Holy hiatus, batman.
I think I’m officially back from blog sabbatical. I’ve got some stuff complete that I haven’t written about yet, some stuff almost complete that I can wrap up soon and a positive spring outlook. Or something. I dunno. I’m going to try to get back on schedule, one project a week plus miscellaneous posts when I have the time, ambition or just a damn good story to tell.
This week I made pants. I made these pants, specifically: McCalls Melissa Watson for Palmer/Pletsch M6405. I’ve been meaning to make these pants for months. In fact, I meant for them to be winter pants. I wanted to make a mock-up first to test out the fit, since I haven’t made pants since middle school and that was a bit of a mess. With that project, there came a point where I decided that the waist band was too confusing, so I just didn’t do it. This meant that they had a front rise that would make Britney blush and my mom kick my ass if she knew that I wore them to school. They were stretchy grey corduroy and they didn’t hold up terribly well in the wash.
ANYWAY. Pants. They’re seriously tricky to get right. I did not get them right, unfortunately. I got annoyed with the mock up portion of my creation and stopped after I did the fly (as that is seemingly the most complicated aspect of this particular pattern). I should have continued with the fake pants but I thought the pattern would just work. I will never assume this again.
Fake pants with a zipper.
Real pants with a zipper.
After I finished the fly, I sewed up the middle and the sides and put them on. Where these designers get their measurements is beyond me. With the standard (5/8 inch) seam allowance, these pants were about 30+ inches at the waist. I have a 26 inch waist and made the size corresponding to that. I had to figure out how to trim back 4 inches. Even more frustrating was the shape of the legs. They’re supposed to be slim-legged. Not skinny, not wide, slim. These had the absolute least flattering cut I have ever seen. Consider:
This guy and I are in an MC Hammer cover band called Bawl P. and Lil Mallet.
It isn’t much of an exaggeration. I even used a stretch gabardine (as suggested by the pattern), so they were kind of shiny. Also, the gabardine was the most unruly shedding beast, everything I touched during this project was covered in tiny black strings.
I finally pulled out a pair of jeans that fit pretty well and traced them onto the pants. Then I set about trying to take these stupid things in. I got them to a point where they looked pretty sharp, attached the waistband and was happy to be done. Well almost done. I still can’t find the hook and bar fasteners that I bought when I bought the fabric, so they have no top closure, but whatever. That’s what safety pins are for. I was ready to wear them, come hell or high water.
Ignore the messy room. No one else was home to help me stage this photo.
After having them on for 20 minutes or so, I had realized how un-stretchy the fabric was and uncomfortable they were going to be. But I was committed. I had to wear them at least once, right? Here’s how that day at work went:
12 pm: Work is hectic and I’m moving around more than I expected. This will surely shorten the lifespan of these pants.They are shedding everywhere.
12:55 pm: Man, this waistband is high. Good thing it looks awesome. Wait. The safety pin is tearing the gabardine. And you can totally see it. Whatev.
1:35 pm: They’re kind of tight. Took a cool pic sitting at my desk. Glad I brought jeans for when these things split at the seams.
- Never mind, this picture’s not that cool. I already put it in the post though, so it’s staying.
2:28 pm: Finally had to go pee. I had forgotten about the safety pin latch on my pants and that’s an annoying thing I hadn’t considered when I came up with this solution. Also annoying: the way these pants shed little black threads constantly.
3:40 pm: Had to pee again. Should quit drinking so much water. Little black threads in my underpants. Am currently eating pizza (three pieces total), will certainly be more uncomfortable soon.
4:20 (ish): Compliments from my friend Daina on my outfit today. Didn’t want to sound like an idiot so I didn’t mention that I made the pants, but still feeling smug. I am cute and wonderful.
6:18 pm: My enemy Nik tells me “those pants are weird” and also asks “what’s with your pants, they’re weird?” I explain that I made them. I was hoping everyone would stroke my ego, but instead we talk about The Vagina Monologues. How hysterical would it be if one of the monologues was just a long burp?
6:57 pm: I don’t know why, but I’m convinced these pants are actually making my arms go numb. I can’t explain it. But seriously, any time I lift my arms above waist level they go numb. Am I pinching a nerve?
7:16 pm: Almost quitting time. Made it all day in these suckers. Sweatpants, here I come.
Finally, here’s a picture of how tremendously helpful it is to have a cat when working on a sewing project. Notice the completely open room around her and how she’s decided to sit on my pattern pieces instead.