The pants block works fine for wovens, and I’m happy to work with Blockers on their stretch pants to smooth out the wrinkles. I can read wrinkles and figure out what should be done. This wovens-to-skinny-stretch phenomenon was unforeseen when I started making blocks for the internets, and I haven’t done much of it for myself. It’s just not a style I usually wear.
But I’m game. And intrigued by the puzzle of making a pattern “just so” for moderate stretch wovens, which is the commonest material for such a cut. Since it’s chilly weather time and also because I’m fielding more and more of these requests, I’m making a series of skinny stretch pants for myself. I want to *nail* those other pants on the far side of the planet that I’m helping with, as painlessly as possible. Starting with the Pinky pants I’ll test my ideas to help me refine the fitting advice I give. I never give advice I wouldn’t take myself, so that means I experiment quite a bit. This is the first skinny-stretch experiment.
The photos are *horrible* photobooth snaps of my backside, but they work quite well for documenting the fitting process and showing me what needs to be done. As I mentioned before, I’m working with a medium-heavy weight no-wale cotton corduroy with moderate stretch. Normal stuff.
#3 Sewed about 1.5″ of ease out of the side seams- now at zero ease through the hips. Tempted to stop here, pants plenty comfortable and keep out the breeze. Know the blog readers will never stand for that kind of wrinkly pink backside. Decide to pin out ease through entire leg. (Thank you, you all push me to doing better work than I’d do left to my own devices!)
#4 Front of pants ok throughout process. No problems. Questionable pockets basted on for easy removal if necessary. Decide to go to bed wearing my pants, in case I dream about them or have a middle-of-the-night epiphany. (Sometimes I dream about pattern pieces, perfect ones falling from the sky around me like massive snowflakes. Then I pluck a few out and they’re the right shapes for what I’m working on in the awake world.)
#5 Did not dream about pants or have an epiphany, in fact I slept like a dead person. Pants extra wrinkled from being slept in (akin to all-day wear, I am a very active sleeper). Two cups of coffee and I’m ready to try again.
#8- Ripped out most of the inseam through the thigh to the knee, stretched the back inseam slightly with steam and heat, and re-stitched reducing the top of the back inseam. WHY CAN’T I GET RID OF THOSE LAST WRINKLES?
#9- I can live with this. I ripped the entire inseam. (That’s the last seam I sew on pants, because it’s often the seam that needs monkeying with the most, men’s pants tailoring rules be damned.) Then I got all kinds of “not cricket” and raised the back inseam 1/2″ at the hem. I pinned it flat to the front inseam to about 8″ above the knee. Then I wet the back inseam only and stretched the heck out of it and pressed it dry with the iron. I sewed it and everything worked together happily. When I put it back on, some of the ironed-in stretch sprang back into place and allowed these happy tiny wrinkles to show up. I stopped. There’s only so much you can play around with a garment that’s already been cut.
I’m pretty happy to wear these out in public now without fear that others may point and laugh. I had a major brain breakthrough about how to cut and sew pants like this without going through several alterations. As soon as I get back to Brisbane and my own sewing room I’ll try it on another length of this fabric I’ve been hanging onto. It’s khaki colored, very useful. I may even go ahead and play with the nap shading, too.
It’s important to note these are *not* tight. Not in the slightest. The pants go on easily, I don’t have to suck in or lay across the bed to zip them and the fly lies flat on the front.
Coming soon- the big reveal. And also, I have *not* forgotten April’s Hack. You’ll be seeing her very soon, including the mess I made by using inappropriate jersey. My English buddy Enid christened it the “Saggy Fanny” top and it’s too funny not to share.