Readers, I present you with my first pair of pants!
Not much about these pants happened quickly; I started them in April and it took me two muslins and a bunch more alterations to finish them in early June. It was worth it, however; as the wrinkles might suggest, they got worn constantly!
The pattern I started with was Burda 7250, which I altered a lot.
After my initial muslin, I thought I was going to have to make some really crazy alterations until I realized that everything fit way better when I just removed 2+ inches from the front rise of the pants and maybe 1″ from the back.
My second muslin (not pictured) worked on slimming out the leg width and making the waistband wider to compensate for how much lower it was.
Then, I cut out my “fashion fabric”, which is probably a printed poly-cotton that I found at the Goodwill thrift store. Although it might just be completely poly. Does that exist? 100% polyester denim? It sure smelled like it when I was ironing. I had a purple cotton twill earmarked for these pants, but chickened out and used this stuff instead for my first try.
I was sewing up my questionable fabric and continuing to make small tweaks to the waistband, when I took a step back and realized the waistband looked absurd:
The waistband included in the pattern is two rectangles that join at center back. Given that I lowered it, widened it by almost an inch and possess a fine sway-back, there was no way it could accommodate the difference between the top width and the bottom width. When I removed it, the two pieces were almost at a 90 degree angle.
Frustrated, I ignored the pants for a few weeks during Me-Made-May. I finally came to grips with the fact that I needed to draft my own curved waistband. Using a combination of a curved ruler that I happened to have inherited from a relative and the waistband from Simplicity 2451 (the pattern that keeps on giving!), I made one in an hour or so, and it wasn’t as difficult as I was anticipating.
I also got to use an awesome button I inherited from a friend of a friend!
And speaking of closures, this was my first time sewing a zippered fly. It was easier than I was expecting, but I had to use resources other than the pattern instructions to figure it out. The pattern also skimped out on the fly shield, so I added one myself. I didn’t do my calculations correctly, so it’s pretty close to the zipper teeth, but at least it’s there. Who wants a bare zipper against their undies? Reading other bloggers’ construction posts on Sewaholic Thurlows or the Grainline Maritime shorts made me feel like I deserved a better pattern! I finished a Grainline Moss skirt last weekend (to be blogged soon), and the fly pattern pieces are dramatically better.
Here’s the inside of the fly. It’s not beautiful, but it is functional.
The pattern did include pockets, but I didn’t use them. I love pockets, but skipped them for two reasons; they opened at the side seam, which I thought would look bulky, and I didn’t want to have to fuss with them if I had to make post-muslin changes. I also skipped the cuffs and shortened the hemline by quite a bit. I really like pants that hit slightly above the ankle.
These pants are highly wearable and I love the subtle python pattern! There are, however, a few things I’d do differently if I made another pair. One, use nicer fabric! Two, add pockets from another pattern, maybe like the slanted ones from my denim skirt. Three, I made the calves a little too tight and they can ride up or pull when I walk.
As I become fussier about fit, I’m clearing out a lot of my thrifted jeans and pants. Since I’m doing the Seamless Pledge and not shopping much, this means I’d better make some more pants before fall! I’ve considered making these again in a thick denim or the magenta twill I was originally planning to use. It seems like a waste to not use the pattern again after I put so much work into getting it to fit! I’ve also thought about doing Kenneth King’s jean-copying class on Craftsy as a way to generate a pants block for myself based on the lone well-fitting pair of jeans I own.
I’ll leave you with what I see when I look down in these pants:
Pure python power! And a huge sense of accomplishment, having finished my first pair of pants.