March 30, 2011
My feeble attempt at making dress pants was becoming harder as I went on. After barely making it through the back pockets with my sanity, I was getting started on the legs. I was up to step 46 (only 18 more steps to go…) connecting the legs at the seams. This is where the fabric will actually start to look like pants, yay!
I was hoping, really hoping, this would be easy since it was nothing fancy, pretty much one long seam all the way down. I put the pants on the floor, lined everything up and got to stitching. I get really excited when I get to the point where I can almost try something on. So I did just that and many expletives later realized I did it backwards. @&!?&!!! The next 20 minutes were spent ripping out a 3ft long seam. Not fun. Luckily I was in the midst of my Mad Men marathon so I was happily distracted. After finally ripping the entire seam, I laid the pants back down on the floor and REALLY concentrated on the instructions. The right sides were together, everything looked like it did in the picture, I checked over and over. Ok, deep breath, sew again and…you’ve got to be kidding me?!?! Backwards again?? I took a break to cry and eat some cookies. Tagalongs always help.
It took me a while to figure out what I was doing wrong, but once I did, it sucked. I wasn’t sewing them backwards, they were backwards. All because I didn’t cut them correctly at the start. (Insert curse word of your choice). Now I had to switch which sides the legs were on which really sucked because now the front of the pants didn’t quite match the back. The color is off ever so slightly, but definitely enough to notice. I can wear them and get away with it, especially to work because I assure you, the dental industry puts on no fashion show. This was my biggest mistake so far and a good learning experience to ALWAYS follow the directions.
Now that the middle seams were done, the side seams were actually easy. But next was the dreaded crotch seam! I was worried about this the whole time. Pants always seem to have a problem in this area. They’re either too tight which pulls or too loose leaving you with a bulge and questioning if you’re a possible tranny. You know how sometimes you think things are going to be really bad and the anticipation is worse than the actual thing? That was the crotch seam. It worked, just like the instructions said it would. Amazing how I thought the legs would be easy but turned out to be the hardest and this was the exact opposite. Oh sewing, you’re funny.
Next up was the waistband. The ever so helpful, disgruntled teenager at Joanns was supposed to cut me fusible interfacing but did not. For once, I had some luck and the correct interfacing was lying around my apartment. Sewing knowledge 101: there are two types of interfacing, fusible and sew-in. Fusible means when you iron it to the fabric is sticks right to it, sew-in, as the name implies, has to be sewn on. Sew-in seems like a lot of extra work if you ask me, but I’m sure there’s some greater meaning to it that I will find out one day when I mess up in the future. Attaching the waistband went smoothly. The last step in the section was to slip stitch the waist on the inside. Slip stitching is ridiculous, you have to grab one thread at a time, by hand and attach it to the fabric, just so the seam stays hidden – Wikihow will show you how ridiculous. Slip stitching and I are not friends, not even acquaintances. So I skipped to the next step and promised to go back to that.
Hems and cuffs at the bottom of the pants were next. To my surprise, things went well, again. To make the cuffs, you have to fold under the fabric and sew, several different times so that all of the edges look nice. They came out good, but just a little too long. No problem since I wear 5″ heels…oh wait…one more step. Woo Hoo! I took it up another half inch and the length was perfect :)
The only thing left to do was the slip stitching, which I had been putting off, and to attach a few hooks for the fly. I put on the hooks then figured I’d do some slip stitching while I spent some time with the handsome Don Draper. After two hours I only made it about quarter of the way around the waist. I held up the pants to check it out and the stitch was too tight, pulled the fabric and it looked worse than before. Slip stitching and I are officially enemies now. I still to this day have not fully completed these pants because of this.
By the time I “finished” the pants they were not the best, but not the worst. They fit well, which is good and the length was perfect which never happens with my ostrich legs. The only issue I had was that they did pull a little bit in the crotch. So I did what I always do when I have a problem, had Carol fix it! She told me it was too tight in the inseam and cut a few little triangles on the inside to ease the tension. Much better. Here’s a (blurry) picture from before she had helped, but you get the jist:
I don’t even know how long it took to make these pants, I think 2 months, but it felt like 3 years. I think, for my first try at pants, I did an alright job. After looking at the pattern again I realized this was an “Average” rating on the Vogue scale. Just for that I am bumping my rating up to really awesome job for even completing something above Very Easy Vogue. I’ll definitely make more pants in the future now that I have more experience, but I think I’ll leave the high end stuff to Alice + Olivia for a while.