Pants Ponderings: Simplicity 1696

It’s four days into my new project and I’ve just finished the cutting and stay-stitching stage. To be fair, I made a muslin to test the fit, tinkered with it a little, and then ended up messing around with one seam allowance to fit some pieces better. Which then turned into modifying 75% of the pattern pieces. Does not matter now, as they are all cut, but I thought I blog about my inspiration and design as I have no idea when I’m going to finish.


This is sort of what I was aiming for in my design, but mainly, my inspiration is two-fold. First, my favorite pair of pants are dying. They are green, high-waisted stretchy jeans that were handed down by my Grandmother. They fit like a glove and I never have to worry about slipping pants. I’ll admit, they made me a million times sad, especially with the thought that I’d never own a pair of pants that fit that well ever again. The next inspiration was some deep red (Oxblood?) velvet I got on super sale. I had a dress in probably that exact same fabric, so I knew I didn’t want another, and I immediately jumped to a skirt. But the skirts felt ho-hum to me and that’s when it hit me: I could make pants!

The reason I hadn’t really considered it was that I honestly don’t have many need for pants. As in, I have so many and maybe wear five (four green and one black). I did have a pair of red pants I did like, but they were tight and painful in the crotch, so even though I wore them a dozen or so times and liked the look, they’ve been confined to the back of the closet.

That was all the inspiration I needed to get started, but I didn’t really want any old jeans, velvet or no, that anyone could buy. So I pulled out my Simplicity 1696 that I had bought just because and set about making a muslin so I wouldn’t waste my precious velvet with a silly mistake.


I have never made an Amazing Fit pattern before, even though I had been interested. The patterns come with a one inch seam allowance so you have some wiggle room to fit it, which gets really pretty big in the waistband. I followed the measuring and subtracting guide to determine if I was curvy, average, or skinny in the rear. I came up with a 16 average, and I quickly sewed up a muslin, ripping and re-ripping out the front yoke because I kept putting it on the wrong side. It’s a good thing I figured it out now, rather than on unforgiving velvet.

I pulled them on, dreading having to fit the crotch seams, anticipating a saggy butt, a tight front, but, lo and behold! THEY FIT PERFECTLY!!! Okay, not perfectly. I’m skin and bones (really thin bones) except for my thighs, so I did have to skinny the legs below the knee, but that barely counts in my mind.

In-between cutting pieces and making a muslin, I’ve been trolling pinterest for neat ideas that I’m totally not going to be putting on my pants. Like these circle details:


Or these lace up sides:


Or these pointy pocket things:


Or these awesome triangle details:


Or these sweet button ups:


What I did decide to do, however, was a little color-blocking. I wanted to add some black on the yoke and the belt loops, and then change the inside waistband to more of a lining, since the fabric requirements were for more lightweight fabrics. Not only that, I wanted to actually fit all of my fabric under my machine.  I also plan on putting in ankle zippers because yes. Here are the fabrics I’ve chosen:


The brocade I’m going to use as the contrast. My mom made a shirt for me in my first year of high school (which still fits and is in excellent condition) so that is very special to me. The red paisley I have left over from a shirt I have yet to finish, and the velvet is new to me.

I really can’t wait to finish them and wear them with my new boots!




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