Peter’s Cotton-Mohair Suit Pants

cotton mohair suit pants

This month for the Mood Sewing Network I’m making myself a suit!  The fabric I’ve chosen is a luxurious gray cotton-mohair suiting, made in Italy, and purchased at Mood Fabrics NYC.  It has a somewhat firmer hand than lightweight tropical wool suiting but feels a bit more casual (due to the cotton), and has a beautiful sheen. Editor’s note: MoodFabrics.com has a ton of suiting fabrics. We actually sell more menswear fabrics than you realize!

cotton mohair suit pants

I decided to make the trousers first (as recommended in my suit-making books) and the jacket second.  That way you’re more experienced working with the fabric when you take on the greater challenge of a tailored jacket.

The pants have side slant front pockets and two double-welt pockets in back.  For pocketing I used sturdy gray cotton shirting I had on hand.  I used commercial waistbanding for the inside waistband and a metal YKK zipper in the fly.  I used the same pattern as last month for the white linen pants.

cotton mohair suit pants

cotton mohair suit pants

cotton mohair suit pants

cotton mohair suit pants Given the splendid quality of the fabric, I decided to splurge on professional buttonholes (done at Jonathan Embroidery, just one block north of Mood, on 38th St.) and I’m very happy with the results.  They cost just a few dollars but really raise the level of the finished garment.

cotton mohair suit pants

The pants are already hemmed but I haven’t yet pressed the crease: I’m still undecided about the final length.  Some people may find these a little short; I think shorter is sportier but I’m not sure.  There’s a trend toward shorter hems for men, especially in summer suits, but maybe that works better with a narrower leg than these pants have.  (I find very narrow legs unflattering and confining.)

I have to see how the pants look with the jacket before I make up my mind.  What do you think?

cotton mohair suit pants

cotton mohair suit pants

cotton mohair suit pants

Will I finish the jacket before the end of the month?  I certainly hope so.  In the meanwhile, I have a very elegant pair of pants to enjoy.

Thanks for reading!

cotton mohair suit pants

 

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Comments


  • Maggie
    May 9, 2013

    You’ve done a fabulous job. I think your pants should be a smidge longer- you don’t have to go for super long but especially in the action shots they give the impression they shrunk up or something.

  • puu
    May 9, 2013

    looking very dapper, peter! i like a slightly short hem on a men’s trouser, so if that is the look you are going for, embrace it! 🙂

  • Lauren
    May 9, 2013

    I like the shorter hem!! Of course, I fully embrace the shrunken look, so my opinion might not the best one you want to base your decision on 🙂

    Also, your welt pockets look AMAZING. God.

  • Abigail
    May 9, 2013

    I think you’ve hit on the perfect short length! The earlier hem pic seemed a bit highwater-ish, but these just look modern and youthful, and very handsome.
    Nice work in the details, as always!

  • Elizabeth
    May 9, 2013

    Love the length. Very handsome. Pants and the man.

  • Seattlerain
    May 9, 2013

    Go for the short length! You can always make yourself a longer length version with fall/winter fabric when the cold weather returns. In the meantime, rock the trendy look! Ditto Lauren re: welt pockets. I bow down to you!

  • caroline G
    May 9, 2013

    I’m so inspired! I want to start sewing for my boyfriend and this is just the ticket. Great job, very elegant and refined.

  • Lori
    May 9, 2013

    Peter, your pants are amazing and I like the shorter length. I am also going to state, your welt pockets are amazing!!

  • Erica B.
    May 9, 2013

    Peter, your pants turned out great! Your welt pockets are impeccable. I’ve been thinking of sewing for my husband and these post are perfect!

  • Desedera
    May 9, 2013

    Very nice – I can’t wait to see the finished suit. I love that fabric and am thinking it would make a lovely pair of women’s slacks, too. I like the slightly shorter length when wearing the casual shoes, but I think a bit longer would look better with a dressier shoe and be more versatile.

  • Heather Lou
    May 9, 2013

    Love the shorter length! You just need to flash some fancy, bright socks.

  • Amanda S.
    May 9, 2013

    Great job, Peter! I am going to sew a suit for my husband in the next 6 months, so am excited to see your finished suit! And I agree with everyone about your welt pockets. They are perfection!

  • Renee
    May 9, 2013

    These might be the most gorgeous welt pockets, ever.

  • mssewcrazy
    May 9, 2013

    The pants look wonderful. You did great work on them. If that fabric has a little shrink left in it after a couple of trips to the laundry or cleaners you may get to embrace the runway look you posted. I have one pair that shrinks a tiny bit every time they go in the dryer a few minutes despite pretreating the fabric. I feel rehem and summer length coming on fast. I just about always hem pants too long because of this since it is really annoying when that happens.

  • Suzanne
    May 9, 2013

    Geez Peter. You should teach a class on welt pocket sewing. I would take it!

  • Carrie Foley
    May 9, 2013

    Peter, the hem length is justright for that modern, summer look. And may I say, the pant makes your butt look fantastic. Keep up the great work. I so enjoy reading your blog!

  • Mary M
    May 9, 2013

    It’s very rare that I comment but….
    umm… you’re welt pockets are ridiculously awesome!! job well done. 🙂

  • vivian
    May 9, 2013

    You look absolutely smashing! Great job!

  • Jeannie Watt
    May 9, 2013

    Fantastic job!

  • Savage Coco
    May 9, 2013

    An Oscar for those pockets!

  • Tiny
    May 9, 2013

    Those pants look great, I love your pockets!!!

  • Beth
    May 9, 2013

    Awesome! But they could do with being about an inch longer.

  • Sandra
    May 10, 2013

    Peter I love your pants, impeccable construction! I am a fan for the longer pant – the short hem just looks as if you ran out of material or brought the wrong size … sorry

    • Peter
      May 10, 2013

      No worries — I appreciate the feedback!

  • BeckyW
    May 10, 2013

    LOVE the pants. They look EXPENSIVE!!! I would love to learn to do the pockets you’ve done here. I like the way the pocket bag extends to the fly.

  • Manju
    May 10, 2013

    Wow the detail on those pants is amazing. The pockets!!!!! But sorry I am with the slightly longer length club. Who cares?! The pockets!!!!!!! 🙂

  • Kay
    May 11, 2013

    I love the pants. I do like pants length to be longer, but that is just due to the bit of crazy in my head. I grew up very poor and had to wear hand me downs which sometimes just didn’t fit right (ie, pants were too short on this tall girl). Regardless of my crazy, they look great on you! Is the mohair itchy. I know knitting w/ mohair is itchy, at least to me.

    • Peter
      May 11, 2013

      Not itchy, but it’s definitely not perfectly smooth the way 100% cotton would be.

  • Becky
    May 11, 2013

    Peter, just WOW. These pants are fabulous! They look expensive, elegant, and they fit you perfectly. The pocket placement is genuis, and of course, they are beautiful. From now on, the butt shot will be required on all your pants makes! I like the current length of your pants for summer. Winter pants should be a smidge longer, I think. But you should always wear what feels most comfortable to you.

  • Debi
    May 11, 2013

    Wonderful looking trousers! That fabric is just perfect!

  • Hoosiermama
    May 11, 2013

    I vote for slightly longer–I think the highwater look is idiotic (with the possible exception of very casual garments) and undoubtedly temporary. You’ll probably wear such a classic pair of pants for a long time, long after pant lengths have returned to normal.

  • Ginger
    May 12, 2013

    These are beautiful! I love the width of the trouser leg– it’s perfect! What a lovely pair of pants!

  • Chris Johnson
    May 13, 2013

    Okay, okay, the pockets are to die for – I’m inspired, any pointers? Also, i am in the too short group, but I do wonder what the jacket style is like. It seems to me that some jacket styles might work better with a shorter hem, and others, definitely not.

    chirs

    • Peter
      May 15, 2013

      Chris, my only advice re pockets is to pick a method (every sewing book has a section about double-welt pockets) and practice, practice, practice. Make a few samples and you’ll understand immediately what the challenges are and what you need to do. With these back pockets, the pocketing is attached to the welts AFTER the pocket hole is cut and the welts pulled through. In some ways this is easier. Again, you just have to practice.

      • Chris Johnson
        May 15, 2013

        Thank you!