Finished: Summery 1940s Slacks - Simplicity 3688

21:50 Renée 9 Comments

Oh, how long I have been wanting to sew a pair of high waisted trousers! I had the very famous repro Simplicity 3688 lying around for almost a year now, but for some reason I was too scared to sew them up. Pants always seem to be prone to fitting issues and I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to fix them if they did come up.

The time I felt ready finally arrived and I quickly sewed up a muslin which seemed to fit me perfectly. One of the main things I was excited about was wearing these pants with the 1940s blouses I have sewn so far. While nearly complete, I tried on the slacks with one of said blouses. Something looked very off. The pleats that shape the waist of the blouse were sticking out quite far above the waistband. Making the pants and blouse look ridiculous together. I also noticed the waistband did not seem to be sitting as high on my torso as it does on most other ladies, yet it sits at my natural waistline. I was completely puzzled until I finally realized what was going on: I have a long torso! Or maybe not a long torso but at least a lower than usual waistline. I can't believe I never noticed that before.

I_have a 25,5" waist and 37" hip, and after measuring the pattern pieces decided to trace size 10 (25"waist) for the waist and size 12 (36" hip) for the rest of the trousers. The fit was pretty good on me, so I'd say this pattern has about 0,5" to 1" too much ease. Not too bad.

The original waistband was quite narrow so I added 1/2 to make it wider. I also added 1/2" to the length. These pants are pretty short!

All in all I think the trousers from Simplicity 3688 are an okay pattern. Very easy and straight forward to sew and definitely a good start if you are looking to sew your first pair of trousers. If you are on the skinny side like me, and want pretty wide slacks I definitely recommend tracing a least one size bigger for the legs.

Changes to make next time:
- Straighten side seams from waist to hip (they are a little too curvy)
- Lower the back crotch slightly
- Widen the legs
- Lengthen to add cuffs (optional)
- Add pockets, either in the side seams or patch pockets (optional)

I have actually acquired two 1940s patterns for trousers since I've sewn these so I am going to give those a try for the next pair. And I'm a little behind on my blogging; I've already finished two blouses since I started these slacks!


  1. So cooll trousers! Love the pattern and the colour is so great! And you look gorgeous in them!

  2. What Gorgeous trousers! You have chosen such a lovely colour and those buttons are a fabulous addition!

  3. These look absolutely gorgeous on you! What fabric did you use for them?
    I have this pattern too, but fear it too much to get going ;)

    1. Oh yes I forgot to mention the fabric! It is a cotton with a small percentage of some other fiber, I don't remember what it was. It is very soft and warm to the touch, yet lightweight. The weave has has a linen look to it

  4. These are lovely and such a classic pattern. The waistband and button fastening are flattering too. Absolutely wonderful and I bet you'll be getting plenty of wear out of them.

  5. I'm glad you posted your experiences with this pattern. I too have this pattern and also the Wearing History pattern. I was going to try this one out first but I find that I have too many projects swirling in my head but a pair of pants is high on the list. I am also like you in that it seems a bit of a challenge to make pants but I must try:) Thanks for posting your experiences. These pants look great on you. I really love the side button effect.

  6. Ziet er goed uit! Leuke kleur stof ook! Slim om de broek iets smaller te maken, die van mij is vrij wijd en ik ben ook nog eens afgevallen dus hij zit niet meer helemaal goed.

    Ik heb nog een andere broek (van een vintage patroon) half af liggen, wordt tijd dat ik die eens afmaak!


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