Does anyone have trouble keeping up with sewing challenges? Or sharing them, rather. I made these pants way back in November 2017 for The Monthly Stitch’s pants month, but haven’t been able to photograph them until now. The pattern is pencil shape printed pants, #11 in Ottobre Woman Autumn/Winter 5/2015.
This pant pattern is, in my humble opinion, the perfect slim pant. They are fitted just enough through the body and leg, but not too tight; the crotch curve is perfect, and the length the ideal crop. Unfortunately my version of this pattern does not sell its virtues well!
This was mostly due to my typical poor fabric choice. I’d had this tropical print sateen sitting around in my wardrobe for at least a year, a leftover from the now-defunct Spotlight $2/m sale. It is far too lightweight with not enough recovery to make a good pant, but I couldn’t get the idea of tropical print, slim fit pants out of my head.
Although I literally put these on for the photos straight out of the wash, you can see there is already some sagging and bagging of fabric. You’ll just have to take my word for it that these pants do have a great fit (based on the 0.5 seconds after I first put them on, before the fabric gave up). I’ve included some close up fitting photos at the end of the post if you want to see the embarrassing fit in full detail.
I also made some minor modifications on the fly, adding about 2.6cm to the rise by letting out the waist seam allowances. Usually I dutifully measure the front rise of the pattern for height, but must have forgot. Next time I would slash and spread the rise of the pants body pattern to add the necessary length (only required because of my height). Oh, and I substituted the fly front zip for a side invisible zip.
I see a lot of people struggling with sewing pants, and have a simple suggestion. Buy a pattern that gets the basics right – like the shape of the crotch – leaving you more leeway to work on minor fit issues. If the pants are poorly fitted from the start, you have an uphill battle and end up wasting a lot of time and patience trying to fit them to your body.
Companies I have had success with in this regard are Style Arc, Ottobre and Burda. I was also happy with the fit of the Closet Case Ginger Jeans and Grainline Maritime Shorts. I’ve not had luck with any Big 4 pants pattern and other indie companies, but of course my experience is limited and every body is different.
Ottobre in particular is excellent value for money. I was shilling to Naomi that you get about 40 very wearable patterns a year for $30AUD,* so I’d recommend them – and this pattern – if you are after some well-drafted wardrobe basics (in a wide size range). And here’s hoping I come across some more suitable fabric to remake these pants with!
Pattern: Ottobre 5/2015 #11 – Pencil shape printed pants
Pattern details: “The narrow, snug-fitting pants are cropped at the ankles and sit at the natural waistline. They have front-hip pockets and darts at the front and back waist.” Sizes 34-52.
Fabric: 2.5m x 122cm printed cotton sateen in white tropical from Spotlight.
Other materials: Tessuti lightweight fusible interfacing. Scrap lining fabric from stash & scrap poplin to make bias tape for waistband facing finish. 20cm invisible zip from eBay.
Mods: Size 42.
– Let out waistband and pants waist seam allowances to add 2.6cm to rise
– Substituted fly front zip with side invisible zip
*You can also buy individual issues on their website or Etsy store if you want to give them a crack without committing to a subscription. No, I’m not being paid for this endorsement, though I wish I was!