Hello! It’s been a while between projects. I have been sewing, albeit sparsely, but I’ve largely been doing alterations – too boring for even a quick Instagram snap. I’m glad to finally have a finished project to share with you, even if it is a (multiple) pattern repeat.
The pattern, of course, is the Style Arc Elle Pant, which I’ve made before in purple and red. This summer, I decided I needed a black pair – and not only that, but a pair with pockets. Usually I would just slap in some inseam or slash pockets and call it a day, but close-fitted stretch pants pose a particular challenge. They can often be so stretchy as to make a regular pocket gape and bag, and if they are slim cut the pocket bag can be painfully obvious.
Style Arc provided an answer to my pocket problems with their Airlie Pant pattern, which have a specially drafted front pocket designed for bengaline pants. I rather like the Elle Pant pattern, and am now working by the adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So I printed out the Airlie pocket pieces and corresponding front leg area, with the intent of altering it to suit the Elle pant.
This took a lot more time than I expected, and I feel it would have been quicker to print and tape together the whole Airlie Pant pattern instead! But I got there, and sewing the pant together was so quick as to (almost) make up for the fiddling with the pattern pieces.
What took the most time was sewing the pockets themselves. The instructions were typically useless, but Style Arc helpfully provided a construction video on YouTube. Wrangling the pieces around to sew that pocket corner at a reverse 90 degree angle (you’ll see when you get there) was still a challenge for me, and it took a lot of careful stitching and unpicking to make sure there were no puckers in the corner.
I’d spent so long recently sewing finicky patterns (button up shirts, rayon with french seams, stripe matching etc) that I’d almost forgotten the joy of a quick sew. If I didn’t need so many rest breaks, this pattern could be cut and sewn in a few hours.
When I first made these, I was typically critical of the fit. Too loose, something off, maybe I should have made the Airlie Pant instead. Style Arc drafters know best! Well, they probably do, but I still like my pants. Away from the close lens of immediate creation, they are perfectly fine, and I’ve been wearing them most days this summer. Next time, I’ll try the Airlie instead!
Edit: I forgot to mention when I originally wrote this that I significantly deepened the pocket bag to fit a hand/phone. You might have to do the same if you want a more practical pocket.
Pattern: Style Arc Elle Pant (with Airlie Pant Pocket)
Pattern details: Elle: “This is the pant of the moment, slim line from ankle to waistline. Elastic waist 35mm or 1 1⁄4 inch wide. These pants sit so beautifully without any bulk, wear them with your high heels out for the night or with your sneakers for brunch…..a must have piece in your wardrobe!”
Airlie: “Looking for that perfect pull on everyday pant? Our new Airlie Stretch Pant will fill that gap in your wardrobe. Airlie is a pull-on pant that sits flat on your waist with a slim straight leg design. The exciting addition to this pant is the angled functional front pockets that do not gape and sit flat up to the waist band. Airlie is one of those pants that can be made in every colour of bengaline available!”
Both available Aus sizes 4-30, as a single size paper pattern, single size PDF pattern (from their website), a size bundle of single layer PDF patterns (Etsy) or multi-layer paper patterns (Amazon).
Fabric: 2m x 148cm wide bengaline suiting, black, from Spotlight. Rayon/nylon/elastane blend.
Other materials: 32mm knitted elastic.
Mods: Size 12 with .25cm added to each side seam from hip to knee. Modified waistband width to accommodate narrower elastic. Omitted crotch seam topstitching. Added pockets from Airlie pattern to Elle Pant, deepened pockets bags.