I’ve been eying this tutorial for loungy pants for a couple of months now, and finally got the gumption up to try it last night. After having found the Perfect Vintage Sheet yesterday at the Goodwill, I drafted my pattern on brown paper left over from a mail order box – it was the only paper I had that was easily long enough without a lot of taping. I have this small thing for nifty sun representations, something I don’t really indulge myself with much, but the sheet called to me. It said, “loungy pants.” What’s a girl to do, but obey the call?
Part of the charm of this pattern is 1.) it’s taken from an existing pair of pants, so one knows they will fit, and 2.) one uses the top of the sheet, so one need not create a hem. Ah, bliss.
The realm of clothing is even more a mystery to me than basic sewing and quilting; I wrestled with a few terms, and a couple spots in the tutorial were a bit unclear, but had I the brain of a duck I probably could have puzzled it out more quickly. I’m not always the brightest of bulbs – quod erat demonstrandum. I even forgot to go out and witness the blue moon last night, instead opting to, well, forget I suppose.
But back to the pants.
Here we are, trying to gracefully pin the (thick, clunky) paper to the (thin, flimsy) sheet. We do not have adequate room.
And here we have our two halves:
Here is where we learn how to sew up the wrong side of the crotch. I could not for the life of me figure out how crotches work (stop giggling, already.) I was supposed to leave 3/4″ for “ease” and “placement,” but I couldn’t figure out where to start and stop. Ah yes, ease and placement – of course. WHAT?! Pretend I haven’t ever made clothing before, Nice Tutorial Lady – spell it out for me plainly. No? Fine.
Recognizing it wasn’t going to make any more sense after I’d read it aloud three dozen times, I wildly hoped to blindly get it right, and remembered it was not permanent if I got it wrong. I got it wrong. It was only after being confronted by the odd, butterfly-shaped top half that I realized what I needed to do.
At this point, I was reminded of Pulp Fiction:
Le sigh. Out came the ripper, out went the seam, and instead of sewing down from the point of the crotch, I sewed up.
Pinning front to back, I had something resembling pants:
After stitching the sides and inseams, I had Actual Pants. Mind you, because these are pre-hemmed by the sheet top, any disparities between the front and back panels means I’m stuck with a floppy, uneven hem, unless I want to defeat the purpose of the hem-free pants altogether. The front panel was a good 3/4″ shorter than the back. I didn’t want to rip them, so I left the uneven, floppy hems. This would be, of course, the very least of my problems.
I did an admittedly careless job of folding the top casing, resulting in a bit of pucker/gather at the front. It’s a design element, not a complete cock-up!
The pattern called for inserting elastic, but I just didn’t have it in me. I opted for a drawstring. The end result is a darned cute pair of pants!
I’d been extra careful to be generous with my measurements and seam allowances so I wouldn’t be left with pants that were too small to wear, like the stinking jeans skirt. Somewhat elated, I tried them on.
And the wouldn’t come up past my ass.
Son of a bitch.
It’s a darned cute pair of pants that I CANNOT FRICKING WEAR.
Immediately, I figured out the problem. The pants I took my pattern from are stretchy. The waist stretches out more than I thought it did, too. Rats! I really like these pants. Now, were I to lose the 60 pounds I should, they’d probably fit. So, when I’m 75 and wasting away, perhaps I’ll feel like wearing comfy sun pants. Although even then, they may be too low in the rise for my ridiculously high waist.
Perhaps, I’m just starting the year out on a humble note, getting all the fail right out of the way. Perhaps I am an Albanian jet pilot.
Still, I remain undeterred. I’m going to re-draft the pants, and while I don’t have enough of the awesome sheet left to craft new ones, I do have some Anna Maria Horner flannel that’s been slated for loungy pants since before I bought it. If I screw *that* up, there will be tears, I assure you.
Thus, to cheer myself up, a gratuitous photo of a cat: