Chantelle's Nina Lee Portobello Trousers

During the eight months I have been sewing, I realised I have been mainly making dresses and tops. I thought it was about time this changed so I decided to try the Portobello trousers pattern which has been on my wish list for a while. I wanted to try and make a pair of trousers that I could dress up for a special occasion and also dress down with comfy shoes to go shopping in. The fabric I chose was the Geometric Matchsticks double sided stretch jacquard. It is a great medium weight fabric with a slight stretch which I thought would be perfect for a pair of trousers.

The trousers have a high waist and are wide legged which is a great pattern for a beginner who has never made trousers before. The chic design of the trousers makes them really easy to wear and flattering for all body shapes. There are no complicated steps to this pattern and the instructions are so clear and concise, with brilliantly detailed illustrations. There are six pretty pleats to the front and darts to the back to really give a lovely shape. The trousers are only really fitted at the waist which makes them easy to tailor to your body shape. The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to take off 2" from the hem as I wanted a slightly cropped look. At the back there is an invisible zip but instead of adding a button above it, I added a red press stud as I thought it might be easier to fasten. 

It did cross my mind whether to use a lighter weight fabric for the pocket bags, to reduce any unwanted bulk around the hips. In the end, I did used the jacquard fabric for the pockets as I thought this would not be a problem and I am glad I did.

I must admit, I am always apprehensive when installing invisible zips but it went surprisingly well and is easier when the fabric you are using has a bit of substance to it.  This was such a quick pattern to make and only took me four hours which includes cutting it all out. This is perfect if you are like me and cannot wait to finish a project and try it on.

The jacquard was a complete joy to sew with! The matchsticks are a gorgeous lipstick red on a dark navy background which really adds a pop of colour. The fabric has a good weight to it which meant it really held its shape even after washing. The finished trousers needed minimal ironing also. The fabric does have a slight stretch but I used a normal woven needle on my sewing machine which worked perfectly. I think the fabric works so well as cropped trousers and they are so comfortable to wear. The trousers would also look amazing in a floaty rayon or a cotton lawn. I will be definitely be making more...

You can follow my sewing over on my instagram account @i_seam_sew_happy_xx.

Chantelle chose the fabric and pattern she wanted to use for her blog post.  She was provided with the fabric for free in exchange for a written blog post.


  • Hello tere! I have been wondering about buying this pattern but I’m not keen on the from pleats and wold prefer (for e at least) darts. Would it be practical to sew the pleats to form darts?

    Carole Hale
  • Love these! What size did you pick and were they true to size?

    Jay Jay
  • These looks amazing! I really love them cropped too – good shout!

  • Hi. I really like those pants great job

    Sheila Walls
  • Great write up x


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