Pant magic pants: S1696

So.

I’m excited.

Do you know how excited I am?

Because

I

made

PANTS!!!

-insert confetti flying everywhere, glitter, paper stars, streamers, the works-

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Here they are, a lovely velvet Simplicity 1696.

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I originally posted some in-progress/ inspiration stuff ages ago, and while it didn’t take me all this time to make,  it did take me somewhere around a month.

I started these pant both because I got very inspiring fabric for very cheap, and because a favorite pair of high-waisted  jeans are dying (stretch fabric yo). I still have about a yard of the velvet and I might make a skirt from it.

These are the fabrics I used:

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I used the polyester velvet for the body, the red poly (left over from a shirt I have yet to finish) for the inside, and the brocade (left over from a shirt mom made me my first year in high school) for the contrast.

Looking at the fabric choices for the pattern, the pants are supposed to be a bit lightweight, so to reduce bulk I changed the inside waistband to the red poly. Well, as I can see this is going to be hard to explain, here’s a picture!

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And another:

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(don’t mind the animal hair; it’s shedding season)

You can see here that I MADE BIAS TAPE (cough cough) and bound every. single. edge. And I was close to actually screaming at it when the poly velvet slipped against the poly binding AGAIN AND AGAIN. -deep breath- which is when I discovered the magic of Wonder Tape in binding. It’s a lovely tape that both washes out and won’t gum up your needle, making sure everything stays in place. I primarily use it for zipper installation, but it saved my sanity here.

You can also see that I had problems trying to figure out the closure method. The pattern says to use two hook closures, but I didn’t have anything on hand so I used snaps. Actually, I tried to do a button and a loop thing (after everything was sewn, of course) and I couldn’t figure it out. I’ll probably add two more snaps closer to the end of the waistband for extra sturdiness.

Somehow, also, my waistband ended up really small? I was really careful about measuring everything, but it looks a lot bigger in the picture.

So, was the fit so amazing? YES. YES IT WAS.

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The Amazing Fit patterns have you select from three figure styles, slim, average, and curvy, by taking your back crotch measurements, going to your size, and choosing the appropriate figure style.

For example, my size was 16 and my back crotch was 15 in. This gave me an average fit, and it was exactly right! I didn’t have to fiddle with the crotch curve at all. I suppose this does make sense as I can fit into ready to wear pants very accurately. I did make a muslin first, and the fitting I did have to do was around my knee and below. My thighs and hips are about the only bit of my that has padding, so I had to slim down in a rather odd curves around my knees for a good, natural-looking fit.

Even if you did have to let out an area, the pattern comes with ample ease, at 1 inch, for tweaks on the go, so I get this was made to go ahead and use your real fabric.

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(The velvet does get a bit wrinkly, so the back doesn’t look that bad. I might be slouching.)

I had a lot of problems putting in the pockets. While the instructions made sense (even the zipper installation, which most people didn’t use), it was hard to wrap my brain around them and I only did a few of those steps a day. And that was because I had already hurt my brain trying to figure them out on the muslin. It came out nice in the end, but just be prepared to take a long time the first few times around.

I also didn’t like the carriers/belt loops. It could be because I used more of the brocade an it was slippery, but I just wasn’t a fan.

Things I would change for next time:

  1. Add length. I had barely enough for a turned over bias-bound edge finish.
  2. Make the ankles wider. I got a little over-zealous, forgetting they don’t stretch and so it’s a little bit of a fight to get the off of my feet.
  3. raise the waist so it’s high-waisted, which is my preferred style and would eliminate the need for belt loops.

Overall, though, I really like how it turned out. It came out even better than I envisioned when I set out to make velvet pants, and boosted my sewing confidence by a ton. Pants have always been one of those scary garments for me, especially the thought of fiddling with the crotch curve.  I’m very excited to have pushed by boundaries, so now I’m off to try some pattern hacking (though not to the pants, not just yet)!

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