Do you sew “cake” or “frosting”? as Tasia from Sewaholic wrote about. I think I have always been a frosting kind of sewer as cake was so easy and cheap to buy however I now look at my wardrobe and see that my everyday basics are lacking as I mentioned in my previous post.
This is the first year I have made a sewing/wardrobe plan discussed in this post and really need the basics to make my wardrobe more functional. One of my main problems is that I don’t own any jeans or pants, currently. Not because I don’t like to wear them but I find it so tedious to shop for them as I am pear shaped and things fit at the hips but gape at the waist and often are too long in the leg. After so many years I am finally beginning to understand my body shape and I think sewing has really helped with that albeit I’m far from fit perfection. As I also get older, the fit of a garment becomes more important as it also dictates comfort however it makes me my own worse enemy as I am fussier when shopping.
These Simplicity 3850 Built By Wendy Pants “slim pants, capris and shorts” are now OOP and are the first pants I have made in a long time. In theory pear shaped women should favour a pant with more flare at the bottom but I prefer a slim fit. I used some stretch drill, 125cm wide (97% cotton, 3% spandex).
I followed directions to the letter, I’m not confident enough to do things my own way, just as well, because oh my fly! That part had me stumped and staring at the instructions over and over. I thought it was weird that you are to buy a 7 inch zipper and then cut to fit upon insertion. I lopped off a good 3 inches I think. I also wished I had serged the fly and crotch seams prior to assembly because I forgot and these are the only parts of the pants not completed neatly.
The pocket installation also confused me, not so much the process but the names of the pattern pieces. The pocket lining is cut from pieces labeled “pocket facing” and “front yoke and pocket” and only from the cutting layout is it evident they are to be cut as a lining. Well first time I cut them from my fabric, then second time cut them from the lining, and then while sewing I used the fabric pieces instead. Does that make sense? Lesson learnt, throw away the fabric you no longer require because it makes sewing a whole lot less confusing. They turned out ok but it just means they are thick pockets. I also didn’t added the called for buttons on the back pocket flaps because I wasn’t sure how comfortable they would be to sit on but I might go back and do that since I will be wearing these regularly.
The waistband is a little tight, I used ribbon instead of twill tape at the seam because that is all I had and of course this means there is no stretching in this area. I didn’t want to risk buttons popping so I sewed a trouser hook instead for the closure. I also didn’t line up the edges of my belt loops to the edge of the waistband during construction and cut off the overhangs which means the loops are a little tight and pull on the waistband but with a belt it won’t show very much and I don’t wear tops tucked in anyway. I have discovered over time a way to iron the folded edges in small pattern pieces by folding over and pinning it down on my ironing board which has a honeycomb metal base and lots of padding so the pins stay in place quite nicely while I iron the edges flat.
I also hemmed them quite a bit, about 3 1/2 inches but feel upon wearing I might take them down a bit again. I didn’t cut any length off and had handstitched the hem in place.
After wearing them for a day, this fabric attracts lint like no bodies business. Anyway, all that aside, the pants fit okay but a little tight around the thighs and which I think will stretch out with time due to the fabric. I will probably do a 3/8 instead of 5/8 seam allowance next time as I cut out the biggest size I had. Definitely some tweaks to be made, there is pulling at the front and at the back thighs (see those smile lines), but overall wearable and functional. I will make another pair sometime with different fabric and try and fix the fit issues.
At the end of all this I need to sew a lot more “cake” but I won’t stop sewing “frosting”.