Sara Pleated Pants Tutorial and Free Pattern
If something about pleats reads as old-fashioned or formal in your mind, let our Sara Pleated Pants sewing pattern be the proof they can be anything but. Everything about these pants is as effortlessly chic as it gets. They are relaxed and airy, the sort of pants you’d want to wear all summer long on all your adventures.
The Sara Pleated Pants is our modern take on the classic pleated pants style. Designed to sit on your natural waist, It has two small pleats at the front, back darts for shaping, useful hip pockets, a zipper front fly and belt loops. The legs are slightly tapered and hit right above the ankle bone.
Due to the number of techniques involved in this project, the pattern is labelled as intermediate. But even a beginner sewist can give it a try because we will guide you through the process step-by-step. It’s amazing what sewing a pair of pants can do to your sewing confidence! Follow this easy tutorial and make your own pair of pleated pants!
For our sample US size 6 pictured in this tutorial we used 2 yards of our 4C22 REED Softened Heavy Weight 100% Linen
For other sizes, please refer to the yardage table in the PDF pattern to determine the required amount of fabric.
Matching sewing thread, 7-8” pant or trouser zipper, one large button (36-40L), medium weight fusible interfacing.
Scissors, pins, ruler, chalk, measuring tape, fabric marker, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, seam ripper, needle, sewing machine
You can access the multi-sized printable PDF pattern by following this link HERE. All seam allowances are included and are 3/8” unless otherwise specified. The model is wearing US size 6.
Remember to transfer all the notches onto your fabric.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry at room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
1. We’ll start with the construction of the front zipper fly. Follow the instructions in this detailed tutorial and sew in a zipper fly.
2. Following the notches on the pattern, fold the pleats on the front pants towards the side seams and press. Stay stitch in place with a ¼” seam allowance.
3. Now take your front pocket pieces, fold them in half wrong sides together and stitch along the bottom edge at a 1/4” (6 mm) seam allowance. Clip the corner to reduce bulk.
4. Turn the pocket right side out, press and stitch again 3/8” from the bottom edge.
5. Pin the diagonal edge of the pockets (right side) to the diagonal edge of the front pieces (right side) and stitch at a 3/8” seam allowance. Remember to backstitch.
6. Trim the seam, turn right side out and press flat. Topstitch 1/4” (6 mm) from the folded edge.
7. Baste the side and top of the pocket ¼” from the edge to keep it in place.
Set your front legs aside for now and take your two back legs.
8. Sew the waist darts. Detailed instructions on sewing darts can be found here.
Press darts towards center back.
9. With right sides together, pin the two back legs at the crotch matching the two notches and stitch at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance. Serge/zigzag the raw edges together and press seam to the left.
10. Pin corresponding front and back legs right sides together at side seams catching the sides of the pockets and matching the hip and knee notches. Stitch the side seams, serge/zigzag the raw edges together and press towards the back.
11. Pin corresponding front and back legs right sides together at the inseam matching the notches. Stitch together at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance, serge/zigzag the raw edges and press towards the back leg.
Next up – the waistband!
12. Prepare your belt loops as explained in this tutorial.
Cut your long strip of fabric into five individual loops each measuring 3 inches.
13. Position your belt loops as follows: to the inside of each front pleat, 1” away from side seams and at center back. Align the raw edge of each loop to the top/waist edge of your garment, right sides together. Baste to keep them in place.
14. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your waistband. Then fold in half lengthwise wrong sides touching and press one long seam allowance 3/8” to the wrong side.
15. Pin the non-folded edge of your waistband to the pants right sides together, aligning raw edges and matching the notches. Make sure that the side seam allowances of your waistband are extending 3/8” beyond the fly edges.
16. Sew at a 3/8” seam allowance. Trim the seam to 1/4” and press waistband up.
17. Tuck in the short edges of the waistband. Fold the waistband in half and pin the other long edge to the wrong side of your pants, covering the seam line.
18. Working from the right side of your pants, topstitch along the pinned edge, catching the underside of the waistband. Continue edgestitching around the entire waistband.
19. Now press your belt loops up, fold over about 1/4” at the top and use a narrow zigzag stitch to make a small bar tack that will secure the loop to the top of the waistband and reinforce the area. You could also use a regular straight stitch and backstitch back and forth a couple of times to make sure the loop is attached securely.
For more instructions, please check this step-by-step tutorial.
20. Overlap the waistband, mark and sew a buttonhole on the right leg. Mark the button location through the buttonhole and sew one button on the left side.
21. Lastly, finish the hem by folding the raw edge twice to the wrong side: first 3/8”, then another 1”. Press, pin and stitch.
22. Give your pants a good last press and you are all done!
We love seeing what you make! Don’t forget to share your pictures and tag your creations with #FabricsStoreSaraPattern hashtag.
Hello, I have finished sewing the front and am on to the back. Do you think its best if I skip the dart step until I have assembled the pants and before the waistband? In such case, I can try it on and create the dart based on my body shape. I’ve looked at other tutorials, and they say its best to do it this way so that the darts are the correct size? Please advise. Thank you.
If you would prefer to do it this way, you can absolutely do it 🙂
Hi! Would this pattern work for shorts? Thanks!
Hi, yes, you can adjust this pattern for shorts 🙂
Hello can you please tell me how I can download the pattern to take to a print shop to avoid printing it at home and having to assemble the pattern. Thank you!
Hello, Our patterns are only available in this format for printing at home. If you’re handy with Adobe illustrator or photoshop you may be able to piece them together digitally.
Thank you for your reply!
I just finished a pair and I love the way they came out. I made the 20/22 and graded up at the hip to the 24/26. I really enjoyed this pattern. Thanks!
how do you download the sara pleated pants pattern? i click on the picture but theres only the tutorial no pattern
You can find the pattern download at this link:
Hi Folks, sorry to be a nuisance. I don’t see the actual pattern to be downloadable. I only got the 6 page instruction manual. What am I doing wrong?
The pattern is an attachment to this 6 page download and accessible in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Here are is a link to tutorials to help out:
What is the inseam of the pattern as is?
We don’t have that measurement available in the size guide. To figure out the inseam you can measure the pattern and take away seam and hem allowance.
Hi, thank you very much for this pattern a sew the pants in two days. It is the first time ever, that a pattern fits me so perfect!
Greetings from Greece!
Our pleasure! We’re so glad you’ve found a winner in our Sara Pattern
Hi! I’m fairly certain there’s a mistake on steps 5 and 6. If you pin the wrong side of the pocket diagonal to the right side of the front pant, then when you turn the seam right side out, you will have the wrong side of the pocket bag no showing on the right side of the pant. With the linen you used in the example there is no clear right/wrong side of the fabric. Making these pants in a different fabric, however, shows that this is incorrect. You should be pinning the right side of the pocket bag diagonal to the right side of the front pant. Is this a mistake in the instructions? I have been working this out for a good 15 minutes and I followed every step but still end up with the wrong side facing out. Please let me know, thanks!
Hello Francesca, Our patterns are designed for our linen and may produce different results if you are using other fabrics.
For the pockets, you may like the RS of your fabric to be on the inside of the sewn pocket bag, so yes the Right Side of the fabric will be sewn to the RS of the pocket opening and then flipped over to reveal the RS of the pocket fabric.
As someone who did not read the comments first and have a botched set of pants from this omission as well, maybe a note in the in steps about this would help?
We’ve now updated the instructions for the pockets 🙂
I have a problem with choosing the right size to sew. My waist measurement fits into a US size 8/10 whilst my hips need a 12/14 following the provided size chart.
Which one should I pick since I obviously don’t want ill-fitting pants?
Hello Robin, we recommend you also consider the finished garment measurements for these pants. They may give you a better idea of what the pants will measure when finished.
If you’re still stuck please send us an email and we would be happy to assist you. Email: Ask@fabrics-store.com
Thank you so much for this tutorial, I followed it to make the Sara pants and everything went very well, I made the pants and it’s great, I love it!
I know you said the material amount was on page 4 of the PDF booklet,.. I am looking at page four of the pattern printout. Is the booklet a different thing because page 4 of the pattern printout does not have the material amount on my printout.
Hello Margaret, this will be on page 4 of the information booklet you first downloaded. It will not be on the pattern attachment 🙂
Hi, I started this tutorial and began with the zipper instructions. The link says to sew the seam up to the notch, but the pattern download doesn’t have a notch on the front seam near the zipper. How far up should I see the front seam before adding the zipper?
Thanks for picking this up for us. We are going to look into it, I’ll be sending you an email.
The pattern has now been updated to include the missing notch 🙂 Thanks once again for letting us know.
Hi! Sorry if I’m just terribly distracted but I can’t find a size guide for these pants, neither here nor in the pdf pattern. Do you know where I can find one? Thank you!
Hello Sofia, they are on page 4 of the .pdf booklet.
Thank you so much! Apparently I can’t handle these (otherwise very convenient) multi-layer patterns.