Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen in linen // Closet Case Patterns
Sewing Projects

Summer Sewing! The Flint Pants from Megan Nielsen

Have you ever experienced sewing fate? You know when you have a very specific vision in mind for something you’d like to make, and then BOOM, a new pattern is released at almost the same moment you’re having the idea, and it’s more or less exactly what you had in mind? This is essentially what happened when Megan Nielsen released the Flint Pants this spring. Cropped wide legs pants are all the rage right now, and I was planning on drafting something for myself when Flint came along and saved me the trouble.

I know there are a few similar styles out there right now (I’m thinking of the Emerson Pants from True Bias and the Winslow Culottes from Helen’s Closet) but Flint has the right rise and leg proportion for me. I also love the waist/pocket construction; the pants un-do in a way so that the pocket and waistband are completely integrated. Ironically, one of you took pictures of vintage shorts with a similar closure and sent them to me a few years back for possible inspiration. I’ve always had the idea batting around in my brain, but Megan realized it beautifully with this pattern.

I also love the button and waist tie options. I opted for the tie for this version, although this is actually my second pair of Flints. The first pair I made with camel coloured tencel and the button waistband, and while equally loved, the love is tempered by a major wedgie situation (I wore them one day at a Ginger workshop and realized I was continually, um, adjusting in class). For my second  attempt, I scooped out the back seat curve about a 1/2″ to make room for my prodigious booty; I can pretty easily make this change to the tencel pair but I haven’t gotten around to it. These guys are made a with a soft, medium weight linen and I basically can’t take them off, now that there is no cleaving happening against my will.

I know food, water and shelter are all basic human needs, but I’m gonna just put this out there: so is linen. It feels so good against your skin (especially after multiple washings) and keeps you cool when it’ s so hot you want to just someone to follow you around with a sprinkler set to gentle mist. Even in linen, maybe big billowy pants seems like a weird warm weather staple, but I personally prefer the coverage. I like wearing shorts, but sometimes you just don’t want the back of your thighs touching anything (especially chairs that dozens of other people have sat and sweat in, shudder), so a loose fitting pant like Flint in breathable fabric is kind of the perfect compromise.

And perhaps this is a controversial opinion, but I love the tuck/pleats at the waist, too. I have a bit of a tum, and I find super high waisted things can really accentuate it sometimes, especially fitted pants and skirts (though not with Ginger since they don’t sit at the true natural waist). I think the pleats soften this area so you can’t tell what’s fabric and what’s croissant. They won’t make you look “skinny”, but I’m not skinny and don’t want to look skinny, although no body shame if you are indeed, skinny. I’m just saying, I don’t mind some volume on top of my natural volume, okay?

Short of my seat scoopage, I didn’t make any mods to the pattern. The fit is pretty perfect outta the gate, and I would highly recommend this pattern if you want the perfect drapey pants to wear with cropped or slim-fitting, tucked-in tees. I’ve been pairing mine with cropped linen tees for the full Elizabeth Suzann effect. One note I would make about construction, however; the instructions suggest clipping into the back seat curve if you’re not serging it, and I would not recommend doing that. Seat curves get more stress than just about any seam on the body, and cutting close to it (especially with a loose weave like linen) could mean a split seam down the road. If you don’t have a serger, I suggest trimming the seams to 3/8″, serging or pinking and pressing open, or using a french seam.

So, are you fully on the Flint train or do you prefer a slimmer look? What have you been wearing to keep cool this season?

ps. Thank you so much for all your insight and kind words on my post last week about the current state of the blog. I really, really appreciate your support and brilliant suggestions, and am super excited to start having fun around here again!

pps. I am totally obsessed with my handmade espadrilles from Mumi Shoes. So comfy, so chic, so affordable.

Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen in linen // Closet Case Patterns
  • Ah…another chic summer look from you Heather. Um…remember how we all swooned over your self drafted shirt dress last year? Now I think I might need Flint Trousers.

    • Totally Sue! I can absolutely see you rocking these.

  • scuffsan

    I jumped on the Flint wagon as well. Made two as I decided the pleats were not for me (they make me feel bigger than I am). Before I saw the pattern I would never have guessed I’d be making pants with wise legs but these changed my mind!

    • Megan did a tutorial for removing the pleats – did you try that?

      • scuffsan

        I did! That’s actually the reason I made the second pair, exactly the modification I wanted almost as if she read my mind

  • Thanks for the insight about the front pleats! I’ve been avoiding this pattern because of the fear of adding bulk, but the fabric/croissant mystery is helpful!

    • I was surprised by my reaction to to them but they really are good camouflage. I eat A LOT of croissants.

  • Yasmin

    “What’s fabric and what’s croissant…” I love this! And I love your point on them not making you “look skinny” because “you’re not skinny.” It’s wonderful and comforting to see so many women embrace their varying sizes without any negative connotations to that variation. Thank you!

    • We’ve only got one body, might as well love and accept it while we have it.

  • I love this pattern, I can’t wait to make a linen pair for summer! They look so good, and I’m totally on board with having some protection from someone else’s sweaty butt print when out in public…

  • Chloe Anderson

    I am so with you on the loose linen pants/culottes etc. They are my go to for hot weather – and I love how they look! For me, they are cooler than dresses even. And they also mean less time waxing the old legs – another bonus. I might not spring for this pattern, but only because I have a bit of a hoard of similar ones, although nothing with the waist/pocket construction, which is really neat.

    • Also, let us not underestimate the not having to shave as frequently reason, hahaha!

  • Maree

    I’ve been eyeing this pattern off forever I wish I had purchased when it was on sale because now I really want it and my niece has requested some Culotte style overalls, and I thought this would be a great pattern to use and all I need to do is add the bib and some crossover straps at the back. Looks like I’m going to have the bite he bullet on this one and pay full price.

    • Ahhhh I love this idea so much! Thanks, Maree’s niece! 🙂

    • Oooh adding a bib! That’s such a cute idea!

  • Catherine Daze

    Utterly stylish! I have two pairs like this already – one cotton sateen, one viscose crepe – but your ode to linen is making me think I need a linen pair too.

    • Oh 100%. I want to make a few more pairs next summer for sure. I have my heart set on a pumpkiny rust colour if I can find it.

  • God, you are everything I want to be in summer.

    • It’s so easy, with one magical ingredient: LINEN.

      • I’m on the road to becoming you…Just bought the Flint pattern and I have some lovely midweight charcoal linen I picked up in Vancouver. Also my size is currently sold out in those espadrilles, but THEY WILL BE MINE. Did you make the shirt yourself, or is it RTW?

        • CROSS COUNTRY TWINS FOR LIFE. Its actually RTW. I got it for a shoot and kept it for myself.

  • Andrea Tursini

    For the record, I was one of the students at your Ginger class where you wore the camel colored pants and I didn’t notice the, ahem, adjusting! I loved that version and these are awesome also. They’re on my list to make.

    Also, I love your take on pleats! Skinny is great if that’s what you’ve got – but other shapes are likewise beautiful.

  • Love your Flints. I’m a huge fan of Megan Nielsen patterns and when this Flint was released I was sorely tempted but I just couldn’t imagine being happy with what would look back at me in the mirror. BUT I do own a pair of wide legged linen pants (RTW by Hemp & Co in Victoria) and you’re absolutely right there is nothing cooler! I actually wore them out in 10 degrees temp and shivered my way home as soon as possible. Because I do love my wide legged linen and now I’ve seen yours I’m more than tempted!

    • I want to draft a pair of wide legged pants with an elastic waist for chic “work in front of a computer all day” pants! I think they’d also be cute in a lightweight cotton canvas for cooler days…

  • Quinn May

    I have no jumped on the Flint train yet, mostly because I think the cropped leg on my long legs would just look like they were too short… But I have been contemplating the shorts version… the problem is I don’t really ever wear shorts. That being said, you make them look and sound so great I’m second guessing myself.

    • Just crop them more Quinn!! Cropped pants looks great on long legs.

  • Haley Keile

    This is so adorable! Thanks so much for sharing this! MammaKeile @ doyousew.com

  • sallieforrer

    Oh I loooooove these!! I have some silk noil I’ve been meaning to dye a bright saffron yellow to make a pair of flint pants. I love my skinny gingers to death do us part, but lately my legs have been begging for some breathing room. Wide leg drapey pants to the rescue! Love how you styled these too – as always, your taste is impeccable. And I totally copied you and bought some mumi espadrilles and I’m obsessed! However the ribbon on mine frayed immediately, but that’s an easy replace.

    • SAFFRON NOIL?!?! That would be incredible. Also a good way to get more noil in my life; I know its pretty cheap at Dharma and I love sewing with it so I should experiment with dyeing too. My only regret with my new place is there is no “utility sink” in the laundry area, so I am super nervous about getting dye on the counters. I’ll probably just have to stick to doing that at the studio since the kitchen here is a hot mess. Anyway! So happy you got some Mumis! Sad they frayed, but my feeling is that a true espadrille is short term show anyway. I’ll see how mine age but I can’t see them lasting years and years…. Going to hunt for more when I get to France next week!

  • I have been hearing a lot about flint pants and definitely planning to sew one for myself. This is looking super good on you and i like your pose too 🙂

  • Hélène

    I am the one who had sent you pics of my vintage culottes with a similar closure. When I saw this pattern release from Megan Nielsen last spring, I bought it immediately. I was glad I wouldn’t have to unpick my beloved vintage culottes to trace the pattern! MN’s version is clearly brilliant and I have made three versions up to now: a pair of shorts, a hacked skirt and the original pants!

    • I’m so GLAD you found this pattern! I tried to find your email but couldn’t find it so I’m really happy you didn’t have to rip apart your shorts!