Wednesday 20 May 2020

Spotted Wolf Pants

Over the last few years I've made some pants but almost all of them have been workwear. Pants are always a bit daunting, so I don't make them as often as other types of clothing. But now working from home I'm not wearing normal work clothes and my jeans are getting old so it was time to make some casual pants to wear at home.

I used the out of print Peter and the Wolf pants pattern from Papercut Patterns. The original pattern has an invisible side zipper and a curved teardrop-shaped hem. I wanted to change these to more of a traditional pant shape with a fly front and straight hems. This make is basically the newer Otsu Jeans pattern but with a straight rather than skinny leg.

I've made this pattern before in a black cotton sateen. There, I used the reverse side for the pockets and front and back yokes to hint at the design lines but not overwhelm. This time I wanted to take full advantage of the piecing that the pattern could allow. This reversible drill cotton (it's not quite a denim, but pretty close) is something I picked up at Pitt Trading last year at one of their monthly pop ups they were holding in Kogarah. The two sides and the greyish-blue colour made this fabric the perfect choice.

The fabric is a stretch cotton, but has more stretch along than across the grain. Before cutting the pattern out I did consider using the cross grain rather than the straight grain, but the spots looked strange held that way. So I kept to the straight grain, cutting a size XS. The pattern is closely fitted from the waist to the hips, and when I was trying them on as I went along I was worried that they were going to be a bit too tight. But I've found the finished product is often slightly looser than it seemed - I think it's partly down to being cautious on pulling on a half-made garment, and partly overestimating when pinning or holding unfinished seams. Either way, the final fit on these is close but comfortable, with no tightness or pulling and no gaps either.

Given I'd decided to move the zip from the side to the front I was a bit worried it wouldn't turn out. I had to add the extra elements when cutting the pieces out, and also had to go to another pattern for the steps of zipper insertion. I was confident enough that if the fly didn't work I could still put in a side zipper, but really wanted these pants to have that jeans look. I used the steps from one of my most recent makes, the Nita Trousers from Amy Nicole Studio. While I'd stuffed it up slightly on that make by accidentally missing a step, her instructions are very detailed and well written. I used them for these pants and honestly, I think this is the best fly front I've ever sewn. Not quite perfect, but getting very close.

The folded cuffs was a last minute decision when I was evening out and shortening the legs. I tried them on with the legs folded and pinned to work out the right spot for them to finish at, and decided I liked the look of it folded up showing the darker side. Given I already had the darker side showing for the waistband, pocket, and front and back yokes, balancing it out with the darker cuffs seemed to make a lot of sense.

I'm extremely happy with how these pants turned out - they look pretty much exactly how I'd pictured them, and I'm incredibly impressed that I was able to successfully move the zipper to the front. They're also very comfortable to wear and go well with all sorts of tops and jumpers. These will definitely get a lot of wear for a long time.

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