Monday, 2 March 2015

Let's make pants and meet Antonia!!!

Hello there :)

I'm back and I have a new baby to take photos for the blog. I'm so happy about my new camera but it will take me a while to learn how to use it properly I guess. I hope that the photos for the blog will  be nicer from now on but I can't really promise. Anyway let's catch up with my sewing now.

One of my sewing goals for this year was to venture into pants making. Really scary, right? It's not even that making them is scary because technically it's not that hard to make them. The hard part is fitting them! Having that in mind my first pants are made using Antoinette pants pattern from Style Arc. It's my first and quite possible the last pattern from that company. I bought a PDF pattern on Etsy and they come in 3 sizes. I'm actually between 14 and 16 so I had to decide between sizes 10-12-14 and 16-18-20 pack... I chose to go for size 16. Patterns are not nested which means you can only print which means it's really hard to grade if needed! The seam allowances included are 1 cm and I prefer 1,5 cm so I added extra 5 mm along the edges. Instructions are not really that great but still better than Burda ones ;)
I decided to use beautiful houndstooth cotton sateen bought at the Fabric Warehouse sale last year. Funny thing is that in Polish houndstooth is called 'hen's feet'! The fabric was very pleasant to work with. I started with the pockets and I must say they are awesome - very big and they hold my phone and keys and a lipstick or two or ten... Seriously, one doesn't need a handbag wearing those pants!*
I skipped sewing the darts in the back as one of first steps as I suspected I'd need to change the depth of them to make the pants fit. After sewing in the zip and basting stitches together I tried them on and I was swimming in them! I basted the back darts, skimmed 1-1,5 cm from side and front seams... still to big. I made the darts bigger, skimmed a little bit more from the front seam, unpicked the zip, got rid of extra cm there, put the sip in again... It was much better. In total I got rid of about 10-12 cm (it could be more, I got lost in my calculations!) I had to change the waistband facings to fit. I finished them off with bias tape just for fun. I also under-stitched the facings and to keep them in place even more I hand-stitched them to the pants themselves under the big pleats and to the side seam allowances. Fitting the crotch area was another struggle and I'm not fully happy with the results but it's much better than it was originally. The pattern calls for soft falling fabric such as rayon or silk and I used stiffer fabric. I suspect using softer fabric would solve some of my fitting issues. One more note - those pants are SHORT! I'm 1,60m with rather short legs so I always have to shorten RTW clothes and chop off some length off. I didn't have to alter anything here!

I learnt a few things making those pants:
  • My bum is flat and my belly full causing the waistline to rise up in the back and not quite hit the natural waistline in the front
  • Sewing with bigger seam allowance in the crotch area makes pants bigger ;)
  • After spending an hour looking at my backside I couldn't tell any more what the right fit was! I had to ask my boyfriend too look at my butt and tell me what he thought.
As you can see they are still big - too much fabric pretty much everywhere! It's not going to stop me wearing them in public though! I decided that it's time to be a bit braver with my clothes. Those pants are kind of ok with slim-fitting black tops as I don't really think other colours are going to look good with them. Anyway I wore them around a few times and no one was pointing at me. which I took as a good sign. I'm also not giving up on the pattern. I made some changes and already cut the fabric for pair number two and I'll try to make them soon. We will see how it goes!

* provided you don't carry a lot in your handbag ;)


  1. Great pants. Pants fitting will drive you mad. Thanks for the tip on the Style Arc non-nested, non-overlapping sizes. What a pain.

    I love that houndstooth is called hen's feet in Polish. That makes way more sense because I'm not seeing a hound's tooth in the print.

    1. Yeah, I can easily see why people hate pant's fitting! So many different angles and curves to cover! But I think is totally worth mastering that skill :)

      PS - I also agree that Polish term is much more accurate


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