The rectangular construction of garments is one of the best
methods to use in constructing pants. There is virtually no
waste associated with the more simple patterns and the stress
points that we are familiar with in modern pant design and
construction are completely eliminated. This means that if
you are going to be using the following pattern for 'fighting'
pants, you will not have the 'blowout' commonly seen in modern
As with the Rectangular
Coat demonstration, the main emphasis of rectangular patterns
is not formed from the body but rather constrained by the
width and length of the cloth. Rectangular construction is
typically loose fitting rather than form fitting but can involve
some tailoring. The following pattern does not involve any
tailoring but some of the other patterns presented at the
Coat, there are only a few measurements that are required
at the beginning. Length of leg from natural waist to ankle
or lower if you want a bit of 'bouffe' to your pant leg, the
full rise measurement which is obtained by placing a measuring
tape on your belly button, running the tape under your crotch
and up to your waist line at the small of your back, and the
circumference of your ankle.
A good method to find out just how much fabric you will
need for a pair of pants is to take the length of leg measurement
and double it. This does not take into account if you will
be making a casing for your waistband or ankle cuffs. As an
example, if your length of leg to ankle is 36" and you
want a little bouffe in the pant leg, add another 3".
Add on to this another 1" for seam allowances and the
grand total is 40". Double this to 80" and you will
need 2.25 yards of fabric (either 45" or 60") to
make your pair of pants.
out the Fabric
Lay your length of pre-washed fabric out, unfolded. Fold
it widthwise like the illustration above. If you are working
with stripes or patterned fabric, take the time to match your
stripes or patterns up. Once you have every thing laid correctly,
fold the fabric lengthwise as in the illustration to the left.
Once you have done this, you are now ready to cut the gusset
out. Fold the fabric once again according to the illustration
below. As you are folding it, make sure that the area indicated
in the illustration is equal to the circumference of your
ankle doubled. If you wish more tightly fitted cuffs, you
can measure around the widest part of your ankle and heel.
Alternately, if you wish to pleat the cuffs into a ankle band,
you can make this area larger.
the point where the fold originates at the top, make sure
you leave enough for seam allowances and drawstring or elastic
casing (if you're planning on building these in).
At the widest point of this fold, measure it and compare
it to the full rise measurement you took earlier. Make sure
that it is at least equal to or greater. This fold will become
the crotch once the gusset is cut out, rotated and set into
the pant legs. It is important that it fit but not be too
One Cut Will Do It
you have done all of the above steps, you are now ready to
make your first of only two cuts into the fabric. Cut along
the fold of the third fold you made, as is shown in the illustration
to the left. This is really the only major cut you will need
to make. With this one action you have just cut out both backs
and fronts of your pants and the gusset that will be set in
you have made your gusset cut, cut the fold which is still
present at the bottom of the pant leg. This becomes your ankle
present at the cuff area on the pant legs. Open up the fabric
and lay out the backs and fronts of the pants as well as the
big, triangular shaped gusset. Here's the only tricky part
in this whole pattern. You will need to rotate the gusset
90 degrees before re-insetting it into the pant legs. In other
words, the point that came from the ankle section must be
set into the crotch area. The illustration below should help.
The big triangular piece is your gusset. It has already
been rotated so that the point that came from the ankle area
is facing where it will be inserted into the crotch area.
Sew together one set of pant legs and the gusset. You can
either sew a regular seam or you can French seam the gusset.
Flat felling is not recommended simply because it will get
very complicated and difficult at the crotch area.
Once you have the gusset inserted into one set of pant legs,
do the same for the other set. Pay very close attention to
these seams. Both are cut on the bias and extremely prone
to stretch. Treat them kindly and try not to stretch them.
Pinning is almost an essential.
Once you have your gusset inserted into both of your pant
legs, your pants should look like the illustration to the
right. At this point, the hard part is over.
Fold the pants together and sew up the side seams. After
finishing off the side seams your pants should look like the
illustration below. You can either make a drawstring/elastic
casing and attach it to the pants or you can make the casing
from the rough edge at the top.
off your cuffs in a similar manner. Very often, in period,
the cuffs were heavily embroidered and made separately - sometimes
of a different material and very stiff.
Viola! A pair of rectangularly constructed pants. Virtually
no waste to speak of and fairly simple to cut and construct.
This particular pattern was and still is very popular in the
Middle East and South Central Asia. It can also be found in
Central Asia and in one or two examples in the Nordic countries.
For more rectangular patterns, click
For pictures of what the pants look like when worn, click
on the thumbnails below:
|A rear view of the pair of pants constructed in this
||An action view of the pants - highly recommended by
four year olds.
||Another action view of the pants.