My summer MVP (Most Valuable Pants)


Do you have a summer uniform? Let me tell you all about my summer of the Emerson Crop Pant.

The first article of clothing I sewed for myself after I had a baby last year was a pair of orangey-red linen Emerson Crop Pants by True Bias. I was really looking forward to having a pair of pants that were comfortable (elastic waistband!) but were still classy (pleats!) and on trend (culottes!). I always liked that pair fine, but I didn’t love them. Every time I put them on I sort of feel like I was wearing pajamas, but not the “secret pajamas” that everyone talks about when they refer to their most comfortable clothes—these felt like they looked like actual pajamas. I didn’t think to make a muslin for my first pair and they ended up being way shorter than I would have liked. Kelli, the pattern designer, was originally the model for the pattern and the rise and length looks so great on her, but she’s like 6 inches shorter than I am 😂 and I didn’t take that into account for myself. I think that the pants are supposed to hit at mid-calf, and for me that’s too short for my liking since it cuts off my (long-ish) legs.

Once spring rolled around this year I knew I needed to try the Emersons again with the modifications I was dreaming about. I love Kelli’s patterns and she’s one of the first sewists that I ever started following, so I have a loyalty to her that I just can’t shake. Earlier this year I discovered Brussels washer linen, which has quickly become my new favorite to sew with, and I knew that I’d be using it for my second pair of Emersons. It’s a rayon blend so it is very breathable and doesn’t wrinkle as easily as linen or linen/cotton blends. I went with a yarn-dye chambray because I wanted them to be more versatile than my first pair.

I did a bit of research on how to add to the rise of pants before cutting out my fabric, which confirmed my intuition that I needed to cut the pattern just above the crotch curve. Here’s a photo of where I cut into the pattern:


I didn’t take a picture of the pocket piece, but I had to alter that as well since adding to the rise affects the pocket lining. The pocket piece lines up with the top of the pant front piece, so I just cut both of those pieces in the same spot. I also added a generous 4″ to the hem to give myself some wiggle room with length, and I ended up keeping all of the length. After I made those adjustments I followed the directions as written and after a very quick evening of sewing I had a new pair of pants! And this is still how I feel about them:


I have worn these pants pretty much every week this summer. We did a lot of travel this summer and they were really comfortable to fly in, and they were especially helpful when we traveled to DC and Europe where it was crazy hot and humid. I look like a dork in shorts and have never known how exactly to dress for the heat, so the breezy wide legs of the Emersons along with the fabric made me feel cool, literally and figuratively. A note to anyone who is interested in using Brussels washer linen: it softens up really nicely after washing and drying, and your pants will shrink each time you dry (duh) BUT since there’s rayon in the blend it grows a bit after you wear them for a while. I only dry them when I am in a hurry or don’t feel like ironing, but I’m glad that I added quite a bit of length to keep me in the safe zone for shrinkage.


* * *

P A T T E R N : Emerson Crop Pant/Short by True Bias

F A B R I C : Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen in Yarn Dye Chambray from

M O D I F I C A T I O N S : Added 2″ to the rise and 4″ to the length

O V E R A L L : Great pattern for a confident beginner thanks to Kelli’s excellent sewalong; forgiving fit thanks to elasticated waistband; quick sew


4 thoughts on “My summer MVP (Most Valuable Pants)

  1. Jess says:

    I’ve been looking for this hack everywhere! Thanks! I’m still unclear on the pocket part. Did you simply move the pocket piece up or did you also alter the pocket?

    Also, did you have to alter the waistband measurement since the waist is generally smaller than the hips? Or does the elastic take care of this for you?

    Thanks again!


    • Oh yeah I guess I didn’t make that very clear did I, haha. I lengthened the pocket by two inches as well, in the same spot where the pants are lengthened (just lay the pocket piece on top of pattern piece #1 and cut in the same spot where you cut the pant front). I didn’t alter the waistband at all; the elastic seemed to take care of that for me. You don’t want to make it *too* much smaller because then you’ll have a hard time fitting the elastic over your hips. I may have taken some length off of the elastic but you’ll just have to play with that and see what works. Hope this helps!


  2. PoundCake says:

    I wanted to love these pattern, too, and didn’t quite – but with the modifications (especially the higher rise), they seem really worth another shot! Yours are lovely! I really like them styled with the knotted button-up.


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