Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Pants of Many Mistakes

I love these pants, but let's just start with: I made so many mistakes on these that I'm lucky I ended up with a waist and two leg holes. I've been wanting some of those trendy, fancy sweatpants for a while and what's more ridiculous than merino wool sweatpants.

I went with Named patterns Alexandria Peg Trousers and my favorite merino wool from The Fabric Store, previously seen here and here. That was the first mistake. The Alexandrias have front pleats and are really better suited for a thin fabric with all those layers that build up. The pattern says if you're going with a knit, use sweatshirt jersey, whatever that is, but from the sample it looks significantly thinner than what I used. So there, that was mistake #1.

Mistake #2 was a doozy and it all started out right with me making a muslin. I'm not about to cut into my favorite fabric in the whole world without knowing the pattern works on me. As printed, the Alexandria is really really high on my body, like very low crop top-high-waisted. Knowing that I shortened the waist, cut into my precious merino, and started sewing along merrily. Apparently I lost my mind because I did not redraft the crotch curve or the pockets into my altered pattern.  I was happily sewing along and went to put the pockets in and was terribly confused as to why the pocket curves were so small. Do you see where this is going yet? So the crotch on these pants are actually the shortened pocket curves. I figured it was close enough in shape after comparing them. Then I recut my pockets from my shortened crotch curves. And finally I had to true up the waist because that was all sorts of screwed up, what was supposed to be the middle of the pants was now the sides. Dude, I almost gave up sewing altogether.

Mistake #3 was small, but still silly. When I sewed by muslin, I used a thin jersey so the pleats were compact little things and I didn't think anything of it. With my merino these were like 9 layers and my machine hated sewing through them. Turns out when I actually sat down and studied the directions, I was folding the pleats wrong, it was only like 4 or 5 layers. Still, use a thin fabric!

One fun thing I did was I actually dyed the black pieces as I wanted some contrast, but I'm too cheap (and I hate waste) to buy 1/2 yard (minimum cut) and only use a fraction. The dye took fantastically and hasn't faded a bit. I recut the waistband so could insert the contrast piece and I added some cuffs.

Anyways, I love these pants. I wear then ALL THE TIME, so much so that the crotch is actually significantly pilled, damnit, so I don't really wear them to last minute grocery store runs anymore. The fit is a bit wonky, but that's 100% my fault as the crotch are pockets and the sides are the middle. I'd love to make another pair in a suitable fabric, silk twill maybe, without totally screwing everything up.