Monday, January 15, 2018

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

When I was learning to sew, I stupidly avoided asking the advice of my magical seamstress mothers who had decades of sewing experience under their belts, including long Society for Creative Anachronism careers and a stint at a costume shop when I was a baby.
Don't know why my modeling career never took off...
I made lots of stupid mistakes when I was first starting out that could have easily been avoided or rectified had I gotten over my 19 year old pride and asked for help! Lesson (at least sometimes) learned.

One such mistake was a two-for-one bargain from the very beginning. First: fitted, formal trousers as my THIRD EVER project. Stupid. Second: not pre-treating my very expensive, very beautiful plaid Mood wool suiting.

These mistakes, plus my wobbly stitch lines and "Mom I'm sorry I was stubborn earlier, I really do need your help" fly zip, meant I had a practically unwearable garment. I wore it maybe three times, each making me feel sloppier and sadder than the last. Mom tried to save it, she really did, but I had butchered that poor, beautiful fabric.

I stayed away from pants for a long time, but I'm here to tell you that pants aren't scary after all!! The Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers pattern is amazing and has helped me create the pants of my dreams!
Have I mentioned I love these pants?

I was suuuuper wary of messing up as badly as I did on my first attempt at pants, so I made two muslins. The first was pretty close to perfect. I decided to taper the legs from the knee down for a "skinnier" look, take the back darts in about .25" to account for a teeny gape at the waist line, and add some length at the waist for a higher rise.

Muslin 2 was made out of leftover satin skirt lining since I couldn't bear waiting another day to squeeze in another trip to Joann to get more muslin, and it was comically tight. I felt like I was wearing the world's weirdest Spanx. My stepmom assured me that it looked fine (in terms of not stretching weird anywhere) and that my pretty fabric, a luscious ponte with a barely-there silver shimmer from Hart's, would have considerably more "give" than lining fabric does.

Not only was she right, the first try with my pretty fabric was so loose!

I had to taper it more from my hips (about 5/8" narrower) all the way down the the ankles (2/8"). There still seemed to be an enormous amount of excess fabric in the crotch, and after lots of internet searching I've learned that I have a "J" shaped crotch—and if it looks like you're very happy to see me when you sit down in RTW pants (especially denim, in my experience), you might too! 

The SOI Ultimate Trousers are only 4 pattern pieces and their sewalong gives tons of detail about how to approach them if you're new to trousers or a relatively new sewist. Surprisingly, nothing about crotch fitting issues, even though loads of other reviews I've read remarked on the bulkiness there, too. That being said, this pattern makes pants so accessible and I'm elated with my end result. They fit amazingly, flatter my less-than-curvy bottom half, and the fabric is so soft I forget they aren't pajamas. 
I wore these trousers for my Master's graduation ceremony a few weeks ago and they were just perfect: comfortable enough that I could just relish the moment, while still being glamorous enough to feel oh-so-special. 

I hope I look as smart as I feel! Happy Monday, everyone!

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