Sunday, March 16, 2014

elle pants disappointment

So frustrated! I was making up another pair of StyleARC's Elle Pants to wear to work, since my last pair came out so well. This time I was using a grey bengaline, bought from, with a similar stretch as my black pair. Inspired by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow, I added back pockets to this pair. (Check out her amazing pink pair she just posted!)

But first the good...

They came together super quick this time around thanks to a little tip from Handmade Jane! Since I only have white serger thread, and threading the machine can be a pain, I have been sewing seams once on the regualr sewing machine with matching thread then finishing the raw edged on the serger. With Jane's tip I can cut out that first pass on the sewing machine! She points out that you actually only need to change one thread on the serger to match your fabric, since only one thread with actually show on the outside! Changing the first thread is way easier than the whole upper and lower loops anyway, and I just threaded it with a regular spool to match my project. Great!

And the waistband came together with no fuss at all this time around, and lays beautifully. I was feeling so good about how they were coming together!!!

The pockets are adequate, but not perfect. They ended up a little lower than they should but overall they are O.K.

Now the bad...

THEY ARE TOO TIGHT! So frustrated! The last pair fit so nice, maybe even a little ease to spare, and I don't think I did anything different this time that would have affected the sizing. Even the fabric had near similar stretch! A whole afternoon (and $20 in fabric) wasted for nothing, not even learning anything since I have no idea why they don't fit... and I really, really needed another pair of pants for work.

AND THERE'S MORE! I broke a serger needle. It's been a while since they'd been changed so no big deal... except I changed it and the new needle immeadiatly broke (and it's kinda scary when that needle goes!). Maybe I didn't tighen the screw enough... but then the third one snapped too! Mr. Sew Rachel thinks the tension must be off, but I swear it's not. So not only do I not have any pants, but I'm unable to use my serger and can't figure out why.

Sigh. I'm not sure what the goal is with sharing this discouragement. I guess we all have bad sewing days and sewing failures, I just usually can take some socalce in knowing I've learned something in the process. Maybe some time and reflection will help.


  1. Oh no - I feel your pain. I've just wasted $30 on some gorgeous cotton/Lycra on McCalls 6844 that seems to suit everyone in the sewing community except for me. It is such a shame as your pants look great. Can you get away with adding a strip down the sides - you know, like you would see on dress pants?

    With your serger, are you using the right needles? I think they are usually stronger/more heavyweight than the ones I put in my machine. And how about oiling your machine - is it all running smoothly? Just a though about your thread - have you tried running it with the same thread all the way through, rather than serger thread on three threads and your dressmaking thread on the third. Perhaps with the thread being different (if in fact they are) that is causing an issue similar to tension issues. Does you machine run OK without having the needles threaded? Hope you get it fixed soon and I would love to hear what the solution was.

  2. Oh hun, I'm so sorry, it's frustrating and scary when things happen to machinery and you can't figure how/why it happened and dunno how to fix it.
    Shame about the pants not fitting, I can relate - spent time and money and effort making some really nice printed pants and they didn't fit. Even though the muslin was same fabric type - cotton sateen. Boo!!!

  3. Sorry! Thank you for sharing. I think we have all had a similar experience. Sewing your own clothes is not for the faint of heart. So disappointing.