Sssssssay Sssssssewist; Sssssssome Ssssssuper Ssssssassssssy Ssssslackssssss? Sssssssenssssational!

Snakeskin stretch pantsFebruary’s Monthly Stitch Challenge is Smarty Pants where we try our hand at trousers of all kinds! badge As you may already be aware, trousers/pants are not the easiest thing in the world to fit.  So, for my contribution, I went with a fairly simple pattern, no pockets or front fly and used a stretch twill.  Not only is the stretch fabric far more comfortable, but it really is easier to fit.

snakeskin stretch twillI’ve had this super-fantabulous snakeskin print stretch twill in my stash and envisioned slinky, straight legged trousers sewn with it.  And, since February’s Stashbusting february stashbusting badge copychallenge is Love: sew for somebody you love or sew about something you love, it seemed only appropriate to use an animal print fabric since (I’m sure it’s no secret or shock),  I Love Animals!

February 1st was also Serpent Dayserpent day badge, a day to recognize all that our slithery friends do for us.  Many people seem to have an innate fear of snakes, but in fact, without them forests, parks and crops would likely be infested and destroyed by insects and rodents, which snakes eat.  Snakes also help to keep the natural ecosystem in working order and without them, the numbers of prey species would increase to unnatural levels and the predators that eat snakes would struggle to find food.  So, next time you see a snake on your walk, remember to say ‘Thanksssssssssssss’. 🙂

burda 7141The pattern I used was Burda 7141 since it had very little embellishments and would appear very simple and snakelike.  I measured the paper pattern and ended up adding 1.5″ (4cm) to the top, thereby lengthening from waist to hip.  The end result of this is that the front ended up being a bit too high and the back ended up being a bit too low.  I guess I should have taken curves into account.  So, next time, I will add only 1″ to the front and at least 2″ to the back.  I wasn’t sure what type of interfacing to use for the facing, but consensus of the ever helpful sewcialists on Instagram (thank you!!) was to use either Pro Woven fusible weft , which I did not have, or knit, stretch tricot interfacing, which I did have and used with the stretch going cross-wise.

Kitty aids in the fitting process

Kitty aids in the fitting process

I made the smallest size, 8, which did correspond to my measurements, but the pants ended up being very large even after I measured and adjusted the paper pattern.  This could have been due to the fact that my stretch twill had a large amount of stretch to it.  I had to take in about 2 cm (3/4″) of the entire inside leg seam and then put them on and ‘fit’ the rest of the baggyness by pinning the outer side seams to fit my shape.

Two darts in the back instead of one

Two darts are better than One!

I took in enough so that they weren’t baggy but I still wanted them to have some breadth.  My lovely sewing teacher at community centre sewing class, Natallie Chin, put in a second dart for me in the back, rather than just taking in more from the side seams.  This was a great idea as it gave the trousers shape instead of making them look like skin-tight leggings.

Invisible Zip Inside and Out vertical

Invisible Zip

Seam Finishes

Seam Finishes

The side seams were bound with an olive green bias tape.  Naturally, because this will make the snake feel at home in its natural environment.  I finished the inside leg and crotch seams by turning under the seam and zigzagging in an attempt to reduce bulk in this area.  And, I opted for an invisible zipper so that the fabric takes centre stage.

Stretch snakeskin trousers back

Stretch snakeskin trousers side

P.S. Have you voted for my March’s Miss Sew Bossy Patterns yet?  There are four patterns to chose from (pics of each included) and you get to boss me around as to which one I have to sew for March!  The poll is here, please drop by and vote!  Voting closes February 28, 2014.

Snakeskin Trousers Stretch Twill

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134 thoughts on “Sssssssay Sssssssewist; Sssssssome Ssssssuper Ssssssassssssy Ssssslackssssss? Sssssssenssssational!

  1. Angela (@sewnbyangela) says:

    These look gorgeous on you, and it looks like you got a perfect fit! I love your pics 🙂
    About snakes – we have none in Ireland, apparently St. Patrick got rid of them, & Feb 1st is St. Brigids Day – looks like we need another way to celebrate snakes 😉

    • Gjeometry says:

      Ah-ha Angela! I did not think of that, Ireland does not have any native species of snake! I looked up St. Brigid’s Day, the start of Celtic spring, and it looks like a good holiday! Folks from Ireland will have to send happy vibes vicariously to the snakes in the rest of the world.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Denise! I love my community centre sewing classes! I’ve taken a class at a local college here, as well and although you do learn more, the personal attention is not nearly the same.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I adore these!!! But tell me about those shoes! They are a thing of fabness too!
    Kudos on another great post- you always bring us info, fun and Kitty!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you so much! The shoes, right? They are not everybody’s cup of tea, but I love them. I’m so glad you drop by and enjoy posts from Kitty and I!! It makes our day to know this. 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Del, I’m pretty happy about the fitting help as well. I really enjoy my community centre sewing classes. I’ve been to two different centres and the instructors are always so helpful and the attendees are always so nice. It’s a great evening out all around!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Annie! Oh no, sorry to hear about yours! I have to say, the fitting was not too bad at all. I just pinned, marked and sewed! The only issue I still have which I won’t fix in this pair, but will in a future pair is that the front is a bit too high (not a big deal) and the back is a bit too low (a bigger deal because when I sit down, they do pull down too much for my liking in the back.)

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you Andrea! Except for the back being too low (and I can’t really fix that on this pair) I’m pretty happy with the fit! I hope they don’t stretch out any since the fabric does have a rather high amount of stretch to it.

  3. Brooke says:

    Cute pants! I’ve found that Burda pants sizing is always too big (even when I’ve sewn for other people). If I ever bother to try a Burda pattern again, I plan to cut a size smaller than the size charts says I should.

  4. Boomdeeadda says:

    Hey? I’m the first to arrive Your post title is tons of fun, sssssssoo it made me laugh You look super cute as always and let me just say those boots/shoes kick butt. I like to see how you accessorize your outfits after, you’re so stylish.
    I never knew about Serpent Day and will mark the calendar for next year, LOL You’re right about the ecosystem too. Everything has value, even those pesty mosquito’s. I
    mean, my other favourite creature ‘bats’ (not) love them. I’ll probably still run screaming in the opposite direction of either, ha.
    I’m really impressed at the sewing community you’ve built to help you perfect your craft. There’s so much information out there and people are so helpful I find. Bravo. I’m also always in awe of the inside of your garments. The bias tape finishing on your seams is like fine piped icing on a cake. So tidy! Love it.
    I think I mentioned I bought some fabrics in Maui. I’ve managed to launder and press them so far, so that’s a wee start. I’m glad you’re here to marvel at while I ponder my next project. Gorgeous as always Catja! Ta xK

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You so much, Kelly! (I actually just hadn’t ‘approved’ comments yet…spammers and all). Glad you like the shoes, the green pleather and green lace seemed to just go with the snakeskin.
      I love bats, I think they are so cute, like little flying hamsters. 🙂 I am also thrilled with the sewing community both in real life and on social media, for sure! So helpful and supportive and so much fun, as well! And, by now you must know I loves me a nicely finished garment. I was going to use a purple bias binding but then the obvious choice was the olive green.
      I am so excited to see what you sew with the fabrics from Maui!! I’m sure they will be bright and flowery and fun and you will sew something to fill our grey winter with sunshine!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Kirsty, you are too kind! No need to be in awe, this was a simple pattern, so the only thing that required work was the fitting (and, of course the seam finishing, huzzah!). The pant-making part of it was actually very straightforward.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Heh heh, thanks Amy, Serpent Day is a hidden gem, isn’t it? I’m so glad that I got my community centre sewing teacher to help with fitting because I really like the second dart at the back. It added a lot more shape, for sure.

  5. marie says:

    the pants look great on you. In spite of all the remeasuring & ripping out & resewing they turned out so nice. Of course you were lucky that kitty was able to help with the fitting..

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You! Yes, next time, I will be sure to only baste the seams first to fit them, and THEN use either a lightening bolt stitch or I don’t see why I couldn’t have used a regular straight stitch at least on the vertical seams, since the fabric only stretches cross-wise, not lengthwise (vertically). Kitty always works his magic.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Lizzy! There is something about snakeskin print that screams out for a slim cut simple trouser. Can’t wait to see yours, do you have a pattern selected for it?

        • Gjeometry says:

          Yes, you’ve been doing wonderful things with the Drape Drape. You have inspired me to dust off my Pattern Magic 1 and 2 books to try out. (I don’t have the Drape Drape ones). Burda 7863 looks like a nice style.

          • sewbusylizzy says:

            Photographed the Drape Drape cowl neck dress yesterday but they feel a little flat – I was so tired. Might try again later this week.
            I’ve got Pattern magic 1 – hurts my head, Drape Drape is much easier!

            • Gjeometry says:

              Really?? I had no idea it was more difficult. Good to know. I picked up 1 and 2 from a used book shoppe on vacation last year. I can’t wait to see your cowl neck dress. I hope that the dress itself didn’t fall flat, but only the pics.

              • sewbusylizzy says:

                LOL the dress is great, I was just too tired – or perhaps I’m being picky!
                Drape Drape is more of a design aesthetic/style whereas Pattern Magic is mind bending drafting and alterations.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Kristin! I’ve been following along your trouser fitting ‘fun’! I hope you achieve a good fit with your pants soon! Just one thing I would change for next time, would be to raise the back about an inch and lower the front about an inch. I raised both sides by 1.5″ (by cutting and slashing above the hip and crotch line)and after sewing, I should have not treated them the same.

  6. clareyszabo says:

    Catja!!!!! How incredible do you look in these most fabulous trousers! I am so inspired. I love snakes too, they get such a bad rep but they’re fascinating creatures. I am def going to try this pattern too. You’re awesome my TO tequila sista! (p.s. you know I am in NYC next month right?!) xxx

    • Gjeometry says:

      Aw, thank you Clare, you are too kind! The Burda pattern is a nice and simple one and seems to have a good shape, although did require taking a lot in. And, there is a worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle and that is very similar to a snake. 🙂 I do know you are in NYC and I am SO tempted to pop over for a visit. I’m not sure it’s in the cards, but can you email me the dates you will be there? You never know…

  7. Born To Organize says:

    You are gorgeous and so are these slacks. You’re skills are amazing. I giggled at the color of the bias trim to make the snake feel at home. Well done.

    I’ve never understood why patterns are so rarely true to form. I’ve always experienced that problem.

    The darts were a good idea, and great for the curve of the seat. You’ve amassed quite the wardrobe, C.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Aw, you are too kind Alyss! You laugh but, I totally had several colours of bias tape out and was deciding before I finally realized D’oh, of course! Snake habitat colour!
      The odd thing about Burda is that I have made (well almost made, they are not finished yet) another pair of trousers from a Burda pattern, but it was not for stretch fabric, it was for wool, gabardine, etc. and I actually used the wrong size, a 10 and the trousers are not only a tad too short but are really not that large/baggy!? So, I think the measurements for your actual size mean nothing, you have to measure the paper pattern to see which size is at least closest to your measurements.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Right? Thanks Fiona! There is something about snakeskin print fabric that makes you want to sew slim, slinky trousers. Or maybe a supertight tube dress, but not sure how much wear I would get out of something like that. Ah, finishing, finishing, my kingdom for sweet seam finishing. 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Helen! And, YES, Rock Star!!!! I had mentioned movie star in the above comment, but no, totally rock star. I must go put them on right now and feel fabulous. See ya! 😉

    • Gjeometry says:

      LOL! Ya, I tried my best to look all casual and junk through the photos, but I’m pretty happy with them. You know….they’re pants and everything! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Lillian!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you so much, Sandra! I’m so happy that they don’t look too tight and legging-like, I wanted them to still look like trousers. The fabric is quite stretchy though, so I couldn’t really leave them too loose.

  8. Kat Eldridge says:

    Awesome pants, the fit is perfect. I love the snake print, fun but classy. I am waiting for my new sewing machine and then I will tackle my pants. Time to get over the fear of doing them; I really try to not let fear hold me back. 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Kat! I love the snake print as well, I wanted to sew just the right thing with it. I totally think you should sew a pair of pants. Especially a pattern like this with no front fly or pockets, it’s really a very straightforward sew. Of course, there’s the fitting, but that’s where the stretch woven comes to help since I do believe it will be more forgiving to fit. My next sew, that I’m afraid of, will be a proper blazer/jacket. I figure if it goes awry, then I put it aside and sew something else. The sewing police aren’t going to come knocking on our doors and fine us for not getting it right the first time, right? Excited for you to get your new machine!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Kathy! Moar Pants, MOAR!! This is really the first pair of trousers I’ve sewn, so I am thrilled to make more, since trousers/pants/jeans make up the mainstay of my wardrobe.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Heh, heh, thanks so much Nikki! You too can have sssssssssexy slacks! I actually recommend this pattern since it is all about the fitting and less about the embellishments and technical sewing. I want to also try my hand at a real pair of jeans, with front fly, top stitching and pockets. But, will probably make up another version of this pattern first.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Aw, thanks Anne! It definitely took some fancy fiddling, but I did not get all technical and look up proper fit slash and spread or cut techniques for various fit issues. As mentioned, my sewing teacher added the second dart, and then it was just a matter of taking in the excess and also adding a bit of curve to the seam to accommodate my shape, ie, according to the pattern, my hips are “too small” and my thighs and calves are “too big” (whatever) so I just made the outer side seam gently curve around these areas to achieve a snugger fit.

  9. Kristin says:

    These are amazing pants! I admit I cringed a little when I saw the snakes, but then I read your explanation for why snakes are amazing so I relaxed quite a bit. The pants fit you perfectly and you could really wear them anyway. I love them so much!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks so much Kristin! I’m so glad that you read a bit about snakes and they seem less scary. Snakes are our friends! Even poisonous ones, just remember to always wear at least knee high boots when hiking in poisonous snake country.

  10. seweverythingblog says:

    Congrats on getting a good fit, and a lovely trendy garment!
    About there being no snakes in Ireland — I think I’ll consider moving there. I like snakes only as a fabric print.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Samina! I’m very happy with the fit, until i sit down, then I have the back of them pulling down a bit too much and the front of them pulling up a bit too much. Next time, I will raise the front less and the back more, but I’m going to sew a piece of elastic around the top of them, inside, and top stitch on the outside and this, hopefully, will help keep things in place. And, heh heh, as to moving to Ireland. Don’t forget though, there’s no reason to be afraid of snakes, they are a sign of a healthy ecosystem! Even poisonous ones aren’t too scary as long as you are wearing boots.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Kelly! I’m happy with the fit, save for the way they sneak down at the back when I sit. I have now sewn in some elastic at the waist on the inside and have some grey topstitching on the outside, that still looks fine and that seems to help the back not be pulled down as much.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Laurie! I’m ssssssssstoked! The shoes seemed to fit so well with the trousers as they look almost snake-like, although probably not easy to see that from the pics.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Chuleenan! I’m going to wear the pantssssss for the first time “out” to work on Wednesday. The shoes are DETNY by Shane and Shawn. They totally remind me of snakes, the fabric and texture of them AND are SO comfortable! Not something that is always synonymous with ‘great looking shoes’ amirite?

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Becca! I love this fabric so much and I got end of the roll, so I was nervous to cut into it and ended up purchasing 3 different trouser patterns before cutting into it.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Aw, thanks so much Victoria! I would recommend the pattern, even though I had to tweak them down quite a bit smaller, but otherwise, it came together very nicely! The shoes always make the outfit, don’t they? 🙂

  11. Eleyna says:

    Oh wow, these pants are absolutely gorgeous and fit you so well! You did an amazing job! also, I didn’t know it was serpent day on feb 1st. How very cool!

  12. Cari Homemaker says:

    Great job. Your snake print choice seems a much better option than whatever shiny stuff the burda people used on their pattern cover. (Unless you’re a futuristic space traveler, then shiny would be OK). They really look like they fit well too.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Cari! Yes, I was not a super huge fit of the shiny pants on the cover! And, not even crazy about the fit of those shiny pants, I imagine that fabric doesn’t ‘bend’ well. But, I do like the tartan pair on the cover a lot! But, all in all, I like my ssssssssnakeskin fabric the best. 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Shar! I am now of the belief that everybody should have at least one item of snakeskin print in their wardrobe. Possibly more. Snakes are so lucky, they get to wear it every day! (The shoes are also comfy, not always in the same sentence with fabulous 🙂 )

  13. symondezyn says:

    Holy comments, Batman!! You’re a popular lass!! 😀 Love the trousers – they’re very snake-tacular! And you got a pretty fantastic fit – which is definitely NOT easy! Well done! 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Amanda!! I only wish I had more of this snakeskin stretch twill to make something else. I love the fabric, it is cotton and SO comfortable and the colours and snakeskin pattern are fabulous! And, it was not expensive! But, end of roll. 😦 I have other stretch woven fabric and will likely make another pair of this pattern. Oh, by the way, I’m not popular at all. All of these comments are my mom disguised as other people. 🙂

  14. gingermakes says:

    Look at you, fancy pantsy! These look great! I’m one of those people with an innate, overpowering fear of snakes, but I’ll try to thank one next time I’m terrified by one! Luckily I don’t see them in NYC, but often when visiting family in Florida and Michigan- yikes!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Yup, that’s what they’ll call me “Fancy Pantsy”. And, I like it!!! 🙂 I’m so glad you are going to give snakes the benefit of the doubt. I know so many people are afraid of them, but they are really such a cool part of nature. Although, I have since learned that Ireland and New Zealand do not have native land snakes, so if the fear becomes too overwhelming, you can always move. 😉

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