The City Trousers – Info & Tutorial

The City Trousers pattern by The Avid Seamstress

The City Trousers pattern by The Avid Seamstress                                                                   Buy this pattern link

The perfect fit trousers – at last!

A slim shaped trouser – between skinny/cigarette shape – with easy to insert side pockets and an optional side slit at the hem.

A narrow waistband with an invisible zip at the back makes the front of these trousers very flattering.


This pattern works well in most light weight to medium weight fabrics. For a Spring/Summer dress use a thin cotton and for Autumn/Winter a medium weight fabric is ideal.

You could use a slight stretch fabric on these trousers.


View A – Fabric, thread, hand needle, 10cm narrow satin ribbon, button (1-2cm)

View B – Fabric, thread, 20cm/8″ invisible zipper (ensure your sewing machine has a zipper foot)


  • Pattern printed on high quality white pattern paper
  • Beautiful step by step instruction booklet
  • Guide on taking your measurements
  • Fabric and Sewing basics help card
  • Sewing Terms Demystified card
  • Checklist card to ensure you have covered everything before starting your project
  • Information on The Avid Seamstress


Before you start – do you need to shorten or lengthen the trouser length? Have a look here on how to do this!

Overlock / zigzag the raw edges.


What are darts?
A “dart” is used to shape fabric, often where there is small amount of excess fabric or when a more tailored look is required. A dart is usually created to shape the bust, waist, hip or elbow curve.

There are two types of darts;
“triangle shape” which is wide at the top and pointed at the end
“shaped” dart which starts with a point, widening in the middle and ending with a point (often found on dress patterns).

A badly sewn dart will result in the fabric puckering on the right side. A perfect dart will be straight and smooth and will be barely visible from the right side.

1. On your two back pieces and on the wrong side, ensure that you have marked  your dart notches and dot.
1.1.  The  dart  we  are  creating  is  the triangle shape. We’ve drawn the shape to illustrate.
How to sew darts
1.2. Pinch the top two  notches so that they  meet and pin.  Place a pin on the dot  and  you  will  see  that  the  fabric forms a straight line from the dot up to the fold between the top notches.
Inserting darts into trousers
1.3. You know what? There are no “RULES” – if it helps you to create the perfect dart then why not  draw  the  line from  the  top  notch  to  the  dot.  The line should extend off the fabric at the dot.  The  line  of  sewing  needs  to  be  a perfect straight line from notch to dot otherwise the dart will pucker. Stitch in place.
Inserting darts into trousersInserting darts into trousers
1.4. View from right side (sorry almost impossible to see with this print!).
Inserting darts into trousers

Tip. It’s important to focus on using precise seam allowances throughout  these instructions, otherwise the waistband  won’t  fit.  Use  your  sewing  machine seam allowance guide.

2. Open  out  your  two  front  A  pieces, right sides facing you.
Adding the pocket to the trousers
3. Place  your  pocket  bag  C  right  side onto  A,  matching  up  the  pocket  curve notch. Sew in place using a 1cm seam. Snip  into  the  curved  edge  and  turn  to the right side.
Adding the pocket bagUnderstitching the pocket

4. Iron flat. Repeat on the other pocket.

We’ve understitched the pocket edge to keep it flat. You could top stitch the pocket edge if you wish to create a decorative effect.
Understitching the pocket

5. On  the  wrong  side,  fold  the  pocket bag  on  the  fold  line  and  line  up  the notches at the top of the waist and the side  of  the  trousers.  Stitch  the  curved edge of the pocket bag, ensuring you are only sewing the pocket bag and not the trousers! Iron your pocket bag.
Folding the pocket
6. To  ensure  the  pocket  bag  stays  in place – create a row of stitches, using a 5mm  seam  allowance,  along  the  edge of  the  waistline  and  the  side  seam  – through all of the layers. You only need to sew where the pocket bag meets the waistline and side seam.
Sewing the pocket


7. Place your two front pieces right sides together and line up your crotch curve and notch. Stitch in place using a 1.5cm seam allowance. Clip into the curve and iron open the seam.
This seam at the waistline is your Centre Front  (we will refer  to  this  “CF” when putting in the waistband).

City trousers crotch piece

8. On  the  back  crotch  pin your  edges together but only sew the bottom edge of the crotch. Keep  at  least  3cm  below  the  notch unsewn. We will sew the zip  in place at a  later
sewing the back crotch


Make sure you have marked the notch on each side of the bottom of your trousers. If you do not wish to have the side slit then ignore number 9 and on number 10 continue to sew down to the hem – ensuring you are sewing in a straight line to the bottom hem.

9. Place the trouser legs RIGHT SIDE facing you. At the bottom edge fold the side slit at the notch as shown – 3.5cm. Sew in place (you are sewing along the width of the  hemline). Essentially this creates the corner piece of your trousers so needs to be accurate- so it’s 3.5cm turned in from the side and 3.5cm from the hem. Use your measuring tape to ensure the line is accurate. I would also reinforce this section to ensure it is strong so create a double row of stitches.
Hem of trousers
This image shows the back and front sides next to each other. Ensure that they are matching up the same. When you take your time and really focus on these elements of sewing this is what takes your sewing to the next level.
side slit at hem
10. Place your trousers pieces A & B right sides together and pin the side seams, ensuring that the top and bottom edges are neat and flush.
Tip. It may seem a bit tricky while you are pinning – focus on matching up your notches. Sew  the  side  seam  from  the  top  until you reach the dot.
Tip: Place your first pin at the bottom hem, your next pin at the very top and then pin the notches. Then work your way between the pins and the fabric should straighten out (as long as you cut them out accurately).
Pinning the side seam of trousers
Sew the side seam from the top until you reach the notch. Can you see how your line of sewing needs to stay on a straight line so that you are sewing 3.5cm from the edge (look where our ruler is), once you reach the lower part of the trousers? We’ve drawn the line to illustrate (you can too if it makes it easier!).
Sewing the trouser side seamsSide slit of trousers
Tip: When you are sewing over more than two layers of fabric we suggest that you create an additional line or even two of stitches. This will reinforce the section and keep the pieces together firmly. We’ve done this at the pocket section:
Reinforcing the trousers side seam

11. Turn the trousers to the wrong side and push the sewn edge from 9. to the right side create your side slit edge. Iron in place. Both sides should match and look lovely!
Side slit of trousers

12. At the inner leg, match up the crotch seams. Sew from the hem up to the crotch on each side ensuring all the edges are flush and the crotch seam allowances are open. On the bottom edge, keep the hem open and flat.
Inner seam of trousers
13. You can now turn up this side of the hem and iron in place. Hand stitch or machine stitch your hem.
Hem of trousers

14. Fold  your  waistband  wrong  sides together  and  iron  to  create  a  crease mark  along  the  fold.  Open  out  the waistband so that it is flat.
15. Turn your trousers to the right side and  match  the  waistband  CF  and  the CF of the trousers – right sides together.
Attaching the waistband
16. Working your way from CF around to the  CB  on  each  side,  line  up  your waistband  notches  to  your  trouser side seams and CB edges. Pin in place. Ensure the fabric edges of the trousers and  the  waistband  are  flush  and  the seams are open. The waistband fits perfectly so that your time here.
Attaching the waistbandAttaching the waistbandAttaching the waistband
17.  Sew  the  waistband/trouser  edge.
Tip. It is very important that you keep to the 1.5cm seam allowance, especially at the CB sides.
Attaching the waistbandAttaching the waistband
Once  complete  check  that  your  CB pieces are the same. If one side is higher now is the time to fix it!
18. Iron your seam allowance away from the waistband.

Zip length 22cm
An invisible zip is completely different from a standard zip – the way it looks is different and the way you insert it into the garment is different. You always work on the right side of the fabric when putting in an invisible zip. The ‘teeth’ of the zip are on the inside of the zip whereas the ‘teeth’ of a regular zip are on the outside.
Invisible zip

Invisible zip
Front of zip

19. Prepare the zipper. Unzip the zipper and you will notice that the zip “rolls” to the side. Take your iron and, on a warm but not hot setting, iron the zip so that each rolled side lies very flat.

20. This  image  is  to  illustrate  how  we are going to place the zip. It is placed in the first part of the waistband. The second folded part of the waistband is at the top.
a) The zip extends into the first half of the waistband.
b) We  want  the  “top  stop”  of  the  zip close to the top of the first half of the waistband – approx. 3mm
c) The rest of the top of the zip needs to  extend  past  the  first  half  of  the waistband, but isn’t sewn.
d) The  stitches  show  you  where  you start sewing – next to the “top stop”.
Invisible zipInvisible zip placement
21. Place your zip according to 20. The edge  of  the  zip  should  lie  against  the edge of the fabric. Using  your  zipper  presser  foot  and starting next to the “top stop”, create a
row of stitches next to the zipper teeth. Don’t sew too close to the teeth – just a few mm next to it. Sew until you reach the notch.
Invisible zipInvisible zip
22. Once sewn flip your sewn zip side so that the unsewn zip is now on the right. Can you see how we have turned the top of the zip so that it sits with the edge of the zip against  the edge of  the  fabric? It  should  mirror  the  other  side.  Make sure  that  your  zip  starts  in  the  exact same place as  the other side and  then pin down the edge, twisting the zip to sit “correctly”.
Invisible zipInvisible zipInvisible zip
Invisible zip
23. Sew  in  place,  this  time  from  the notch upwards. Don’t forget to stop at the “top stop”.
Invisible zip
24. On  completion,  your  trouser  edge and waistband edges should match up like this.
Invisible zip
25. On  the  inner  trouser  and  on  the wrong  side  move  to  the  area  that  is unsewn between the zip and the crotch stitches.
Invisible zip
Starting  just  above  and  to  the  left  of the zip stitches, sew down to the crotch stitches, completing this section.
Invisible zipInvisible zip
26.1.The top part of the zip that was not sewn now needs to be moved out of the way. Turn down the top of the zip and machine or hand stitch in place.
Invisible zip
26.2. Fold  the  waistband  along  the crease over to the wrong side and place the edge over the zip. Ensure the edges are aligned. Machine stitch in place (not too close to the zip).
Invisible zip
26.3.Push this sewn piece to the right side.
Invisible zip
26.4.View from the wrong side of the trousers:
Invisible zip
Repeat on the other side
26.5.Your trouser top should match up evenly on both sides.
Invisible zipWAISTBAND

27.  Fold  your  waistband  along  the crease  so  that  the  unsewn  waistband edge is inside the trousers. On the right side and starting from the CB we are going to sew the waistband in place.
28. Create  a  row  of  stiches  in  the seamline  where  the  waistband  meets the trousers. The stitches will be hidden here.
Tip. Sew slowly and carefully here, keep checking underneath to make sure that the waistband is flat and your seams are facing to the left.
29. The stitches will be visible on the inside of the trousers along the waistband edge:
To complete your trousers just give them a lovely iron and turn to the right side.
finished trousers

We’d love to see your creation – please share with us.

Don’t forget to enter our monthly Avid Seamstress of the month, a place for you to share your creation and be in line to win your next pattern free – all the details here – Avid Seamstress of the Month








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Founder of London based indie sewing pattern brand - The Avid Seamstress

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