This would be the year of pants. Since last May, I knew that my goal for #mmmay2018 would be to make pants and finally be able to sport me-mades head to toe.
When the Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers dropped, I knew I had found my pant pattern. My plan was to invest a lot of time (and fitting!) into one pant pattern that would become my go-to and eventually hack it into capris and bermuda shorts. Obviously, nothing went to plan.
In March, I set to making what I had hoped would be a wearable muslin and planned to make at least one or two more pairs to wear when I went back to work. According to my measurements, I was in between sizes and opted to cut a size up. I needed to cut a size 14 waist and a size 16 at the hip, and I didn’t have quite enough of the two stretch wovens I had in my stash and had to head to the fabric store. I spent well over an hour searching, increasingly disappointed, because literally the only bottom-weight woven with any stretch was a super stretchy denim that did not look awesome.
I decided that I would try out the slash and welt pockets to 1) see if they looked any good on me; and 2) practice before I made my “for reals” pants. This went pretty well as the sew-alongs are characteristically thorough and well-written. Everything hummed along nicely until I went to try on my pants.
They were so baggy everywhere that I couldn’t even tell what adjustments I needed to make, so I took them in 1/4 inch on the side and inseams and they were STILL way too baggy that I did that again. Twice. From there, I established I would need to make the adjustment for a flat pubis and low seat. The Closet Case Patterns free pant fitting guide helped immensely, but didn’t overwhelm me. I knew that there was no resurrecting this pair, so I tossed them and started over. I knew at this point that I wouldn’t meet my back-to-work deadline, so I took a break and made a couple of tops.
A month later, I started out once again. For the second pair, I cut a 12 at the waist, graded to a 14 at the hip, and then back to a 12 for the rest of the leg. I shortened the leg by 2 inches (as is standard for me) and I went for the cropped version right away. This allowed me to use the fabrics I had in my stash (yay!) and I didn’t have to buy even more fabric. I opted to forego the pockets and belt loops so I could quickly bang out Pair #2 and focus on fit. The flat pubis and low seat adjustments worked well, but I still had to shorten the crotch by 3/4 inch.
This pair fit okay, but I still wasn’t super happy with the front/crotch/tummy area and won’t likely wear these pants with a top that doesn’t hit at least my hip. I also realized that I didn’t really have any tops appropriate to wear with trousers as most of my tops are knits or tunics. I bumped up a couple of blouses in my queue which have since been scrapped (more on that later) and set out on Pair #3 to really perfect the fit and get these pants ready or Me Made May.
For this pair, I still didn’t do any pockets, but I tried basting the lower pocket lining only to the pant fronts before sewing. My theory was that the woven fabric would flatten out my tummy a little bit without adding the extra volume of the pockets, therefore fixing my last fit problem.
Except that everything else looked awful. I did a better job on these pants, was more careful, and had to make less adjustments, but somehow, they look terrible. I used the exact same fabric, but in grey instead of black, but for some reason, they bag or cling in weird places. I have no idea what I did.
This was (and is) extremely disappointing, as I had really hoped that I could make these my forever pant and just make them in a thousand colours and lengths. I knew that I did not have the time, energy or money to put into figuring out a new pant pattern in the next month. It put me in a really bad mood for a couple of days and I realized that I was really anxious about the weather turning hot very suddenly (as it does in May)and being stuck in jeans and feeling really, really hot at work. So I ordered shorts. Ready to wear, fast-fashion shorts. During Me Made May. It killed me for about 2 minutes, and then I felt really relieved.
It’s great to make your own clothes until it’s not. I owe my husband a really big kudos here, because it was he who helped me realize making these pants had turned into a chore and got no joy out of planning for them or making them. I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that I may never make pants, and that’s okay. I’ve found a brand of RTW that fits pretty consistently and I can order a whole bunch to find the two or three pairs that fit my body and my needs and return the rest. I’m going to try jeans in the fall, but if that doesn’t go well, I’m going to take a break from making bottoms and I have totally made peace with that.