Hm…Well, this was an experiment. I thought about calling this post, “A Lot of Dorky Pictures and some Weird, Weird Pants”, but that got pushed out by a more practical title. Picture-taking is hard and I had a lot of pretty crazy facial expressions that you’ll have to take my word on. 😀
I will tell you that the jury is still out on these pants…I just can’t decide how I feel about them.
Over the summer, I made View C of Simplicity 1887, a pair of sparkly linen shorts, which I love. I have wanted to make the pants ever since I got this pattern.
Despite the fact that I could have made these out of a drapey denim-like chambray living in my stash, I decided to take a chance on something much less practical–crushed stretch velvet. Because, why not? I saw the velvet at Joann Fabrics, it was close to Christmas, and I knew I could whip these up pretty quickly if I could find a bit of time. And then I would have fancy pants for Christmas Eve! I always want to make something fun for church on Christmas Eve, but I rarely do.
So I bought the velvet (well, technically it’s Stretch Panne Velour Knit Fabric). It’s a polyester/spandex blend: 90%/10%. I loved the color and in the winter I’m all about fun textures.
I finally managed to find a bit of time and I whipped these up. I’m not the fastest sewist, but when you don’t have to finish any seams (and since this is a knit, you don’t), sewing goes a lot more quickly. It also helps when you’ve made the pattern in some form before.
I made one mistake and one change. My mistake was in not being careful when lining up the front and back waistband. The side seam edges need to match up so that when you fold the waistband in half to baste the bottom edges together, they will match up easily. I tried to fudge this, but then I paid for it going forward. The one small change I made was to use 1 3/8″ wide elastic in the back waistband instead of two lengths of 3/4″ elastic and two casings. I don’t remember why I did this–probably it was based on what I had on hand, but it turned out ok.
When I finished these, I just wasn’t sure what to think. They are so comfortable, although the smooth wrong side of the fabric is a little on the colder side. Luckily, these pants are pretty roomy, so you can definitely fit some long underwear underneath if necessary.
I finished them before Christmas Eve, so I threw them on with a sweater and blazer for church, but I definitely felt like the ’80’s called and wanted their clothes back. I didn’t want to make a snap decision, though, so I wore them again with a different top and it was better, but still not quite there. I really love the soft texture and the color, though, so I’m going to reserve judgement and keep trying these pants. If I finally decide I don’t love them, they will make some pretty great lounge pants. The pattern itself is definitely worth trying again in another fabric–a midweight Tencel twill would be great, actually! The flat front waistband with elastic back, the big pockets, and the relaxed fit are real winners.
No matter what I end up deciding, I’m really glad I tried making these fun, weird pants.