I wanted to make a pair of basic black skinny pants that would be nice enough to wear to work. I already have one secondhand pair that I wear every laundry rotation, so I figured I could use another, me-made pair. I made up a skinny pants draft, sewed it up in regular cotton muslin, and was pretty excited...until I sewed it up in a fabric with spandex in it. They were huge!!! As one lady in class said (of her own attempts to sew stretch fabric), it was like a tent meeting the saggy baggy elephant. Lesson learned: sew up your muslin in a comparable fabric. As Lynda later told us in class, "If you're going to make a paper garment, then go ahead and fit it in paper. But if you're planning to make a fabric garment, fit it in fabric!" Thankfully, the fabric I had used was a cheap poly that I had thrifted last year for the express purpose of making a (hopefully) wearable muslin, so it wasn't a huge loss, even if it was a nice emerald color. I pinned and marked it up, transferred my changes to the paper pattern, then went out and bought a different stretch denim for my final project. I may go back and fix the emerald pants at some point, but honestly, it's a pretty nasty poly.
By the time I buckled down for the actual pants-sewing, it was already 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon; the last class was Monday evening, but I had work all day Monday. Because of that, I opted not to do a yoke, back pockets, or flat-felling on the inseam...in fact, if it weren't required, I probably wouldn't have done front pockets or a fly front either! Cutting all the pieces went fairly quickly, but for some reason the fly front gave me lots of trouble. Lynda had had us do fly front samples earlier in the class, but they all opened to the left, and I like mine to open from the right, so when I referred back to my samples I kept stitching things on backward or to the wrong side. I probably wasted an hour at least in fiddling with the fly front. I think I'm going to go back and redo a set of samples that open to the right, just so that this doesn't happen again. I never want to have to pick bar tacks out again!
|Thankfully, the multiple re-dos don't show on the finished pants. Also, a better look at the flocked brocade pattern.|
After the fly front fiasco, though, everything else went smoothly. It's amazing how fast sewing pants can go when you don't have to stop and fit with every seam you sew. I did have to stop when I was almost done so that I could draft a contour waistband, and by the time I sewed that on it was past 1 a.m. and I was pretty sure that if I kept going, I would've ended up seam ripping a gash in the pants or some other such nonsense. I went to sleep, woke up early and hemmed the pants before work, then hurriedly sewed on the hooks and eyes in between leaving work and getting to class. It was worth the effort, though, as Lynda pronounced them gorgeous. Even my mom, who's got really high standards for fit and construction because of her seamstress background, conceded that they were impressive when I showed them to her. While I'm usually pretty critical of my own makes, this time I'm inclined to agree with them both!
|I cannot emphasize enough how difficult it is to photograph black flocked fabric. All the wrinkles from sitting show, none of the details of the brocade do. I promise you they look a lot better in real life!|
|Doesn't help that it was also broad daylight...but that was the only time Mr. Cation was available to take photos.|
|It looks like I somehow photoshopped the brocade out, but it just doesn't want to be photographed!|
|Slightly better look: the brocade pattern reminds me of BBC Sherlock's wallpaper in 221B.|
|I was getting all hung up on the wrinkles in the back, but Lynda wisely pointed out that wrinkles under the butt meant sitting ease, and wouldn't you like to be able to sit down? Also, apparently they photoshop out normal wrinkles in ads, making us think that our clothes should all fit with no wrinkles whatsoever.|
Fabric: I have to say, Joann's has really beefed up their trendy stretch denims section...this was made from 2 yards of black flocked fabric, 70% cotton, 28% polyester, and 2% Spandex. The pockets were lined with the same stretch fuchsia satin fabric as my pirate coat for a little bit of extra luxury.
|I love that there's this secret pop of color!|
Notions: Two hooks and bars, a dark gray 7" zipper (I didn't have black and didn't want to drive out to find one), and lots of seam binding.
Hours: Nine...not bad, right? Of course, that's not counting the innumerable hours of drafting, muslining, fitting, and redrafting over the course of the semester. And if you're looking at my account of Sunday, I took an hour off in there to eat dinner and such.
Will you make it again? Yes! I finally have the perfect pattern for my body, because it was actually drafted and fitted to me! I want to make a pair of bootcut dark wash denim trousers next.
Total cost: $18. The fabric was 50% off with a coupon, and the hooks and bars and seam binding were pennies because I bought in bulk, and the zipper was probably $0.50.
Final thoughts: I'm so excited by how real these pants look! I know I was pretty excited about my previous pairs of pants, but there were still issues with each of them. These actually look like something I would buy at say, Banana Republic or Anthropologie. AND OH HEY would you look at these flocked Charlie trousers at Anthropologie?! I just saved $100 yo...as long as you ignore the cost of my time and the class.
|Hahaha I couldn't resist trying to turn this into a fake catalog cover. I mean, it's got all the requirements for an Anthro shoot: random pallet, some succulents, quirky neighborhood with a vaguely rustic feel...|
|Once again, I attempt the disinterested model face.|
|Although I'm too cool (hah!) to show it, I actually seriously love these pants.|