Sunday, September 15, 2019

I remember this feeling - hooray for comfortable pants!

When I first saw the drawings of Style Arc's new Kew pants pattern the style instantly appealed to me. I remember falling for a pattern of similar pegged leg style back in the 1970s. At the time, I was horribly disappointed because I thought they made me look short and kind of stocky. They were too much of a departure from my actual preferred style at the time, which was those very long, very wide straight legged pants with a super high waist. I never wore them.

Smirking - I made these pants!
This time, the proportions look kind of fresh after all the too-tight, too low-waisted pants of the last umpteen years.

People! These are Mom Jeans! They are so comfortable!

Things I really like about these:

  1. OMG the waistband is actually at my waist!
  2. I can tuck in a top and it doesn't look stupid or feel uncomfortable.
  3. There is enough rise in the crotch and they fall nicely from the waist - no weird wrinkles or pulls at the crotch, no tugging, no discomfort.
  4. There is actual ease through the hips.
  5. The legs are roomy, but don't look baggy. 
  6. The back leg seams allow for fitting if, like me, the size that fits your hip measurement is too big at the waist.
  7. Great jeans style pockets (front only).

The other features I like are just quirky. The pegged legs with the little slit and lower leg dart at CF are cute. The short length feels stylish if now seasonally inappropriate. Hopefully it will still feel stylish next spring/summer. 

I have a couple of quibbles about the pattern which I will fix for the next time I make these. There will be a next time. This is a wearable muslin.

And now for more details.

First, here is a view of the back, showing the seams that split the back legs. There is no shaping in this seam (see pattern pieces at left), which surprised me. 

I cut a straight size 10 based on my hip measurement. Style Arc indicates this size is for a hip of 98cm or 38.6". But my waist is smaller than the size 8 measurement (70cm or 27.5") but a bit bigger than size 6 (65cm or 25.5"). I figured I would sew out the difference somewhere once I could try them on. I ended up sewing a dart into each of the back leg seams that was 2cm wide at the top and 12cm long. 

The waistband piece is not perfectly straight, which surprised me since it sits at the natural waist. When I basted it on to try I realized that (again to my surprise) it wasn't curved enough. I pinched out two little darts at the sides. Each dart is a bit less than 1cm at the top, tapering to nothing at the bottom of the waistband. For the future, I sliced the waistband in 5 places and overlapped the paper about 5mm at each point. My finished waistband is 7cm shorter than the original size 10 waistband.

Coin pocket
Smooth flat front, unobtrusive pockets
I think I'll skip the coin pocket in future. The pockets are a nice shape but more vertical than most standard jeans. The coin pocket is almost invisible. Who am I kidding, it's totally invisible in my busy fabric! And I will never use it. 

I don't understand why the little hem slit is not exactly in the middle of the front pant leg hem, in the same way that the seam is centred in the back leg. It's situated closer to the side seam than the inseam. I am going to move this feature in the next iteration.

I may also make the legs slightly longer. I've hemmed them as long as I could (about 1cm hem instead of the 3cm called for). 

The shape of these pants is so nice that I think I will trace them with a more conventional leg and make them up for winter!