Okay, these weren’t on my original drawing. You caught me! But I think I’m going to sneak them into my SWAP because I like them so much. Maybe they’ll replace the black french terry gauchos with the ruched waist (that I haven’t made yet). This was my first try at “real pants” for me. And I’d call it a success. I learned a lot in the process, and know what changes to make with the next pair.
I used an olive cotton ripstop fabric with a touch of lycra for stretch. I got it at JoAnn’s and it was crazy cheap, regular price was $4.99/yard, and it was on sale for half off. So, the fabric for these cost me a whopping five bucks. The weight is okay, nice for summer, but a bit lighter than I’d like for winter bottom weight fabric. I really like the ripstop texture, as it gives these a sportier look. I’ll admit, I went back to JoAnn’s and picked up more of this fabric in khaki and dark olive.
The pattern I used is #13 in Ottobre 2/2008, which is shown as wide leg linen pants. I shortened them to a capri length that falls just below my knee. The biggest issue I had with the pattern was the fit. I chose a size based on my measurements, then traced and cut. As I was sewing, I tried on and realized that they were too big, so I took in the seams to make them smaller. I really feel I could have gone down two sizes on the pattern and been just fine. I’m not sure how much of that has to do with the fact that the fabric has a little stretch, though. The fit is comfortable, but I prefer a lower waist than is show in this style, so if I were to make this pattern again, I’d lower the waist by at least an inch. Of course, this is a personal preference rather than an issue with the pattern itself.
I have to say I’m insanely proud of how well the zipper fly came out on these pants. It is practically perfect and lies nicely flat. I guess I have an aversion to sewing using the “right” color of thread, because I stitched these up with contrasting baby blue thread. I went a little crazy with the bar-tacks on these as well, but I feel like the added details make them look less “homemade”. Once again, I used a pretty piece of gingham ribbon as a tag, sewn into the back waistband.
The details continue on the back with patch pockets. I added belt loops on these after they were done out of necesity, since they are a tad too big. But, I’ve worn them many times since I made them, so the size issue hasn’t kept me from enjoying them. This has been a huge step for me, getting past the fear of sewing pants for myself.