Vogue Marcy Tilton trousers #8499

I’ve had this Marcy Tilton trouser pattern Vogue 8499 for an absolute age, several years at least, and I took it out for consideration at regular intervals but for some reason it just kept going back into the box. Maybe the leg shape felt a little too radical for me on those occasions? But then the Style Arc Bob pants kept cropping up everywhere, especially in the Sew Over 50 community, so I returned to this pattern because of its similarities to the Bobs. Now I know I’m not six feet tall or a size 8 but the photo on the packet isn’t very helpful because I think it gives the distinct impression that the legs are fairly slim with a slight bulbous shape to the hem. The front is flat with deep pockets inserted into the side front panels while the back waist is elasticated, the curved leg shape is created though the addition of darts at knee level. They come in two size brackets UK 6-12 and UK 14-20.

I opted to sew the shorter length version (on the left) and although the pattern gives you body measurements to choose from, unlike many patterns, there are no finished garment measurements for guidance. I found this lack of information meant I really struggled to know which size to cut, my current waist measurement suggested that I should go with a size 20 which I found a bit hard to believe given that the back waist is elasticated. [I should add a caveat here that the pattern has been in print since 2008 and I’ve noticed it has since been re-numbered as V1731 so it’s possible that the information has been updated, maybe you can let me know if you have this version of the pattern?]

You might think that visually the width of the front and back leg pieces would give some indication to the sizing but they are cut in two parts so the individual sections are slightly deceptive. I’m very familiar with the style of instruction sheets which ‘Big 4’ pattern companies (or is it 6 now?) use because they are what I learned with from the age of 11 and, in my opinion, the sewing instructions and diagrams are very clear. Because of the quantity of topstitching there’s a certain order to follow but it’s very methodical, I used a triple straight stitch rather than actual topstitching thread. I had a couple of try-ons whilst I was sewing them but I did have Covid at the time so maybe my brain was just not functioning clearly and I simply didn’t think they were going to be as huge as they have turned out to be.

I really wanted to disguise the bagginess over my hip and bum area so I started by teaming it with my Merchant and Mills Ellsworth shirt I don’t think this looks too bad.
The deep pockets are great
I’m happy with the length, I am 5’5” tall and I didn’t alter it from the pattern, the shape and the width at this point are fine.
I’m okay with the amount of fabric at the front
Next I tried it with my trusty Maker’s Atelier Holiday Shirt, a long-time favourite.
I start to have a problem once I get round to the back…there’s way too much fabric over the seat and hip area, it gathers in at the elastic casing but there’s just too much of it so it’s bulky and it isn’t a good look. I didn’t take a photo of the back, I will add one here when I get around to it.
closing my eyes to the problem…
I do think the dart details on the knees and the topstitching certainly elevate the style from more run-of-the-mill trouser designs though.
As you can see there is loads of fabric in the back, the pattern description merely says “very loose-fitting through the hipline”. With hindsight, and with the absence of ‘finished’ measurements, I should have pinned the paper pattern pieces together to check first but that’s rather blaming myself for the error when in fact I’ve done nothing wrong!
Side view

So there we are, judging by some of the comments on my Instagram post about these trousers, a number of you have the pattern but haven’t sewn it up yet or, like me, you have had similar size choice issues with it. If you have an older copy like mine then I strongly suggest you pin the pattern fronts and backs together first and measure them before going anywhere near your fabric, or lay the pieces on top of a pair of me-made or RTW trousers which are similar and a satisfactory fit. This pair cost me very little because the fabric [some sort of linen/cotton/viscose type] was very cheap at Walthamstow market and I bought it for exactly this type of garment. As with any home sewn garment which doesn’t quite work out it’s feeling that the time spent on something I don’t love has been wasted which is annoying. That said, it’s been a learning process and I know I will make another darker coloured pair, possibly in a drill or denim-type cloth, but I will cut down the front by two sizes and the back possibly by as much as three sizes. I haven’t helped myself because I’m feeling really bloaty and despondent at present so I think these just emphasise this. I tried wearing them with a T-shirt tucked in but that just made me feel worse so it’s back to the drawing board for now. If, however, you love a very oversized trouser then these could be the ones for you.

As I said in my IG post, they will be great in warmer weather (which isn’t that often here) I’ll probably style them with my heavy black books, white Trend pleated shirt and denim Simple Sew cocoon coat in the winter hoping I’ll be rocking a little European-style continental chic, or I will simply put them on but not check in the mirror before I leave the house!

Until next time, happy sewing


22 thoughts on “Vogue Marcy Tilton trousers #8499

  1. Thank you for this. I have had the pattern forever but never made it up. Thank you fo the tips on sizing, I will definitely take them into account when I do start. Love that colour by the way.#

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a similar experience years ago (see link below!). I should have been a Vogue 12, but made the smallest size, an 8. You could fit two of me in the back! So many reasons to hate the Big 4, and this ine is top of the list — very sloppy sizing and [apparently] no testing. What a pity, too, since the basic design is really fun. Just terribly realized.


    1. Hi Noile, I’m interested to know whether the new iteration of the pattern has been updated in any way. I know there are often problems with the bust/chest fitting on Big 4 patterns but massive hip measurements is a new one. It would make a huge difference just to have finished garment measurements to be able to make an informed decision.


      1. Hi, I made these trousers years ago and also ended up with a huge pair which were much too big. I took them apart and cut down to try and make them work but in the end took out the crotch and sewed the remaining pieces into a pencil skirt with side pockets…It is still one of my favourite skirts.

        I found your post as I still want to make this pattern into a wearable pair. Taking the new pattern number as reference I found a copy of the new pattern for sale on Weaverdee.com website. Unfortunately the finished measurements included on the back of the envelope are not very useful…width of trouser leg and outside leg measurement rather than the obviously lacking hip measurements. I think I’ll take the pattern out and see if I can figure out how to adjust it as I love those pockets!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. These made up really well; however, I agree they are too large.

    I automatically rule out any pants patterns that have elastic in the back. They simply are not flattering to my figure so I would have to convert the back pattern waist to fitted darts. I made the Closet Core Pietra shorts because I adore the front pocket detail, hoping the elastic waist wouldn’t be a problem. Nope. Like you, I was frustrated and annoyed that I had spent all that time and effort on something that ultimately wouldn’t be worn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the style and color. They look very well made.
    I know how it feels to have something you spent precious time making does not end up fitting correctly.
    Maybe a hot water wash and dry in dryer?


  5. Hi Susan. I agree with you. I made (and blogged about) these trousers a few years ago, and despite being quite a fan of Marcy’s patterns, i didn’t like them, for pretty much the same reasons. However, i do get quite a bit of wear out of mine, but always, only in the house and garden. They are far too big and unflattering to wear in public! Pity! Ann


  6. Hi Susan. Like you I have had that pattern in the stash for many years. I made it up after reading some reviews going down 2 sizes (18 was my measurements). It was still too big and I made it in a very beautiful bright yellow ramie – clown trousers anyone? It is now sitting in the timeout pile to be converted to a skirt. Like yours the fronts looked great it just the back😱


  7. I made them and luckily muslined them, took out 6 inches width overall and love the final pair!!! They are navy with white topstitching which I really like, though I still wear them with a closer fitting top because of the volume, I feel that it balances it out. Love the color of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice blog post! I made both the skirt and pants years ago but first made a muslin of the pants. So I knew it would be baggy and took in a lot the excess both in the front and the back. I was pretty heavy back then and have lost a lot of weight. What with all the topstitching, there is no good way to take them in so into the donation bin they go. I do agree that the topstitching really does make the garment look so much more professional. I also used a lighter weight for the inner back waistband and the pocket facings. I faced the hemlines as well with bias strips of a lightweight batik.

    Liked by 1 person

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