the bottom. Figure 7
Lay the Pocket facing on top of the pocket, and overlap the top edges so the pocket facing is the same width as the pocket piece.
Since the side seams of the pocket panel have a slight hip curve, you have a choice here. The first option is to allow the top edges of the crescent to extend very slightly past the Pocket piece, lining up the sides of the pocket as far as possible. This will allow the slightest bit of room for your hand to be in the pocket with less strain on the seam, but may not be perfectly flush when your hand isn’t in the pocket. Figure 8
The second option is to line up the top corners of the crescent edge perfectly with the Pocket edge, and add a bit of paper to the sides of the Pocket Facing to accommodate the hip curve (Figure 9).
Tape the adjustment into place.
Measure the length of the vertical line from the Pocket Facing adjustment to have an adjustment point for the Side Panel, so that you can duplicate the adjustment on the Side Panel. Mark this length vertically on the Side Panel, as shown in Figure 10.
Mark the same cut line as the pocket facing, and cut horizontally to the side seams as well, leaving hinge points at the side seams (Figure 11).
Using the adjusted Pocket Facing as your guide, pivot the pieces of the Side Panel until they match the Pocket Facing, and tape into place to secure. (Figure 12) You may have a slightly pointed bit in the side seams after this adjustment. Go ahead and blend the side seams, making sure you keep the notches in the correct position and don’t trim them off!
Bonus tip: I usually mark notches with a brightly coloured marker as I work, so that I don’t miss them when I’m cutting my fabric.
Straighten out the bottom edge of the Pocket Facing piece by drawing a new cut line from corner to corner, and trimming off the triangular-shaped piece that you created during your Pocket Facing adjustment (Figure 13).
Re-draw the curve on the pocket facing and the side panel to be a smooth curve, making sure the curves on the two pieces match. To maintain the original pocket depth, bring the new curve up from the old cut line at least the same amount that you just trimmed off of the bottom of the Pocket Facing piece (Figure 14).
To double check your work before you cut your fabric, lay your pieces out together to check that the notches still line up.
Check that the Pocket Facing And Side Panels have the same curve on the pocket opening.
You’re all set! Now you can sew up your Arenite Pants using the hemmed version of the instructions.
You can use the tag #hackyourarenites or #slimhackarenites on social media to share your in-progress work and finished project.