Vincent Price in ‘Champagne for Caesar’, 1950. - Vincent Price in ‘Champagne for Caesar’, 1950.
19 April 2010
After thinking about channeling my sewing energies into the types of clothes I'd use the most, I knew I had to sew pants. I love them. Really, I would not survive a week without a pair. A good number of my childhood memories include fighting my mom's attempts to get me into a skirt or a dress. I usually showed up to some special function defeated, trailing behind her in some monstrous, poofy thing with a bow, pouty and red-eyed. To this day, she's amazed when she sees me wearing a skirt or dress on my own accord.
I also have a weakness for the color red. So when I turned 30 last week, I decided that this would be my present to myself, 'cause it's my party and I'll wear red pants if I want to. Birthday pants!
Of course I didn't finish in time for the party due to my sewing skills (or perhaps over-ambition). The fabric is from a thrifted linen tablecloth and I used this pattern from 1968:
In hindsight, the pants probably were supposed to look something like this outfit from '68 (from the FIT online museum):
But in my head, the pants looked like this:
Oh, Audrey and her cigarette pants! So I kept making them slimmer and slimmer until now I've got tight pants. The side view here shows how fitted it is:
In addition to making the legs slimmer, I added patch pockets, using a pocket pattern from Wendy Mullin's Sew U, and lining them with a green plaid.
My biggest problem, by far, was fit, and this is probably because I altered the pattern so much from the original. I kept making the elastic waist tighter so it wouldn't shimmy down my okole and because the elastic waist is tight (thought not uncomfortable), I've definitely got some muffin-top action going on at the waist when I sit down. The crotch is a wee bit low and I think the upper thigh could use a 1/2 inch more in future incarnations.
But in all, it was a wonderful learning experience and they held up for their spin in the washing machine and on the town. Here are my lessons:
-I know I said this on the Marie skirt, but I can *really* do zippers now. Hooray!
-In addition, I can do patch pockets and use bias tape (for the hem)
-With pants, I need to be aware of how much fabric my backside requires. At first, it kept dipping below the front waistline. I also need to take into account the upper thigh. They need to be loose enough to not pull the crotch down.
-I prefer belt loops (as much as I hate sewing them) to an elastic waist
I love the ankle-length and will definitely attempt a similar pattern soon. I'd like to make them a bit looser in the leg without sacrificing the slim look. Far from perfect, but I'm pleased!