I Made Pants!
I did not participate in Me-Made-May this year, or in previous years for that matter, in part because the idea of taking pictures of myself every day feels completely soul-sucking. I know, I’ve read this post about how posting selfies is not the point of Me-Made-May, but somehow it didn’t really sink in until I listened to an interview with Zoe Edwards (the creator of Me-Made-May) on the Love to Sew podcast (here!). Unfortunately, I’m not up to date on my podcast listening and I listened to that interview on May 31st (ha ha!), but it inspired me nonetheless. In the show Zoe talks about hanging all of her me-made clothes up together on a single bar in her closet as a way to take stock of her handmade wardrobe. I can tell you one thing that is acutely missing from that single bar in my closet: pants. I’m talking about real pants, or trousers if you prefer, that don’t involve an elastic waist. And what do I wear 95% of the time? That’s right, pants. So that’s a pretty long-winded way of getting around to saying that I am now supremely proud to be the creator of a real pair of non-elastic waisted pants – and it wasn’t all that hard. You can read on and look at some pictures of said pants below, but really, I’ve said most of what needs to be said already – I MADE PANTS!!!
Fitting the Lander Pants
I was nervous about getting these pants to fit just right, so I made a muslin out of actual muslin – a first for me! I made a size 16 based on my measurements, knowing that I might have to take them in a bit around the hips. I found that the back was a bit uncomfortable and felt like it was pulling down, so based on the True Bias fitting adjustments blog post I lowered the back crotch curve by 1/4 inch. Then, I took in the side seams by 1/4 inch at the waist, grading to 1/2 inch as the hips and then back to 1/4 inch all the way down to the hem. Those adjustments resulted in a pretty good fit with my muslin, so I transferred the adjustments to my pattern pieces and cut out my fashion fabric (Ventana twill in olive by Robert Kaufman). I basted these together to check the fit and found that I needed to take them in a bit more – this time I took 1/8 inch at the waist, 1/4 inch at the hips, and then back to 1/8 inch all the way down. I think these ended up a bit looser than my muslin because the twill is heavier and has a bit more give to it. The end result is still quite comfortable and very much wide legged.
In fact, based on this experience, I am pretty sure that I could just go down a size and maybe get an even better fit. There are quite a few versions of Lander pants to peruse online, and I find that I like the look best when they are fitted through the hips and thighs – and mine are definitely a bit looser. After I finished sewing the Landers, I read a few blog posts where people sized down to get a more snug fit through the thighs (here and here), so I think that’s worth a try for my next pair.
Styling My Lander Pants
I made the full length view of the pants (view C), but so far I’ve been wearing them with the hem folded up so that they are closer to the cropped length of view B.
I think they look a bit more feminine and current folded up. I will probably want to wear them longer when fall and winter roll around. If not, then I will chop and re-hem them at the shorter length.
After making these pants, I decided that they would look great with a plain white fitted tee – something that was also missing from my wardrobe. So I whipped up a Union Street Tee (more on that soon) to wear with it, and yep, it does look great. I can throw on a cardigan and I’m set.
I feel like I’ve passed another sewing milestone by making a pair of real pants. And you know what? They weren’t hard at all! The fitting adjustments needed for these pants were minimal and really easy to do, and the construction is quite simple. Simpler than a jacket, or a button up shirt, in fact. I imagine that a zip fly is more of a challenge, but after making my Lander pants I think I’m ready to take on that challenge! Come May 2019, I will be ready:)
Pattern: Lander Pant by True Bias, view C
Size: 16, slimmed down by 3 inches at hips and 1.5 inches at waist
Fabric: Ventana Twill by Robert Kaufman, from Fabric Outlet in SF