February’s Monthly Stitch Challenge is Smarty Pants where we try our hand at trousers of all kinds! 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.
I’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 challenge 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 Day, 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’. 🙂
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.