Sewing

Sabrina Slims – A Fitting Experiment Review & Giveaway

Image of person wearing olive green pants and patent leather loavers with the ankles crossed, a shadow across the ground of the railing behind them, and text overlay that reads Sabrina Slims, A Fitting Experiement, PetiteFont.com

The Sabrina Slims were recently re-released by Love Notions in an expanded size range. To see how it looks on a variety of bodies, a group of bloggers is experimenting with the fit.

Welcome to the Fitting Experiment!

We also have a giveaway! Scroll down for details.

*Housekeeping: please note that I received this pattern for free but all opinions are my own. Some links on this page are affiliate links. This means that I get a tiny commission from purchases you make using them, but it does NOT cost you anything extra. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.*

Pattern Description & Cost

The Sabrina Slims are Love Notions’ take on the cigarette pants popularized by Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s. I am a huge fan of this style! Most of the pants I bought before I gave up RTW were cigarette pants. I was planning to make my first pair this year when the pattern suddenly popped up on my radar thanks to my blogger friends!

From Love Notions’ site:

The Love Notions take on this classic style features a wide, contoured waistband that sits at the natural waist. This is a slim-fit pant with negative ease. The Sabrina Slims are meant to hit at the ankle. Also included are optional welt pockets, back patch pockets, split hem, zipper hem and center front and back seaming. Three inseam lengths are included. Make the pants maternity by adding the overbelly waistband. These pants are meant for stretch wovens and stable knits.

The pattern runs $12 but also includes a nifty and comprehensive 19-page fitting guide. Unlike a few other guides that exist, this one is specific to the Sabrinas. But you can use it for just about any pants (not just knit ones).

I was originally drawn to the View B version with seams down the front and back. I think there’s something really sexy about them. But since this is my wearable muslin, I kept it simple.

Sabrina Slims Size Chart

The Love Notions patters size chart for Sabrina Slims pants

The size chart encompasses sizes 0-32, which for hip measurements is 34.5″ to 59.5″ (87.6 – 151 cm). Because the Sabrina Slims have negative ease through the legs, the finished measurements are slightly smaller. Think of them like leggings with pockets!

Don’t want pants that tight? You can easily blend between sizes or add a little more to each leg. You’ll notice my version are NOT skin tight…at least not at first!

I made a size 20.

Fabric

The recommended fabric is a stable knit or stretch woven with 20% stretch. Think fabric like double knits (which is what I used). Some others include:

Stable medium to heavyweight knits such as ponte, scuba, French terry, interlock and cotton/lycra. Medium weight wovens with at least 20% stretch such as sateen, corduroy, twill, jacquard and denim. For the maternity waistband use a cotton/lycra knit.

It’s also recommended that if you’re making back welt pockets, to use a lightweight woven fabric. This will keep your butt from having unsightly bumps where those pockets lie.

PDF Criteria

Here is how the PDF stacks up:

A projector file is also included with this pattern. What’s that? Check out this blog post about the latest “craze.”

More Love Notions patterns with projector files.

Pattern Instructions & Tips

The instructions and pattern file is 82 pages long. The first 20 pages are instructions, followed by some inspo and technical troubleshooting, then the pattern pieces start on page 26. There are guides for both A4 and US Letter printing.

The instructions themselves are really clear, though there are some steps illustrated with pictures instead of line drawings. This is not my favorite, as backgrounds can be distracting. But overall they’re fine. There are also clear directions for printing only specific pages for each view. No wasting paper and ink!

Pro tip: if you think you’ll have to make a lot of adjustments, do yourself a favor and make a muslin. You can even print out View B if you want, just tape both leg pieces together overlapping the seams to create one front and one back. This will save you if you have to adjust the waist or pockets, especially!

Another tip: the seam allowances are all 3/8″ (1 cm). I highly suggest using 1″ (2.5 cm) seams, which requires adding 5/8″ (1.5 cm) to everything. It’s worth it though, especially if you have to let anything out!

Pattern Notions

The notion all views need is a 2″ wide knit elastic. This will be inserted through an opening in the back seam of the waistband after it is attached.

If you’re going to add side zippers or welt pockets, you’ll also want some stretch fusible interfacing. And 2 non-separating zippers 4″-6″ (10-15 cm) each for the ankle zips.

Pattern Adjustments

This felt like it took forever.

Pants fitting is part art and part alchemy, and always really personal, too. There’s something called “overfitting” which I don’t really understand other than to say I reached a point where I was over the fitting process. I fixed the crotch as best I could and said F it about looseness in the legs.

Then I took the first round of pictures and realized the legs did not look good. Especially around the crotch. So I took in 1/4″ (6 mm) along each seam, giving me 1″ (2.5 cm) less room in both legs. This basically amounted to a size 18. Clearly I should have started there.

I have a short pelvis so I always need to take an inch or two out of the rise in pants. This can be really tricky. But between the fitting help in the included workbook and my copy of Pants for Real People, I thought I figured most of it out.

Still looks like I have some bagginess in the front crotch though. Ugh.

At least I like how my rear end looks in them!

Tissue fitting a knit pattern with negative ease is nearly impossible, so that’s why having extra margins on the seams are helpful. Better to cut too big than too small!

Ultimately I made the following adjustments:

  • lowered my front rise below the maternity line for my size
  • scooped 7/8″ (2.22 cm) from the back rise
  • removed 1″ (2.5 cm) from the back for a swayback adjustment
  • took 5/8″ (1.5 cm) out at each side seam right about at the pockets. That’s a total of 2.5″ (6.4 cm) removed at the hips.
  • slimmed the legs down another 1/4″ (6 mm) below the pockets

And that’s where I stopped. It isn’t perfect. There’s still some wrinkling in the side seams along the hips. I think I need to remove even more length there.

But then two sayings come to mind: perfection is the enemy of good. And done is better than perfect.

Pattern Difficulty Rating: 3/5

Due solely to the difficulty that fitting pants can be, I’d rate this an intermediate pattern. A looser fit pull-on pant such as New Look 6399 is far easier for beginners or anyone who shies away from pants patterns.

Final Thoughts

I’m glad my blogger friends convinced me to try this pattern. I’m also glad I took the time to attempt all the necessary adjustments. This took a few extra days but it was worth it. I’m pretty confident I could make the sexier View B now and have them fit even better.

In fact next time I think I’ll definitely add the side slits at the ankle. Plus, once all the fitting is done, these sew up rather quickly, especially on a serger (which is not at all a requirement).

Curly haired woman wearing glasses leaning against a blue banister with a city skyline behind her. She is wearing a blank tank and olive green Sabrina Slims

Fitting Experiment Giveaway

A special thank you to Love Notions for sponsoring The Fitting Experiment bloggers with patterns so that we can share our thoughts with you. Love Notions has kindly provided a 20% off shop discount code for all our readers. Please use this code at checkout: FittingEXPSabrinas

In addition, Love Notions has given us TWO copies of Sabrina Slims to giveaway. For a chance to win, comment below. For more chances to win, comment on the other blogs too! You can check out their posts below:

All comments for entry must be made by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, March 13th.

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Carol Bentley
Mar 11, 2020 12:28 pm

Great blog post, i like your extra seam allowance tip, I’m going to adopt that idea for definite.

C. Brent
C. Brent
Mar 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Good post including positive and negatives given your fit test 😊

Rose
Rose
Mar 12, 2020 3:53 pm

I haven’t had a want or need to sew pants. But now I kinda want to.

Hari
Hari
Mar 12, 2020 6:11 pm

Such a thorough review thankyou! They look like my ideal pant

Evie Jones
Mar 11, 2020 6:18 am

I always have that problem with the front crotch! And I have a flat behind so need to address that too! But these look good and seem like a great “secret pyjamas” pattern when you want to be comfortable but more stylish than you would be in leggings or joggers!

Robin E.
Robin E.
Mar 11, 2020 10:23 am

Thank you. I’d love to see your next pair in view B. I ultimately want to recreate an inspiration photo I have using view B, but I need to nail down the fit of view A first.

Donnisha Jones
Donnisha Jones
Mar 11, 2020 10:59 am

I am a beginner sewer and this post us great. It helps to see the process of finding the best fit for your own body shape. I always thought that sewing a garment was quick and easy but there’s a lot of work that goes into creating beautiful things.

Stephanie
Stephanie
Mar 11, 2020 2:09 pm

Loving the comparisons between the different sewists!

Karen
Karen
Mar 11, 2020 4:52 pm

Thank you for this. Pants are a bit of a daunting project!

Rose OK
Rose OK
Mar 11, 2020 7:11 pm

I love the pockets.

Jenni
Jenni
Mar 11, 2020 10:29 pm

Really appreciate the advice about increasing seam allowance to accommodate fitting adjustments.

jose
Mar 12, 2020 3:28 am

I like it in this plain fabric! I think the slits would be really nice to add!

Carina Hollænder
Carina Hollænder
Mar 12, 2020 4:13 am

Very detailed post, thank you for this! It makes it so much easier to decide whether the pattern is right for me 🙂

Amanda
Mar 12, 2020 4:14 am

Oooh, I would love that much fitting guidance! I’m so frustrated with pants that don’t fit! Thank you for sharing, they look great!

Candis Wright
Candis Wright
Mar 12, 2020 6:56 am

Lovely job! Thanks for all the extra work posting about your experience!

Linda Dinnocenzo
Linda Dinnocenzo
Mar 12, 2020 7:52 am

Thanks for your honest review. I haven’t seen pants in awhile.

Cindy Cash
Cindy Cash
Mar 12, 2020 9:35 am

Great post…

Lorrie Douthwright
Lorrie Douthwright
Mar 12, 2020 10:42 am

I personally think my bee-hind would look fine in those slims!!

Kathy
Kathy
Mar 12, 2020 10:50 am

These look like something I could wear to work. Stylish and comfortable.

Carolyn
Carolyn
Mar 12, 2020 10:50 am

These pants look fabulous on you.

The Yorkshire Sewist
Mar 12, 2020 11:00 am

Wow this are fab on you and never made pants before though 🙈

Jennie
Mar 12, 2020 11:21 am

I love how dedicated you are to getting a good fit! Your changes are such an improvement and I totally agree, your rear looks amazing! ❤️

Lauren Clark
Lauren Clark
Mar 12, 2020 11:33 am

I’ve been looking at this pattern for weeks and I am admittedly scared of doing pants but everyone’s look so good

Unruly lamazon
Unruly lamazon
Mar 12, 2020 12:04 pm

Love the color and all the great insight on the pattern can’t wait to make a pair

matti may
matti may
Mar 12, 2020 12:10 pm

love your pants and your honest review and experience in fitting!!! it is easy to overlook the process, it can be a longer road than anticipated, but your pants turned out great and your website is very cool! thanks for sharing

Shanleigh
Shanleigh
Mar 12, 2020 2:37 pm

Thank you for your tip about adding extra seam allowance to your muslin, to allow for letting out if necessary – such a good idea & definitely one I’ll implement in my next attempt at sewing up a pair of pants… my first attempt at a pants pattern definitely did not go well, but I feel like this tip will really be helpful going forward…

Donnaslj
Donnaslj
Mar 12, 2020 11:21 pm

I am really enjoying the fitting experiment! Great tip on the extra seam allowance. I have a brown scuba I’m eying up for this pattern, would be great to win it x

Marilyn
Marilyn
Mar 13, 2020 4:03 am

Pants look great on you! Thanks for the write up.

Helen
Helen
Mar 13, 2020 6:29 am

Nice looking pants, I like the idea of slits at the ankles!