Sunday, June 15, 2008

what's wrong with this picture? nothing! ha ha! (finally)

It's a pants pants revolution, people!

I've got a mad list of stuff to sew for other people, which is all good, but, y'know, when you find yourself coming last on your sewing list, a little r-e-s-e-n-tment can build. So, on Friday I put aside my list, pulled out my trusty copy of Sew Everything Workshop, unearthed the linen/cotton fabric I'd bought to make myself some pants, and got crackin'.

The pants are called the Wear Anywhere Yoga Pants, and, being new to pants, they appealed to me because the construction seemed easy to understand, and heck, they're cute. Nice lounge-y pants like these don't come easy around my way. Not in good fabric for a good price.

What I'm seriously adoring about sewing is how skills transfer. Making the baby bib for Frank's baby called for my first use of bias tape. I got the hang of it on that small project, so when I got to the apron, I knew what I was doing, sewingwise. In this case, having made the pajama pants for my dad came in handy in ways I can't even tell you. Diana (Rupp, author of SEW) never let me down on the wrap skirt, but her pants construction didn't yield the best results. While I was working on them, I kept thinking, This isn't how the PJ pattern (New Look 6764) went. If I hadn't had the information I gained from sewing the PJs, I probably would've abandoned these pants in frustration.

The issue came when it was time to sew the center seam. Diana's way calls for sewing the inner and outer/side seams, turning one leg outside and stuffing it down inside the other leg, then sewing the center seam from that configuration. It's problematic because the center seams from the back and front pieces don't match up (and the notches cut are useless), which is why this happened. Here's the diagram, only it's not truthful, because it makes everything look even and the notches appear matched. In truth, for the center seams to match, the back pieces have to rise way higher than the front pieces.

Now, an experienced sewer could likely work this on out. But SEW is a beginner's book, and I am a beginner, so I appreciate more foolproof methods. The PJ pattern calls for stitching the fronts to the backs of the pants only at the inner leg seams, then, with right sides together, stitching the center seam as a U. See?

This leads to crotch seam perfection.

Then you stitch the outer/side seams, et voila! To use the PJ construction, not only did I have to take apart all seams except the inner legs, but I also had to recreate my original "mistake" and have both legs facing in the same direction (because one needed to be turned inside out).

Considering all this, I almost stuck with the crooked crotch. Almost. But my crotch has seen enough trauma without a jacked-up, out of balance seam poking fun at it.

I tell you, sisters, these pants are the bee's knees. So comfortable and easy to wear. And this linen/cotton blend is sturdy but not stiff, soft, and machine washable. It wears more gracefully than straight linen. (Sorry for the crotch wrinkles, though. I'd been parading around in my pants all day.)

I intend to sew a drawstring out of the same fabric. For now, I'm going with black twill tape. There's something about plain, off-white twill tape in pants that says, Forget it, babe, I give up.

One more thing I did with this pattern was to move the buttonholes for the drawstring down.

What else? I road tested the comfort level by eating at Astroburger with my friend Carol.

I can expertly say, these jokers work!

Once I got past the construction issue Diana's directions were great as usual. I'm happy to have made a wearable pair of pants.

Check out my ass.

Oh hey, I joined a one-garment-a-month sew along on Pattern Review, so I'll be posting more pieces made for me.


Anonymous said...

P*E*R*F*E*C*T !!!

Those pants are totally and completely awesome. I love the shape and fit especially and the fabric. I hope you won't relegate it to lounging around only.

Glad you persevered too. The 'Rupp' method is the conventional method. The NL not so but obviously gives you better results for these. I'll check them out one of these days.
My dd is completely in love with that book, which is why it lives on the table, she relaxes with it on her 'down' time.


Adrienne said...

YAY!!! I"m SO glad you got those made!!!!!

DeltaPurl said...

Ok, how much for you to make me a pair, I will buy the first skirt I tried to make kicked my butt, so pants are really out....

Ellen Bloom said...

Nice job! Hahaha...I thought you were sewing more pajama pants for your Dad! Yes, it's time you finally made something for yourself. The slacks look great!

Liane said...

Nice! I really like the color. Your seams look perfect!
(And your lunch looked good too)

Jenni said...

Those turned out very cute! And perfect for summertime :)

Also, I got your book in the mail and I meant to tell you but I think I forgot?! Thank you very much :)

Deborah said...

ok, what girdle are you wearing?!!

Lola and Ava said...

In all my years of sewing, which are sadly a lot, I've never heard of stuffing the leg into the other one. It's always been the U method for me, and it's rarely gone wrong.

For some reason, I've been getting the sewing bug again . . . might just be the project I've been looking for. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Those look great Carla! I would have never thought to use a woven on a pattern called Yoga pants. And crotch trauma? HA-larious.

woolanthropy said...

Glad you got your crotch straightened out!

The tush looks great!

yaiAnn said...

You're my hero.. i still need to learn how to make a pair of pants!

Anonymous said...

Question: Did the pattern have wovens as one of the fabrics to use or did you adjust the pattern for it? I have a yoga pants pattern but it only has knits for the suggested fabrics. I want to use nylon. Thanks!

Frank said...

Your crotch and tush look great! ;)

And I just went and bought that Sew Everything Workshop book. I wonder how those pants would look on a secure-in-his-masculinity/sexuality man? Only one way to find out!

Now would you PLEASE stop talking about books, so I stop spending money!