Super 130s Classic Pants

I’m beyond thrilled with the outcome from my second Couture Sewing School class.

I’ve grappled with pants a few times since I started sewing, and whilst I managed to achieve a good crotch curve fit on my own, it was getting the legs right that really proved elusive.

This was because of two ‘fitting’ reasons –  I have uber prominent calves and legs that don’t extend from my hips at the same angle as Ready to Wear pattern design. Pretty much every pair of pants I have ever owned, worn or sewn has had the grainline twist and distort the fabric from the knee down, where it both catches on my calves and is pulled away at an awkward angle. (You can read more about the fitting process of these pants here).

No more!

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I’ll admit to being a little anxious in the lead up to taking these photographs – in case the way I felt they looked (ie: magical) would somehow have the spell be broken when translated into pictures. Also, that so much has happened to me since I last took pictures of a finished garment that I would somehow be different, and that would be visible.

Surely I can’t be the only one harboring suspicions of the photographic process?!?

Moving on.

The fabric is dear to my heart – bought in Quito, Ecuador. It’s a Super 130s wool, amazing quality, beautifully soft, drapey but substantial. I lined it with an olive green silk charmuese from D’Italia.

They’re at once simple and elegant but also decadent.

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I can’t attribute the design to one specific pattern, as this really is a pattern mutt…
a) crotch curve courtesy of the Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo pants (If you are in ownership of a pancake butt like me, this is the crotch curve for you!);
b) Original leg pattern from the Style Arc Darcy woven pants, altered beyond any form of recognition;
c) Waistband design from Colette Patterns’ Clover pants; and
d) Side slant pockets and back welt pockets from Burda 6689.

Burda’s crotch curve is apparently famed – something about the curve having an appropriate amount of shaping at the tip, which many pattern designers leave off today because it saves on fabric in the cutting layout. And that this design change multiplied by many pants pieces saves a huge amount in fabric and therefore $$$.

Either way, if you’ve a more rounded rump – this would be a great pattern to try. You can see the difference between the original Burda (right) and my pancake butt adjustment here:

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The legs are courtesy of Susan Khalje’s fitting skillz, and I couldn’t be happier with the way the fabric sits, and how flattering the line is on me. I had rather thought such a thing was beyond my reach. You can read about that fitting journey here.

The waistband is underlined in calico, with the inner waistband hand-sewn down in the ‘ditch’ of the front waistband. The lining was then handsewn onto the waistband facing and centreback seam.

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The zipper is my first ever hand picked zip. I’m more of an invisible zip kinda gal, however I can see the significant benefits of this treatment. Namely when you forget to check alignment and end up with one side being slightly longer than the other…

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Whoops.

It certainly helped having a fabric that was conducive to being steam into submission – you’d never know now!

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The hem of the pants is catch stitched down to the fashion fabric, and covered up with a bias strip of lining that was fell stitched on top. A lovely little detail.

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I did what you probably know as a ‘double welt pocket’ on the back – a slightly new to me way of doing it under Susan’s tutelage as well. They’re not functional pockets, just something interesting to break up the expanse of fabric across one’s backside. The fabric behind the opening extends up into the waistband and is sewn down underneath the bottom welt, which will act to support the opening as time and wearing put strain it.

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You can probably expect to see a few more pairs of pants popping up on here now I’ve got this sorted, as I’m ever so curious to see if the Style Arc Antoinette Pants are something I can pull off.

I’m probably only about another 10 hours (!) away from finishing my next French Jacket – which I’m also head over heels in love with – and I look forward to sharing it with you soon.

Pants block for the win!

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35 thoughts on “Super 130s Classic Pants

  1. I’m so pleased you’re delighted with them. They look great. I like the pocket strengthening too. Nice straight and even jets.
    I’m getting pants fitted. Strangely, though I am tall (hence long crotch depth and length) with a full derrière, I have had the same problem with twisting legs. I had always thought it was knock knees though the quick solution didn’t seem to match the solution for knock knees and my knees aren’t that knocked either! This had put me off continuing with pants though I’ve been at a few classes. Not sorted yet but looks as if more to do with crotch. Just about to make up another toile from adjusted pattern. Back for further fitting on Tuesday. Extra large seam allowances! !

    • Thanks Anne! I do feel your frustration. Pants fitting really needs a buddy to help you. I found I could manage decently well with adjusting the fabric across my hips, stomach and bum/back, as well as tweaking the crotch curve to fit. I achieved this by making small incremental changes and trying them on each time to see the effect the change had. However, getting the fabric to fit around my legs was a whole nother game, and this is where I really needed a pair of helping hands (in this case – Susan Khalje, lucky me). Her approach entails having large seam allowances so she could effectively define the new side seam lines by pinning the fabric on me. This means you don’t have to do any ‘adjustment’s that are attributed to a certain body ‘issue’, and then see if that worked after altering your pattern and sewing it up again. Find yourself a fitting person and see how you go! Goodluck x

      • Thanks. I’m seeing my fitting guru on Tuesday! Fingers crossed. Next month I’m going to a fitting weekend where a number of us will be fitting each other but thought I’d have the pants sussed by then! I’ve written a bit on my blog.

  2. Thanks for the note on hand-picking the zipper; nice save for someone (bluntly-me!) Who might not match a seam perfectly. All your investment of time and care are certainly paying off. Can’t wait to see how you expound on your pants fitting. Awesome!

  3. That 130 count fabric looks amazing and I’m sure feels even better. Great fitting job. I’ve always preferred Burda for their back crotch line (for me) and your altered curve looks perfect for a flat bum. I also prefer invisible zips and have solved the control issue by sewing them in by hand. Awaiting your new French jacket pics.

  4. great use of a gorgeous fabric – and perfect fit. so nice that now you have a pattern you can play around with and adapt to different styles.

  5. The pants – and you in them – both look fabulous! Isn’t it lovely to now have a pattern which you can use over and over? One of the perks of a class with Susan. Anxiously awaiting your little French jacket…

    • Thank you! They’ve been a real joy to wear so far. And yes, it’s something I’m really excited about :)
      Just finished sewing the chain on last night – now for pockets, then I’m done!

  6. How fabulous! They’re great, and what a mashup! I’ve got the opposite to you, a very full backside! I’m so close to a crotch curve epiphany myself! I’ll check out the burda curve!

    • Goodluck with the Burda curve – certainly having the right pattern as a starting point is an important starting point, with all the myriad changes one can make when attempting to fit pants!! Thanks :)

  7. Hey Poppykettle, thanks for the fabric links, I’ll be in Quito in April, so that was incredibly timely. So jealour you managed time with the great Susan Khalje here in Aus. I had no idea she was here, though with my baby’s VCE and moving back to NSW it would have been out of the question I guess. Terrific trews luv, enjoy them won’t you.

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