I was excited to take on the challenge of a pair of pants. It’s been about a year that I’ve been sewing garments for myself and it’s become my new life goal to make my dream set of staples for myself, even at my still-fresh skill level. I’d tried one other pair of plain trousers, but they just didn’t end up being one of my staple items. At this point, I don't feel ready to take on making a pair of jeans, or even True Bias Kelli’s amazing Lander Pants — but I still need new pants.
Working through the pattern was definitely a good fit for my skill level. Other coworkers agree with me that Kelli’s wording and instructions are really clear and helpful. I also love that the visual layout of the instructions is minimal. This makes it easy to focus on one thing at a time, which is of course the magic key to getting through any project.
I chose the Robert Kaufman Cotton/Linen Denim. It’s just light enough that it creases beautifully, but the cotton keeps the rest of its shape and weight. Blue jeans are such a core staple for me, so this fabric is a step up and aside while keeping me in my basic comfort zone. Sewing this blend was actually more slippery than I thought it would be for the amount of cotton there is. I had sewn with Essex cotton/linen before, which I didn’t find to slip. This sews (and wears/drapes) much lighter than Essex does.
Though I’d pre-washed and dried the fabric, the indigo wore onto my hands as I worked through the pattern. Since indigo isn't colorfast, it will continue to fade as you wear and wash, even if it stops bleeding out. If there's concern for this being an issue, using Shout Color Catchers will catch the dye during a wash.
My sister Brigid mentioned a styling hint for cropped pants, to aim the hem for the narrowest part of one’s leg – so, right at the ankle. I'd cut my pant pieces extra long so I could work my way up to the right length. I measured the inseams to the “same place” but they were clearly about an inch off of one another! The higher seam looked better, so I brought the other side up and I was finished. It seems like these would work even an inch or so lower than mine, like for a less summery, more boot-cut look.
I love wearing them! The wide pant legs have really nice motion, but I don't feel overwhelmed at all by the width. It’s nice to have wide leg pants that are high enough off of the ground, so they won’t drag and wear out or get soaked with rain or snow. They’ve been perfect for this early spring weather. This variation is the high-waisted one, and they’ve been great workday pants at the store – staying secure and of course, the pockets.
In the days after finishing and wearing these, I’ve been dreaming of a pair for next autumn made with heavier denim or Ventana twill, or even one of the corduroys we currently have at the shop. Yahoo for new pants! Elegant, simple, and fun new pants.