Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In the interests of science I will show you these pictures

Until last week, The Sewing Lawyer has been able to defend herself from all transient thoughts that perhaps all those other bloggers who looooooove Style Arc are probably on to something pretty good.  But when the company recently offered a digital download copy of their Barb's Stretch Pant pattern to anyone willing to subscribe to its newsletter, resistance was futile.

So how did I spend my Canada Day mid-week holiday?

Looks good from the front ...
Testing the pattern, of course!  I used some beefy and synthetic sort of double knit from deep stash.  It has 50% stretch width-wise but no lycra (I think).  It is an unfortunate colour for trousers, but this is a muslin so who cares?

The only problem is that these are seriously comfortable.  I might actually want to wear them...  But maybe not outside the house or with top tucked in.

Style Arc sent me 3 sizes (the size I chose as the best match to my measurements plus one smaller and one bigger) which was very generous, since one of the reasons I haven't been a customer was reluctance to commit to a single size.  I had chosen the size 10 because it was the closest to my hip measurement (38.6" or 98cm) but my waist is between sizes 6 and 8.  If I was making a top, I'd probably go with an 8.

In the interests of science, I did not do a single modification before cutting these out, despite the fact that the back piece didn't look like most of the pants patterns that fit me. This draft is clearly for someone who has a bigger/more projecting derrière.  Normally I'd prefer a more scooped back crotch curve with less of a big ole dart (i.e. a more straight up and down CB seam).

And the camera shows that I was right to be skeptical.  There is fabric pooling below the waistband and a lot of excess at the back upper leg.  From the side, you can see how flat I am.  

I also knew the waist would be too big and it was.  I took approximately the 5cm (2") difference between sizes 8 and 10 out by way of a side-seam dart, blending to nothing at the full hip.  I took a corresponding amount out of the waist band piece.

So what is the verdict?

Well, if I was going to make these to wear out of the house, I'd clearly have to tweak the fit. Nothing so surprising about that.

As for style, Style Arc describes these as featuring a "slimmer leg but not too slim, perfect for the office".  The leg width is pretty perfect.  I'm not sold on the pull-on stretch pants for my office wardrobe, however could definitely imagine wearing this style with a casual tunic length top or sweater.

In other news, I managed to snap this photo of the Snowbirds flying in formation over my house today on their way to Parliament Hill.  Happy Canada Day!


  1. To me pull on pants are casual. From the front these are perfect but flat rear ends really do need tweaking. I am heavier but we need the same alterations for our flat rear ends.

  2. From one Canadian to another, Happy Canada Day.

  3. You are a brave woman to show pictures from the rear, something I don't have the guts (or buns) to pull off. If you tweak the fit, pants like that can be really useful under a long sweater or tunic, particularly when traveling.

  4. For perhaps the first time I am grateful for my round rear end???? Style Arc fits me perfectly, I am so happy to have found them.

  5. Thanks for doing the review with pics. It is super helpful. I have ordered a couple of their patterns but they are sitting in the pattern box because I was skinnier when I bought them and now will have to make modifications (or wait until the trainer sessions take effect). Really wish they'd do multi sizing. Your pants have good potential though. And they look really comfortable. From the front they don't even look like pull-on pants.

  6. Perfect for round the house or garden.