Safiya Trousers and a Playsuit Hack

A review of Make It Simple (book) By Tilly Walnes


Reviewed by Katesewscodsall on 1st July, 2020

I resisted buying Make It Simple when it first came out. I thought the patterns were too loose fitting for my tastes, but then lockdown happened. After two weeks in a single pair of jogging bottoms from M&S I decided that I needed to up my loungewear game. I needed something that I didn’t need to change out of for the school run, but was comfy enough for working from home. Initially I went to my Breaking the Pattern book, but the Rae pants in that are elasticated all the way round; my tummy has been stretched out by two pregnancies, so gathers on top of it are not ideal. I then considered the flat fronted Carrie trousers from Sew Over It, but tapered trousers just don’t flatter my legs. Finally, I settled on the wide leg Safiya trousers and I haven’t looked back.

The first pair I made was in size 4, no pattern alterations, in a navy and yellow fan print viscose twill from Fabric Godmother that I won in a competition a year ago. I love them – the only thing I regret is not interfacing the flat front. The waistband creases quite a bit after I’ve been sitting at my computer for a while. These trousers go well with my yellow sandals and are ankle length, so show them off. Perfect!

I had enough fabric to make the Safiya playsuit too, so that’s what I did. I made this in a size 4 with no alterations to the pattern. It turned out well, though is quite the pain to get on and off. I nearly dislocate my shoulder every time I need a wee! I also find that wrap front style tops make my broad shoulders seem even broader, so with no fullness on the bottom of the suit, this really didn’t do much for me. This will definitely be a beach cover up or a poolside outfit (if we ever go on holiday again), as it’s too short for me to wear in everyday life.

Not deterred, because I love the trousers so much, I decided to change the top of the playsuit and elongate the legs to make a jumpsuit in a gorgeous berry leopard print viscose from Guthrie and Ghani. You can overlay the playsuit shorts pattern onto the trouser pattern to elongate the rise of the trousers to make them suitable for a jumpsuit (the crotch curves are identical on both front and back pattern pieces). So I did this and sewed the Sew Over It Poppy Playsuit bodice onto the top. I cut the 12/14 size in the bodice and shaved 1 inch off the waist of each pattern piece, grading to nothing at the underarm. It worked really well, suits me better and is easy to get on and off. I also really like the sparkly vintage button I used for the closure with a hand-sewn button loop.

I have already prewashed some tropical flower fabric to make another pair of Safiya trousers to get me through the summer in style!

The other patterns in the book will definitely get made eventually. The Suki dress looks elegant and simple, the Juno PJ shorts will definitely be a scrap buster for jersey and the Olive pinafore will be perfect in wool for the winter.

If you want a comfy, but stylish lockdown wardrobe, I highly recommend Make It Simple.

For photos and more details of all the makes mentioned, head over to