Sunday, 19 April 2020
Nita Trousers Tester Version
In another lifetime at the beginning of the year I agreed to be a pattern tester for Amy Nicole's Nita Trousers pattern. I made these up and gave feedback to Amy but it's taken me a couple more months to write it up here. Initially, I hadn't posted these trousers because I had planned to make a pair to wear to work. I had a nice wool blend ready to go, but made this wearable toile first to make sure I got the fit right. Now with COVID-19, there's no real need for new work clothes, so that turned into laziness and I haven't made the work pair yet. Still, it was about time to put this version up.
I made the pattern as close to how the original was meant to look. I'm long waisted so I added 3cm to the rise to get the high waisted fit. I made size 0 but graded to a 2 between the hips and waist as part of the lenthening. I wanted to ensure my make was as close to how the pattern is meant to be to give the most accurate and useful review. The rise sits at the correct spot for the pattern, but I have to admit I personally prefer a slightly lower rise. I find with pants - especially fitted pants - that a high waist is a bit less comfortable and free to move than a slightly lower waist. I tend to fidget a lot so ease for comfort in movement is important. But this isn't a problem with the pattern itself, just a personal preference. Given I had to make an adjustment in order for the pants to fit "correctly", I'm pretty confident that removing the extra rise will be easy and suit my personal preference.
I wasn't paying attention when doing the fly and forgot to topstitch the right fly allowance and didn't stitch the zip down properly on the left fly allowance. Unfortunately I didn't notice my mistake until I was trying on my almost finished pants, so I had to do what I could to fix them but it still pulls slightly open at the top. But I've since made a different pair of pants and used Amy Nicole's instructions - followed properly! - and it's probably the best fly I've ever sewn.
The pattern also has a back welt pocket. There was an option to add a button, but I chose not to. I hadn't done a welt pocket before and thought it would be tricky, but Amy's instructions are very easy to follow. I did however use pins to make sure each layer was aligned correctly. Most of the time I did follow Amy's no pins method, but for a few of the trickier steps I found pins essential for keeping things in place.
One thing I particularly like about Amy Nicole's patterns is she gives the instructions twice - a cheat sheet of written instructions and then illustrated instructions. This makes them accessible for both those who know all the techniques and just need the order of the steps and those who are new to it all and want to see every detail. Amy's instructions are well labelled, so this is a good choice of pattern for someone who's making their first attempt at a pants pattern.
A couple of extra thoughts about the pattern. First, the pockets are excellent and deep. Too many women's patterns either have no pockets or shallow ones, but these are genuinely useful. The pattern is designed for a non-stretch but mine is a stretch woven. The stretch is fairly minimal, but is enough that the cuffs don't quite hold their shape properly without extra tacking stitches to hold them in place. I think if you're nervous about sewing pants it's probably best to stick to a light or midweight woven like the pattern recommends, but if you are more confident you can make it work with some stretch.
Overall I like how these turned out. I found the cut had no fit issues, it is easy to make basic adjustments, and the instructions are very clear. And, once there's a reason to make work clothes again, I will be making these again.