Thursday, May 18, 2017


I sewed pants! That I love! That fit! That I can wear in public!

The key...start with a worn out pair of pants that I knew fit well. I carefully took them apart (with a seam ripper, I didn't just cut the seams). I had a hard time last May trying to find an acceptable material and settled for a navy cotton, "Bettina" (I think. From Fabricland. Searching their site this spring did not yield any results). I was worried that I would feel like a cop or security guard in dark blue pants, but I don't. The fabric is not an exact match and there are two things that I'm not fond of. It wrinkles more than the original pair and it has a soft, sort of brushed texture which traps dog hair like crazy. But it's worth it to have a pair of pants I can wear in public!

This was SUCH an incredible learning project. Starting with---do NOT leave freshly ironed, neatly folded pieces of fabric on the ironing board which happens to be in the room that's being renovated. Yeah. Hubby thought they were RAGS! And then threw them out!!! I freaked on him. He did fetch the two leg pieces and they weren't too bad--one has a bit of construction adhesive on it. He couldn't find the rib knit waistband, but that's not too bad since I have another pair of these pants. I had kept one leg still assembled so I could see how it goes together.

Another thing I learned was that I'm still learning about order of processes. I tend to want to just get started, and sew the parts that I know (or think I know) how to do. Then I'll get to another part and realize I need to have done something else first. Or not done. I learned how to make angled side seam pockets with separate facing pieces and separate pocket pieces. Later I made a pair of shorts with this pattern but did the pockets self facing and it was a lot easier. I like the contrasting pocket though, even though you don't see it. It was left over rayon? from a sundress I made last summer but never showed because it had pissed me off so much and I wasn't happy with it.

I also sewed a mock fly. I couldn't find instructions that would give the same result as my original pair, so I had to muddle through, but it turned out acceptable.

I added 7/8" to the leg but I think I could add another 1/2" or even inch. I wonder if they shrank more with the second wash (I did pre-wash the fabric before cutting).  I feel that the front crotch is a little low, but the back crotch isn't. So I'm not sure how to adjust that. And I don't know why my butt looks so flat and the fabric looks like it's pulling. They don't feel like that at all.

The dog always wants in on photo shoots. Especially when the hubby is taking the pictures. So please excuse the poor quality photos!

For the waistband, I found some blue and white striped jersey. A little thin, but with the twill tape drawstring, it's okay. I'm disappointed by the lack of colour selection for twill tape at Fabricland.

I totally underestimated how much thread it takes to topstitch. It was fun trying to topstitch around the crotch, but I got it done.

I'm so happy with these. I didn't do the little tabs on the lower legs so they can be rolled up into capris. I thought the colour seemed a little dark for summer pants. I have plans for more pants! Especially since the second pair I had have passed into the "not outside the house" condition.

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