Year of Pants take 1

I have finished my first pair of pants for the year! Since 2009 to be exact. This is also one of my nine pieces for the Wardrobe Basics sew-a-long. Hurray! Eight more to go!
I used Simplicity 2373, pants view, and my grandmother’s pinch method. For some reason my Elgen sewing machine did not come with a zipper foot so I handpicked the zipper, therefore I’m counting this as semi-couture since I also hand-stitched the waistband and the hems.

Likes: no stitch-in-the-ditch mess and the pant hems have a full circumference which is very “in” right now for the fall/winter season in Brazil. It’s hard to think of June and July as “winter” months! Hand picking the zipper really helped keep the seam allowances from bunching around the seam joins and all the hand stitching leaves a clean finish.

Dislikes: as usual my grandmother’s pinch method results in a “meh” fit. Not great but not horrible. One of the reason’s I’ve never really enjoyed sewing pants. Also, I used a stretch cotton sateen which turned out to be too lightweight for pants and it wrinkles very quickly.

Front and back shots. For some reason I have travel lines on the non-zipper side. Any ideas on how to fix that side? I’ve measured and I took in the seams evenly but they don’t lay the same. Maybe because the zipper adds ease? And see how wrinkly? Bleh!

It’s really hard to take pictures wearing them but that’s the way it goes.  And for the inquiring minds here is an explanation of my grandmother’s pinch method.

Step 1: Measure the waist and hips. Pick the size based on the hips. Cut the pattern straight to that size. I really think she did that because she was used to one-size only vintage patterns and she was more of an apple, at least when she was teaching me, while I was a pear.

Step 2: cut your fabric. Yep, she never did muslins either, felt they were a waste of fabric, probably a leftover from the Depression era seamstress that taught her to sew.

Step 3: Sew up the crotch, inner and outer leg seams leaving the zipper open. Try on pants and pull up crotch until its in the right place. Pinch out the extra fabric you don’t need. Pin and resew. This method always resulted in resizing and reshaping waist darts evenly, curving the Cf and CB seams to fit my tush and lower abs, and cinching in the waist at the side seams. Lots of extra fabric in the seam allowances and a loose fitting high waist pair of trousers. My grandmother never understood a tight pair of jeans since it was so “unattractive” to show your flaws. She also never understood why actresses wore short dresses to the Oscars, which she watched religiously, because knees are so “ugly.” She was a meticulous seamstress with strong fashion opinions. Great for learning how to sew, sucks for a teen girl trying to sew “modern” pieces in the 90s.

Anyway, this is my starting point. My end goal is to have learned how to properly fit my figure and have a sloper developed that fits me to a T. I will probably wear these pants with a tunic to hide the flaws and count it as done. This pattern is not worth any more time. Without pockets or interesting details it might make a starting place for a future pair, but not now, since I want to test out my Burda Plus 11/2011/136B pants. I have cut out a Bermuda length muslin in this quilter’s cotton.

Either they are going to be really ugly and be used only as a muslin, OR they could look like an awesome pair of resort wear shorts. We shall see. I cut all the necessary pieces to complete them if that’s the case. Can you believe actual “muslin” at the quilt shot is R$12/m. Very pricey.

One thought on “Year of Pants take 1

  1. Well done on completing a pair of trousers that you can wear (even if you do feel the need to wear a tunic over them). This is something that is still on my list of things I must learn to do this year. I love that “muslin” fabric and hope the shorts work out for you.

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