Fall has officially started (the autumnal equinox was Thursday, September 22), but I still have one more summer garment to share with you. I also have a few other projects I did during the summer, but those are great for any season, so we’ll save them for another time. Today I want to talk about these pants!
I really wanted some wide-leg linen pants for summer, and I also wanted to try sewing with linen, something I hadn’t done until I made this Datura blouse (also pictured). When trying to find a pattern for the pants I had in mind, I remembered some scrub pants I owned in college. They had a wide, straight leg and were the ultimate in comfort. Since I hadn’t been able to find a pattern I really liked among the “regular” clothing patterns, I turned to the scrub patterns, and found Simplicity 1020.
I figured I could use that and just leave off a few of the extra pockets, keeping the front and back ones. I found my fabric at Fabric.com–a Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen blend (55% linen, 45% cotton) in blue and a cotton/rayon (50% cotton, 45% rayon, 5% Lycra) knit in Indigo for the top of the pants. Other than that, I just needed elastic and thread, which I had in my stash.
I made a quick muslin out of a sheet since I’ve had to do so many fit adjustments on recent bottoms, but while these could maybe have been tweaked slightly, they were good overall, and I decided to make them without adjustments. This makes me wonder if the Simplicity pants/shorts patterns will fit me better (i.e. with fewer adjustments) than McCall’s and Butterick. I’ll have to explore that as I make more pants. The pants themselves were not too difficult to sew up, although I did prolong the process by finishing all my seams. Finishing seams used to feel like such a chore and while it still does sometimes, I didn’t want thready insides once these pants were finished and went through the wash. I used a turned-and-stitched finish (a.k.a. clean-finish) per the instructions in the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.
The linen seemed too thick for French seams, although I’m open to hearing about other finishes people have used. I also basically did a double turned hem for all the pockets and then topstitched them on so that I wouldn’t get threads in the pockets, either. Last, but not least, I covered the seam where the main pants fabric joined the knit waist fabric with bias tape.
All of that added quite a bit of time, but I was really happy with these when they were finished. I don’t know what has happened to me, but it makes me really happy to see those beautiful insides in a project. I guess I’m “growing up” as a sewist. 😉
I think my only question on the whole thing is the hem length. If I had hemmed these at the suggested spot, they would have been long, but probably good with heels. I turned them up one more time so I could wear them with flatter shoes, and I think that is the right length for lower shoes, but sometimes, at some angles, they look a little bit like floods. (Wow. I just used Google Images to look up “flood pants”. It was a little different than I expected, but I think my statement still stands.) I didn’t actually cut my excess off the hems, so if I change my mind later, I can rehem them to be longer. I’m done with them for this year, though.
These pants are super comfortable (secret pajamas for the win!) and they wrinkle much, much less than I thought they would–maybe because of the cotton blended in? I think of cotton as pretty wrinkly, but who knows? Maybe because of the midweight? I don’t know. Whatever it is, I’m happy with them. Now it’s on to fall sewing!
- Here’s one more post from Cotton + Steel about the fabric called cotton lawn. Sounds like lawn is a winner for your button up shirt needs.
- I’m really impressed and intrigued by the embroidery of Tessa Perlow. This article about her has some great pictures so you can get a feel for what she does. I think I’d like to try adding embroidery to some of my garments someday…
- If you are a garment sewist in fairly close proximity to Exeter, NH, you might enjoy the Pattern Review Meetup happening at Pintuck & Purl this Saturday, September 24 from 2-4pm.
- Jellyfish or jelly fish? Be careful how you say it!