A bit of a thud down to earth this week, from flighty capes to good solid pants. A quick aside: I’m writing this blog post the weekend before the US general election, and it will post a couple days after, so hopefully it won’t feel totally out of step with reality. I’m hoping, in fact, reality will be heading in a more benign direction.
In the meantime, how about a trip to Canada with the Thread Theory Jedediah pants? Well, the pattern is Canadian; actually, we’re in the park at the end of our street. This is the third pair of Jeds I’ve sewn this year, and the 8th…9th?…pair I’ve sewn overall. It was also the first fly-front trouser pattern I ever made!
I was so intimidated the first time – I’m not sure exactly how long it took me, but I carefully sewed my zipper fly, flat-felled or bias-bound all the seams, and finally, nervously, forked them over to Professor Boyfriend. I had decided to start with trousers for him because he’s a nice uncomplicated long rectangle, so I thought I could focus on construction and not worry about fitting; to which I say now, HAHAHAHAHA. There was something like 4 extra inches at the waist. I took them in (inexpertly) and they were still (unsurprisingly) baggy, but wearable. Professor BF loyally wore them until they fell apart anyway. So of course I rewarded him with a second pair that was far, far too small.
I’d like to pretend the third pair was just right, Goldilocks-style, but truthfully I’m still tweaking these every time I sew them. Now I’ve flipped-flopped – I’ve practiced enough construction that I can whip up a pair PDQ, but I’m making incremental changes to fit. Is it possible, even likely, that his body is incrementally changing over the years, also, and that my pace is too slow to keep up with reality? NO.
Anyway, I’ve cut and taped and slashed and re-taped my initial pattern so many times that it no longer has a relationship to the size chart, but it’s in the range of a 32 waist, with a generous flat seat adjustment and slimmed legs. I’m not sure if my initial fit mishaps were due to measuring error (most likely), cutting/sewing error (second), deliberate pattern ease (third), or pattern error (least likely; I’ve been happy with Thread Theory patterns in the past). They were some goofy trews though.
The pattern calls for 3ish yards of fabric, depending on fabric width, which I found to be way too much. I can make 2 pairs of full-length pants from 3 yards, and once I even eked 1 pair of trousers and 1 pair of shorts from 2 yards, so I think most sizes could safely buy less.
The common area for adjustment seems to be the seat seam. It’s shaped like a “J” hook, with an almost right-angled corner; I didn’t do an ‘official’ flat seat adjustment (I didn’t know what one was yet) but I slapped a wodge of paper into that corner and smoothed the curve, and it improved the fit a lot. I may have overdone it, so I’ll scoop it a *little* more next time. If you or your prospective wearer has got das booty, you might not want to make any changes at all. I also shaved down the hip curve on the front and back, which necessitated scooting the pocket over a bit, so the hand opening would remain large enough.
I now use the CC order of construction and fly zip method; otherwise I follow the Jed directions. By the way, this is the pattern that taught me to cut my notches pointing outwards, not into the seam allowance, which I now do for everything! Even though I don’t flat-fell these seams anymore (my serger has made me complacent), it’s nice to have the option. I also LOVE the front pocket construction – it looks so tidy and professional when done right. These, however, are not quite right. Instead of pocket facings, I cut the pocket lining from the main fabric (these were a q sew – pandy pants, if you will – and all my cotton scraps had been used for masks). Predictably, the openings stretched out a bit. It’s not horrible, but a nice stable cotton pocket bag would have helped.
The main fabric, by the way, is a vintage wool (blend?) that came from some of my oldest friends! They have an ancestress who worked in a US woolens mill, and this cranberry piece was leftover from her stash of remnants from the mill! If I had made these out of lockdown I would have purchased coordinating thread instead of cobbling together some red odds and ends, but when you gotta sew, you gotta sew.
I love this pattern for smart-casual trousers! Professor Boyfriend reports that they’re warm, comfortable, and the wool doesn’t itch at all. I’m certainly going to make more, and more, and more – I’ll probably hem them a little deeper next time, raise the pockets a ½” or so, and maybe slim the legs even more. I’m not tired of sewing them yet, and he’s not tired of wearing them. So we’ll call it a match. 😎
Pattern: Thread Theory Jedediah pants
Pattern cost: NA
Supplies: vintage cranberry wool, gift; thread from stash; zipper, Sewfisticated, $1.30
Total time: 5.5 hours
Total cost: $1.30