For a week+ in January, I had something flu-ish. I wasn’t stoic. Exhibit A: I am still complaining about it. (I’m so lucky that I could take sick time and that thanks to Professor Boyfriend, I had literally no responsibilities beyond choosing my next mug of tea. One lucky couch potato.) Anyway, I couldn’t focus on books and I got sick of TV, and eventually, despite feeling lousy, I turned to the sewing machine for a change. These are my flu pants.
Also, my coming-down-with-something shirt! I’ll zip through the shirt – it’s a Sew House Seven Tabor V-neck in cotton knit, and it’s definitely snugger and stiffer (oo-er miss) than my original poly sweater version, but I could use a hot steamy iron (oo-er again?) so I was happy. I bought the fabric at Gather Here so I was able to get the exact yardage – 1 3/8ths yards – and I was impressed, it was spot on. I sewed it pre-Nyquil, and have nothing further to report. Except that you can’t see in the long shots, but in the details, it’s neon Funfetti! Yay!
Okay, flu pants: the pattern is Simplicity 8842 and it’s an Amazing Fit pattern. I wouldn’t ordinarily go for pants that sit at my lower-natural-waist, so I was trepidatious, but in the end I found the fit Good Enough. I have sewn so few Simplicity patterns, none actually spring to mind, but I decided to sew size 16 (lowest size in the bigger envelope). My measurements put me in size 18 but I didn’t notice until I was almost done tracing; that’s the kind of precision and quality control you can expect from the rest of this project! But the outseams and the back seam at the waist were all 1” wide, so I bargained on using that wiggle room.
So why S8842 in the first place? I wanted pleats!
Prior to sewing these I thought pleats on pants were some kind of arcane rite performed upon the most deserving of legs. These taught me that it’s just a bit of fabric you fold over. I guess I could just pop them onto any trouser pattern. Huh.
See above – my biggest mistake! The fly is weird! It’s so much weirder on the inside, but I am inside so I cannot show you. Can you see the vertical line of stitching just to the left of the fly overlap? That’s holding a hodge-podge of seams sort-of in place because I either skipped steps or added new ones and either way it got strange. Also, it’s teal because I ran out of green thread and felt too crummy to go to the thread store. Exhibit B, same as A: STILL COMPLAINING.
By the way, I used the ‘curvy’ fit pattern piece for the back – it’s got extra side-to-side room for the tush and a second dart per leg.
I don’t think this pattern makes the most of my rear view but I’m ideally situated not to see it anyway!
Because this is an Amazing Fit pattern, you add the waistband before baste fitting, and adjust everything simultaneously. I removed a ¼” wedge from the center back but didn’t need to change the side seams. I trimmed the 1-inch seams to be ½-inch before permanently constructing them, but I suspect my trimming was less than perfect; I probably cut off more like 5/8ths in some places. I was worried that I had overfit these. Luckily the corduroy relaxes with wear so it’s alright!
My only “design” change was making the curved pocket openings into straight pocket openings. I used a scrap of gingham from one of Professor Boyfriend’s shirts for the pocket bags, which makes sorting the laundry pleasantly confusing. I was new to some of Simplicity’s terminology; what I would call a “pocket facing” they called a “yoke”, and so on, but the directions were clear and the pockets are nice and roomy.
The back ‘pocket’ is just a flap! I constructed mine differently than the pattern instructs. You’re asked to interface the flap, fold it right sides together, stitch, turn, sew it with the raw edge up towards the waist, then fold it up and topstitch in place. All those interfaced layers folded over each other felt way too hard and structural. I just cut a rectangle, turned the short edges to the wrong side, and folded it in thirds the long way. The top edge is the folded edge, and the raw edge at the bottom is caught in the topstitching. Lemon squeezy.
This pattern gives you a lot of flexibility width-wise, but not a ton length-wise. I wouldn’t have minded a little more height in the back rise, or an extra inch in leg length.
I just want to cuff without fear of ankle breezes.
I’m happy-ish with the finished pants – kind of a mori boy meets businesswoman feel – but I don’t think I constructed them well. Also, the first time I wore them the back seam split open, which feels like a personal criticism. I’m used to sewing with love and attention to detail, and I sewed these because of boredom and coughing, with a headache and several bottles of seltzer. My attitude when sewing has a bigger effect on my feelings about the finished garment than I realized! That said, I’m glad I have something to show for my downtime besides catching up on Spidermans.
Maybe it’s the first pancake phenom! 2/3rds of my January 2019 sews were giveaways, and at least I’m keeping these.
I hope you’re all beating your colds out there! And if you’re in the middle of one, I hope you can enjoy some couch time!
Pattern: Sew House Seven Tabor V-neck
Pattern cost: NA
Supplies: 1 3/8 yards of Speckle cotton jersey in Natural, Gather Here, $20.63; thread from stash
Total time: 2 hours
Total cost: $20.63
Pattern: Simplicity 8842
Pattern cost: $9.42
Supplies: 2 yards of Kaufman 21 wale corduroy in Forest, fabric.com, $18.62; thread, zipper, rivet from stash
Total time: 8 hours
Total cost: $28.04