Completed: Peter and the Wolf Pants

21 Jun

So I’ve been sitting on this pattern for a couple of months now – Katie sent these to me as a surprise spring gift. An awesome surprise, I might add. Who doesn’t love getting surprise patterns in the mail, amirite!

Anyway, my immediate first thought was to make these up in a light polka dotted denim. Doesn’t that sound like it would be amazingly cute?! Unfortunately, I couldn’t source the right fabric – this pattern calls for fabric with a little bit of stretch, and I couldn’t find any sort of stretch bottomweight that also included polka dots (I know there are lighter-weight fabrics out there, but in my experience, their thinness requires either 1. Commando or 2. Thongs, neither of which I’m comfortable with rocking. TMI? Whatever.). I remembered this polka dot DIY post from Portia and I figured, hey, I’ll just get light denim and make my own polka dots, yeah?

Peter & The Wolf Pants

But, you know, I was seduced by all the pretty dark denim at Mood Fabrics. OH WELL. This stuff is from Theory and it is amazeballs. Nice and dark, robust without being super heavy, and just the right amount of stretch.

Btw, you’ve probably figured out that I did eventually end up with polka dot bottoms – in the form of shorts. Hey, it works!

Anyway, let’s talk about these pants!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

This is the Peter & the Wolf pants from Papercut Patterns. The way these pants are cut is really unique – in addition to side and inseams, there are seams straight down the middle of the front and back legs, as well as some interesting pocket/yoke action and the cutest little scalloped hems. As you can see here, they definitely do emphasize the hips, but that’s what I like about them!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

I cut a size XS, although in retrospect, I really should have gone down another size to the XXS. I had to do a LOT of alterations to get these to fit the way I like, and I made some easily-avoidable mistakes along the way. Pretty much EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM could have been eliminated if I had made a muslin first. Why didn’t I make a muslin first? I dunno, I guess I was feeling ~cocky with how good those Rite of Spring shorts fit me straight out of the package.

So, LESSON 1: Make a muslin. ALWAYS MAKE A MUSLIN.

Here is why this is so important, why I keep knocking this into your heads and why I should listen to my own damn advice:
– I tried these on right before I put in the zipper, and the sizing was MUCH too big through the waist and the legs. Normally, that’s not toooo bad of an issue because one can just take in the side seams (I do this all the time, u guise), but the way the pockets are placed means there isn’t a lot of side seam to take in before you start cutting into pocket territory. I couldn’t pull from the center seams because I’d already done all that topstitching and I’m ssssooooo laaaazzzzyyyy. I sat and thought about it for an evening, and ultimately decided to remove the majority of the excess from the BACK of the pants, rather than equally distributed between the front and the back. It worked, and my pockets are still there – yay! – and you can’t tell too much that the front is bigger than the back (unless you’re really studying where that side seam hits), except one glaring error…
– The front scallops now ride toward the inside of my ankles, instead of being centered in the middle of my leg 😦 Believe me, I tried really hard to fix this, but ultimately it’s just a matter of physics… the front is twisting, since it’s wider than the back. It’s not too terrible since they both pull about the same amount, so it looks intentional. But you and I, we know the real truth.
– The crotch curve was wrong for my shape and it looked like I was hiding packets of ketchup down the front of my pants at the crotch. WOOF. Please don’t take this to mean the crotch curve was bad across the board – I just mean it didn’t work for my specific shape (obviously it’s good for some people – look at the model on the envelope!). We all have different crotch curve shapes (how many more times can I say the word “crotch” here?) and mine is apparently a pretty pronounced J – something I learned when I was sewing the Colette Clovers. Fortunately, redrawing a curve is super easy – even on mostly-assembled pants, I mean, you’re basically just creating a new seamline – and that eliminated most of my issues in that one area. If this sounds confusing and slightly terrifying, it’s not! There is TONS of information on Google, as well as in various pants-fitting books.
– I also should have slightly shortened the crotch depth. Not even by much – just a little pinch of fabric (you can see where it’s puffing out a little. STOP STARING.). Unfortunately, I can’t fix this now as it’s something that needs to be adjusted to the flat pattern before cutting. #1 reason why you should make a muslin first. Womp womp.

I know this sounds like a lot of issues, but I just want to stress that all of them could have been EASILY solved if I’d just made a damn muslin first! ARGHGHHGHGH.

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Well, at least I remembered to shorten the inseam before cutting my fabric; the original inseam is over 29″ and I needed something much shorter, plus I wanted them to be cropped. I love the length!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

My yoke seams don’t perfectly match up due to all the side seam that I had to cut off, but at least I preserved the pockets!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

I subbed out the invisible zipper for a lapped zipper. I really think an invisible zipper would look best, but I was concerned that I would have trouble with the bulk of the denim+invisible zipper. A lapped zipper doesn’t look terrible, although I wouldn’t necessarily say it looks great, either.

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Look how good the butt fits, though! I should also point out here that I widened the waistband so it would cover my navel – this was easy, instead of cutting 1 waistband and folding it in half, I cut two and sewed them together at the top. Next time, I will opt for a curved waistband instead (this one is straight), as I find the straight doesn’t hug my curves as well. Just a personal preference!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Personal fitting woes aside, these are REALLY cute. I love all the topstitching, it really highlights the cool yoke and pocket detailing.

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Peter & The Wolf Pants

For sitting through this giant long post, here are some pictures of me swatting away the skeeters.

Peter & The Wolf Pants
Peter & The Wolf Pants

In all seriousness, though! I know this post sounded like a big Debbie Downer review, but I do really love these pants! Slim-fit, stretch pants like these can require a bit of tweaking to get the fit right (remember the everyone’s personal saga with the Colette Clovers?), but it’s worth it in the end, as you can crank these out over and over once the fitting adjustments are done. Which is what I plan on doing – wool cigarette pants for winter, please! Hey, maybe I’ll even find some dotty fabric 😉

Peter & The Wolf Pants

PS – My top is McCall’s 4488, an old make from last year.


65 Responses to “Completed: Peter and the Wolf Pants”

  1. Colleen June 21, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    These are so beautiful! And, beautifully made. I don’t think these would look good on me but I love the name so much I want to make them in deep green suede or velvet and wear a pointed hat. I love the idea of them so much but just reading your post on the work entailed gave me a headache. Am I just a lazy fantasist?

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      Omg please do! I don’t wear hats or forest green, but suddenly I really really want to hahahaha

  2. amy June 21, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Nice! I just ordered my pattern!

  3. gingermakes June 21, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Cute! These look great on you! Katie sent this to me, too, but I haven’t been able to decide on a fabric (the one I had in my stash was too lightweight). I’ll make a muslin before I make these, for sure!

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      I think I might try these with a lighter-weight fabric next time, I bet they’ll look more like leggins than proper pants 😀 FYI I know you’re a tiny lady, so IF YOU WERE WONDERING you’ll probably want to cut the XXS too. Just a tip! 🙂

      • gingermakes June 21, 2013 at 10:37 am #

        Oooh, I bet these would make ADORABLE leggings!

  4. CarolinasCallin June 21, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    That fabric looks amazing! I think these look great on you, but I can see some of the fit issues and why they’d bother you. Don’t feel too bad…I confess to being very muslin resistant, too!

    I have a REALLY stupid, basic question – please don’t shoot me! The hem on your pants…(Disclaimer: I’m new to apparel sewing & haven’t sewn denim!) Did you finish the edge of the hem first and THEN sew it on your machine? Or is that hemmed & finished on your machine at the same time? It looks really RTW, and I wondered how you performed that minor miracle! Serger? Regular machine? What stitch?

    Thanks!!! I always enjoy your fun posts 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      It’s actually a facing, that’s why it looks so good 🙂 I love that her patterns have facings at the hems, btw! For these, I serged the edge of the facing, then sewed it to the hem, then flipped it back and pressed the shiiiiiiit out of it before I topstitched (and pressed again after!). Hope that helps 🙂

  5. Liz June 21, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Very nice! You don’t even notice the “problems” until they’re pointed out 🙂 I’m working on Butterick 5895 (Gertie’s high waisted pants) right now. I have so far made THREE muslins trying to get the fit right! I don’t blame the pattern (it’s quite good actually and easy)- however the combination of being new to sewing and being blessed/cursed with a phat ass and a comparatively smaller waist makes it a bit difficult :-/

  6. Wendy June 21, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    I love them, you Inspire me.

  7. Lori B. June 21, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Gorgeous pants! Very flattering. I was doubtful I’d ever try sewing pants but this pattern is definitely inspiring.

  8. goodbyevalentino June 21, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Sing it sister……. a muslin is a MUST for me or I can count on every imaginable issue to surface.
    This is an amazing pair of pants you’ve made and you look fab as always!

  9. Sabs June 21, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Love the mozzie face!

  10. maddie June 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Even for someone like me, who is into muslins more than she is into sewing actual garments, I probably would have skipped this step because the first pair of pants from the same company fit so well. Despite the fact that you made all the alteration, I think the pants look great. This will do you so well in winter with a nice weight wool.

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Haha I’m glad you see where I’m coming from! Although, in retrospect, the pants are quite different from the shorts, especially since the pants use a stretch woven (which, I’ve learned, these kinds of patterns have whole different fit issues of their own). But, you know, whatever! I learned my lesson. Muslins4lyfe~~

  11. lucysb June 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    These look great, we’re always our biggest critics! I’ve never done trousers, it’s trying to get the fit right that puts me off.

  12. Jenny June 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    A hemmed facing?? Oh! (lightbulb just went on!) So that’s how to get a great hem! I hate when they’re all flimsy ~

    Those pants look great on you and with that little top.

  13. dannyscotland June 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    I’m sure the fitting was frustrating, but since I can’t sew my own pants yet, at least not and wear them in public, ever, let me just say that these look amazing and you did a great job.

  14. June June 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    You are so funny! The pants worked out fantastic, though – nice save on every “issue” that you ran into. I read somewhere that Kenneth King makes 2 muslins for every project – whether that’s true or not, who knows, but I like to think that it is – and so I dutifully do, too. In fact, I’m wearing a muslin right now (made of muslin, in fact – and no hems, so I’m covered in straggly threads). This is neither here nor there. I enjoyed reading about the pants process!

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      I’ve heard that too, and I definitely believe it. If you make changes to the first muslin, you have to make a second muslin to be sure the changes turned out ok. And hey – I wear muslins around the house too! Sometimes you can’t tell how something is fitting until you move around a lot in.

      Although, if you’re actually wearing said muslin out in public… props to you. MAJOR props ahaha.

  15. Kelly June 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    These are very cool, I like all the different lines, it brings a lot of interest rather than just plain pants. Ahh..and thanks for the muslin reminder, I usually do make a muslin first but every now and then I start thinking I am just being anal, ha. Regardless of your fitting adjustments these look great on you!

  16. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! June 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    REALLY cute on you! I think the little scallop at the hem is a genius part of the pattern. So many things have little embellishments here and there, but who thinks to embellish the end of your pant legs?! A great touch, and looks wonderful in the dark denim!

  17. Robin W June 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    All right so I have a really stupid question then – I used to sew all of my own clothing, many, many, way before you were born years ago. Then I stopped. Now I’m sewing again. Anyway – do people seriously make a muslin for every pattern? So you make everything twice? I never heard of that?! It seems to me it takes away from the fun of sewing if I have to make everything twice – especially if I only plan to use that particular pattern one time. I’m obviously missing something…

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Naw, that’s not a stupid question! I do make muslins, but not for every pattern. If the pattern is from a company that I know gives me a good fit out of the envelope with minor adjustments (such as Sewaholic), I may skip the muslin – especially if it’s something that can easily be adjusted as I go (like a dress with princess seams, as an example, or something made with knits). I usually tissue-fit my patterns before cutting, that eliminates a lot of muslins as well. I also do not make muslins for anything I’ve already made before. I generally just make muslins if it’s a new-to-me pattern company or a vintage pattern (as I find the fit can be a bit… weird sometimes). I also *usually* make pants muslins, just because my crotch depth is kind of short and that’s not something you can fix after you’ve cut your fabric.

      When I do make a muslin, I rarely make the full pattern. For, say, a dress, it’ll just be the bodice front and back, midriff or waistband (if there is one) and possibly one sleeve. I baste in a zipper to check the fit. I don’t bother with skirts or any finishing details unless they are significant to the way the pattern is put together (such as the backs of slash pockets or something). Also, muslin or not, I try on my garments frequently throughout the sewing progress and fine-tune the fit as I go.

      Anyway, muslins can be a bit of a bore BUT the peace of mind you get knowing that your shit will fit when it’s done… that’s the fun part of sewing 😀

      • Robin W June 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm #


  18. Hatty June 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Make them in a nice beige colour and you’d look good at a gymkhana! But, seriously, young lady, you are going to find them horribly uncomfortable because you’ve forced the legs off grain.

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      I’ve been wearing them all day and I gotta disagree with you, they are quite comfortable.

  19. powell2317 June 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    I love the shape of these, especially around the hips, and the detailing is great too. The thought of making trousers (other than pyjamas) scares me though, I think I’ll carry on a voiding them for a bit longer!

  20. Dani June 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    This is an awesome pattern! Loving the front seam details and the scalloped ankle seam. Also fantastic blog Lauren, I discovered it a couple of days ago and am hooked, really like your writing style and how prolific you are… very inspiring! Thanks.

  21. walldruggie June 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    If you had made a muslin, would it have been a plain woven, or something with stretch? Seems that the muslin fabric would have to be something substantial and have stretch to get the essence of the fit.

    • LLADYBIRD June 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      It would have to be similar to the fabric, so yeah, it would need stretch.

  22. Miss Celie June 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Those pants could NOT BE CUTER!!! OMFG. I wish I could. They are seriously some of the best pants I’ve seen. Damn.

  23. MaciNic June 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Fantastic, gorgeous jeans with the cutest of details – LOVE those seam lines! – and a huge Thank You for sharing your trials, it makes the rest of us feel much better, though i’m not sure I’d ever get a fit as fine as that – definitely make some wool cigarette pants for winter!

  24. Bec Stitches June 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Ooh these are very cute:) I’m so scared of pants and their fitting dramas

  25. Lori June 21, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Super cute pants, I like all the seaming detail. Great job with the fitting.

  26. Sandra June 22, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    I love yoke / pocket / seam detail of these pants. I personally don’t like a pant that comes above my ankle – how easy would it be to transform these into a straight bottom with length, given the front seam and facing?

    • LLADYBIRD June 22, 2013 at 8:21 am #

      Well, the original inseam length is almost 30″, so you may not even need to lengthen them! However, they were SUPER easy to shorten, so yeah, they’d be easy to lengthen too 🙂 as far as straightening out the curved hem, I think that would be as simple as drawing a new hemline and then drafting a new facing. It’s totally doable!

  27. Kay June 22, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    They look great!

  28. merche June 22, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Great fit! And I love all the details. The hem is lovely

  29. Cameron June 22, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    I luurve them – they look great (and totally inspiring that you were able to save them – I would be to0 frustrated to even look at them) and the pockets. Are. So. Cool.

    P.S. Since I started reading your blog, I’ve developed a crush on Nashville! You’re a great spokesperson for your city. And for sewing and knitting, of course.

    • LLADYBIRD June 24, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Woohoo!! Nashville is totally crush-worthy! You should come visit sometime 🙂

  30. mirza June 22, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    I’ve been wondering about these for a while, but if they emphasize the hips… blah. not for me 😦
    I love that unique shape & all the top stitching, and I think they would look crazy cute in polka dots (what doesn’t look cute in polka dots anyways?)

  31. Kelly June 22, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Very cute! The seam lines are so interesting and the topstitching really does take it to the next level. I think it would be super cute in a print too!

  32. Sarah June 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Hoorah! I just ordered this pattern and am looking forward to making them…slash MAKING A TOILE FIRST 🙂 thanks to your great advice, I guess it pays off in the long run hey. I love love love the seamlines in this pattern, and am looking forward to working with mucho colours (as I do) BUT your denim pair actually makes me think of making a denim pair too. I’m not a jeans kinda gal, but these are shaped, and seamed enough to really not feel like jeans at all right. cant wait to do mine this week. quick before indie pattern month is over. I need something to share.

  33. Sew Sleepy June 23, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    Still building up to trying a trouser pattern. This one looks a bit too complex for a first pattern but so worth it. I love the position of the pockets and the top stitching, and in denim they’re so cake and frosting. Well done you and thank you for sharing.

    • LLADYBIRD June 24, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      It’s not super complex 🙂 Since there is a side zip (instead of the front fly), that makes construction a LOT easier. The pockets and topstitching and facings use the same kind of techniques you’d use to make, say, a dress 🙂

  34. Iveta June 23, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Hi, pants so nice with this seam lines details.

  35. Kat H June 23, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    Oh yay, I’ve been hoping someone would make this pattern up and show us all what it’s like! I’ve been debating about getting it for a while now – not my usual style, but the details are just so awesome I can’t get them out of my head…. Hmmmm….. Maybe next pay day I’ll go get me a copy of Peter and the Wolf as well. 🙂

  36. Jo June 23, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    Ooh, the grain police is hassling you in the comments huh? Funny how these people are always anonymous. Gosh I wish I could rock a bare midriff like you, haha. These are awesome. 🙂 I admire you for fixing your fit issues with such patience… I get so frustrated 😛 lol! These in wool would be awesome 😀

    • LLADYBIRD June 24, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      HAHAA this made me laugh. Damn anons, too skeered to even leave a fake name!

    • missjoiedevivre July 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Pfft, you could totally rock a bare midriff Jo! You just gotta own it 🙂

  37. Stephanie | Mabel Makes June 23, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I’ve been eyeing up these pants for a while. I have yet to try my first trousers though so I think I’ll try something a bit easier first. Perhaps the Clover pants by Colette patterns… These are really great though and I love the little details and the lines. Pity they were a bit of hassle to get right but they turned out great!

  38. sallie June 24, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Love these! I’ve been waiting to see this pattern made up – it really is unique and lovely! Love the shaped yoke and the topstitching! Aaaaand also – you look totally hot! Love it paired with the crop top!

    • LLADYBIRD June 24, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      I’ve always thought these pants were STRAIGHT up your alley, style-wise. You’d look super hot in them!

  39. brocadegoddess June 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    These pants are totally awesome-sauce! The pattern is going straight into my amazon favourites.

    On a completely unrelated note, I know I don’t know you, but I somehow thought you might fancy this meme – if you haven’t seen it yet: ;o)

    • LLADYBIRD June 26, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      I just spent WAY too long reading every single one of these. So awesome! Thanks for linking me 😀

  40. crystalpleats June 26, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    I am so glad to see these pants made and reviewed. I love the interesting design lines and the scallop hem. You look great!

  41. Astrid xo June 27, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    These are fantastic! Stumbling across your blog, I’m loving your projects but these are probably my favourite so far (: I’m very much a beginner sewer so these are something to aspire to, I think, but I’m definitely aspiring! Thank you (:
    Astrid xo

  42. Stephanie June 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    I love these soooo much! I’m willing to attempt multiple muslins to get those pants right. The stylelines are awesome.

    Omg, I threw my Clover’s in the trash. I should try again, but yeezus. Those were no fun.

  43. PendleStitches July 3, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    The grain police have obviously never bought a pair of RTW trousers…yet to find a pair of THOSE cut on grain. These look gorgeous. So cute.

  44. missjoiedevivre July 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    I’m not sure these are the pants for me – I’m not yet convinced I can wear skinnies – but it is so lovely to see them made up and they look great on you!


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