Pants are a hard piece of clothing to document because none have been found. This means we have to look to other sources to find out what they are suppose to look like.
The pictorial evidence from rune stones and tapestries shows two styles of pants. This is probably due to regional variations in style. The tighter fitting straight leg style pants are very much like the Thorsbjerg trousers, a pair of pants from the migration period before the Vikings.
The second style of pants is commonly known as the Rus baggy pants style. This look can be obtained two ways. You can make pants that are really baggy, but are fitted below the knee. The other, easier way to achieve this kind of look is to wear baggy pants and then wrap the lower part of your leg with wickelbander (more on that later). This is the method that I have used for years, and I would recommend for people who are new to Viking clothing.
WARNING … the following pattern is not based on any period examples. Because only 6 inches of your pants ends up showing anyway, I have put simplicity over authenticity when it comes to pants.
This is a pattern for drawstring pants that I found from an Australian reenactment group called The Grey Company.
For this pattern you will need a piece of fabric that is twice as long as your outer leg seam. It will also need to be at least twice your waist measurement wide. The wider the fabric, the more baggy you can make them.
1. Get your material and fold it lengthways slightly longer than the desired pants length, then fold it selvage to selvage and lay it out on a flat surface.
2. Get a tape measure and measure from the front waistband of the trousers you are wearing to the back waistband putting the tape measure between your legs. Don't hold the measure too tight! Try sitting down with the tape measure between your legs to check the groin curve. This measurement will stop you from making your pants too tight in the crotch (you need room for movement). From the centre fold in the fabric, measure inwards about 7cm and then measure down half your groin measurement adding a curve back towards the centerline.
3. If you only want slightly baggy pants, measure around your waist and add a little extra for seams and movement (about 3 - 4 inches if you are doing ½ inch seams; this allows 2 inches of ease). Divide your adjusted waist measurement by 4 and measure this distance from the groin line at the waist and mark.
If you want a tapered leg draw an angled line from the end of the groin curve to the bottom of the pants, and a line from the waist mark to the hem line leaving enough between the two so your leg will fit. (This measurement should be slightly bigger than half your leg size.) If you want baggy pants, add the extra onto your waist measurement and proceed as above.
4. Once your pattern is drawn, cut it out. Take 2 pieces and, with right sides together, pin the groin curve seams and sew up. Do the same with the other two pieces. With right sides together, pin the inner leg seams together and sew. Finally pin the outer seams together and sew. Hem the bottom cuff of each leg.
5. The only thing left is the waistband. With your pants inside out, start by ironing over a half inch at the top of your pants. Then, iron over another inch or so. Sew this down. It should create a nice big hem that you can pass your drawstring through. Pick a side to be the front, and pick out a few stitches in the hem. Using a safety pin, run your drawstring around your waistband. Shoe laces make great drawstrings.