Apr 3, 2013

Straight or curved, how do you like it?

If your husband hates a print, that's a GOOD sign, right? I'm hoping I'm not the only one who loves this abstract brush-stroke stretch cotton I got for just $9.99/yard from Harts Fabrics.

Slant pocket trimmed with leather!!
Ryan smiles thinly, evading direct eye contact every time I display my progress on this pair of pants, which read as animal print (leopard? giraffe?) from afar. I love the print. And though at first it seemed this fabric was a little lightweight for pants (I'm not a girl anymore; I need structure!), it worked perfectly with the pattern I drafted using Kenneth King's Craftsy Jeanius class, which leads you step-by-step through the process of reverse-engineering your fave pairs of jeans (or pants, as my case may be).

Because one feature my pattern includes is narrow overlapped panels at the side seam and inseam, which seem to give this pant just a little more structure where I need it. It's hard to see in the print, but I think this seaming detail is just the kind of visual trickery this pear-shaped gal needs to feel comfortable in a fitted pant:



The only thing left to do is the waistband, which I haven't yet drafted. Though I suspect it won't fit right unless I make it curved, Kenneth King recommends drafting a straight waistband — and then shaping it by ironing so it fits your curves. But, as my patternmaking teacher once noted: I am very curved. Here's a preview, sans waistband, but with my T-shirt pulled down to hide my underpants:


 I'm going to put my trust in Kenneth; his class is super awesome, and following his super clear instructions and demonstrations, I was able to draft a perfectly fitting pair of pants with only two tweaks to my muslin (I straightened the side seam, which curved toward the front, and I took in 3/8-inch at center back). Luckily I have enough fabric to draft a second waistband if the straight one fails to fit my curvaceous lower back (that's where straight waistbands have failed me in the past).

Want to see some welt pockets? I used this tutorial on sewing single welts:




My husband may hate the print, but he was impressed by my welt pockets. Or at least the man knows enough to feign enthusiasm for the little details that leave me cursing.

Anyone out there an expert on waistbands and care to weigh in on the straight-versus-curved debate? Make me a believer!

32 comments:

  1. I love the print! These look great-- the fit is spot-on! I don't have any waistband wisdom to share, but I'm interested to hear what works for you!

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  2. I have yet to tackle pants but yours are seriously fabulous. Love!

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  3. Love those pants!!!

    Straight waistbands do not work for me... I've tried them and always end up pulling my pants every 5 mins or so.. Hope Kenneth's idea of stretching the straight waistband works out for you.

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    1. I started stretching and out looks promising. ..I will keep you posted!

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  4. interesting about the stretching the waistband tidbit! i am fairly curved, but i find that if my pants get up around my bum, it doesn't matter if the waistband is curved or not.

    love the fabric! i get the same response from my husband when i show him fabrics i want to use for pants: a very squinty-eyed oookaaaayyy...

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    1. Now I know I'm not crazy. .. if you like it. .. they must not be terrible!

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    2. funny, because i've been eyeing a similar color scheme in a stretch twill online at mood--a combo cheetah and floral print! haha! not sure i should try to pull that off though!

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    3. Ooooh. Post a link. I'd love to see it (mostly to enable you to make some crazy pants! !)

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    4. http://www.moodfabrics.com/index.php?file=productdetail&iprod_id=16376&icat_id=2&icatidntr=2&icatidwtr=&icatidwbt=&icatidwnewtr=&icatidwac=&shortdes=&vcolor=&vpattern=&vapplication=&pricerange=&onsale=&newarrival=&custfav=&closeout=&wholesale=&pagelimit=24&page=1&keyword=&topmatmsvalms=&vbrand=

      that's a super long link... here's the product #FC12722C

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    5. Do it! I can't imagine you would regret it. It's all in the styling. ...

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  5. Makes me think a little about Peg Bundy.

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    1. Yes! Now that's the kind of pop culture reference I can get on board with. Bring on the bonbons!!

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  6. I think they look very exciting! :D Not a girl? To some of us you are! Good work, as usual.

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    1. You're very kind! This week I turned 35!

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  7. i would try it both ways and see what you like...i think that kenneth's idea is that the straight waistband, curved by the iron, is stronger in its grain than a curved waistband? and therefore it is more likely to stay in the shape you want it to. at least, i have heard him use that explanation on other, similar applications. i'll be eager to see what your experience is!

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    1. Yeah, that's the idea. .. plus he says it's less bulky and more flattering.

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  8. I love prints for pants! and I would baste on a straight waistband, pin darts out of it wherever they are needed, remove the basting stitches, and That's my curved pattern piece. to avoid stretching of a stretch fabric or because of bias I would interface with a stable fusible.
    and Happy belated Birthday!

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  9. I think you pants look awesome! I can see it with nice short sleeve button up and ankle boots. I love the fabric. I'm looking for something similiar to make a dress. Men don't know good style. lololol

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    1. Thanks for the styling suggestion! It's always a slippery slope to wanting to make five more things — all to go with your fave new garment!

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  10. Love your fabric! I bought something similar about four years ago and made a tank top, but it's in shades of blue with a touch of black and the tiniest bit of white--just enough white to create sparkle!

    I'm very curvy and short-waisted--waist is very small in proportion to hips.

    I tend to favour a curved waistband, with the back waistband cut on the bias. Straight waistbands--even when they're a tad too large, tend to be very uncomfortable for me. My body looks a bit like a pear-shaped hourglass, with very little space at the waist to accommodate a waistband unless it is shaped the same way I am! lol


    Taja

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    1. I am with you. But I stretched my waistband according to his method, and just holding it up to my body...it seems like it may work. Unfortunately I think my fabric is a little lightweight, so I may need to use petersham to give it some support — a bit of a drag because I don't have any on hand ...and I really want to wear these pants next weekend!

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  11. The pants look marvelous. I too would do a straight waistband. If gaping is a problem in back, you can insert a little elastic, either in the waistband itself, on in a casing lapped on top.

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    1. I have done that trick in the past (on a pair of shorts). So far it seems like I may not need it....fingers crossed!

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  12. How do you successfully fit pants? I imagine myself bending over and around to feel if my butt is ok, but im sure that's not the way..

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    1. Mirrors...and, if you have to, a friend to help you pin out any excess.

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  13. that's a bold but you're rockin' it! the pants look really well made so far and nice job on the pockets! i think what's really cool is the subtle effect of the side panels, i haven't seen any other pants like that before!

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    1. They're kind of like tuxedo pant style...cropped, fitted tuxedo pants..

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  14. Those pants are already looking awesome and they're not even finished! I love the bit of leather trim. I think the whole pressing and stretching a straight waistband into shape makes a lot of sense. I look forward to hearing about the results.

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  15. I've just finished the first pair of trousers that I've made for myself in 13 years! The fit on the last pair were awful and left me with a pain in my neck from trying to sort them out. Then I cut the front and back running in opposite directions so I had weird shading on the legs! This new pair I made from a pattern copied from a well fitting pair, and I love them. The waistband is curved, but interfaced with a firm cotton interfacing so they won't stretch out. Love your fabric- and they look great so far :)

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  16. LOVE these pants so far!!! They are exactly the kind of pants that strangers in the street will either compliment or envy and that your husband will be "suspicious" of, at least at first. I had a pair of pants that elicited this response. BEST pants ever.

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    1. My husband is sometimes suspicious when I get too many compliments on something I made. He thinks I pre-arranged it (perhaps greasing their palm for a kind word), just to show him!

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