It’s Chino time! Simplicity 1696

Hello everyone!

Chino 1



I feel I have struck Chino gold, but in order to explain why, I need to go back in time to a less positive place. Do you remember when I made *those Burda* trousers (Burda 7017) after being convinced by how awesome Katie and Karen looked in them? The trousers that just did absolutely nothing for me, just looked like someone had taken a bicycle pump & inflated my rear? And my stomach? Not to mention the jodhpur style legs I’d already had to slim down. Well the funny thing is that it was one of those blog posts that I accidentally deleted when I had my laptop problems & was working off my ipad. (I know you don’t believe me, but every cloud as they say …) So therefore I can’t link back to it, nor the very helpful comments, & those that laughed along with me too.

So I am going to show you only one picture of the offending trousers as a baseline. And offer up some hope to other people struggling to find the right fit. After baring my balloon I received so much endorsement to *avoid pleated pants*. I could not ignore the swell of opinion!


Burda youth

The blouse is a Colette Violet hack.

I had an old McCalls 9233 in my pattern stash, but I was tempted by the newer “Perfect Fit” Simplicity 1696 pattern. Flat front chino style narrow legs. Was that welt pockets on the back too? (actually they are welts, not pockets).


chino welts

But good none the less to break up the expanse behind. So after consulting Vicki at Minerva about chino suitable fabric & being led to the selection of Gaberchino I determined that I would add this pattern to my March make for the Minerva Blogging network.


chino (2)


I have not used any Perfect Fit patterns (but you since know that I have also bought the jacket as an option for my Tweedy hacking jacket). I sat down & read through – what makes this so different? Well there are three different body shapes, & instead of self diagnosing, there are some key measurements to take to determine which shape to go for. In this case, hips and the crotch length. (I would have self diagnosed wrongly btw, it was worth reading the instructions!)

What else do Perfect Fit pants have that other trouser patterns don’t necessarily have? Well, side seams are larger, to allow for better fitting. Also the inner leg seam, at the top has excess in order to play around at fitting time. As you would expect, there is guidance in the instructions for fitting, & combined with “Pants for Real People” I would say this pattern gives you enough grace to mess around with the fit, even if it involves multiple basting/ trying on/ unpicking. So you have a very good chance at getting a good fit.

There are also “Perfect Tips” scattered within the instructions, such as applying bias to the bottom of the cut bottom edge of the zipper to make it smooth, that you can incorporate into your sewing, or not, as you choose.  

Perfect fit

Showing clockwise from left, belt loop extra stitching, neatening corner of waistband facing, extra seam allowance at inside upper leg

OK, so that’s what’s different about Perfect Fit patterns in my humble opinion, based on a solo experience – for what that’s worth!! How about the normal stuff, like, steering through the whole trouser with front fly making process? Well, what do you think? Do they look OK to you?

chino (5)

I found the instructions really easy to follow & enjoyed making them up.

Chino fly

The only irritation I had, following the instructions came with the waistband. It is a four piece with two pieces for the back (like the Thurlows, making it easier to fit) & a right front & left front – all with doubles as facings. The instructions have you finish the lower (waist) edge of the facing before attaching, & finishing with bias binding is an option, which I chose. You then attach the facing to the waistband- some nice corner turning action which I did appreciate, however, I did not like the finish I got by stitching the facing down in the ditch.

Chino Facing

Usually I would fiddle around by pinning in the ditch to make sure my stitching in the ditch follows an even line with my facing – tweaking as necessary in the pinning process. You can see here that the stitching line, governed by the “ditch” does not follow the already bias finished edge uniformly. But that was my only niggle.

Fitting? I compared myself to the finished measurements and shortened the leg length before cutting, and confident with the 1” seam allowances cut the size based on my hip (not my sausage waist). I did baste them to fit.

Chino fitting

Left & middle before, right hand after fit adjustment

And found that I needed the slightest tweak at the waist/ upper hip to get rid of those pesky draw lines. I did not narrow the legs at all, and like how they fit.

Chino (3)

What about the wearing? Well, so far so good. They are really comfy, like ever so nice to wear. They are the kind of trousers that you feel you need in several colours. They really are for me, the perfect chino pattern. Minerva have a lot of different colours in this Gaberchino, which does feel soft & has a nice level of drape.

OK, you see from the photos it creases a bit after being worn, but I kind of expect that in trousers like this (& I did have some major league loafing around on the day that these pics were taken!) I shall be making more, as they clearly show that I do need to avoid pants with pleats!

chino (4)

And photo credits this time, Handmade Jane, who really knew without being asked, how to focus on those all important butt/ crotch close ups!! Thank you so much! – on location in Cirencester.

34 thoughts on “It’s Chino time! Simplicity 1696

  1. Eliza-sew-little

    Ooh. I might just have to follow you down the chino path. These look great. I’ve also got the burda pattern and I’m a similar body shape. I should heed the warning signs and leave ‘ baggy bum’ pattern in its packet. This looks a much better option and the fabric looks great too.
    Good job we live far apart with the amount of copying I do!! But thx for inspiration.

  2. Annika

    Wow. My first thought when I saw the first pic: These fit perfectly and she looks so good in them. And then all the following pics just showed the same. These are so great! Way better than those pleated once 😉 Well, I don’t have more time. I’m off to buy that pattern!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Interesting that a few people have already spied this pattern, I hope you enjoy making it when you come to it. I am bursting to make another pair, (can you tell?) but have other things that take priority first ….

  3. PendleStitches

    Sooooooo much better than the pleated ones. These really are quite fabulous. And I love the colour/styling. I see many more of these in your future *cue Mystic Meg voice*

  4. Camilla

    Ooh love the colour and the fit is excellent. I’ve not ventured into trouser making yet. It’s one of my goals for this year and I’ve got my eye on a burda pattern. I might give the perfect fit patterns a go too.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      So you’re having a year of the trouser? Enjoy it – I find trouser making very rewarding, especially when yo find the pattern that works & suits you (we are all different after all!)

  5. Jane

    Very, very lovely trousers Winnie, and so beautifully made too. But I have to say, the quality of the photography in this post is outstanding, so professionally shot, especially the butt/crotch close ups!! 😉 xx

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh, you’ll have a good time with it too I expect, as I could see this kind of style would suit you too. Enjoy finding an awesome pattern that you will want to make lots & lots!

  6. Lynn

    oh, I am so glad you went the Simplicity route! I remember the original post and I was one of the people who suggested the Amazinf Fit series to you. I think the Big 4 pattern companies get so much hate in the blogosphere that people do not give them enough credit when they do something so RIGHT. I have 3 pants patterns from the series and love them all!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Yes Lynne, thank you so much for your suggestion. I am very grateful 🙂
      And the Amazing Fit jacket is now also in my hot little hands – I am looking forward for the time to make it up (well, with a little bit of fear as well! Jacket, you know!)

  7. Rachel

    Wow! They are a smashing pair of strides. There’s something quite intimidating about trouser fitting. I’m resorting to the classroom for my first pair – Ultimate Trousers. I only hope they turn out like your gorgeous floral party pair!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hahaha! I love that you are making floral party pants! I hope they go well for you – I am sure they will if you are in the classroom – you will have so much help on hand & will have your own party pants of awesome!

  8. Debbie

    They look great and I love the colour. Weirdly this pattern is what I’m sewing at the moment….I’m just going to do the zip so not at fitting stage yet. X

  9. Liza jane

    Nice! I love the color. This is the type of trousers that I like to wear to work. I would love to be able to sew a pair like this in different colors. That fabric is perfect.

  10. Joy

    Yes, they do look great and so much better than the pleated ones. However, in a different era, you may have been loving the pleats (; They look comfy and natural on you — because they are not overfitted (if you know what I mean).

  11. Francesca

    I’m trying to make some work trousers for my OH who is very hard wearing on his trousers. I looked into gaberchino and that’s when I found your site! Do you think it is smart enough? I’m curious what the thickness is like. And this fabric has quite a beautiful sheen to it which I think helps smarten it up. I love these, I’m just worried he’ll make them look like scruffy builders trousers if he doesn’t iron them properly!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I have replied by email on this one, in a nutshell, in case anyone is interested, the gaberchino is not what i would call a crisp chino, as it is a poly mix. It has also pilled a little on my hip where a bag has rubbed against it. SO if you are making your OH *the* best pair of trousers ever then this fabric is perfect for the trial run, but I’d get a chino that was more traditional for the besties.

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