Pants! Is there anything harder to fit than pants? Easy to sew, hard to fit properly.
Dear readers, I am in heaven. I stitched up a pair of Style Arc Claudia pants last week before heading to my annual fall sewing retreat. I decided I would throw caution to the wind and cut them out exactly as drafted. I know how to live life on the edge, right? 😉
I did lengthen the legs by 2 inches, because my legs-that-really-belong-to-a-six-footer ALWAYS require that I add a few inches to my skirts and pants. Always. Oh, and I also added about 1/4 inch to the back crotch point length, because you cannot add that alteration after-the-fact, and my ever-so-slightly-chunky-thighs often need a touch more room than most pants patterns allow. So shoot me, I did make a couple of eensy-weensy pattern changes.
For my test pair I used a beefy stretch knit – think heavy Ponte weight fabric. Despite the fact that the pattern name says stretch woven, the fabric sample Style Arc attaches to their patterns is clearly a stretch knit. I used this fabric because I am in stash-bustin’ mode, and I wasn’t going to cry if they didn’t work out. Low bar, eh?
These pants stitched up in a flash. They really are a project that can be completed in an afternoon. A seam down the center front for a little visual interest, a dart up the bottom of the back leg for shaping, a few darts at the waist, an invisible zip and a facing and DONE!
After a quick try-on I determined that all women in Australia are clearly over six feet tall, since the extra 2 inches I had added were totally unnecessary. First clue that this pattern was drafted entirely differently than U.S. counterparts (or is that counterPANTS? hehe). Waist fit was good, the front looked perfect, so I checked the dreaded rearview in the mirror last. Amazingly, a few smiles under the seat were the only thing off in the fit. A quick scoop of the back crotch fixed that problem, and my pants FIT! This was confirmed by my ASG sewing buddies at the retreat last weekend, and trust me, they are a tough crowd to please.
So there you have it. A smidge more length added to the back crotch point and a small scoop of the back crotch, and voilà – PANTS THAT FIT. Those designers down under know how to rock the pants patterns!