Thursday 14 July 2016

Birthday Pants

It's been a few weeks. I have been sewing, but haven't been photographing. But now I have a new make to show.

Today's my birthday, so these are my new cosy birthday pants. It's a very sewist thing to do, isn't it, to have a new creation as a present for yourself? Although these weren't really made to be such, they were just made this week because I needed them.

I made them over the last two nights so that I had something warm to wear in the Antarctic blast Sydney and much of southeastern Australia has experienced these last couple of days. In fact, this morning when I photographed these it was 3C, with an apparent temperature of freezing. But luckily these pants and the (not yet blogged) merino jersey top I had on were warm enough while I took pictures.

The pattern is from the late 1950s or early 1960s. It's Simplicity 4290, and is a highwaisted pant or short pattern with a side zip closure. I've used it before for my casual cotton summer pants. That time I made them looser and lowered the waistband, this time I kept the pattern almost as-is apart from lengthening the legs just slightly so the hem sits at the top of my feet rather than grazing the ankle. I wondered a bit about the high waist at first because it is very high - I'm longwaisted and the waistband sits above my belly button - but apart from it being a silhouette I'm not used to I am liking them.

The fabric was originally bought for a colour blocked dress I was planning to make with some remnant wool I have, but it turned out to be the wrong weight. It's a poly wool blend from My Hung in Hurstville. It's a slightly odd fabric, medium weight but with an almost fleecy underside. It's less scratchy than most medium and heavier weight wools and wool blends are, which makes it nice and comfortable. And it glided through my machine beautifully, which is always a plus.

It's an incredibly simple pattern to make, being just two front and two back pieces, two darts on each, a waistband, with trouser bar and zip to close. It's all very straightforward construction, and generally pretty quick. This pattern is vintage, but a modern pattern with a similar construction would be perfect for a beginner to making pants.

Although I have to admit I did have a little trouble with the waistband the first time around. My first go of stitching it looked terrible. The problem was I sewed it looking at the inside rather than the outside, and when I turned them right way around I discovered my stitching line wandered all over the place. And the one drawback of this fabric was it is terrible to unpick stitching from - the fleeciness makes it so that you basically have to undo each individual stitch, so it takes a bit of time. But once I undid it I was able to sew on the outside of the waistband and it was much better.

I'm not sure how much wear they'll get because they are warm fabric and Sydney generally doesn't get a lot of really cold days. But in today's cold I was very glad I'd made these.

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