Papercut Patterns, Guise Pants aka Does Lizzy Wear The Pants?

It’s been awhile.

I was in a sewing ‘funk’, didn’t know what to sew or where to start. So I asked Instagram how to drag myself out of it. Amid the many suggestions was a very funny comment from Jen of The Stitcher and Gatherer to make some pants. As she pointed out, I make a lot of skirts, dress, tops and jackets… and I needed to challenge myself.

So I did.

Hello Guise Pants from Papercut Patterns.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants - front view

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants – front view

Now I will be 100% honest, I had plenty of reservations about this pattern – and I even told Katie of Papercut Patterns that 🙂

  1. I generally prefer skinny jeans or wide-legged flat-front trousers – it’s all or nothing with me; and
  2. elastic back waist. I live in a holiday/retirement destination and elastic waists of any description remind me of sensible shoes and comfortable pants worn by a significant proportion of my community…l’m not ready to go there yet!; and
  3. I wasn’t sold on the pattern photography – not my colours and styling. That said, I like to look beyond that and see if I can ‘make it my own’ – that’s part of what inspires me to sew.

However I love a challenge.
Katie had sent me the pattern (along with the Flutter and Sway) when I had enquired about the Papercut Pleated Pants – that’s another blog post in the not too-distant future.
Plus I had traced the Guise out weeks ago, I fell in love with the new tencel denim at Spotlight and the rest is history!


Size: There are a few versions of these pants floating about the internet (see end of post for links) and a couple mentioned that they had sized down or would next time around. My hip measurement fell just below the XS size so I decided to make the XXS. I admit, making pants that are too small terrifies me as there is nothing more ego deflating than too-tight pants. I could have made a toile/muslin… however having made a few Papercut Patterns I decided to trust my instincts and just leapt in.

Fit: I don’t know!
I don’t often wear pants of this loose-fitting, pleated and casual style. In fact, one of the reasons I made the belt as I really don’t own belts for trousers.
They feel OK and are certainly very comfortable.
They do seem very generously sized. Even sizing down, they are a little droopy about my waist and hips. However I think the soft drape suits them with this fabric choice.
I love how the legs are taper around my calves and ankles. I cut about 1 inch off the length (I’m 5 foot 4). I’m going to try these with the hems rolled up a little. I like how Jolies Bobines styled hers.
There is quite a lot of ‘room’ in the crotch however they seem to sit nicely over the junk trunk and hang well at the front.
If you are a pleated pant fit guru – please share your thoughts!

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants without a belt

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants without a belt

Construction: The pattern went together without a hitch. One of the easiest makes yet. You can read quite a detailed post about it at Gingermakes – and she notes an error in the instructions and some other quirks with Papercut Patterns – it’s well worth a read if you are making these.
I found the instructions really straight-forward and comprehensive. I have sewn welt pockets and fly fronts before – however I found these instructions really helpful and clear. There wasn’t any ‘support’ from Google search.
I did overlock all the edges of each piece before I sewed. I don’t always do this as I think overlocking can distort the fabric edges. However as this fabric was stable, I overlocked the edges – as I find Papercut Patterns 1cm seam allowances rather small when feeding them through the overlocker (not overlocking both together). They just never turn out as neat as I would like.

Pockets: Four pockets! Two front and two back welt pockets. I had some floral silk fabric that I decided to use for pocketing. I found this on a remanent table at my local independent fabric shop in Port Macquarie. All five metres of it for $5. I’ve been hoarding it for lining purposes.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

Back pocket detail

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants side pockets, front pleats and self-fabric belt

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants side pockets, front pleats and self-fabric belt. Sorry my belt is twisted – no mirrors at the beach. I pulled these on in the car!

Welts: My back welts are not quite perfect – but they are OK. I love these little details. I thought the welt fusing piece (inside the trousers) could be just a little bit narrower so it isn’t visible above the pocket on the inside. That’s just a visual detail if you like picture perfect garment guts.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants - welt pockets

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants – welt pockets. I’m mid stride here.

Fly front: I found the pieces and instructions fabulous, this is one of my best fly fronts yet.

Waist: The pattern has you neaten the inner waist band edge and stitch it down. I decided to finish my edge with bias binding for ‘neatness sake’. Gingermakes widened her pattern piece and folded the raw edge under – do whatever rocks your world I say.
I machined the bias on the right side and then took the pants to work and handstitched the bias edge under to the wrong side. Why so pedantic? Mainly because I do like neat finishes… and then I could get sewing on the rest of the pants as soon as I got home! I love to maximise every minute of my day.
The elastic back waist may be a deterrent for some. It was for me at first. However the back doesn’t make the fabric fall in an unflattering way over the ‘junk trunk’ – or mine at least.

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants - I've included this so you can see how the elastic back looks. It is not 'that' gathered

Papercut Patterns Guise Pants – I’ve included this so you can see how the elastic back looks. It is not ‘that’ gathered

Belt and belt loops: I laid out my pieces with the intention of having a skerrick of fabric left running down the selvedge to make a self-fabric tie belt. It’s a little wider than the belt loops but I wanted the belt to look like that – I know, not everyone’s style but it was the look that was in my head. I would have loved it slightly longer and flared at the ends… but no fabric left!
I opted for the fabric belt as well as sometimes a different coloured belt seems to chop me in half and visually shorten me.
If I make these again, I would make the belt loops slightly longer, they seemed ‘just the right’ size. I would rather cut them slightly longer and them trim them back. That’s just how I construct things. I like a bit more room for fiddling.

Fabric: Tencel denim from Spotlight, Australia. This is LOVELY stuff. Beautiful to work with and I will be curious to see how it wears. (Note: after 6 hours of wear I was pleasantly surprised at how this fabric didn’t crease excessively).
I opted for tencel denim as I decided that anything with too much body would potentially make the pleats a little too ‘sticky-outie’ and result in unwanted lower tummy/crotch ‘poofiness’. I’m really happy with this fabric and pattern match.
I think these would be great in a light wool crepe for casual office pants aka secret pyjamas.

…and how I’m most likely to wear my pants… beltless & casual… that’s how I roll (or prefer to).

guise pants_me1

Beltless – they really need a belt to hold them up… but the seagulls don’t seem to mind so much.

Also See: Gingermakes | Jolies Bobines | Craft Sanctuary | The Monthly Stitch

Thanks Jen for the suggestion – I’m back to ‘normal’.

sewing again and back at the beach

sewing again and back at the beach

Pattern: Papercut Patterns Guise Pants
Note: Papercut Patterns provided this pattern for preview purposes. All opinions my own. No affiliate links in this post.
Shirts: RTW – Just Jeans, Australia
Shoes: Zensu (lovely red patent leather… never-been-worn from the op shop for the princely sum of $5)
Earrings: Pandora
Location: Oxley Beach, Port Macquarie

This post first appeared on


68 thoughts on “Papercut Patterns, Guise Pants aka Does Lizzy Wear The Pants?

  1. Those look really good on you and I do like them with a belt. The welt pockets are a fabulous touch. I am still on the fence on these but you are tempting me!

    • I was on the other side of the fence & nearly didn’t make them! I think they are worth a try – I think fabric choice is critical as the drape etc will change the look completely.

  2. I love your pants, and especially your fabric choice. That tencel denim is fabulous. And I like the detail of the back welt pocket. So lovely. If I were sure I could pull off the front pleats, I’d definitely get this pattern!

  3. Ooh I really like these on you. They look very hip and flattering. The fabric is gorgeous and the belt perfect. I made a pair of pleated pants a while back and my sister ordered me not to wear them so they were never blogged. I’m off to drag them out and be a rebel!!

    • Siblings!! I think there is an age-wedge of the population who have never worn pleated pants (I haven’t in about 20 years) and either aren’t used to the look or never will be.
      Whack those pants on, strut your stuff and be the rebel sibling! Plus I’m curious…

  4. These are beautiful! The fabric is really lovely and the silhouette is fabulous. l really like those welt pockets with the button loop closure. Glad you got you’re sewing mojo back 🙂

    • It’s weird when the mojo goes. I dare say sewing through my finger didn’t help (or having a big piece of needle in there was 23 days- dr told me there was nothing in there!!).
      I think sewing a detailed project really helped. Lots of steps and a sense of achievement… and I confess I think I now like sewing pants!

  5. I love these! I have been wearing a lot of these bohemian style slouchy trousers and am excited to try and stitch myself a pair now I have seen this pattern 🙂

    • It’s my first slouchy pair… and I wondering why now 🙂 I think the fly front is a nice touch as they look a bit dressier but still maintain a casual feel for weekend wear.

  6. I think a lot of us who are trying pleated pants after wearing flat fronts for, what, a couple of decades? are needing some time to get used to the new look. I tried a pleated front with “paperbag” waist a few weeks ago and I’m starting to like them. My fabric is a little too crisp though and I’d use more drapey fabric next time. You can’t make your pants tighter or they’ll bind or catch somewhere. They look great.

    • You are exactly right. I think the last time I had pleated pants was about 20 years ago. These seem to be a nice blend of casual & dressy so highly wearable.
      I also think I will be making a lot more pants now & experimenting with some styles – such a rewarding garment to make.

  7. Stunning! I’m now sold on this pattern. This has happened to me a lot with this Papercut Patterns Chameleon collection – I found the patterns photos a bit meh, but I’ve loved every version of the Guise pants and the Sway dress that I’ve seen blogged.

    • I think with every company, the styling either appeals or it doesn’t. I’ve sewn a few Papercut patterns now & haven’t been disappointed with any of them. All lovely & wearable – just need to put your thinking cap on & find ‘your’ fabric.

  8. These are absolutely gorgeous! Your fabric is perfection. What a great way to emerge from a sewing (or lack thereof) funk! On a side note: I’m curious to know how your fabric holds up. I used a tencel chambray that was on the pricey side and it pilled terribly after washing my shirt for the first time. I really liked that shirt, but I never wear it because it looks so awful. I immediately swore off tencel, but perhaps my experience was an anomaly, because I’ve never read of anyone else having an issue!

    • I’m curious to see how they wear as well. I’ve had some very hardy rayons/tencels in my life – and others that just keel over and die within a few washes. Fingers crossed!

  9. These look fabulous on you, love them with the tie belt. I always shy away from trousers with elastic waists – I find being rather pear shaped all they do is emphasise the added inches around my hips and bottom. These don’t look too gathered though.

    • No I was pleasantly surprised at how little gathering there is. From the waistband down it doesn’t radiate gathers down & out which would be unflattering. It seems to be more of an ease & comfort feature.

  10. Love these Lizzy, they look great on you & perfect for a walk by the beach (although what doesn’t!) I also never get around to making trousers – I never buy the right fabric for trousers when I’m shopping so then never have any in the stash. I’ll have to fix that in the near future as my RTW trousers are starting to look a bit sad…

    • I think that’s what took me awhile to make these – lack of ‘bottom weight’ fabrics in my stash. I’m fortunate this tencel denim turned up in my life. Kismet I guess!

  11. The pattern looks great on you – and I particularly like the pictures with the self fabric belt.
    I have more ‘junk’ to the front (baggy belly) so have avoided this style. Maybe it’s time to try?

  12. Is there any style you can’t pull off? *green with envy* 😉 Seriously though, these really work for you! I will say I’ve never thought of pants as a sewjo restorative, but I’m glad it worked for you. 😉

    • Lol that’s very kind of you… there are styles I can’t pull off, it’s just I haven’t sewn many of them thanks to life experience. I do have a shirt I made a few months ago that I need to blog. It’s awful on me. I haven’t blogged it as I’ve been so overwhelmed with work & family commitments this year I’m struggling to blog and/or sew!

  13. Love them on you. I totally get when you are used to one style how at first it can feel awkward. But I think you you look great- good fabric choice for sure! They make a perfect beach pant too!

  14. These look so cute on you! Great fabric choice! I really need to make another pair… I made the mistake of packing mine when I went down to my sister’s last weekend and she claimed them!

  15. Ooooh, I love these on you and love them in the tencel denim. Funnily enough, just cut my first pair too to get me out of aforementioned sewing funk! Accidentally cut a size too small, so relieved to hear they come up a little large.

  16. Personally I think these look great on you! But I totally understand how wearing something out of the ordinary feels a bit strange. I was the same when I sewed my gabby dress which in the end I ditched from my wardrobe so that probably doesn’t fill you with confidence. I am very intrigued by that fabric! I have a trip to Spotlight planned for after uni tomorrow so I may have to suss it out.

  17. Pingback: Guise Louise | What Katie Sews

  18. These are drop-dead gorgeous! I don’t usually wear pants like this because I always feel heavier in them but I may try them. The tencel denim is so incredibly gorgeous and now I have it on my “want” list. Nice all around!

    • Thank you! I’m not usually a huge fan of pleated pants either but I think in the right fabric they can be your ‘friend’. Is never encountered tencel denim in a fabric shop before… now I’m addicted!

  19. These are really attractive.I do have a comment about fit,though,and not just your make.I have googled all the makes of this pattern,and as far as I can see they all seem to have some droopiness going on in the back leg. You can see the draglines in your second photo-probably partly because of the hands in the pockets, but I don’t think that is the whole explanation.And you are too young for the dreaded “flat bottom”,so don’t think it is that,either.

    • Hi Clara, thanks for your comment! That is really interesting and I went back adn checked the photos we took and I’ve got my hands in the pockets in most of them. I’m also guilty of always walking about in circles as photographs are taken as I feel odd standing still for the camera… now I’m going to go and stand in front of the mirror with my Guises on and check out my bottom!
      The fabric is going to play a part in how these look as the fabric has more drape than a standard ‘bottom weight’ fabric – now I’m curious though! Thank you!

  20. Pingback: Guise Pants… umm, trousers…

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