Nailed it! Zero waste trousers with diamond gusset

Zero waste trousers with gusset

After the disappointment with my first attempt, I’ve triumphed!  (Visit my previous post so you know what I’m talking about.)  I had another go this week with this trousers idea, making them roomier.  They now have the perfect degree of pajama pant bagginess.

UPDATE 13th March 2020: This pattern now has a new improved gusset which is easier to sew and has no stress point at the apex.  It’s been graded to a range of sizes too.  View it here.

Zero waste trousers with gusset pattern

Here’s the zero waste trousers draft complete with sewing instructions.  I didn’t make a pattern for mine; I drew it directly onto the fabric.  I made the back waist 1 1/2″ (4cm) higher on mine.

By all means feel free to adjust the amount of ease to suit yourself.  Note that the crotch depth is dependent on the ankle width and hip circumference; if you change one thing it will change the gusset size (fascinating, isn’t it?).

If the crotch depth is in the wrong place, adjust it from the top by making the waist casing bigger or smaller, or even separate.

This pattern may or may not fit neatly on your fabric depending on the fabric’s width.  If your fabric is a little too wide, you could just take bigger side seams and take advantage of the selvedges for the sides.

Allow bigger side seams if you want the freedom to adjust the amount of ease.

Zero waste trousers with gusset three quarters view

Here’s the three-quarters view where you can see the gusset.

Zero waste trousers with gusset back view

The back is the same as the front.

Zero waste trousers with gusset

The first pair aren’t a complete write off. I’ve been wearing them to bed and they’re comfortable enough. In case you’re interested, these are 6″ less roomier around the hips and 2″ less around the ankle (ie in Step 1, the width is 1/2 hips + 3″ instead of 6″, and in Step 2, the ankle is 7 1/2″ instead of 8 1/2″).

You may also be interested in my other zero waste trousers draft here.  These have wider legs and pockets.



  1. Sarah on December 12, 2017 at 8:05 am

    This is fantastic, thank you for posting!!

    I am teaming up with a few family members to make everyone matching pajama bottoms for Christmas morning, and was looking for an idea that would make quick (and affordable!) use of the fabric I’ll be getting. I should be able to do two pairs at a time/next to each other with this pattern, which is BRILLIANT! There are 10 of us in total, so this cuts the fabric I would have needed with a standard pajama pants pattern by half! I’ll be looking to match up the men and women to offset the waist difference on the fabric width, and only make one cut dividing any extra ease between the two pairs. Now I can’t wait to start, might even have made up the time to add pockets!

    • lizhaywood on December 12, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      Wow! 10 pairs of pajama pants by Christmas! And the way you plan to cut them two pairs side-by-side will give you absolutely zero waste. I recommend making one pair first to see how you go with the diamond crotch/crotch depth fit. Best wishes! Please leave another comment when you’re finished and tell us how you went.

  2. DSG on July 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    I was totally impressed with the super-easy draft of the six gore wrap skirt but this blows me away! I’m supposed to be canning apples this afternoon while the kid is at camp, but I think my plans have changed. Amazing work. I’m a fan and follower as of right now.

    • lizhaywood on July 23, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for making my day, DSG! I was wondering this morning who reads my blog. I can’t take credit for the original idea of a diamond gusset, only the execution, but thank you for being impressed and commenting. All the best with your trousers!

  3. Melissa In Missouri on April 24, 2020 at 5:08 am

    Hi, I have a question about the zero waste trousers with the diamond gusset. Are the ankles cut where the fold is? I am playing with a tiny paper pattern I made (out of recycling paper) and cannot figure out where the feet go out. If the diamond is the crotch and the upper and lower part of the rectangle is the waist, where do the feet go out? Thank you

    • lizhaywood on April 24, 2020 at 8:49 am

      Hi Melissa, yes, in Step 3, the ankles are level with the widest part of the gusset, horizontally across the middle of the rectangle. A (possibly) clearer version of this concept is in the scrubs pattern – scroll down to see pages 5 and 6 of the pattern.

  4. Freyda Black on May 11, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    I can’t figure out how to download this pattern. On the newer iteration (scrubs) there is a download pdf button. How can I download this pattern?

    • lizhaywood on May 11, 2023 at 4:24 pm

      Hi Freyda, there isn’t a proper download for this (I wasn’t that far advanced with blogging back then!). There’s just the single page jpg with the instructions, so you could “Save image as” to keep a copy.

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