I MADE REAL PANTS. Let me say it again: I sewed myself some wearable, non-elastic waistband, fly-front, they-make-my-legs-look-pretty-dang-awesome trousers. Not shorts, not capris, but real live honest-to-goodness pants! You guys, I am seriously so excited about these pants that I can hardly pull my thoughts together enough to write coherently. I mean, I originally intended these to be a muslin for the new McCall's 6610 (so new that I'm the first reviewer on Pattern Review!), but when they turned out well enough to wear out in public, well, I was just over the moon!
|Okay, so I can't quite jump over the moon, but these pants really do allow crazy jumping!|
Even better, not only are they presentable, they're ultra comfy, too. I guess that's what happens when your pants fit your body properly? It's time for a confession: usually when I get home from work or errands or whatever, I change as soon as I can into knit lounge-wear; in fact, one of my gripes about entertaining in my own home is that I can't just wear whatever, I have to actually look presentable. To that end, I have a lot of maxi skirts with elastic waists so that I can just flop around on the floor without being 1) uncomfortable, and 2) indecent. Well, with these pants, they're not restricting at all, despite looking fitted, and the slightly stretchy lightweight cotton is surprisingly soft. The fact that they're so high-waisted also means that I don't have to worry about back-gaping or muffin-topping. Which means that I don't feel the need to change out of these pants immediately; they're both comfy and decent enough to lounge and entertain and go out in!
|Front: looks real!|
|Side: looks real!|
|Back: looks real! Errr, except until you notice how high the pockets are...|
|Maybe I'm only imagining that my pants |
make me look like Audrey Hepburn ,
but a girl's got to dream, right?
|You see? Under the shirt hides a ridiculously high waist!|
Besides the high-risedness of this pattern, I also had issues with the leg width. That wasn't hard to deal with; it was just that I ended up taking the side seams in by over two inches to get the look I wanted, so it's still definitely worth a mention. I know they're advertised as straight-leg, not fitted, pants, but the way they look on the pattern envelope threw me off. Moral of the story: don't trust the models or the pattern illustrations.
My last big adjustment was taking in the waist quite a bit. I originally cut a size 12, but my final waist and leg seam lines were probably more along the lines of what would be a 4. Also, the waistband is just a big long rectangle, instead of a more reasonable contour waistband. I understand that a rectangle is easier to draft/cut and saves more fabric, but I feel like it's pretty lazy on the part of the pattern-makers. I ended up making huge makeshift darts at the sides, but even then the final fit isn't quite perfect. Anyway, these waist-fitting issues make me think seriously about investing in a Thurlow pattern, since Tasia drafts for the pear-shaped woman. The scrooge in me thinks "Well, I already bought this pattern (for only $0.99!), I should just redraft the top to make it work for what I have in mind, especially since I already fitted the crotch," but the I-want-to-support-independent-artists side of me thinks I should just splurge on a Thurlow and go through the whole muslining process again. Thoughts?
Fabric: A little less than 2 yards of dark blue cotton with a slight stretch (the same as my nautical shorts and my 1912 skirt!), a little bit of cotton voile for the pocket linings (the same as my 1912 blouse!)
Notions: A metal jeans zipper, hooks and bars for the waistband
Techniques: Putting in a fly-front, pants fitting
Hours used: Eight? I lost track after a while.
Will you make it again? I could happily wear multiple colors and fabrics of these pants (albeit probably with a lower rise) and never get tired of them. I've got 3 yards of coral stretch twill in my stash; is it too late in the year to be making bright skinny jeans?
Total cost: $3!!! $1/yd for the fabric, $0.50 for the zipper, and the hooks and bars and thread make up the last $0.50, if that.
Final thoughts: I've written before about how I have a love-hate relationship with my legs and how thick they are (especially compared to other Asians); that, and my relatively tiny waist make pants-shopping kind of a horrible experience for me. And even though I love the look of skinny, tapered pants, they usually make my thighs look huge. Oh, and let's not forget the one time I tried on a pair of skinny jeans and almost got stuck in them because I couldn't pull out my burly calves. Anyway, all this to say, when I find a pair of pants that fit well and look good, it's a minor miracle. As of yesterday, I had only two pairs of (non-knit and non-elastic-waistband) pants that I actually wear regularly, both several years old, because I couldn't find decent replacements/additions. With this pair, my pants wardrobe has just grown by 50%! And not to mention that these are incredibly flattering and totally boost my confidence. If I sound like I'm in love with these pants, it's because I am. So, McCall's 6610, even though you kind of suck as a pattern in some major ways, I am forever indebted to you for your easy fly-front instructions that enabled me to make these magically delicious pants.
Oh, and that top? It's another dolman-sleeve top, made from $1/yd printed cotton knit from Fabric Planet. I love the moody gray skies and the random blue wings -- I call it my Rinoa Heartilly top, which you'll understand if you've ever played Final Fantasy VIII. So this means that my whole outfit was $1/yd, me-made, and reminds me of awesome ladies. Gosh, sometimes I just love being able to sew so much!