February 21, 2004
Pants Patterns

It’s nearly impossible to find free sewing patterns on the ‘Net, so here are the patterns and how-to instructions for two styles of unisex casual pants I made yesterday. Now you can make your own.

Thai Fisherman’s Pants
These are one-size fits-all pants that wrap around and tie with a sash. Very comfy and stylish, too. You can use almost any weight fabric—from silk to lightweight denim. The Thai ones are cotton or rayon. Make sure your fabric looks nice on both sides; I did mine with a contrasting top panel because the print I used for the legs looked ugly on the reverse.

You’ll need
2 meters fabric
matching thread
About an hour.


top panel (2): 25 cm x 75 cm
legs (2): 75 cm x 85 cm, with a curved 50 x 10 strip cut away on each side
tie (1): 6 cm x 140 cm

I measured and cut directly on the fabric without a paper pattern. Don’t forget to add extra for the seams. I usually do 1 cm all around.

If you’re using fabric with a directional pattern, cut the cloth in half widthwise and turn the fabric so that the pattern runs the same direction on both legs.


  1. Sew the short ends of the top panel to form a large hoop. Hem one edge of the hoop.
  2. Sew the center front seam.
  3. Sew the center back seam.
  4. Starting at the center and working out, sew the inseam.
  5. Attach the top panel to the legs.
  6. Construct the sash and attach to the top panel at the back.
  7. Hem the legs.

French seam the top panel sides so there are no raw edges.
Finish the top panel edge with a tiny hem.
Attached the belt securely to the center back of the top panel.


To wear them, slip them on and hold the edges out from you (like a diet “after” picture). Pull one side tight against your body and bring the rest of the fabric across yourself to form an S curve. Bring the ties around your waist and knot. Fold the top down over the ties.

Comfy Pants
These baggy pajama pants are derived from the mompe slacks in John Marshall’s “Make your Own Japanese Clothes.” An elastic waist makes them really easy to wear. You can increase the width of the leg opening to get a more skirt-like palazzo pant.

This pattern needs to be drafted onto paper, but it’s not difficult to do at all. Once you’ve done it, you can use it over and over, or until you size changes.

You’ll need
2.2 meters fabric, depending on your leg length
elastic for the waistband (your waist + 5 cm)
matching thread
a ruler
a calculator
a crayon or colored marker
a sheet or two of newspaper
About 90 minutes.

Measure yourself (it’s much easier if you have help with these!)

pants-comfy-measure.jpgHips ________ cm

Waist to floor ________ cm

Crotch to floor________ cm

Around ankle and heel ________ cm

Now lay out your newspaper so that it matches the waist to floor measurement. Tape together if necessary.


Front Leg:

  1. From one corner of the paper, measure 1/3 your hip measurement and mark it.
  2. Move over 1/12 of your hip measurement and mark that.
  3. At the 1/3 + 1/12 point, draw a line all the way down the paper.
  4. At the bottom, mark the width of the leg opening. (1/2 the ankle-heel + 5 cm)
  5. Calculate the inseam: crotch to floor minus 5 cm.
  6. Using a tape measure stretch to the inseam length, make a diagonal from the end of the leg opening to the 1/3 + 1/12 line.
  7. Draw a gentle J-shaped curve from the end of the inseam to the 1/3 mark.

Back Leg:
Same as the front leg, but use 1/3 plus 1/8 of your hip measurement. This allows a little extra room for your derriere.

Follow the pattern, adding seam allowance all around, plus about 8 cm at the top for the elastic casing and 5 cm (or more) at the bottom for a hem.


  1. Sew the center front seam and center back seam.
  2. Starting at the center and working down the leg, sew the inseam.
  3. Sew the side seams.
  4. Hem the legs.
  5. Construct the casing and thread the elastic through.
Posted by kuri at February 21, 2004 12:00 AM


Now isnt this exactly what GG was looking for? Way cool! Thanks Kristen!

Posted by: j-ster on February 21, 2004 11:19 AM

I am desperate for some new and funky casual duds. If I grab some fabric, can I come over for a sewing session? I will also bring something yummy to eat!!

Posted by: Tracey on February 23, 2004 02:33 PM

I’m Thai, and I was amazed to find Thai Fisherman’s Pants here. :)

We call it Kaang-Keng-Lay, Kaang-Keng means pants and Lay (Talay) means sea (where the fisherman works). But not only for the fisherman, people across the country from the North to the South wear Kaang-Keng-Lay.

You can find it at $2 in Thailand. Cheap?

Posted by: escape:planet on February 24, 2004 08:08 PM

thanks for the pattern

Posted by: on March 24, 2004 07:59 AM

YAY! I went to Vietnam about months ago and all of the foreigners had these pants. I was dying for a pair because they look ultra comfy and easy, but I never found any and couldn’t figure out how to make them. Thanks!

Posted by: Skylar on April 25, 2004 02:59 PM

Thank you for providing the pattern, I saw someone wearing them and have been looking for a pattern ever since (about a year). I am going to make several pairs which I am sure will replace my comfy jeans as my favorite thing to wear!

Posted by: Kandice on June 9, 2004 05:15 AM

I don’t understand why you need to do the extra step of adding a top panel. Why can’t you just extend the top portion of the legs for however many inches/metres that the top panel is? Isn’t that the same thing? Am I missing something? Thanks for posting free pattern instructions. That was very nice of you.

Posted by: Diana on June 19, 2004 06:01 AM

Thanks for sharing! This will be a great gift for my family n loved ones! Had been eyeing for one of these pants for a long time. Now that I can finally self-made it. :)

Posted by: Justlyn Teo on June 19, 2004 04:38 PM

My Goddaughter, Sari, brought these great pants to me from her travels in Thailand. The rayons are my favorite because the fabric is so soft and they dry so quickly. However, all my fisherman pants have a third panel sewn in the leg seams. She paid around $2 for the pants and her friends are selling them here in the States for $15-20. This helps pay their airfare and travel expenses when visiting Thailand.

Posted by: vicki kerley on June 24, 2004 09:11 AM

Hi All,
Thank You so much for the Thai fishermans pants pattern.
I teach sewing to High School students and they range in ability. I am sure that these Thai fisherman pants will be quick easy and a great start to many sewing projects to come.

Posted by: Carolyn on July 19, 2004 12:53 PM

Thank you! How generous of you to share your information. This is terrific.

Posted by: SK on July 24, 2004 04:39 AM

I am one who hates sewing, but loves comfy clothes. I have been waiting for pants like these! Ohh, think of the colors and patterns to try. Even I can sew them!
Thank you

Posted by: Sharon on July 29, 2004 02:03 PM

Hello from Winnipeg,Manitoba, Canada- Have been looking for a pattern for these pants for a while. Being a woman of substance( body wise) I thought they would be extremely comfortable and simple to make. Thanks again. Peace Joy and Happiness “N” :)

Posted by: Nadine Andrews on July 30, 2004 03:23 AM

Thank you so much for this pattern - this is awesome. I will be buying loads of fabric so I can get started on these.

Posted by: Helen on August 7, 2004 01:33 AM

Hi, It’s me again. Well I made the Thai Fishermans pants and unfortunately one size does not fit all. I wonder can anyone maybe help for sizing the pattern to a 1 or 2 x plus. Would be greatly appreciated. Bye all from Friendly Manitoba
Peace :) Nadine

Posted by: Nadine Andrews on August 23, 2004 01:24 PM

Just wondering, since I’ve never seen Thai fishermen’s pants (well, i have, but I’m not entirely sure that what i know is what everyone else is thinking of..), what these pants end up looking like…could you post pictures?

Posted by: Kaita on September 23, 2004 01:53 AM

thanks for posting the pattern. really cool.
i’d love to try the pattern out in different materials, etc…
for people who are wondering where to get them already made or what they look like, here’s a link:

Posted by: May on September 29, 2004 11:44 AM

the pants looks ok but i dont see the shirt to with it my son as heritage week cooming up and i need to make a costume for him i have search so many site cant find anything could you possible send me one
thank you

Posted by: on October 9, 2004 05:56 AM

the pants looks ok but i dont see the shirt to with it my son as heritage week cooming up and i need to make a costume for him i have search so many site cant find anything could you possible send me one
thank you

Posted by: janette kong on October 9, 2004 05:57 AM

the pants looks ok but i dont see the shirt to with it my son as heritage week cooming up and i need to make a costume for him i have search so many site cant find anything could you possible send me one
thank you

Posted by: janette kong on October 9, 2004 05:58 AM

…I have been looking for this pattern and am as pleased as can be to have found your concise, easy to understand directions! Great job!!! Thanks so much!

Posted by: susan on October 17, 2004 09:31 AM

Thank you, so much.

Posted by: lydia on January 20, 2006 03:39 PM
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