I think most of have been on the hunt for the perfect pleated trousers…or at least it seems that way when scrolling my Instagram feed. There is an abundance of patterns out there right now and the fact is, pants are just hard. I am not going to lie, I’ve bought 3-4 (maybe more!) high waisted, pleated pants patterns, a couple of wide, a couple straight leg but I haven’t felt inspired to actually make them, ya know? There was always something I wasn’t sure about – how wide the legs were, the direction of the pleats, the overall fit ratio, etc. Then enters the Riva Trouser. I first saw them on Claire, followed by Caitlin, and immediately wanted to try out my own version.
I’ve used a Fabrics Store pattern one other time and I was impressed by the overall package and the Riva pattern collection is no exception. Now it is pricy….but I think value depends on how you look at it. This pattern comes with four different designs (pants, shorts, a long sleeve, and a short sleeve button down), it is printed on heavyweight paper, comes with a pattern hanger and a full color instruction booklet. By the time you print all the A0 pages yourself, you are looking at at least half the price of the pattern set. Plus, it feels luxurious to have a printed reference vs constantly checking the computer screen for the next step (I never print my pattern instructions). I will say, I do wish that you were also given a link to download the pattern files for later use – I loathe tracing pattern pieces and always cut right into them. Luckily, I used the largest size in the pattern range I selected so I didn’t really have to worry about it this time.
Speaking of sizes, I selected the 10-16 range and made the size 16. I looked at the finished garments measurements and even though the guide put me in a size 18, the 16 worked out well for me. It would be nice if the size options overlapped by 1-2 sizes in each range to easily grade between sizes if needed though. Again, because pants are hard.
I made a couple of adjustments while making them. I had an absolute horrible time trying to turn the pocket button loop, so I gave up and did without it (how does anyone turn such a tiny tube to the right side?!) and took 5” off the length. I am all about the full-length pants, but I absolutely cannot handle them dragging on the ground. Lastly, I didn’t love how the edge of the interior waistband binding ended up being raw, so I flipped it under and sewed it down at an angle to hide it. Not sure if that was user error or something that needs to be addressed in the instructions though.
Overall, the directions were very clear and the diagrams / illustrations were great. I’d never used the method included for the zipper insertion and it ended up being the best zipper I’ve ever sewn. Everything was really straightforward and I think someone just starting to sew could tackle this pattern without an issue.
There are a couple of minor tweaks I will make when I sew them up again (there will be a next time – I’m looking at you perfect pleated linen shorts!). I think that the front pockets are a little bit too small (my phone sticks out of them) and I’d probably forgo the back welt pockets. They are also tiny, a smidge high up and not very useful even though they do look nice.
The Riva Trousers have lovely / special details (hello back waistband cutout) and are a classic, versatile pattern that I don’t think you can go wrong with!