Charlie Chinos: who wants some new trousers?

April 18, 2021
par joost
Photo by Flo Dahm from Pexels
Photo by Flo Dahm from Pexels

We've just published FreeSewing v2.15 and it comes with a new pattern: The Charlie Chinos trouser pattern.

I have lost track of how long a chino trouser pattern has been on my to-do list, but it's measured in years. I'm very happy I finally landed where I wanted to be.

I have a picture of it here, but due to the dark fabric, you can't really make out much:

A pair of Charlies by Joost
A pair of Charlies by Joost

So instead, let me tell you about why I am so excited about this.

Based on Titan

First up, Charlie is based on Titan, our unisex trouser block that is also the foundation for our Paco pattern. So if you're familiar with any of those, you already know how Charlie will fit you.

More measurements, more options, better fit

As a token of how much I feel this is an improvement, I've deprecated Theo. Based on an Aldrich draft, Theo uses very few measurements, and while that worked fine for a certain set of people, it's a less versatile pattern.

Charlie will adapt better to differently shaped bodies, and has a hell of a lot more options that allow you to configure your trousers so you get them just as you like. In case you're wondering, Theo has 5 options, whereas Charlie has 31.

That being said, we will keep Theo available. Deprecated merely means that we've added a little warning message saying that we recommend Charlie instead.

Easier to make

Another reason to opt for Charlie rather than Theo: Charlie is easier to make. It has a more straight-forward fly and waistband construction, and the front pockets have been cleverly designed to give you the ease of construction that comes with side-seam pockets, yet the classic look of slanted pockets.

Theo ranks 4 stars on our difficulty scale, and I've given Charlie 3 stars. If you were afraid of making trousers, this might be the pattern you've been waiting for.

Real pockets

Charlie is a unisex pattern and the pockets are real. You have welt (aka jetted) pockets at the back, and slanted pockets at the front. In both cases, you have control over the size and depth of the pockets.

The front pockets deserve a special mention. They look like traditional slanted pockets, but are set in on the side seam. To make that possible, the back panel of the trousers wraps around the front, following the pocket slant.

Other 2.15 news

Charlie is the main act, but there's a lot of work that went in this 2.15 release.

As always, the changelog has all the details, but allow me to highlight some of the more noteworthy changes: