Note: Work trouser in Olive

My fourth project from the Ann Ringstrand book SY is the Work trouser, a workwear inspired design. The Work trouser is a fun and satisfying make with several interesting features. It features two different back pockets, a utility pocket on the back of the left thigh, and it is heavily topstitched.

I’m continuing my exploration of this fantastic new book. In this initial round I’m sewing the garments mostly as suggested in the book, I simply can’t get enough of the styles. Later I’ll see if I can personalize them furter – I have a few ideas.

I had a lovely sour green cotton twill in my stash, kind of medium weight and great for a pair of cotton trousers. It is a perfect match for this pattern. The pocket linings were cut from a scrap of blue cotton chambray. I interfaced the top of the slant pockets, the patch pocket, the waistband, the welt and pocket shield with woven interfacing. The top stitching thread is beige, significantly lighter than the green cotton but not high contrast. I used a gold metal zipper because it was what I had. A silver metal would have looked even better.

One of the challenges when switching between topstitching and regular sewing thread isn’t just changing the thread, but preferably changing the needle between each operation, too. This is tedious and time consuming. Since I bought a new sewing machine this year I could set up my old one with regular sewing thread and the new one (which has much prettier stitches) with a topstitching needle and thread. In between them I placed the overlocker, and I now had a very efficient and functional setup. I always make a few test stitches before I start to ensure everything work as planned.

The pattern is really well designed and drafted. The two pocket designs, one patch pocket and one welt pocket are interchangeable so you can use one or both. I’ve never sewn a welt pocket like this before and I love how it turned out. The topstitching of the two pockets have a unifying effect. I appreciate the curved waistband, too. I don’t have much use for a straight waistband, they never sit well on my waist at all. I always strengthen the top of the waistband with a narrow cotton tape, twill tape, to prevent it from stretching out. It works every time! The front slanted pockets are nice and deep and easy to sew. There is no facing, but if you want one it’s very easy to draw one yourself. There is a crotch yoke and inner leg panel that looks really cool, but I’m unsure of how it is supposed to fit. On most of the versions I’ve seen the rear looks rather baggy, and I’m wondering if that’s right or not. I think I would prefer a little tighter fit across the seat, so on my next version I’ll experiment a little with it.

Speaking of fit: Other sewists have mentioned that it is very oversized, so I sized down to S despite falling into the M range in the sizing chart. However, the finished waist measurement seemed a little to tight for me, so added 0.5 cm at the side seam, front/back piece, and 1 cm at the center back seam. This small adjustment resulted in a waist measurement in between the two sizes and just perfect for me. The rest of the garment is plenty roomy enough without any further adjustments.

The topstitching is done with a longer stitch length for a more even finish. Usually I sew topstitching with 3 mm length , but since I used a heavier thread I increased to 3.5 mm, and this was a good decision. As a finishing touch I added some narrow bright orange satin stitching (known as regels in Norwegian) to reinforce the top of the patch pocket and the opening of the slanted front pockets. Since I distrust my machine to sew buttonholes in heavy fabric with topstitching thread, I used the regular orange instead. I quite like how it turned out.

I love the resulting trousers very much. I made a mistake when inserting the zipper, but nothing that will make an important difference. Next time I’ll look up the instructions before I start, I guess I was becoming a little too confident hahah!

Pattern: Work trouser from SY – 10 nya modeplagg by designer Ann Ringstrand (in Swedish)
Fabric: 1.7 m cotton twill
Time: A couple of days. Work intensive because of many pattern pieces and topstitching.
Size: S with modifications at the waist

You can se my other makes from the book here.


  • I think your sewing is beautiful. You are very skilled and your eye for design is exceptional. I have carefully read your blogs and I think you are an inspiration! Well done and thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very kind, Sally, thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I sew mainly to have a creative outlet and because I simply love the flow I get into when I work with my hands. If my blog can be an inspiration to some, nothing could please me more. You have inspired me to continue documenting my makes online – thank you again.


  • Yesterday, I rushed out and bought some new fabric because I felt so encouraged. I bought a gorgeous grey wool tweed for the overlap jacket. I was delighted with your idea of pink top stitching, so I hope you don’t mind if I copy your idea, I simply love it. We are heading into winter in South Africa and its always good to have something new to look forward to. Please keep up your fantastic blog, I only wish I had found it sooner. My mom taught me to sew in the 80’s and like you, I am back! Hugs Sally


    • That sounds brilliant! I love grey and pink together, and I hope to get to see your finished overlap jacket. Yay for the revival of our 80’s skills, I couldn’t be happier about it. Big hug 🙂


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