I’ve talked before about sewing pants. They’re not difficult to construct. But they are SO difficult to fit well – especially if you are trying to fit something a little more formal, like work trousers, or something like jeans. Thank goodness for modern wovens with lycra, and for my casual lifestyle that allows me to wear loose drawstring pants. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s also a thank you to StyleARC for making pants patterns that do pretty much fit me as is. Although thus far I’ve only tried their patterns of the stretch woven or loose and unstructured variety. Still a little nervous to branch out further (and very envious of the likes of Christy who makes herself such beautifully fitted trousers and jeans). Which is a little silly of me really – after all, it’s only fabric!
Enter the StyleARC Tori Crop pant - paired with the Tessuti Valerie top. I made up the pants in a spongy stretch cotton woven that I picked up at a bargain price from The Cloth Shop because it has a water stain running along one selvedge. I was easily able to cut out the pants around this. This pair was intended to be a wearable muslin, as I have some wonderful bright bright orange stretch cotton from The Fabric Store that is begging to be turned into a “real” pair. Overall, I am very happy with how these have turned out.
From the front, I think they’re great. I cut out size 10, and shortened the legs (at that handy shorten/lengthen here line) since they are meant to be cropped and I am only 158 cm tall. The side vents are a lovely touch, although the picture in the line drawing on the front of the pattern isn’t correct as far as the vents are concerned – they don’t overlap the side seam and come to a point at the top; they are more like a walking vent in the back of a pencil skirt. However, the instructions and construction illustrations are accurate, and they were not difficult to assemble. The pants have an elasticised waist and simply pull on. There are front and back darts, and combined with the stretch woven there are no waist gathers. I measured the elastic to fit the waist opening rather than my actual waist measurement – because my actual waist measurement was larger – and this worked out well. Thank goodness for quality fabrics!
The back view is pretty good too. Fits nicely through the bottom (although I can see where my undies leg elastic is in this photo) and it has an appropriate width at the bottom to balance out the crop. I figure that those wrinkles from bottom to knee are fairly normal for a non-fitted pant in a stretch woven. Your thoughts? You can just see the leg vents in the next photo. I should have taken a close up shot!
This was yesterday’s outfit, and the pants definitely passed the comfort and wear test. I’ll be making these again in the bright orange! So, onto the Tessuti Valerie top.
Well I must have been keen, as this pattern was only released a couple of days ago, and I actually went to the trouble of taping the pieces together rather than wait for the plan printing shop to re-open after their extended summer holiday break. After having such success with the Lily dress, I jumped right in with this top. The fabric is Rayon leftover from another project, and it has the right drape for this top. You definitely don’t want to use anything stiff or with much body. I cut it with the border running along the hemline, so did alter the front and back hem pieces slightly to straighten them to accommodate this.
The print makes it a little difficult to see that there are front and back darts that the lower bodice gathers into. They line up perfectly with one another and create a nice angle from front to back. The neckline and sleeves are finished with bias strips, and all the openings sit nicely against the body. Great drafting! Once again, I didn’t use any Vilene shields around the neckline or armholes but fused Vliesofix Bias tape around them instead. A lovely casual top that would be beautiful made up in a solid washed silk or similar.
So that was yesterday’s outfit! I’m still working my way through that already-cut-out box. There’s not too many layers left in it now! I’m also trying to plan a coordinated approach to my next makes. Clare is busily going through old Ottobre magazines to plan her winter wardrobe. I wonder what she’ll come up with…