Tencel Pants

I’ve been casually making and modifying a pants pattern (which is made from a mash-up of several patterns) for the last wee-while, sewing up a toile and then taking terrible mirror selfies of the fit before trying to think through how I could address the various bits I notice.

I’d been stewing on adding some width through the knees/calves on the pattern, and changing the shape of the front crotch curve to better accommodate my belly. Then yesterday I decided, in an unusual fit of inspiration/decisiveness, to add width through the front and back leg to make some wide-leg pants with a 2″ pleat at the front from the pattern. So added width at the front and the back and hoped for the best.

Basically they’re the Frankenstein’s monster of pants.

Tencel pleated pants-15

I’d forgotten about this tencel in my stash, but I’ve rediscovered it and made it into pants in less than a week! It was all very fortuitous since I’d been thinking about some blue pants (and indeed, I’ve been on the hunt for blue tencel and have ordered some from Blackbird Fabric that’s a slightly different shade to this navy, which almost reads as black).

Pattern details: There’s a 2″ pleat on the front and in the back there’s 4 cute wee darts. There are elastic-waist pants, so the darts can’t be miracle workers, but they did remove some of the pooling I was getting in the centre back. Even with the pleats and the darts, there’s still plenty of room to get the pants over my largest measurement. The pockets are ‘Glebe Pants style’, but on future versions, I’ll deepen the pocket opening so that there’s more room for my arm in there.

I had thought that these pants were much wider than the Glebe Pants, but actually the legs are almost exactly the same width!

Tencel pleated pants-10

I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking. Or over-thinking. Perhaps I’ve been over-thinking about over-thinking. For the purposes of the blog, I’m going to tell you about the over-thinking I’ve been doing about fitting and how I’d let it kill my pants-making drive.

Working on various toiles of the ‘cobbled together’ pants pattern, assessing fit and then making changes to the pattern.. Well, it felt a lot like work and not at all like the fun and carefree sewing that I like to do.

Sometimes it’s handy to remind myself that there are plenty of fitting things that I have ignored and continue to ignore/deal with in RTW clothing. So, why can’t I give the same grace to my handmade clothes? Because every pair of pants that I’ve made has definitely been an improvement on RTW pants, but lately that hasn’t felt like enough.

It’s so easy to let your sewing hobby snowball into a fitting fest, or to feel like you should be really interested in and concerned about fitting. I’ve certainly felt a bit bummed that I don’t know more, not for my own interest, but more just to combat imposter syndrome.

Tencel pleated pants-11

So my generally latent impetuous side snapped me out of my funk yesterday, and told me to ‘cut into the tencel without a toile’. Wise impetuous me knew that even if these weren’t the perfect pants, I’d still get something that I’d get a lot of wear from anyway! And although there’s plenty of unanswered questions and thoughts for the next version, I’ve got the blue pants I wanted!

5 comments

  1. I think you’re right, most of us have higher standards about what we make than about rtw. Which is utterly silly… Why is perfection even on the table at all? Where was I recently reading something about “don’t be a wrinkle hound” 😂?

    1. I’ve never heard wrinkle hound, but I think that’s exactly right! Folks want pants that look like they’ve been painted on, but actually you need room to move in there (and some folks need more room than others)!

      The version before this pair of pants had quite a bit less width through the hip and waist, but I tried cycling with them over the weekend and while they look great standing, they were less good moving!

  2. I totally understand the over-thinking about fit when it comes to what we make for ourselves. I can understand it in the sense that dedicating so many hours to making something (making it seem like not fun work) I have such high expectations of what the final product will be…but it just doesn’t work like that sometimes! Theres less pressure on RTW in that sense, so maybe we expect less from it.
    Anyway, love the pants!

  3. Oh yes. I hear you about the stewing on fitting. I’m currently making jeans and probably over thinking the fitting thing. I re-tried on my first pair yesterday which I had originally discarded as ‘being a terrible fit’ and actually they weren’t that bad! Did something happen to my body or was it just my brain?

    1. Oh yeah! That old gem. I feel like there should be a stand-down period between sews, because so often our initial reaction is negative when the actual project is not so bad.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *