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Drawstring Pants

Their easy form flatters all sizes and shapes.




This comfortable pair of drawstring pants from Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is one of the simplest pieces of clothing you can sew.


  • Drawstring pants template
  • Fabric and sewing shears
  • Clear tape
  • 2 yards (1.8 meters) fabric, such as lightweight seersucker
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Machine needles and coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • 1 yard (0.9 meter) twill tape
  • Large safety pin


  1. Step 1

    Print pattern template, tape pieces together with clear tape, and cut out. Wash, dry, and press the fabric. Cut out the pattern, following the lines for desired size. Fold the fabric, right sides facing, so that the fold is along the length of the fabric (selvages touching). Place the pattern pieces on the fabric and cut out.

  2. Step 2

    Place the 2 front pieces together, right sides facing, and pin along the crotch seem; sew them together with a 1/2-inch (13-millimeter) seam allowance, stopping 2 1/2 inches (centimeters) from the top. Press open the seam allowance and finish the edges with a zigzag stitch. Repeat with the left and right back-pant pieces, but sew all the way to the top.

  3. Step 3

    Place the front and back pieces together, right sides facing; pin and sew the sides together with a 1/2-inch (13-millimeter) seam allowance. Press open the seams, finish the edges with a zigzag stitch, and press them open again.

  4. Step 4

    Pin the front and back inseams together; sew with a 1/2-inch (13-millimeter) seam. Press open the seam allowance, finish the edges with a zigzag stitch, and press them open again.

  5. Step 5

    With the pants still inside out, create a channel around the waistband for a drawstring: Fold and press the top edge down 1/2 inch (13 millimeters), then fold and press again 1 inch (2.5 centimeters), and edge-stitch 1/8 inch (3 millimeters) from the double-fold's lower edge, making sure to stitch back and forth several times at the opening. Attach a safety pin to one end of the twill tape, and feed the tape through the channel.

  6. Step 6

    To hem the pants, put them on. Mark the hem you'd like, then make a mark 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) below this initial mark. Cut away any fabric below the lower mark. Make a double hem: Fold edge over 1/2 inch (13 millimeters) again. Press, pin, and edge-stitch.

The Martha Stewart Show, May 2010



Reviews (6)

  • BeckyLG 24 Aug, 2014

    I've been disappointed by this pattern so far. The layout of the pattern wastes paper. Shifting the pattern pieces would've saved 5 sheets. The 1 yard of twill tape is not going to be enough for most women, even with a size small. Finally, as was mentioned by another reviewer, 2 yards of standard-width flannel is not enough to make this pattern. I bought 2.5 yards to have some extra, and it was not even close to enough - the pattern doesn't specify a certain fabric width.

  • ragsangle 3 Feb, 2012

    After finding out how many pages to print and tape together I decieded to take my old worn out favorite pair of pj bottoms apart and used it as a pattern! Well the fit is perfect ! It was so easy to do...although I did tweek it a little ...I used elastic in 3/4 of the casing and sewed on the drawstring to each end and am amazed at how comfortable these are...I'ved also decieded this is what everyone on my xmas list is getting! Great idea thanks!

  • GreatLakesGal 20 Feb, 2011

    Does this call for extra wide fabric? I bought 2 yards of standard 36" wide flannel, and it is not enough, even for the small size. When I fold the fabric with selvages touching, the two pattern pieces do not fit side-by-side as shown in the Encyclopedia of Sewing

  • sslader 5 May, 2010

    Yes, the template a bit confusing. And rather than use my personal printer to print 30 pages plus the time I simply dragged the template to a thumb drive and took it to Kinko's. Took one minute but @ a cost of $16.
    While @ Jo-Ann's today for fabric I found a McCall's draw string pattern for $3. Live and learn.

  • mingmongsinghi 5 May, 2010

    Martha, you said sometimes people loose the drawstring in pants. After you have threaded the drawstring through the channel, just sew a little seam through the centre back seam through the pants and drawstring, then it cannot escape.................Yvonne

  • mmau 4 May, 2010

    Wish there was a small version of the template so we could see the pattern before printing. It would be nice to see an outline, or line drawing on one page.