Did you realize that the True Bias Lander pants have been out since 2017?
I can’t believe it’s been five years since this pattern’s release, and I can’t believe I waited this long to stitch up these bottoms in this gorgeous gold denim.
Don’t be like me. Get some bold-colored denim and stitch up a pair for yerself. You won’t be sorry.
Keep reading for ideas on how to sew your own True Bias Lander pants.
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RELATED: Full-Length Lander Pants in Striped Denim
Lander Pants Pattern Description and Sizing
The Lander pants are high-waisted bottoms with three views: cropped, full (boot) length, and shorts length. They feature wide-ish straight legs; front and back patch pockets; belt loops; and an exposed button fly.
I sewed the cropped length in a heavily modified size 2 (see below for deets).
Lander Pants Fabric
This is gold non-stretch denim from Blackbird Fabrics. It’s 9.75 ounces and perfect for this pattern. I bought it specifically to make Lander pants, which means it’s probably been in my stash for close to five years. (It’s definitely pre-pandemic.)
The front pockets are lined with the Liberty of London cotton lawn that I used in this woven T-shirt. It’s lightweight and doesn’t add bulk to the denim. But, because it is quite lightweight, I’m minorly concerned about wear and tear on it. I think, though, because the lawn doesn’t face the exterior, it probably won’t wear out quickly.
A note of interest for you, if you think a lot about interfacing: I used Pellon’s Easy-Knit (EK130), which is a fusible interfacing with a grain (it’s a tricot knit). I made sure to cut the interfacing in a way that complimented the pattern pieces to which it is fused (i.e., on grain in areas prone to stretching).
I use this interfacing all the time; I even bought a bolt of it. I use it on knit and woven garments. It holds up better than IF without a grain, because it’s actually fabric. I *probably* wouldn’t use it on super drapey, lightweight fabrics (knit or woven), but I trust it for most applications.
I’m sharing this with you so you feel OK about having an “all-purpose” interfacing. If you test the fabric-IF combo and are pleased, it’s your party, baby.
RELATED: What Does Weight of Fabric Mean?
My Lander Modifications
Let’s talk about the fit modifications. I used my fave fitting book, Nancy Zieman’s “Pattern Fitting with Confidence,” to guide adjustments. Her pivot-and-slide method is responsible for the fierce fit of these pants.
I measured my body, measured the flat pattern pieces, did some beep-boop-bop calculations, and sewed a corresponding muslin (out of muslin) to test fit. As mentioned, these are mods made to a size 2.
- Waist circumference: The muslin showed me that 29 inches was a good circumference. Width was removed from the waist at the outseam, center back, and center front. When I tried on the Landers at camp in the gold denim, I felt like I could go smaller in the waist, so I took one-quarter inch from the outseam (which left the waist at 28 inches).
- Hip circumference: I added 3 inches to the circumference to make it 39.5 inches.
- Crotch depth: I wanted these pants to sit at my natural waist, and I’m long waisted. I added 2.75 inches to the depth.
- Leg length: I removed about 5 inches for a cropped pant.
Beyond pivoting-and-sliding to the correct size, I also made these customizations:
Hidden Button Placket
In the original pattern, the fly buttons are visible. Obviously here they are not.
There was a reason for this decision. I sewed my Landers at Camp Workroom Social, and I didn’t want to make buttonholes on a sewing machine that I wasn’t familiar with. (TBH I barely like making buttonholes on my regular machine; I’m usually prepared for something to go sideways.)
I stitched the buttonholes, using my vintage buttonholer and computerized sewing machine, on the button placket and at camp sewed the placket to the pants. My plan was to complete the pants up to the point when I needed to stitch the top (and final) buttonhole and install hardware.
I used directions for the hidden buttonhole placket from Johanna Lundstrom’s “Sewing Jeans,” and they were great, up until the point when the crotch below the button fly needed to be stitched together. She calls for a more jeans-style construction step (with a faux-flat-felled seam) that I couldn’t wrap my brain around. As you can see, I sewed the lower crotch seam normally (RS together), and it turned out fine.
Mitered Back Pockets
To remove bulk (and to be a little extra), I sewed a miter in the lower corners of the back pockets. Since stitching uneven miters in my rainbow flannel Darling Ranges dress, I’ve been on the lookout for other mitering opportunities.
Instead of topstitching five layers of non-stretch denim at the pocket corners, I sewed through three layers (back leg, folded-over pocket edge, pocket right side). To keep the pocket corners from fraying (which sometimes can happen when you trim away fabric for a miter), I gave it a dab of clear nail polish. (I keep a bottle of cheap-o clear nail polish in my sewing studio to use in lieu of Fray Check. It works the same, is less expensive, and can be applied precisely with the nail polish brush.)
Wrong Side Belt Loops
You may have noticed that the belt loops are not the same color as the rest of the pants. That’s the wrong side of the gold denim (and it’s still really pretty, IMO).
The directions call for sewing a long skinny strip of fabric, right sides together, turning it right sides out (so that the seam allowances face the inside the tube), and then cutting it into belt loops.
Well. Guess who couldn’t turn this skinny tube of sewn-together bottomweight fabric right sides out?
I worked on this step at camp, and I didn’t have extra fabric to cut another belt-loop tube. (And I didn’t feel like unpicking stitches.) I went with the wrong side and didn’t look back. I like the contrast. I don’t necessarily think it’s an improvement vs. the fabric’s right side, but it works OK for me.
What I Like About the Lander Pants
I am SO PLEASED with how I fit these pants, guys! They look good and, more importantly, they feel good!
I love how the high waist holds in my belly. It feels like a hug. There’s no muffin top or pulling up the waistband as it shimmies down my full hip.
If you’ve never fit your pants to nearly your ribs, I suggest you try it.
Could these be my Spirit Pants? The one pant to rule them all?
I think so.
The high waist is DOING THINGS for my short legs, and it makes my waist look SNATCHED.
I adore the look of the fitted abdomen, high hip, and full hip that gives way to the straight, wider leg. The proportions are all kinds of right.
Now, I love my skinny jeans, but sometimes they rub long leg hairs the wrong way. These wider pants legs don’t touch those long boys and make you feel creepy-crawly-itchy all day. (If you know you know.)
These pants bridge the gap between “jean” and “trouser.” If you made them in blue denim, with flat-felled seams, yellow topstitching, etc., they’d definitely read as jeans. But, if you made them in a non-denim bottomweight (or even colored denim as shown) with minimal exterior flair, they’d have a dressier energy.
You might even call them “slacks,” as my mom used to say. (Anyone else’s mom say “slacks”?)
So, in a nutshell, you’ve got one pattern that looks as good dressed up as it does dressed down.
How My Landers Could Be Better
Let me tell you a tale, sewing friends.
As I mentioned, I brought these pants to sew at Camp Workroom Social. The pattern pieces were cut, interfaced, and edges serged where appropriate. This included a pattern piece for a curved waistband.
The Landers come with a straight waistband, that is, a skinny rectangle. In my pants-making history, I have found myself having a swayback, and I wanted to try a curved waistband to keep the top of the pants closer to my back.
I used Lundstrom’s “Sewing Jeans” to draft a curved waistband, and I *thought* I did a good job measuring the waist seam of the top of the pants.
Turns out I mismeasured and made the waistband too short! I think the waistband seam lengthened after the fly shield business was sewn.
I didn’t have extra fabric at camp to cut a new waistband, so I couldn’t finish my Landers there. (I had plenty of fabric at home.) What a bummer.
My camp instructor suggested a straight waistband (vs. a curved one) for high-waisted bottoms, because there’s not much curve at the high back waist compared with the low back waist, which gets into hip territory.
When I got home, I made this rectangle waistband. I wish I had made it a bit taller; I think the top button looks a little suffocated on the band. But, beyond that, the straight waistband is great.
The moral of the story is: Maybe hold off on cutting a waistband until the waistband seam is its final length.
Along with earmarking this gold denim for my Lander pants, I also set aside a gold button-fly kit with gold rivets.
I love love love the look of rivets, but I have a beastly time installing them. I think what happens is that I don’t trim the nail (the sharp point that punctures the fabric) short enough. And then when I pound together the rivet head (the visible part of the rivet on the right side) and the nail, the nail blasts through the head.
I think what I’m going to try next time I install rivets is:
1.) Install the nail, with the point breaking through the fabric layers.
2.) Cut off the nail point with a pliers, tin snips, etc., so that it’s barely higher than the fabric layers.
3.) File the trimmed nail point so that it’s mostly blunt.
4.) Pound together the rivet head and rivet nail.
Right now, when the nail breaks through the head, I paint over the nail tip with a matching metallic Sharpie permanent marker. This is a serviceable fix, but I’d rather not use it at all.
Final Thoughts About the Gold Landers
I cannot wait to make several more pairs of Lander pants. I need to sort through the non-stretch-bottomweight fabrics I have in my stash! I definitely want to make a straight-up jeans pair, maybe in lighter-colored denim.
The No. 1 thing to remember when making Lander pants is to perfect the fit of the waist and high hip. In that way, it’s almost like fitting a skirt! The waist and high hip dictate how the pants will lay over your hips and booty.
After you fine-tune the waist and high hips, move to the crotch. If the crotch feels tight, lengthen it and watch the pants flow (as much as a bottomweight fabric with lots of body can flow!) over your hips and derriere.
Obvs you can (and should) continue fitting beyond the waist and high hip, but I believe you can be pretty happy with the outcome of your pants if you get those spots under control. IMO these pants don’t need to cup your booty; they need to move over it and into the straight legs.
Along with making a blue jeans pair of Lander pants, I also would like to experiment using a drapier bottomweight and installing an invisible side zipper instead of a fly.
An elasticated BACK waistband with flat-FRONT waistband also piques my interest. Pull-on Landers, anyone? (Has anyone seen this hack before?)
Over to you: The Landers have been around for a minute; have you sewn them? What’s your favorite Landers pant you’ve seen shared on Instagram? How do you feel about super-high-waisted pants — yea or nay? Please sound off in comments!
P.S. Lander pants would look SO GOOD with Sie Macht’s Cass T-shirt… just sayin.’