Work Wardrobe Pt. 1: Frankenpants

It’s spring and I’ve poked my head out of the basement sewing studio to share a few new makes. I started a new job in February of this year, so I’ve focused my sewing efforts mostly on business attire.  Truth be told, I ordered a few pairs of pants from Stitch Fix to get me through the first few weeks. It was a reminder why I make my clothes! Both pairs were made of an incredibly stretch mystery-poly fabric that bagged out immediately. The fabric for these me-made pants is a 100% cotton twill I purchased at the Mill End Store.

The blouse is the Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse, which I’ll share in Part 2.

With my focus on the new job, these pants took about 5 weeks to complete.  I’m calling them Frankenpants because I used parts of three patterns to make them. Most of the pattern was the Sew Over It Nina Trousers.  I greatly modified the leg shape to match the general shape of the Sew Over It Mia Jeans, as I much prefer a slimmer fit with pants. For the pockets, I used the pattern pieces from the Closet Core Patterns Sasha Trousers, as I wanted true slash front pockets and not the side-seam pockets in the Nina.

Over Christmas, I had done FOUR muslins to try and get a perfect pants block. That work paid off here, as I’m quite happy with the fit.  The only area that seems to be a miss — and it has been in every pair of pants — is the spot just in line with the bottom of the pockets.

The simple solution seems to be to cut the side legs wide. Well, that didn’t work; it just makes the pants pooch out and look like 19th-century riding pants. It also makes the pockets gape (which they do a little already).  What did help was a full-bottom adjustment, but that more prevented pulling across the back then at the hip.  It’s back to the drawing board for this tough area under the pockets.

I didn’t look at any photos before sewing on the hook-and-eye. The hook should go on the outside and eye on the inside. For the next pair, I would also like to extend the waistband past the zipper on the inside; I like the look and feel of the extra fabric to the side of the eye.  For the pockets I used a colorful viscose print from Blackbird Fabrics!

Inserting the zipper went fairly well this time. I ended up with a lot of visible interfacing next to the fly shield — not sure how. The top of the zipper also ended up inside the waistband — also not sure how.  The math of making these zippers fit really eludes me.

I’ve worn these trousers to work twice now and they feel great. The waist is much higher than the Stitch Fix pants; I would probably lower it next time by just an inch. The fabric is very prone to wrinkling, so I might also go with a cotton-poly blend next time, but would still stay away from any spandex. -rp