Handmade Wardrobe / Inspiration

The story of my $1 Opal Pants

Opal Pants Sewing made from $1 Poly twill Megan Nielsen Blog

If you have been sewing for even a short time you’ve probably realised that this hobby is not a source of cheap clothing. I think many of us start sewing with the idea that we’ll be able to knock out handmade wardrobes that cost significantly less than ready to wear, and though that’s sometimes true, usually it isn’t. Except that today it is – and I’m very excited to tell you the story of my $1 Opal pants !

Opal Pants + River tee | DIY outfit by Megan Nielsen Patterns

Almost 15 years ago a very big sewing store that I frequented shut down. In order to clear out their stock they had a giant sale. And when I say giant, I mean it. They discounts were massive and there was an entire section of $1 rolls. I’m sure you can imagine the kind of insane behaviour this resulted in. I’d like to say I was immune, but I’m only human, and was there in the throng dragging multiple rolls of fabric to the register with a look of panic/death on my face.

This fabric was one of them! It’s a poly twill and I snagged 20m of it for $1. I’ve been using it for toiling for years, and I am almost finally at the end of it!

Meg's Opal Pants made from dark green twill | Megan Nielsen Blog

Whilst we were developing the Opal pants pattern, the very first sample we made was from this Poly Twill. The design elements and drafting of the pants changed over the course of development, but I loved that sample so much that when we finalised the pattern I went back and made an exact replica. I’m so glad I did because these $1 Opal pants have actually become my favourite pair!

As you have probably noticed I tend to gravitate towards linens, cottons and other natural fibres. Partly from an environmental perspective and partly because I live in a hot country and breathable fabrics are a necessity. Sewing with a poly is a bit unusual for me, and I must admit it was really enjoyable to have a garment in my wardrobe that didn’t need ironing. I’m so used to wearing linen which either needs to be pressed within in an inch of it’s life, or I just need to accept walking around like wrinkle city. But these pants are a joy! They never wrinkle, and are the definition of wash and wear.

If you’re wondering about this tee, it’s my favourite slouchy River tee! I’ve shared it a few times on the blog here and here and it continues to be one of those garments that I reach for over and over again.

So my friends, that is the story of my $1 Opal pants, and the only time a handmade garment of mine was actually cheap!

River tee & Opal Pants sewing patterns | Megan Nielsen Blog
Megan Nielsen Opal Pants Sewing Pattern made from $1 Poly twill

Make this look:
Top: River Top sewing pattern
Pants: Opal sewing pattern
Shoes: Midas

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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3 years ago

Those look amazing! And that’s an awesome price on the fabric too!

I’ve not got anything that was quite so cheap, but I do have some denim lined up to be Dawn jeans (that’s this season’s projects for me) which will end up costing about £7 per pair (for the fabric, zip & button – I’m using thread I bought for previous projects) which is a lot cheaper than I can get in the shops (considering shop bought jeans always need altering for me anyway) ?