Pattern: Colette's Clover Pants
Fabric: 3 yds of something stretchy, velvety, and red
First, let me just say...
Wow. Just. Wow.
For the past six months I've had all the makings of a pair of pants in my cabinet--fabric, zipper, Clover pattern. You might even remember them when I laid out my palette challenge. But I was too afraid to use them. My mom had bought all of them for me back in the spring (oh god, or was it winter?). A seamstress herself, she told me it was about time I make myself a pair.
My first attempt at pants, a pair of trousers I started over two years ago when I landed my first career-type job, is still hidden somewhere in my unpublished blog list. It ended in a poor decision to cut the fabric on the bias to get more stretch and too many pattern pieces for a welt pocket. I think I still have the muslin somewhere.
But last night, I finally got up the courage to attempt THE PANTS. I thought I'd at least get a start on them... cut some fabric, baste some seams. But here's where I hands down give it to Colette. The pattern is so brilliantly crafted that I ended up sewing the entire pair in one night. Ok, it probably still took me about 8 hours--and I'm pretty sure I kept my upstairs neighbor up with the hum of my machine--but I still knocked these suckers out in one night.
And look at all the ways I plan to wear them!
like love about the Clover pattern:
- The pockets! No complicated welt pockets to speak of (unless you decide to add your own in, which is totally on you). Rather, the pockets are cleverly tucked into the front in the seam between the waistband and the pant (a sort of horizontal in-seam pocket, if you will). So easy!
- The fit. Now, Colette patterns are designed for the curvy gal. That didn't quite work for me up top when I made the Sencha blouse, but down below the pants are definitely more my body type. They are completely wearable sans alteration. If your fit isn't great, her blog provides a whole cheatsheet for fit issues: how to identify them, and how to correct them, complete with full alterations instructions. Wow! I will be making some changes on the next pair (see below), but as-is they are not bad!
- The construction. Along with the pockets, Colette also has brilliant, easy construction techniques that even a lazy, short-cut sewer like me will follow. The pattern is made for beginners, and while I don't particularly consider myself to be one, it makes for some stunningly simple-to-sew pants that gave a pants-phobe like me some pants-sewing confidence!
- The instructions. I rarely follow directions. But because I had had such an awful experience with pants before, I decided I needed some help with this one. Colette has great illustrations, written directions and, for the new seamster, great tips for sewing. And did I mention the cheatsheet on her blog with help for fit issues?!
I chose this pattern particularly because it is a nice cigarette pant. I like the slim cut of the pant without it being a skinny jean--much more appropriate for work and more versatile to wear. In case you needed any convincing, here's my little illustration of why I prefer the one to the other:
While the pants fit fine as-is, now that I have my pants-sewing confidence up, I do plan on making some alterations based on Colette's fitting cheatsheet. After some time standing in front of the mirror with my laptop open, here are some of the things I will attempt (mostly for my records if not for your viewing pleasure).
First up, a flat belly adjustment to eliminate all that extra fabric in the front.
Then, as with a lot of patterns, I do need to adjust for smaller hips. The actual pants fit fine in this area, but the curve is just too severe. If I make it into more of a straight line (I actually did this on the zipper side of the pants), then there isn't any extra fabric ballooning off my hip. I just need a little nip at the top.
The pants felt a tad too high in the front but a tad too low in the back. The front might be fixed by the flat belly adjustment, so I'll have to figure out how to lengthen the torso only in the back.
I also need to possibly adjust for a small waist to fix some minor gaping in the back, thought again that might be fixed by the flat belly adjustment.
While it looks like a lot, these changes will just be some minor tweaks on my road to a well-fitting pant. I have three (three!) more pants fabrics on the way, so I might start with just the first two or three adjustments and then re-evaluate from there. Looking on the Colette blog, Sarai's pants fit her perfectly, so I can alway aspire for more!
You can read my review of this pattern at PatternReview.com.