Sunday, February 16, 2014

i made pants!

Hear that?

That's the sound of me crossing off another 2014 sewing goal! I made pants! Real pants! Wear-outside-the-house pants! And they fit!

And I got a self-timer app for my new iPhone!
Per the suggestion of Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow, I used StyleARC's Elle Pants pattern. I even splurged to get a yard and a half of the suggested stretch bengaline fabric shipped over from Australia, to ensure the best possible conditions for pants-making success.


stretch bengaline fabric in black  
Gillian was right! The pants are super easy to sew up with just three pattern pieces, no fly, buttons, or pockets. Good thing too, because I found the accompanying instructions be be more than a little confusing. BUT, I will say that Chloe of StyleARC is quick and fabulous at responding to construction questions via e-mail!
She writes about Elle Pants: "This is the pant of the moment, slim line from ankle to waistline. Elastic waist 35mm or 1 ¼ inch wide. These pants sit so beautifully without any bulk, wear them with your high heels out for the night or with your sneakers for brunch.....a must have piece in your wardrobe!"

It's hard to evaluate and adjust the fit during construction, as you really can't get a feel for the fit until the waistband it on. Still, before adding the waistband I did adjust(scoop out) the crotch by about 1/4 inch, and lowered the front about 1.5 inches so that the waistband would lay perpendicular on my body, accommodating for my fuller bum. But once I had the waistband attached and I could really judge the fit, I'm not sure those adjustments were actually necessary.

After attaching the waistband I was able to narrow the legs on the outside seam by about an inch from the top of the hip all the way down. I'm very pleased with how well the legs fit, and how easy the adjustment was! I also ended up only having to shorten the pants 2.5 inches!


Something very cool and thoughtful was how StyleARC includes little care tags with their fabric to add to your finished garment, just like RTW.  No need to ruin your handmade garment because you forgot the fabric care!

Overall, I now have a great pants pattern the fits! While the instructions leave something to be desired... I enjoyed using the StyleARC pattern and will use them again (in fact, have another in the works currently!). The patterns are printed on nice, thick paper that will hold up to a lot of use, and I know if I ever have questions Chloe will respond promptly. The stretch bengaline was worth every penny. It sewed up very nicely with the right amount of weight, structure and stretch, making a great pair of stylish black pants for work! My one complaint is that they have that ever-so-slight snowpants sound when I walk. You know the sound I'm talking about...  Now that I've made a successful pair maybe I can explore some other fabric choices that would preform the same, without the little annoying "swishy" sound.





11 comments:

  1. Snow pants sound ahahaha I know the sound!! Some of my RTW skirts have lining that make that noise!!

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  2. AND!! Congrats on ticking off one of your goals!! Pants look great, glad they fit you so well, great wardrobe staple :)

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    1. Thanks! I've been trying to think about wardrobe gaps in my sewing plans for 2014. Of course, still leaving lots of room for "frosting" project as well! It does mean I've noticed a lot of black in my plans right now, but I've got some lovely florals planned for once spring comes!

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  3. They are fabulous and they are a perfect wardrobe staple! I might have to investigate some bengaline! x

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    1. If your are in Australia then StyleARC is a great resource. It's harder to find in the U.S. unless you pay high international shipping, but I discovered that Joann Fabric carries some online for $8/yard. I've ordered some and will let you know how the quality compares!

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  4. Rachel they're just so great aren't they? I wear mine twice a week at least and have fabric for 2 more. I think if you can afford it stick to the style arc bengaline - it's true it's a lot easier to get here in Australia, but I've seen a lot of variation in quality. I'm tempted to buy some of the grey they emailed about in the last news letter. I'm also keen to try them in a pointe knit.

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    1. I was pretty impressed with how the fabric washed, too. I ran it in my washer on cold then let hang dry, and the fabric soften up a little bit and fits nicely!

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  5. I've made quite a few pairs of the Style Arc pull-on pants and I have yet to find a fabric that has the same amount of stretch, recovery, and body of stretch bengaline. If you're in the UK or USA heck out Nortex Mill on Ebay for stretch bengaline. They're a UK based seller. The color selection is quite limited compared to Style Arc but they have the same good quality viscose/nylon/lycra bengaline and shipping to the US is much more reasonable.

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    1. Thanks! I really appreciated reading your post when I was making these, including your post on fabrics. Very helpful!

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