…because they’re a pair of smokin’ hot cigarette pants, that’s why! Okay, I am very, very sorry for that terrible joke (well, not really, I think it’s hilarious), let’s move right along. What we have here is a pair of super chic pants from the pattern in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, in vintage wool from my great-grandmother. Aren’t they snazzy? 😀
This is the latest piece in my quest for a (largely) me-made placement wardrobe. While I own a few pars of “nice” trousers, I’ve never really particularly cared for any of them. Since becoming more enlightened on my personal style preferences, I’ve been able to figure out why: I like my pants high-waisted, tailored and with a gently tapered leg – little wonder the mid-rise, vagurly shapeless straight cut ones I owned weren’t really doing anything for me! I’ve also never cared particularly for black pants; I think it’s the poly-type fabric they always seem to be made out of, which really doesn’t do it for me. So when my grandmother passed on this gorgeous length of wool my great-grandmother had bought to me, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it!
I quite like this pattern, I have to say. They came together very quickly and easily, with the zip, waist facing and hems easily the most time-consuming parts (much like last week’s pencil skirt!). These were constructed almost entirely on my new-old vintage Singer machine, which seemed to love sewing this gorgeous wool almost as much as I did. The only parts I did on the Janome were the zip (because invisible zips were not a thing back when my Singer was born!), and the waistband, because I really couldn’t be bothered changing the thread back over. The hems were hand blind stitched again – a technique I think I’m really starting to get the hang of now. And there is something very soothing about a bit of hand-sewing every now and then 🙂
One thing which did vaguely annoy me was the confusion about the fabric recommendations in the instructions. I first read the “Supplies” section, as would seem logical, and was met with a variety of suggestions that included “light-weight wools, denim, stretch wovns, double knits”. Figuring my fabric, which was a) wool and b) light-weight, was sufficiently compatible, I set to cutting quite happily. Then I start reading the instructions properly and come across “I designed this pattern with stretch fabrics in mind…” !! I decided to forge ahead: Gertie recommends adding 3mm of ease to each seam to compensate for zero-stretch fabric, and I decided I could simply sew them up with smaller seam allowances. But when I basted the pants together and try them on, they were too big! I ended up sewing them completely with the normal 1.5 cm seam allowance. So I think she is using stretch as a fairly generous term here: the amount of give you get from a twill, say, is probably enough. A bit of a pain, but still, no pants were harmed in the making of this pattern so I won’t complain too much 😛
Two features I really do love about this pattern: the pockets and the back zip. Pockets are obviously always great, especially for work-wear, but I especially love the look of the slanted pockets here – I do appreciate a good functional design feature! I think this may also be the first time I’ve owned a pair of dress pants with functional pockets (me-made pants: 1; RTW pants: 0). I think the back zip is pretty flash because it gives such a smooth clean look to the front. I quite prefer this nice flat finish to the look of a fly – they always seems to spread open and show the zip, or bubble up in odd ways – and no buttons to dig in when you sit down! I also like how the invisible zip sneakily matches the stripes in the wool 🙂
Overall, a success I think! I’m very happy to add such a fun and flattering pair of pants to my placement wardrobe, especially seeing as they’re still quite neutral and work well with a lot of my existing tops 🙂 I’m definitely keen to sew them up again (and thus slowly edge out the RTW pants…) – I think I could even tolerate a black pair, in a nice soft wool (DEATH TO THE YUCKY POLY STUFF). I’m also thinking of possible casual styles – I have a couple of pairs of floral jeans which I love, but don’t wear as much now because they’re a little big – but how cool would these look in a floral-print twill or some such?? Very.
So, I think my lower half has been taken care of (for now) – now it’s time for some shirt-making endeavours, methinks! Stay tuned 😉
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx