Sunday, December 19, 2010

Updated What I Wore: The New Pants as Jeans

So I made the V1166 pants in denim, following all of the sage comment advice. And I think it worked out pretty well:

This is my public service announcement photo: DON'T wear a pale bra under a dark top when being photographed with a flash. The bra is actually pink - but it's too light for the topper. It's like my boobs are a light source!

Some things to note:
  • They're too short (except with my Diesel "runners"). I'm wearing (practically) flat boots in the photo because I can't stand to look at those runners any more.
  • This pattern is weird. I feel that there's too much fabric between the top of my pelvis and my pubic bone. That's the "mom" element. It looks less strange with fancy fabric, fyi. I'm either going to have to experiment with the front-crotch length or find myself another pattern that doesn't yield this result. (A fly-front option might be better given my shape?)
  • The whole "OMG there's a drag line" issue doesn't really upset me. Honestly, pants have to move in a zillion directions. As long as they aren't a sign that things are too tight, I can live with them. The problem is, to get rid of every drag - at least with my current level of expertise - the pants would be too big as they stretched between washings. Even with RTW pants I do experience drag in certain positions.
  • I've got to fix the bottom of the zipper - which gave me no end of irritation on assembly.
  • I cut them using the same pattern as the previous pair (the modified 14) but I ended up needing to remove an extra inch of fabric from each side?! Ah, the power of stretch.
  • Because I'd already stitched 1 inch seams (which went to 1.5 inches), I opted to serge the seams together as a way to cut most of the extra seam fabric off. Otherwise, the (previously serged for edge-finishing, but not together) seam allowances were going to be ridiculously wide.
  • I think the waist is too high - esp. given the puff factor of my lower abdomen.
A few questions for the sewists:
  • Is it difficult to lower a waistline? Doesn't seem like it would be, but pants are a great unknown.
  • Do you hate drag lines - or do you just accept them? Do you see them as a mark of poor construction or a factor of the human form in pants, especially ones that skim?
  • Do you find fly front pants to be more supportive and less baggy below the hill of the lower abdomen and the pubic bone? Is this a common issue when making pants?
Update: I've been thinking about this obsessively all night and I've decided to try a couple of things with this (admittedly imperfect, but seemingly improvable) pattern.
  • Lower the waist by 2 inches (and extend the waistband accordingly).
  • Pinch out some of the size in the front leg, from the centre of the pattern. I won't interfere with the waistband.
  • Another alternative is, having lowered the waist, to extend the darts as a way to get rid of that extra room.
  • I don't think I'm going to mess with the front crotch depth at this point. I really think the extra fabric in the front leg is what's skewing things.
If any sewists have experience doing any of these things, and you care to weigh in, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
So whatcha think?


  1. I think lowering the waist is just simply skimming off the amount you need. Try you pants on before you put in the waistband and mark. I pretty sure that's how that goes...
    I think these look great on you! Drag lines and all.

  2. I want to put your boobs on my night table so I can read by them at night.

  3. 1. I don't find it difficult to lower the waist; but I have the same problem you have with too much fabric in front, and lowering the waist does not solve it for me. I haven't figured out a solution for it. I probably need to examine or copy some of my RTW pants.
    2. I accept most drag lines, as long as the garment feels comfortable and I'm not constantly wanting to pull it back in place.
    3. I have not noticed any big difference with fly fronts vs. back or side zips. But all my fly fronts are RTW, because I still have a fear of sewing fly fronts.

  4. Thanks Heather! I wonder if I need to lower the darts?

    Wendy: This comment made my day!

    Dr M: As did this one! Thanks, M.

    Ms. M: Thanks for your thoughts on this. I've been thinking about the extra fabric at the front issue. I think one might be best to pinch it out from the centre of the paper pattern (not going as high as the waist so as not to alter those dimensions). My other thought is to extend the darts (which could be bad on a number of levels - but not if one lowers the waist.) Needless to say, I'm going to have to do some experimenting!

  5. I like them! Wide legged trousers are so flattering. You can easily lower the waist, it's just like hemming but in reverse. Chop off the amount you want, remembering to leave a seam allowance, and then add your waistband back on. You may need a slightly larger waistband to match the new lowered waist.
    A fly front distracts from that trouble area - I think you're right, having the zipper kind of 'supports' the area. Often fly-front pants have front pockets as well, with pocket bags that extend into the fly, so there's all kinds of hidden support and construction in there. You could topstitch a fake fly on top, but I think that looks weird...
    Good luck! They look really good so far! :)

  6. Tasia: Thank you for continuing to provide me with your feedback on these. You have to do a pants sew along after the Pendrell blouse.

    Victoria: Merci beaucoup!

  7. I like those a lot.

    I don't worry about drag lines as long as the pants seem to fit and are comfortable. It is too easy to over fit things, and for me at least, everything changes on a daily basis depending on my back or other things. Perfect, it it exists, never lasts more than a moment. You blink and it's gone.

  8. I totally agree, M! Once you get obsessive about fit, where does it end?? There's a dif between "fit based on your proportions" and "objective perfect fit".