Let me just start out by clarifying that by ‘Pants Party’, I mean trousers, not lacy undergarments (or in fact, *any* kind of undergarments) If you’re looking for that kind of party, then you’re in the wrong place ?
I’m here to talk about the ‘trousers’ kind of pants, and more specifically, ones I MADE MYSELF WITH MY OWN BARE HANDS. Well, the sewing machine helped a *little*, I suppose. But I did use my hands.
Even though I’ve been sewing clothes for a couple of years now, I had so far wimped out of making trousers.
It just seemed like a minefield of potential fitting disasters – not only do they have to fit my waist, but they also have to be able to get round my bum and not be too tight at the thighs. What if I don’t get the fit right and the seams split when I’m wearing them?
I’ve also been put off sewing trousers because I have so much trouble buying them in the shops – I need a size 10 at the waist, but a size 14 in the hips and thighs. Which you can, of course, buy in no store ever known to man ?♀️
What usually happens is I that I have to wear what they call ‘high waisted’ skinny jeans (pah – usually they don’t even come anywhere close to my *actual* waist), which fit at the ‘waist’ but are OH SO TIGHT on my thighs. When I walk I get the feeling that the legs are being constantly pulled downwards – they’re seeking the path of least resistance, which is to get off my thighs where the fabric is so stretched and move down to my calves which are (marginally) smaller. Obvs not cool, and totes annoying.
There does, however, appear to be a temporary saviour – I’ve just discovered Mom Jeans. Yep, that’s their actual name – it refers to the fact that their style was popular in the 90’s with middle-aged Mums. They are high-waisted, straight legged, and made of more rigid cotton denim (‘traditional’ denim, if you will) as opposed to the stretchy synthetic soft denim we see on jeggings nowadays. Because of their high waist they hold your stomach in, prevent muffin top and also stop the dreaded ‘peeka-booty’.
After admiring them on a colleague, but only being able to find them in blue (which I don’t wear on my bottom half, don’t ask why, it’s just one of the whims of the universe), I’d almost given up on my search when I finally found them in black. They are Asos own brand, £30 a pair, nothing special and no fancy designer. I ordered myself some, fully expecting to play out the normal scenario of either not getting them over my thighs, or getting them on but realising I need about six inches taking out of the waistband. But – these actually fit. ? At the thighs AND the waist. ??? Sure, I could do with the zip being like an inch longer to make getting them over my bum a little easier, but they fit. And they don’t feel like they are being pulled downward when I walk. They stay where they are. They are… comfy. And that, kids, is a miracle in itself to this hourglass shaped human being.
So if it’s taken me 33 years to find a pair of jeans that actually fits my shape, that sort of explains why I’ve wussed out of making trousers – if not a single pair in the shops fits me, I haven’t got a chance in hell of actually making a pair that fits me. Because, they are pros at jean-making and I’m just blagging it. Right?
Turns out, I just needed to figure out what style I needed – and that style is something not commonly available in ready to wear. Because it’s probably not considered ‘stylish’, or ‘trendy’ or whatever. What I need is a crazy-ass, almost-in-your-armpit high-waisted. You know how people pull their trousers right up to make fun of Grandpa? Yep. That’s exactly what I need.
For me, that’s not ‘high waisted’ – that’s just my *actual* waist. Any trousers that don’t come up that high are either going to:
- Give me serious muffin top (ewwwwww)
- be hideously uncomfortable and try to work their way downwards at every opportunity
- All of the above.
Usually, it’s option 3.
So you can see why I was reluctant to sew myself some trousers.
When I saw these Burda trousers, while I was browsing for my next Minerva crafts projects, I thought they could be a good style for my shape. Yes, they are Grandad trousers (braces and everything!) but that’s what I was after. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the slightly looser leg – given the size of my thighs and calves, I’d only ever been used to skinny fit legs and was worried that looser fabric would just make me look EVEN bigger. But, I thought that if I didn’t give these a chance, I would just keep on putting off making trousers for ever and ever and ever. I’ve had the Ginger Jeans (Closet Case) and Safran Pants (Deer and Doe) patterns for ages, but they keep getting pushed down the sewing queue in favour of something ‘less challenging’ and daunting. I knew that if I committed to making trousers for a Minerva post I would HAVE to make them and there would be no more wussing out.
You can head on over to the post on the Minerva Crafts blog here to read more about the construction details – so I won’t cover that here – but overall, I’m considering them a moderate success. Yay!
I say ‘moderate’, because it was my first time doing a zip fly front and it’s a bit ropey – I wasn’t too sure what it was meant to look like when finished, and if you’ve used a Burda pattern you’ll know how crap their instructions are. Also, I didn’t quite nail the front of the leg… those pleats are meant to be sewn only at the very top where they join the waistband, but this gave me realllly weird poofy bits of fabric on the front of my legs. I tamed them by increasing the length of pleat that was sewn together, almost down to the bottom of the fly, but ultimately this just pushed the poofy bit further down my leg. It looks ok from the front, but a bit lolz from the side.
But – this is balanced out by a really REALLY good fit at the waist. That waistband, although very much higher on me than on the model on the front of the pattern envelope, is really flattering, really comfortable and stays exactly where is should stay. Not even a hint of muffin top in sight.
If I could just sort out that front leg, these would be bloody amazing and I would totally make them again. They actually are really similar to the Jim dungarees by Ready To Sew which I have the pattern for, so I dunno whether to make the Jim and then compare the two, or maybe see if I can steal the front leg off another trouser pattern and graft it onto the Burdas.
Either way, I’m properly pleased with myself for finally taking the plunge, now I just need to keep the momentum going and really get used to the whole zip-fly-thing. Because you know, practice makes perfect ?
I’ve got the fabric for the Gingers and the Safrans, and I’ve also got the M7726 paper bag waist trousers that I saw Jess Sews Clothes make – I absolutely love them but I haven’t yet settled on the right fabric to make these from. Which means they will sit in the queue until I find the fabric that talks to me… But that’s ok. I feel like I want to enter the realm of patterned trousers, but am wary of the possibility that they might look like pyjama bottoms…
Oh, and I still need to make the Arenite Pants from Sew Liberated, which most of the Instagram community has already made about 20 pairs each of and I’m still yet to trace my pattern ?
I think I might start with the Safrans. They are a smidge less complicated than the Gingers, ‘jeans-lite’ if you will, so while I’m still a little scaredy cat I’m going to take baby steps.
Once that’s underway, I’d like to have a bash at making the Jedediah Pants from Thread Theory for the husband, because trousers are the one thing I’ve not made for him either.
Have you made trousers (‘pants’ for all you guys over the pond) or are you still too scared? Any pro tips you can give me are very much welcomed!
In the meantime, here’s a zillion pictures of my Burda’s because I MADE TROUSERS GUYS WOOOOOOO ??????
Coming up next week on the Wanderstitch blog… a Kielo dress! You knew it wouldn’t be long before I made another ? Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out!