In the past, I've only tried to copy their dresses and skirts, so I decided that I should take on the challenge of pants. I mean, now that I've more or less successfully sewn pants and shorts, a whole new world is open to me and I should take advantage of it. Enter the Edisto Linen Wide-Legs in red, gloriously vibrant and with big contrasting buttons on the side. I've been cautiously entertaining the idea of brightly colored pants ever since seeing Erica B's gorgeous coral pair and Sunni's season opener, but wasn't sure if I could pull it off. There's nothing like a hey-look-at-me color on bottom to bring doubt into the mind of a pear-shaped lady, but I had the perfect fabric in my stash, and, well, it's the year of magical doings. If pulling off orange pants isn't magical, then I don't know what is. Also, it's only fabric -- if I don't like the final result, it's not like I was making pants out of baby penguins. So...how did they turn out?
|ZOMG red-orange is a ridiculously difficult color to photograph.|
|I'm in love with these buttons.|
|My best attempt to mimic the Anthro picture. Not nearly as fun as the Japanese sewing books.|
If you look closely at the enlarged picture of the Edisto pants, you can see that besides the side-button feature, they also don't have a waistband or darts at the front -- there's only a line of stitching that gives the suggestion of a waistband, but is more likely just to tack down the facing on the inside. With that in mind, I used OOP Simplicity 4099 as my base pattern, which I won in Leah of Struggle Sews a Straight Seam's giveaway last summer. It has very similar features (no front dart or waistband, wide leg), minus the side buttons, but I figured it would be easy enough to make that part up.
To make the side-button placket, I cut two placketish-looking pieces, finished the edges, and sewed one to each side of the left side opening. On the front pants piece, I pressed the placket under and topstitched it down, then put in five buttonholes. On the back pants piece, I left the placket piece flopping out towards the front, understitched it, tacked on a piece of twill tape to act as a button stand (I recently read this blog post about button stands in historical tailoring, and it made so much sense that I elected to jury-rig one for these pants. It works marvelously and I don't have to worry about my fabric distorting or ripping, and the closure feels deliciously secure), then added my five lovely nautical buttons. I am seriously in love with how this closure looks, plus it puzzled Mr. Cation because he couldn't figure out how the pants came off.
|Yaaaay I look eleven feet tall!|
Fabric: 2 yards of 60" wide, suiting-weight orange wool-blend twill, part of my stashbusting pledge pile. The lady who was cutting it for me at F&S said it had some polyester in it, and it certainly presses that way, and I suspect it's got a bit of Lycra in it as well, since it's slightly stretchy. While the original Anthro pants are a linen-tencel blend, I opted not to use a similar fabric because 1) reviews said that it got really wrinkly, and 2) who am I kidding, I didn't want to go out and buy new fabric. Hopefully the polyester means that these won't get too wrinkly!
Notions: 5 brass anchor buttons from Fabrix in SF, lots of seam binding, thrifted twill tape and 2" hem facing
Techniques used: My first time trying hem weights, thanks to the tip on Erica B's blog post! Seriously, best twenty cents I've ever spent...my pants looked ridiculous and horrible and I was ready to cry about all my wasted time, but then I tried adding in those four nickels and seriously guys, it was like magic. Suddenly everything was hanging a lot better, and these pants were saved from the UFO pile. If your wide leg swingy pants aren't hanging right, TRY IT.
Hours: Eight or so over this past weekend...because right after making and sending off a corset, I felt the need to start (and miraculously, finish) an untried pattern.
Will you make it again? Probably not. I don't think I need any more wide-leg trousers, although these are awfully comfy and swooshily fun in a way that I thought only skirts and dresses could be. I credit the hem weights for adding a certain gravitas when I stalk about purposefully.
Total cost: You're not going to believe this -- less than $4!!! I got the fabric for $1/yard when F&S was cleaning out old inventory, and the buttons were $0.10 each. Add in some seam binding and of course, my four nickels, and I've saved myself $94 off the original price of the Anthro pants. Sewing FTW!!
Final thoughts: When I first walked out of the sewing room to show my husband, he was speechless. I was already afraid that I looked like some negligent prison escapee who'd forgotten to change pants, but then he pronounced them interesting, and that the cut/style was fine, but the color was a little shocking. Finally we decided that I looked like a very stylish member of the Rogue Squadron. I do like them, though, resemblance to various jumpsuits aside, and even though the fit isn't perfect, I'm glad I gave it a try! I still need to work up the courage to wear them out for more than just pictures, though.
|See, if I just stand normally, the back is all wrinkly. Not any worse than my RTW work pants, but still...it feels more egregious when it's orange. Also, I opted not to include welt pockets because let's face it, I'm still not mentally ready yet.|
|That's okay, though, because I'll just stand like this all the time.|
I think these actually look pretty similar to 1930s trousers, so these could *almost* be a HSF entry too...I mean, check out these pictures:
|Wide legs: check! Side buttons: check! No front darts or waistband: check! Darts on the back with no pockets, check! [source]|
|Oh hey, these are even orange! [source]|
Pretty similar, right? I do find it interesting that the historical versions both end at about ankle-length, which I feel looks pretty weird. I hemmed these to just skim the ground, reasoning that my legs look longer that way. Since most of my height is from my long torso, I feel like the length of the pants + the high waist helps visually even out my proportions a bit.
On that note, it's time to close out Vibrant Color month in the Stashbusting Sewalong! I vowed to use the brightest fabric in my stash this month, and I did...what about you? Let's see your brightly-colored makes from April -- just add your link to the party below.
Also, in case you forgot, April was also a challenge month, which means that we'll be voting for our favorite project, and the lucky winner gets a small surprise in the mail! You've got until the end of the week to add your project, and then voting will start on Saturday, May 4, and end on Tuesday, May 7.