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InStitches Sew Along April: Wide-Leg Lounge Pants

Let’s start off on a positive note, shall we?

As with the other projects I’ve attempted using this book so far, this turned out to be pretty easy. The instructions were thorough and clear, and there are only two pattern pieces.
The name says it all, folks: the legs on these pants are indeed quite wide. Very comfy and suitable for lounging (which also helps them live up to their name.)

Of course there are a few things I have against this pattern, which you will see are mostly personal issues.

For starters, the amount of yardage these babies require was a downer. Oh yeah, I have tons o’ fabric, but not in 2+ yard increments. Since I was bound and determined not to make any new purchases for what I consider fun experimental stuff, I needed a creative solution. Hmm…patchwork? Aw heck no! I’m not spending a bunch of time piecing together scraps and then sewing them into pjs. (That didn’t stop me from hand-embroidering them, but more on that later.) I would have to really need those pants. Sooo…fabric that would be good huge and suitable for lounging…ooh! Got it! Last year, I’d cut the elastic off of one of my favorite fitted sheets (which doesn’t fit our current mattress, but was too soft and wonderful to get rid of) to use as a quilt backing, but it was a bit too small. Perfect for this project, though; wearing a converted sheet would be the next best thing to staying in the bed, right? Dug that out of my unfinished project bin and was back in business. Time to cut out the pattern and read the instructions…
…wait a minute….
“Tape a long piece of freezer paper to the back of the front pattern piece….”
Oh man – it’s not a full pattern piece! Now, you know I love my freezer paper, and am all too happy to use it, but I was less than thrilled to find that there was only a pattern for a size small pair of hot pants in that envelope. Minor setback; nothing that couldn’t be handled. On to the pattern alterations, something that always sucks. Took another look at the sizes, and find that I’ll have to adjust the width because the pattern’s 16 is nothing like the one on the rack (par for the course with clothing patterns). Tore off a 30″ piece of paper, then realize that I couldn’t possibly have a 29″ inseam. Right. Measured inseam, cut a few inches off of my new pattern and was good to go.

So now we’re to the dreaded cutting stage. Once I’d ironed the pattern onto the fabric, it was too unwieldy for the cutting mat/rotary cutter, so I carefully carried my pattern-covered fabric outside and left it overnight so that my helpful squirrel friends could chew their way around the pieces like the mice in “Cinderella”. OK, not really, but that seemed like a better explanation for all of the jagged little edges. Golly, if you could see how slowly I was running the blades along that paper – I really tried. Anyway, it wasn’t so bad as to halt production; time to put on my sewing shoes.

The sewing, as I said in the beginning, was super easy. If I’d kept going and just pressed in the waistband and hem that day, I’d have finished it in one sitting. I even finished the seams by zig-zagging along the seam allowance. I don’t know if there’s a technical reason not to do this, but I found it easier to zig-zag close to the seam, and then cut off the remaining seam allowance rather than cutting it down to a 1/4″ first. I tried cutting it first, but the fabric kept getting pulled down into the machine when I was finishing the seam.

Once the pants were finished, I decided to keep with this month’s theme by embroidering some flowers on the outside corners of the leg. “Wow, must be nice to have that much time on your hands!”, you must be saying to yourselves. Um, yeah, must be. Well, I do like handwork and it was kind of fun to work on this while watching tv. Not fun enough to do again, you know, just for “fun”, and I stopped liking my choice of design the minute I’d started it, but it was a good exercise. Kind of like stitching a sampler, although I think the idea is to practice your stitches before you apply them to a finished piece. What a rebel!

Oh, and as for the curled up toes in the photo? It was a long cold winter, friends, and my snaggly toes and cracked heels tell the tale all too clearly. Enough said.


9 responses »

  1. I love the pants. I was having the same dilema this morning. I have so much fabric but not enough for 2yd. I’m not wanted to buy anymore fabric, so I’m having a tough time deciding what to use. The embroidery looks great. I loved that you used sheets, I was thinking the same thing. Are yours solid?

  2. hahahaha! What an adventure. The next best thing to being in bed for sure. And so much prettier too!

  3. I think you did a great job with the pants and love how you solved the various problems you encountered. That’s one of the things I’m finding about being in the In Stitches Sew-Along group–I’m learning more and more with each pattern we attempt with the result that my skills in terms of sewing and problem-solving are improving.

  4. Oh, Cinderelly…I think they are sooo sassy!

  5. Ah, those oh so useful sheets! I have used several for various projects. I made some pjs last year and it sounds like we had a similar experience. Even though they were a pain, they are my favorite pjs and they have lasted much longer than the pjs I have bought commercially. Since yours will last longer, I think it is great that your prettied them up with that gorgeous embroidery! You won’t regret it.

  6. It’s so great to read someone else’s experience with a pattern before trying it yourself so thanks for being the guinea pig! What’s not to like about your Spirograph embroidery? I love it.

  7. The pants look like they came out great, but the process will always be rememberd, huh? I don’t know if I could adapt a clothing pattern or not. Sounds like it’s not the most user friendly book? I have the book but haven’t actually made anything out of it…

  8. Wow. You are so much better about following directions than I am. When I get around to making these babies, I’m seeing lots of tracing on butcher paper and pinning directly to the fabric.

    Now, about your embroidery — sweet cracker sandwich! AWESOME! And the use of a sheet? Brilliant. Nicely done!
    Two snaps for you,

  9. Dude. The fact that you had the patience with this project to do embroidery work is frankly impressive. And reusing old, comfy sheets! See, that’s smart stuff. I can never part with old sheets and they always end up as car wash rags. Not exactly a fitting tribute.



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