Told y’all I had another pair of polka dot pants just waiting to be photographed :P
These bad boys are McCall’s 6901, a Palmer/Pletsch fitting pattern. If you’re thinking that these look exactly like most other pairs of trousers I’ve made, you would be right. Honestly, this pattern would have remained completely off my radar had I not needed to make a sample for the ants class that I taught at Workroom Social last month. Ya can’t really teach a class if you haven’t made the pattern up – I mean, I guess you can, but I’d personally want to make sure I understood any fitting kinks and weird pattern directions before unleashing it on my students! – so I made myself a sample to see what I was getting myself into.
For a first-time trouser pattern, these aren’t too bad. They have front and back darts, front slash pockets, and a straight waistband. They also have a mock fly, which I absolutely don’t understand – basically just some weird flap extensions on the front of the trouser that get folded back for the zipper. I did it, it looks like a fly from the outside, and that’s that – but I don’t really understand why you’d sew a mock fly instead of a real fly? Whatever. (Our class pattern was modified by Jennifer to include a real fly, with a shield and facing, just in case you were wondering!).
The fitting was a little… I don’t want to say tricky, but let’s just say that the muslin of these pants looks NOTHING like the envelope art. Obviously those models were fitted specifically for those photos, and they look fabulous. The actual pattern itself involved quite a bit of work to get a similar look – and you’ll see that mine are still pretty different, because I ended up fitting the pants to suit MY liking and not the pattern cover (such as lowering the rise, and keeping the legs relatively straight and relaxed). I don’t know what it is about Palmer/Pletsch patterns, but they tend to be drafted to fit very loose, despite the cover art being quite the opposite. They also include 1″ seam allowances at most of the side seams, which I kind of hate (maybe I’m just butthurt because I always end up cutting out sooo much of the side seams, thanks to the ease situation)
I cut a size 8 to start. I lowered the front crotch rise by 2″ – which is a LOT, even for me. Actually, most everyone in class ended up taking out quite a bit of crotch rise as well, which leads me to believe that this pattern must just have an excess up there. I never actually figured out where the waistband was supposed to end up sitting – the cover art looks like she’s got it at her natural waist, but most trousers tend to look better on me when they’re about belly button. In the end, I figured – I was gonna be the one wearing the pants, so they might as well fit the way I like – and I made the rise hit at belly button and called it a day. I also added about 1/2″ of extra length to the back crotch, as the butt was a little tight. I could probably stand to add a little more, because it still looks a little tight, but whatever. I also narrowed out the legs quite a bit, and changed them so they were more straight and less tapered. I don’t have a specific measurement for that; I just tried them on inside and pinned and based until I got a good width.
Here’s my shirt pulled up so you can see where the waistband actually hits. It’s still a little high, but not as bad as it was before – the pattern is supposed to sewn with a 9″ zipper! Woof!
For a first stab at a new pattern, I think these turned out quite wearable. They’re obviously not perfect – for me, I’ve found I need at least a couple tries before I start making good progress – but, like I said, they’re wearable, and that’s all that really matters. Next time round, I may scoop out the front crotch to more of a J shape, because they are a little poochy. I also evidently need to shorten the crotch length a little more, because I’m still getting those wrinkles that indicate it’s too long.
Landon also informed me this morning that the legs were too wide and would be much more flattering if I tapered them. Argh! I actually like the wider look, but now he has me second-guessing myself. What do you think? Unpick the hem and fit the legs more? Leave as is?
(Note to self: Don’t wear black socks with these pants again. Eep!)
So how ’bout this fabric, amirite? This is a Marc Jacobs cotton blend from Mood Fabrics, that I bought while I was in NY in March. If it looks familiar, it’s because I used the navy colorway to make my Miette wrap skirt and also my Rite of Spring shorts. I love this fabric – I love the texture and I love the way it feels, and it just gets softer with wear. I was so excited to see the brown colorway, so I snapped it up with no real use in mind. Pants will work!
There’s that mock fly that I don’t understand. Whyyy.
But hey, look – fun pocket lining! :D
The construction (and fitting, to some extent) on these trousers was very straight forward, and I think they are quite suitable for first-time attempts. Just be careful to watch that crotch length and don’t be afraid to pin out a giant wedge if necessary. Like I said, I took 2″ out of the front and I STILL have a little excess that could stand to be removed. But all in all, I think they turned out pretty cute – or is that because polka dots make everything cuter? :)
Three more things!
1. Planning for my London trip is now in full swing! I’m trying to work out a meet-up (if anyone wants to help me plan this shit, holler! I have not been in London since the late 90s and I have NO idea what I’m doing hahaha), but it’ll likely be Saturday 22 Nov. If you’d like to join in on the fun, shoot me an email and I’ll keep you in the loop as things progress.
2. Speaking of Europe – Clare and I decided to take advantage of the fact that Paris is a cheap train ride away, so obviously we are going! We’ll be arriving the morning of the 27th (funny, that’s Thanksgiving Day in the US. Sorry, mom! I bet you’d rather I go to Paris anyway :P), stay overnight, and I’ll be back the evening of the 28th. We will be have a meet-up – Paris Edition – on Thursday 27 Nov, so again – email me if you want to join :)!
3. For the rest of y’all who are not in London or Paris – how bout some patterns, yeah? Indie Stitches is currently running a sale on all digital PDF patterns, woohoo! Use the code DIGITALLOVE to get 10% off all PDF patterns. Code is good through 9/14/14 at midnight! I don’t know about you, but I’m eyeballing that Darling Ranges Dress and those Virginia Leggins extra hard right now…