Saturday, May 17, 2014

My favorite pair of comfy pants ever, take #2 and #3

I can't even think of a good-enough headline to proclaim my love for these pants. By the way, did I mention that I hate sewing pants? This will make sense to you, bear with me.

These pants are pattern 118 from Burda Style issue 5/2011. I made my first pair a couple of years ago and literally wore them to death. The fabric was a soft, thin linen, and eventually I wore a hole into the fabric that couldn't be fixed. The pants were falling apart.

After the appropriate time of mourning when I realized that there was nothing I could do to save pants #1, I decided to make pants #2 and #3. And here comes the I-hate-sewing-pants part. How does anyone get their pants to fit?? The actual sewing part is quite fun, usually pants are quicker and easier to sew than shirts or dresses. But. The. Fit.

For the first pair, the old ones, the fit was "okay". The pants are supposed to be loose and relaxed, so I can live with some minor fit-issues. For #2 and #3, I made some alterations. With patterns from Burda, I always need to add an extra 2 cm to the back crotch. Perhaps I have a round butt, but I really hate the feeling when the back crotch is too short. Do I need to spell out where the pants end up in that case? Not a good look.

After trying the pants on, I straightened the curve at the hips, which I often need to do. Not a big alteration, usually easy to do even on finished pants.

Why elastic band at the waist, you might ask. Because these pants are my comfy pants, whose main job is to substitute pajama bottoms when walking the dogs.

In the magazine, they tell you to use 2 cm wide elastic band and rib-knit for the waistband. I did this with my first pair, but didn't like how it felt. It felt a bit sloppy, especially since the elastic band got all twisted over time. For versions #2 and #3, I used 4 cm wide elastic band and cut the waistband from the same fabric that I used for the pants. I think it looks neater and feels better this way. A bit more support around the stomach, aye?

This time around, I tried a new trick. I have once used a wide elastic band at the waistline of a pair of pyjama pants, and it got all twisted up in the washer over time. I hope I solved this problem by stitching the elastic band to the inside of the waistband with a few stitches of 3-step zigzag in the back, front and at the sides. Time will tell if the stitches will be flexible enough or if they will rip. They should hold.

Now to the tricky part. I have always struggled with the front crotch. I don't seem to ever be satisfied with the fit. I sewed it and ripped it apart several times, until I had an epiphany. If the overall length of the crotch seems to be okay in the original pattern, then it should probably be the same length after any alterations too, right? If I add 2 cm to the back, then I should decrease 2 cm in the front, right? Why didn't I ever think of that?! One of those moments when you don't know if you should cry from joy or just kick yourself. I get those a lot.

Here you can almost see the pants - damn those tricky dark colors...

This is a more accurate representation of the lovely blue color
Both fabrics are from Eurokangas. Pants #2 are made of a dark blue linen, and I chose a more tightly woven linen this time. I love the color. Please stay with me longer this time.

For pants #3, I used a cotton with some elastane. I was surprised that I've made it this far without ever sewing with plaids, but luckily I remembered to line them up when I cut the fabric. But since I altered the side seams, the plaids don't line up perfectly anymore. Since these pants are meant to be worn around the house and walking my dogs, I decided not to get worked up about it. You hardly notice it anyway...or do you?


  1. I was surprised to see that they have an elastic waist. They certainly don't look like it when the waistband is covered up. And who doesn't love an elastic waist? :) They both look great. I want to revisit pants making one day soon. I've only ever made one successful pair of pants even though I've tried multiple times.

    1. Yes, pants are tricky! But don't give up - it's such a great feeling when you finally get it right :) I should definitively make more pants too.

  2. Hi Nilla! I love your versions of these pants. Beautiful fabric choices!

    1. Thank you! Didn't you use linen and cotton too? My cotton pants turned out stiffer and thicker than I anticipated, but they are great when the weather is quite chilly. And you can't really beat a pair of linen pants right? :)