HotPatterns recently hosted a Sew Something Saturday on their Facebook page, and I had a hell of a time deciding what I would make. Originally it was going to be a Deco Vibe Delicious Dress – T&T; appropriate for work or a nice evening out; easy; and the forgiving fit means it would look good regardless of what happens with my weight. But I just wasn’t feeling it. I do a lot of instant-gratification sewing. Quick, easy, and office-appropiate. I guess sometimes instant gratification isn’t gratifying any more. Sometimes, I have to heed the call of the epic make.
I don’t know how long I’ve had this pattern in my stash, but considering that the copyright date is 2005, I must have had it for quite a while. I didn’t make them until now because they’re flamboyant and attention-catching and I often prefer to blend with the wallpaper; because I hadn’t mastered pants-fitting; because I didn’t feel my skillz were up to the task – with all those panels, if you’re off by even a mm, that error can add up to 16mm petty quickly, and in a slim-fit garment, that’s difference between fitting, or not fitting.
I’d had this fabric in my stash since 2008 – bought with this pattern in mind.
It’s nothing particularly precious or expensive – a loose-weave polyester houndstooth suiting with multicolour tweedy slubs all through it. But it called out to me and had to be these culottes; nothing else would do. And so it sat and waited.
And for Sew Something Saturday, I finally made it happen! (Though I only just finished them; today is Tuesday.) They are not quick. They are not particularly easy (though not particularly difficult either, just picky). I can’t decide if they’re office appropriate. They feel more appropriate for wandering the desolate moor while pining after a lost love, then dieing of consumption, like a tragic Victorian heroine. I kindof love them. They’re swishy and over the top and really me, as opposed to the ever-appropriate face I generally try to present. Also: they’re basically a skirt, but have a built-in chub-rub barrier.
As for actual construction, like I said, they’re pretty simple. A center front, a center back, and a side panel that you cut 12 of. Plus a waistband and fly. And other than having to manage 3m of fabric flapping all over the place, they make up just like any other pair of pants. I made my usual swayback, big bum, and big tummy alterations, and frankenpatterned in the countour waistband from a different pair of pants because straight waistbands tend to be uncomfortable for me. The other design changes I made were to add a lining, and to lengthen them a little. I think they were intended to be mid-calf length on a not-short person, so on me they were just above the ankle – I lowered the hem to just below the ankle.
Here’s how they turned out:
Pardon the lack of fancy styling to show them off. You get the idea, though.
Also, because I am a masochist, I changed the hems from a 5/8″ turn-up, machine stitched hem, to a 2″ turn-up, hand-stitched one. I’m so glad I didn’t measure before I started that hand-stitching: 4.2m of hand-hemming. Not gonna do that again.
But I do think I’m going to make a couple more pair of these – yes, a pair in black. And also maybe something more summery.