Archive for Pants

Test Pants

Last week I spent a few minutes whipping up two different elastic waist pants patterns. I happened to have enough gray polyester suiting for both trial pants.

First up was McCall’s 6568, whose straight leg style and patch pockets had appealed to me from the first time I laid eyes on it.  I chose to use a full elastic waistband rather than the pattern’s prescribed drawstring.

(I can assure you that I will not wear this, or any, top tucked into them!)

McCall's 6568 test

I thought it was pretty funny that the front and back patch pockets were two different sizes.  (That would be funny strange or funny annoying.)  I had to make two different pressing templates for them.

The front pockets were larger than the back pockets, which was another strange thing to me.  I once read an article that said the bigger the pockets, the smaller your backside looks.   Why would you put smaller in back?

Next time, all pockets will be the larger size for various reasons.


I wore this pair on Saturday with my Eureka top.  I used my matching inifinity scarf as a belt, thusly

Scarf as belt

Bottom line, I like the pants a lot.  They drape nicely, and will make up perfectly in linen.

The second pattern I tried was the Tessuti Laura Pant.  This is a narrow ankle pant, a style I have never worn.  I *did* wear this top tucked with a belt–some loops would be nice.

Tessuti Laura test pants

Below you can see the pants on their own.  I followed the  pattern instructions for the elasticized waistband, which I don’t particularly like in this fabric.  I wish I had used my usual method of quartering the elastic and serging it to the top of the pants.

Tessuti Laura test

I sewed the XXS in this pattern, which equates to an 8 in their other patterns.   I measure XS (size 10) at the waist, so I cut my elastic to that length.   Using the XS elastic with the XXS pattern made the waistband more comfortable but less bulky than if I had cut the waist on the XS line.

This pattern is another winner in my book.   The instructions were very easy to follow and illustrated with clear photographs.

I’ll be sewing it again soon, but I’m not sure about using either of my two linen fabrics.  It may make up fine in linen, but it seems to me that it would do well in something a bit more firm.  I’ll definitely be trying more patterns from Tessuti after this.

So I “muslined” Butterick 6028

Recalling how much I loved my other “Katherine pants,”  Vogue V8837, I decided to ignore the less-than-stellar reviews on PR and muslin the new pants.

Thanks to the reviews and Katherine’s blog, I went in expecting a couple of things.  First, they would be baggy around the hips and thighs, and tight at the ankles.  And, the side seam would swing around to the front to some extent or other.


I was warned.

I grabbed an old bed sheet, pressed the pattern, and set to work.

Examining the pattern, I learned that the finished hip on size 14 (my measured size) is 42 inches. I decided to sew with the size 12 to give me only two inches of ease. I laid out the pattern, overlapping the on-grain back leg seam and eliminating the pocket.

Notice the grain line on the front leg at right.

pattern for muslin

I don’t understand exactly how that front grainline accomplished  pulling the side seam around to the front, as Katherine’s blog said it would, but it did.

Once cut, I drew some lines on the fabric to help me judge fit better.  The front vertical line is the grain line.  The back vertical line is the seam line that would be going straight up the center of each leg.  Horizontal lines are estimated hip and crotch lines, but are not precise and any similarity of front to back is purely coincidental.  I also noted the center front, waist and fold lines to help me situate my “waistband” strip.

When I sewed, I followed a hunch that I would not need the fly to get the pants on and sewed that closed.

The pants were a generous two inches too long, so I pinned that out.  Then I pinned the pants onto my makeshift waistband to check the fit.


The front grainline shifts toward the inside and the side seam comes around to the front.  (I’m not sure you can see the side seam in the photo.)

In back there is a slight dip in my approximate hip line.  I can also tell you that there wasn’t enough crotch length.  It covered the area, but would not have been comfortable sitting.  But that’s just me.

The finished hem circumference for this size is 12 inches. My ankles are 7.25″–I just measured.  If you have normal sized legs, this might look similar to the envelope photo on you.  On me, this is another waif-look that would garner pitying glances, I think.


The side view shows the side seam’s curve toward the front more clearly, and reveals the fullness of this pant.  I recall wearing similar styles in the–ah, early 90s/late 80s, was it?  You need that volume for the nice big pockets that this pattern offers.  I like this aspect of the pant.

I’m weary of butt-hugging pants styles.

I’ve seen enough of other women’s cellulite, thank you very much.


While I was checking over my muslin, it occurred to me that this might be a style that would complement the Eureka top.  With a belt, (or measuring tape) it wasn’t a bad match!  It was definitely better than the tight jeans.


There are some things to like about the pattern.  First, those pockets.  They are nice and large and go al the way to the center front to be caught in the fly application presumably.  Second, the loose trouser fit coupled with the narrow lower legs is a refreshing new look, IMO.   Third, the elastic back waistband is something that many women like in a pant.

In the end, however, I’ve decided to pass on this one.  I’ll keep the muslin in case I want to have another look at it later.  The biggest holdup for me is that I don’t think I can tolerate that side seam traveling around to the front.

All these years I’ve tried to make my seams go straight.  ;-)

Simplicity 3686, revisited

All finished!  They turned out great, and are very comfortable. Unfortunately, the narrow leg is not very flattering to me.  Too, there’s no room for any but patch pockets on the front, which are only useful as decoration.

Hopefully I’ll reread my own blog post before I pull this pattern out again.

Simplicity 3686 Front

You may notice that I shortened the patterns’ waistband, which is designed to extend further toward the side.  As for height, I like it because it ends just at my natural waist.

You can see the patch pockets I added to the back so that I can carry my phone.  I read someone’s blog post about positioning pockets low and making them large to make your derriere look smaller.

I tried.  LOL!!

Simplicity 3686 Back

There is some extra back-thigh volume, but no butt-puddles*.  YAY!!!  Thanks to Peggy Sagers’ tip re: darting out excess at the top of the leg and my making sure I had enough crotch length in the horizontal area of the curve, I’ve got some happy pants!

Next I’m sewing up a couple of things I have cut already, and tracing my Ottobre jacket.  I’ll update those soon.  ( I almost typed tomorrow.  Hee hee.  Even though I seem to be blogging more these days, I don’t want to promise too much!)

*I’m currently of the opinion that those are caused by having too much length when you really need depth (or would that be width?).  Anyway, when I fix the angle of the leg using Peggy’s tip, then add enough near the crotch point, I get a nice smooth back.


New Pants-in-Progress

Digging through the fabric stash the other day, I came across a black stretch fabric with a flocked paisley design which put me in mind of a pair of skinny ankle pants I gave the Sprout for Christmas. They are just a bit above ordinary and something I might enjoy wearing.

But slim, not skinny, and longer than my ankle.

My pattern box turned up this old OOP Simplicity, uncut.

Simplicity 3686

It would do nicely, so I got busy with a tissue fit and cut my fabric.


As I was getting ready to create this post, I did a web search on the pattern to get a photo, and low-and-behold, a post popped up on my own blog!  I vaguely recall the pants, but had no recollection of every having used the pattern before.  Not only that, but the pattern I used for my new pants was un-cut.

Go figure…

A couple quick and easy

I’ve done a bit of my Christmas gift sewing, but some sewing for me inevitably creeps onto my radar from time to time.  One such item is this long cardigan sewn from McCall’s 6802:

McCall's 6802 View D sorta

The fabric is from JoAnn’s this fall and I love the almost-ruffled texture of it. The pattern has you face the collar, but I was afraid that it would be too heavy for the garment.  Mine is single-layer, which gave me a few challenge–especially when hemming.  In the end, I did a double cover stitch.  I went over it on the inside, then on the outside.  I like the line of dark stitching.

Surprisingly enough, I am finding that the long loose cardigan doesn’t annoy me when I wear it around the house.  I had originally thought I might finish and wear it for Thanksgiving, but it didn’t work out.  Happily there was enough pretty fabric left over to make a gift scarf, too.  Bonus!

(The recipient doesn’t read the blog, so we don’t have to worry about that.)

The other Q&E4me project was a pair of leggings made from a lightweight sueded knit fabric that didn’t suit the yoga pants that I ordered it for.  (You can’t tell much about them, I know, but you will not be seeing a photo of me modeling leggings on the web. Count your blessings)

Ottobre Woman 2/2011, #6 leggings

These are from Ottobre Woman 2/2011, #6.  The finished ankle width, as designed, was 10″.  My ankle being 8.5″, I narrowed the pattern a bit just there.  Oddly, the rest of the pattern was spot on–even a little negative.

They fit perfectly.

I never thought of myself as a leggings girl until I realized that I wear leggings nearly every day in winter.

But I wear them with socks and call them long underwear.  :-D

(I’ll spare you my rant on going ’round with bare legs and ankles when it’s cold out.  Fashion smashion.  I’ll be the one that’s warm!)

Waist finished with stretch lace

The waistline was quick and easy to finish with stretch lace. I’m loving them!