Sewing a Pattern, Repeatedly

How many are too many of the same clothing item?

I first made this pair of knit pants back in 2014 and was thrilled to bits when it turned out good looking, comfy and seemed to fit well. All in my opinion, of course.


Since then I have made 4 more pairs. I still get a momentary thrill after the last hanging thread of each subsequent pair is snipped. So, I have 5 in all (4 pictured here, the 5th is emerald green and I do not wear it in public), and have fabric set aside to make a 6th – which will have a small twist.





Here’s my question – how many of the same clothing item is too many? These knit pants are not your basic tailored pair, but if one sews and wears them enough times, do they become one’s particular “basic”?   Vogue 1411 from the Today’s Fit line designed by Sandra Betzina, is my current “basic” pair of pants. I wear them everyday, everywhere, with  everything.


I’ve heard a talented, accomplished sewing enthusiast say she sewed up 20 pieces from the same pants pattern.  Wow! I’d like to be able to do that, but I’m fashionably fickle, and will surely move on to the next pants pattern that takes my fancy. I’ll keep making these knit pants until that happens.

My lifestyle does not demand 20 of the same “basic”; I do not work outside my home anymore. When I did, my wardrobe still did not warrant 20 items of the same thing; could be that I repeated clothes a lot? That’s not such a bad thing.

I do socialize, if lunches and dinners with friends count. I go to an occasional sewing meeting where whatever me-made thing I’ve donned will certainly be eyed (never judged) with interest. Of course, I have a whole other wardrobe of things to wear to my new social normal – weddings of little friends and relatives who’re growing up and getting married.

Sewing lessons learned:

  •  If you’re sewing a medium weight knit and the piece will get a LOT of use, use the triple stitch on the machine. Even the topstitching is done with the triple stitch.  It’s recommended in the pattern guide sheet, for good reason. The dark grey pants have been worn, washed and dried multiple times in a regular wash. They are snug, as intended, and I move a lot in them. Over the last two years, not a single seam has popped. On the other hand, knit items I’ve sewn with a narrow zig zag stitch have since popped open. The photo below shows a close up of the triple stitch, as well as results of bad thread matching (see next bullet point).
  • Triple Stitch
  • When thread is not an exact match to the fabric, go for the darker shade. Darker will blend better with the fabric. Look what happens if you use the lighter thread.

So tell me, how many is too many from the same pattern?

Go sew up an El Nina…..


17 thoughts on “Sewing a Pattern, Repeatedly

  1. Loving these pants, especially the grey ones. I made a muslin of these but never got round to making a ‘real’ pair, so I’m glad you’ve posted these! The only things I’ve made lots of repeats is the Coco top, Renfrew & Espresso leggings. I think i should do it more often though, you know you’re onto a winner from the start, which doesn’t always happen for me! 😀


    1. Oh please go ahead and make these pants. As a bonus, I learned a sewing tip or two, which for me is a humbling thing because I sometimes claim to be a sewing-know-it-all. Not true…..
      By the way, Renfrew is another one of my repeat patterns – only made 4 but I’m planning more 🙂


  2. I love your pants! I’ll try that pattern! You could never have too many of those….
    Eileen Fisher in RTW does not change her basic patterns very much….neither do other designers. Classic is classic.
    I sew only knits in classic styles. I sew & wear only Loes Hinse tops so I make the same patterns over and over. 🙂 I have about 10 of LH’s funnel necks for cool weather and about 15 of her Bianca (my fav. Tee) with a few Perfect Tees & others for a change etc. Her funnel neck is a wonderful pattern BTW and she does not promote it at all; it is the second view of the Boat Neck 5205 (I didn’t like the boat neck, the only pattern of LH’s I have not liked).
    Before buying fabric I check Nordstrom’s online for updated ideas for colors or prints, but the basic style remains the same. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Loes Hinse patterns I have, I have made repeatedly. I have made the same jeans about 8 times now, in all different fabrics and colors and weights. You find something that works, you can refine it, take a chance on something pricier or more dear.
      Pants is pants.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I had forgotten about Loes Hinse! In years past I made a couple of jackets from her pattern, and another outfit with a long, mid-calf vest and pants. I loved those outfits and wore them until they were threadbare. Glad to know she is still around – I’ll have to search out her patterns.


  3. Ideally one pair of pants of every color that goes with your top. I read once that a wardrobe should have 3 pieces that go with each other. That’s in case you spill on the grey pants then there is a rescue pair available. The 3rd might be in the laundry at the time. Now if you have 20 pairs of pants then one NEEDS 60 tops???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Almost everything I have goes together. 99% of my pants are black (even my sweat pants & PJs). My tops are all solid colors or prints with black in the print. I do have a few pairs of denim jeans that I like to wear with black tops. Again, I follow Eileen Fisher RTW & other similar similar designers for inspiration….

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Love that you’ve made the wardrobe issue so “math-y” 🙂
      Actually that’s a good formula, I’ll have to think on it further. I knew it; 20 pants were a little much – your formula proves my point. 😀


  4. I just purchased the Vogue pants pattern on Ebay for 5 dollars (7.60 with shipping). I am looking forward to trying this one! Thanks for writing about your luck with this pattern…..I hope it works for me too… 🙂


  5. Having a pants pattern that fits is nothing less than gold. And those look good. After the Connie Crawford class I drafted a pattern I loved and made (if I remember correctly) 8 pairs–I even wear the pair that I intended to be my muslin made out of floral print upholstery fabric….. Loved that pattern. Alas, I lost weight and it no longer works…..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Is it advisable to cut this pattern out across the grain of knit fabric? I like the elongated pattern on the fabric better that way, but am unsure if knits can handle it in normal wear?


  7. I have this fear of cutting out anything on cross grain, even knits. If your knit stretches equally both ways, it might work. But I’m still on the fence on that one. If you go to the designer’s website (Sandra Betzina), and submit the question, she may answer it.


  8. I think so long as you enjoy the garment, there is no limit to the number of copies you can or should make. It is the same as with buying clothes. You find something you really like, then get it or make it in all the colours you like to wear! I must say, you picked a great pair of pants to fall in love with! They look so comfy and well fit. And learning tips along the way is always good.


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