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Sew Simple by Vicki Farmer Ellis: An easy pattern for pull-on pants

Dear Vicki: Do you know of a really quick pattern for a pair of pull-on knit pants? I need to make some for my mother.

She is really loving pants now instead of skirts, and I would like to make some for her.

She is in a residential-care facility and needs clothes that are easy to put on. Thanks.

– Vickie J.

Dear Vicki: Nothing could be quicker than this: Kwik Sew 3678 is a knit version of the one-seam pants – that is, there is no outside leg seam. Just the inseam and then the crotch seam, waist elastic and hem.

If your mother is impaired and wheelchair-bound, you might remember the great tip a reader sent in earlier this year.

She embroidered the knee area of her mother’s pants because her mother was often gazing downward.

It was something that made her mother very happy; she could look at and fiddle with the embroidery to her heart’s content.


Dear Vicki: I feel like I’m going mad with these multisize patterns! Who dreamed these up anyway? It’s a terrible economy measure. Does any company make patterns in just one size? Or at least help me figure out which line to cut on! Thanks for listening.

– Patty S.

Dear Patty: You know the old adage, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know all the lines can be confusing, but you might change your attitude.

Very few of us are the same size all over, and the multisize patterns are an attempt to make it possible for us to achieve our particular fit by blending the different grading lines. I find it is easiest for my students to count the lines from the smallest to the line they plan to use, and then use a colored marker to indicate it. Sizes are so notoriously flexible that you need to measure in different areas, and don’t forget to allow extra for breathing and sitting, unless it is a knit.

It’s a really good idea to copy the lines onto pattern tracing paper rather than cutting up the pattern. I know the detail markings can add to the confusion, but the best thing is to realize that the multiple sizes can be a positive thing.


This week’s readers’ tip is from Lin Blaszkiewicz, of Fenton, Mo. She writes:

“I use painter’s tape to put pattern pieces together so I can measure them to find out just how big the finished garment will be. The tape holds but removes easily without tearing the tissue.”

Please send your tips and questions to me, Vicki Farmer Ellis, P.O. Box 220463, St. Louis, MO 63122, or email me at And you, too, could win a collection of hand-sewing needles if your tidbit is selected for publication.

Vicki Farmer Ellis is the daughter of nationally recognized authority on sewing Eunice Farmer.