Sunday, June 28, 2020

Strappy sports bras: Greenstyle Sports Power Bra

Ever since shelter-in place began, my usual spin and lift workouts have been out of the question, so I've gone back to running and yoga. Running is higher impact, and free at-home yoga involves looking at young, sleek youtube yoga instructors wearing the cute clothes of their sponsors. 



All of that had me looking sadly upon the section of my drawers devoted to the ill-fitting sports-bras of another era of my life. Bras are the one area of my wardrobe which I do allow myself to buy, so I did actually attempt to buy one. After spending hours hopelessly attempting to gage fit and style on a computer screen, I finally selected one, paid, and settled down to wait only to get an email from the company-- sorry, out of stock, order cancelled. I took that as a sign that I should just rise to the challenge of making my own. How hard can it be?



The Greenstyle Power Sports Bra struck me as the kind of strappy sports bra I was looking for, it has lots of great reviews. Many years ago I made the Greenstyle Sundance Jacket and it was a great pattern, I've been meaning to make another in a less flashy print. 

My usual measurements put me at a 36 band F cup, but then I realized it said to measure with a good-fitting sports bra on. Well, I don't have one of those, that's why I'm making the pattern! So I used my tape measure to estimate the kind of compression I wanted, and that put me at a D cup. 

Early version with  2 inch elastic that was far too tight.

I jumped right in with no muslin, and fortunately the fit on the bust was excellent. The fit on the band, however, was so tight that I couldn't breathe properly! For the 36" band size it has you cut a 30" piece of elastic, which seems rather tight. In my elastic it was unbearable. I'm not sure exactly how long my elastic was when I got it right, but it was more like 1-2 inches of negative ease, and I haven't had any problems with the elastic riding up. 

I also ended up swapping out the 2" elastic for a standard 1" elastic. I like the look of the 2" elastic, it gives it a sort of longline look, but it cuts into my round belly that starts right under my bust. 



There is no powermesh or any fancy support fabric in this bra, just clear elastic sewn into the seams. I've probably overthought the issue of support, having read all about different types of power mesh and how you can overlap them in different directions, etc, and that might well be very necessary for some people. However this bra is totally supportive for me, there is almost no unwanted movement while jogging. 



I made a couple construction changes. One is that the instructions have you sew on the band in such a way that it would leave an exposed seam under the bust, and that didn't sound very comfortable. I looked around for another method, and ended up using the method Jalie uses for the Coco Sports Bra. I haven't sewn the Coco, but it is next on my sportsbra list. It's hard to describe, but you basically sew the casing to the lining, then sew the elastic to the other side of the the casing. Then you roll the elastic up in the casing until it is covering the seam allowance of the outside fabric and top stitch it down. The Jalie instructions are available in the pattern listing. It worked really well for me, and the inside is seam-free. 



In fact, the inside finish is so clean on this bra that I put the pink one on inside out for these pictures! You can tell because the seam on the band doesn't look totally level, like it does on the right side of the bra, and also you can see the seamed side of the straps.




Speaking of the straps, that's another area where the instructions didn't work for me. If you are making skinny straps, you can use bra strapping, but I think it looks nice to make covered elastic straps that match my fabric perfectly. They use a method I've seen before, where you stitch the casing wrong sides together with the elastic lined up at the edge. However, I was thrown by the suggestion to use clear elastic (which is not what is shown in the photos in the pattern), and by the fact that a seam allowance is shown. It took me 4 tries to make a good strap, which was super frustrating. I ended up swapping clear elastic for swimwear elastic, and trimming the seam allowance before turning, because leaving it made an ugly, bumpy strap. Next time I'll just follow one of the many tutorials available on the web. 



The other area that didn't work for me was the suggestion to trip 1/4 off of the bottom of the lining. I understand the idea of trying to make the lining a tiny bit smaller so that seam allowances pull to the inside, but cutting it off of the bottom only made the whole thing sort of lumpy. The pink one was my second try, and I didn't cut anything off of my lining and it all lays much flatter. If I was doing a real contrast lining, I think I'd just trim a scant 1/8 off all edges of the lining instead. 



Anyhow, one could say that I ironed out my difficulties with my first run (the gray bray) and in the second try with the pink bra, and it all came together very quickly in a satisfying manner! I'm very pleased to finally have some new sports bras that fit perfectly, provide great support, and fulfill my desire to have cute strappy bras!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Euler Bra by Sophie Hines Review

There's nothing like spending 3 months working from home to get one to reconsider the state of one's loungewear. I've never really understood the point of bralettes... but suddenly I found myself gravitating towards my one lonely RTW bralette and longing for more. 

I don't have a good track record with bras, either buying or sewing them. I generally prefer underwires, but I'm super fussy about fit and anything poke-y, bumpy, or rough bothers me. I hate buying bras because they'll feel and look fine in the store, but I'll take them home and won't be able to wear them for more than 45 minutes. I spent ages sewing an underwire bra by Makebra in 2016, including several toiles and many adjustments, and while it is lovely the fit seems fine, it is irritating to wear for long periods of time. I don't even know what would make it better, so I haven't tried again. 

It occurred to me that bralettes are potentially something that I could sew successfully, even in the distracted climate of a stay-home summer. It had to be a pattern that I could easily convert to a cross or racerback, since I have very sloped shoulders and regular straps never stay up. I prefer patterns with a lining or some kind of clean interior finish. Also, I dislike the look of foldover elastic because I can't get past the idea that it looks cheap. What can I say, I'm a tough customer.

I have wanted to make the Madalynne Barrett, and while I haven't seen anyone do it, it looks like you could cross the straps without much fuss. However when I printed it out, the cups in my size seemed very low volume and the instructions for the front cutout looked rather fussy, I just couldn't see how I would be able to sew that without it turning into a hot mess. 

Next I turned to Sophie Hine's Euler, which appealed to me since a cross back was one of the suggested options and it looked like simple but clean finish. I had passed it by at first since it looked like foldover elastic was involved. Apparently one can use foldover elastic, but she also suggests bra strapping, which is used on some of her samples.


There aren't a lot of reviews, but the more I looked at her samples and her work, the more I was intrigued. She has a unique style that is feminine but a little sporty which is very different from other companies. And... it was on sale, so I was sold. While I was at it, I also purchased the Axis tank, which seems to be loved by many on instagram, but I haven't sewed it yet.

I decided I was in between a L and XL, and sewed it up in a ikat print cotton spandex jersey with a thin black jersey lining. I had to cross the front a little more than suggested, and take about an inch off of the bottom outside of the cups. On later versions I make the side band elastic about 1/2 an inch shorter than suggested, and this helps the fit for me. I used 3/8 inch bra strapping for the outside elastic and straps, and 1 inch plush back elastic for the bottom band.


I skipped the back closure, and just sewed the ends together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

Her method of sewing the cups with a sort of buritto method is very cool and efficient. I also love that this pattern isn't as specific about notions as some bra patterns... you can use many different kinds of elastics or fabrics. Amazingly, her suggestions of strap length and underbust elastic length are spot on for me (If I don't use a back closure, and I cross the back straps). 

I was instantly in love-- and promptly made 4 more. 

The fit is spot on for me. It's definitely a soft bra, but the support is decent for a casual bra. This one is designated as a swim top so that you can see fit pics. I wouldn't take it surfing, but it would be great on a lazy summer day. I made it in scraps from the Pinecrest supplex that I use to make leggings and sports bras, with a lining of a thinner supplex knit. I used Sophie's instructions to make a covered band using the thin supplex and some Dritz non-roll elastic, and this is now my favorite type of band for these, it doesn't curl at all. 







Initially this one had the very cool long-line addition that is the other view of this pattern, and it did look very cool, but it had a tendency to roll up over time. I think longline bras just may not work very well with my shape, which starts getting round right under my bust. So I removed it, and now it is much less irritating. I also removed the back hooks, since they also annoyed me, and the bra was too loose with them, but just cutting them off and sewing it together made the band of this one a touch tight. Perhaps it will stretch out, but if not I may have to add an extra piece of elastic. For this one I used cool gunmetal gray hardware.



Sophie has a blog post about making the Euler in lace, so I had to try that out with some lace that has been in my stash for ages. I followed her suggestion to size up since the lace and powernet lining aren't as stretchy as the jersey, and I only lined the side cup as she did in her post. I haven't worn this one yet, but if I like it, I can see more lacey versions in the future. 



This gray stripe version is my favorite, it's hard not to wear it all the time! 


And finally, pink. I'm not really a light pink kind of person, but I added this color of Riley Blake spandex cotton to a recent fabric.com order to make the free shipping minimum because I thought it would be good under light colored summer outfits.


This one has cool silver metal hardware.

I'm clearly addicted. It's a quick, non-fussy sew and uses scraps, so instant gratification. These are in high rotation this summer and my underwires are stacking up at the back of my drawer. 

Of course I have plans to make more. I think in future makes I'm going to move the seams to the outside... less pretty, but more comfy. Even though the seams are enclosed they still bug me a bit. I also purchased some 1/2 inch bra strap elastic and hardware which I think is what Sophie uses on some of her cool versions.














Monday, May 4, 2020

Pinstripe Linen Jenny Overalls

Yes, I have made ANOTHER pair of overalls.



And they are DIVINE.


When all this work from home is finished, I am going to wear them to work and not give *#$%^ what anyone thinks. Pinstripes make them work appropriate, no?

They are Jenny Overalls in pinstripe linen. I bought this linen when it went on sale and I had loved using it to make this dress, but I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Then came lockdown, and my overall streak, and suddenly I knew EXACTLY what I needed to make. (It was from Fabrics-store.com, but they don't seem to have it anymore)

I'm out of overall hardware, so I went with the cute front tie thing I've seen on some other overalls. I just made a couple of rouleaux loops and sewed them into the top seam of the bib. 



The only other thing I did differently was to add a couple of darts to the top of the waistband to try to get it to lay a little flatter against my back. Really I need to just use a curved waistband piece for the back I think. But in this hack version, I added two 1/4 inch darts 6 inches apart on the center back waistband, and did the same for the waistband facing.


I once again did double side button closures. I'm running low on my stash, so I had to use the ones that say VIP jeanswear on them. I'll just disregard the jeanswear bit.


So that's about all I have to say about these. Don't be surprised if the next thing I make is more overalls!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Goldenrod Yellow Denim Jenny Overalls

Overalls are my work-at-home wear of choice. Comfy for endless online meetings and presentable in a casual setting, my linen, striped, and denim Jenny's have been in constant rotation.




Seeing everyone putting their sewing skills to use as part of the civic response makes me feel slightly guilty for engaging in selfish sewing. However, I'm fortunate to be in a situation where our jobs and schools can continue online, so I'm busier than ever trying to be a full time working and homeschooling mom. Therefore I need sewing to maintain my sanity, which is definitely being put to the test!



I've been curious about Cone Mills Loomstate denim, so I looked to see what Threadbare fabrics had and immediately fell in love with Goldenrod. The fabric came at LIGHTENING fast speed! Which made me very happy, and I threw it into the wash immediately upon arrival. I've read about the theories of shaping unsanforized denim to your body, but that isn't really what I'm interested in right now, so I washed and dried it 3 times to make sure there would be no shrinkage in the finished overalls. It washed up to a lovely denim-y texture with a surprising amount of mechanical stretch for a non-stretch denim.




I used my altered Jenny Overalls pattern (Closet Case Patterns) that has tapered legs and side buttons. Since this was a non-stretch fabric, I went with the original Jenny overall pocket bags rather than the pocket stay that I had drafted. On my last pair of Jenny's that I made in stretch Cone Mills denim, I did the french seam backwards, and I'm reminded of it every time I stick my hands in my pockets and feel the seam. This time I nearly did the same thing, but I realized it before sewing the second seam and ripped and fixed it. French seaming pockets is particularly confusing because you want the right side of the fabric on the inside of the garment AND you also want the part of the french seam that is usually on the inside of the garment, on the inside of the garment.



For the pocket bags and facings I used a cotton fabric that I've had in my stash for many years. It is a fun fabric with great colors, but I haven't been able to envision wearing it as a shirt or dress... but I decided that it might make a great lining since the purple seemed to be a lovely contrast with the yellow.



This is my fourth pair of Jenny Overalls! It's funny though how each pair turns out quite different. On this one I narrowed the hips quite a bit... I am wondering if the fact that jogging is my exercise of choice lately is changing the shape of my body. I also impulsively cut 5/8 ths off of the height of the rise since I've felt that it is a bit high on my other overalls... but then I regretted it after I sewed it all together and tried it on, I think I like it better where it was. But it's probably fine, really. The biggest change was that the back waistband was gaping on these, so I had to rip everything apart and add a seam to the center back waistband to remove an inch. I also removed a wedge from the center back seam. I don't remember having this problem with any of my previous versions, but they were all stretch fabrics, and in some I added waistband elastic to the back seam... so perhaps this has always been a problem. Looks like the waistband still isn't perfect in back, but trust me it is better than it was!



I thought I had some overall hardware... but it turns out I had used it all up. I did have these super cute floral jeans buttons though from a mixed box I bought on Amazon awhile back. So I opted to add buttonholes to the straps, so that I can add hardware later if I want to. Actually I'm sort of liking the buttonhole method, the look is a bit more casual, but the overall hardware sometimes catches in my hair whereas the buttonholes are very low profile.




I'm wearing these today and loving them. I want ALL THE OVERALLS... I have more planned! I'm wearing them with my plum blossom blouse in these pics.





Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Plum blossom blouse

Lately I've been really into stripes and solids, but this print was just irresistible. As soon as the first taste of spring hit, I pulled it out and set to work.


Here is a closeup of the print of plum or apple blossoms, with a hand drawn pen-and-ink and watercolor look. It was from emmaonesock, printed on a light and floaty cotton voile.


I made a Liesl Classic shirt, with my usual modifications... no bust dart, extra ease.


I did tweak the sleeves for a slightly romantic vibe. I added lots of extra ease by slashing and spreading, then gathered it in with pleats at the binding. I left off the cuff and tower placket and added a bias bound sleeve placket and bias bound the sleeve with a loop for the button closure. 


The buttons are mother of pearl buttons that I dropped in some intense pink dye when I was dying fabric awhile ago. They might have a very slight pink tint... or that might just be my imagination!



The other change I always make with the Liesl shirt is to round the curve of the hem at the side seam so that I can bind it with one continuous piece of bias binding. I find this the easiest and cleanest way to hem my shirts.

A floral woven shirt is actually a first in my wardrobe. Can't wait for the plum trees to bloom so that I can camouflage myself in a tree ;).

Not to mention the fact that shirts are about all one gets to show off in the many zoom meetings that now comprise my life. A new one is a fun change.

My daughter broke her arm this weekend! She's a trooper... and it is probably the most exciting thing that has happened to her since the schools closed.






Sunday, March 29, 2020

My first hand knit sweater: Snoqualmie by Michele Wang

It's been a couple weeks since I've written a post... and the whole world has changed. It's pretty rare that anything other than being very busy will affect my desire to sew, but when the world started turning upside down, all I wanted to do was knit and watch Next in Fashion. 

Also contributing to my knitting binge was the sudden cancellation of the family ski trip I had been planning for months. It was looking like a go, I had even talked to people at the ski lodge to book lessons and they had been sure they would be open... and then everything very suddenly shut down. Therefore, lots of time to knit. 


So, I finished my first ever sweater! You can also find me on Ravelry here for all the knitty details.

This is the Snoqualmie by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed. Quite honestly I never would have considered such a project if it wasn't for Heather Lou's Snoqualmie knit along. I thought cables would be really difficult and I'm not a great knitter, but Heather is very convincing. Of course the sew along was from 2016 but it stuck in my head and when I was looking for a new project this summer, I decided to go for it.

I cast on this summer during our annual camping trip to Cape Cod last July. I very unimaginatively chose to use the exact yarn and colorway that the sample was made in. The sample just looks so perfect to me that I couldn't conceive of another variation.



I loved working with Brooklyn Tweed's Quarry. I looked long and hard for a substitute, but I couldn't find anything like it, anywhere. I also was influenced by comments on how the lightness of the yarn was key to keeping the oversize cable design from being too heavy. So I just relented and got Quarry, direct from Brooklyn Tweed. It is not like any other yarn I've worked with and I love the rustic quality and the light squishyness of it. It has a wooly feel and isn't super soft like some other yarns, but is surprisingly non-scratchy. I read all of the complaints about how easily it breaks, but I'm not a tight knitter and I hand wound all of my balls so I didn't have any of those problems.

I really enjoyed cabling. I used a cable needle for most of this sweater, although there was a point where I lost the cable needle and I had to try cabling without a cable needle for awhile, and that was okay. However I preferred working with the cable needle so I got another one. One of the things I love about cabling is that the sweater becomes very visual, and I could tell right away if I made a mistake or lost count. One thing that has driven me sort of nuts with top down knits is keeping track of all the stitches, and I hate counting! I also love tonal patterns and texture, so cabling was really satisfying to my eye.



The other thing that really surprised me is that I loved knitting a sweater in pieces. Top down seems to be all the rage, but the shape of the sweater is difficult for me to conceive as I am working on it and I'm never sure whether I'm doing it right. Also at a certain point they get huge and you end up carrying around a whole sweater everywhere you bring your knitting. Then you are knitting endless rows for the body of the sweater and figuring out where you dropped that stitch is nearly impossible and that's when I tend to lose interest and stuff the project in the back of a drawer somewhere.

However, knitting the pieces gave me more manageable goals-- finish a front, YAY, etc. Also, for someone who has sewn many cardigans on a sewing machine, the pattern pieces made visual sense to me. I've read about knitters knitting all the pieces and then not wanting to sew them together, but I didn't mind that part at all, it was sort of exciting to see them all come together.



As a total newbie to this kind of knitting, I did have some setbacks. When making the back and still sort of learning the pattern, I ended up ripping rows at a time and re-knitting. I was also tricked by the instruction to knit until the armhole was a certain length-- I figured that one would measure the armhole on the curve with a tape measure, because one sometimes does this in sewing to fit a sleeve to an armhole. Apparently that was not what was meant, but I didn't figure out why it looked so strange until I went to block it and pulled out the sheet with the measurements... it seems that one was meant to measure the armhole by the length of the vertical rise. Well, why didn't they just say that? I guess real knitters understand this kind of instruction. So I ripped back and added the requisite length to the armhole, and all was well.

I also had a very difficult time making the fronts match. I finished the left front on our trip, and then set down the project for a few months, and when I came back to it during the holidays, my gauge was totally different. I knit the right front, ripped, and knit it again, and it still didn't match. So then I ripped the better part of the left front and knit that again, and it wasn't perfect, but it was much closer.


After that fiasco with the fronts, I decided to knit the sleeves at the same time on a long cable. This worked beautifully for me... sort of cumbersome, but much better for consistency. Next time I'll probably try knitting the fronts at the same time too, because apparently I'm a very inconsistent knitter.

The pattern is really thoughtful, I enjoyed following it. I really appreciated the glossary of terms and descriptions of how to do specific techniques. The tubular cast on is gorgeous and so professional looking. This was one area where I was unable to interpret the pattern instructions, but this video by Very Pink was super helpful. I also thought the selvage edge and the instructions on casting off for cables to be very helpful in providing a nice finish. I loved the buttonhole instructions, very cool. The one thing I didn't totally love was the way the collar is attached such that the join is visible on the inside when you wear the cardigan open. I guess the idea is that it is a buttoned cardigan and that edge is supposed to be on the inside. I actually have been looking at the Rowe by Michele Wang and the collar on that one is knit double width, folded, and stitched down to hide the seam. However with a bulky yarn like Quarry that wouldn't work so well, so perhaps this is the best solution afterall.

The wooden buttons are from Etsy, Supplies and Sundries in Iowa, they came super fast and they were perfect.



The fit is quite roomy! It isn't meant to be a fitted sweater, and I was totally going for the idea of a big, cozy, easy fit. Therefore I love it! I do worry that it will stretch out over time though... and since I'm such a loose knitter, I feel that there is rather a lot of danger of that. If I was to make this again, I might size down one size.

I am super stoked to have finished this in less than a year, and in time to wear it on chilly spring mornings. I'm wearing it now!

Stay well everyone!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Stretch Wool Persephone Pants

These are my first ever lined wool slacks, and I'm in love! The drape is gorgeous, the texture is sophisticated, and no wrinkling. Why has it taken me so long?


One reason is that I haven't been sure what kind of fabric I should use for a wool pant. But when I saw these by Tipstitched posting for Fabric Mart, I was instantly in love. It is a dark navy medium wool suiting with 5% lycra. The fabric was 70% off... this was a case of effective marketing in action, because I instantly bought 2 yards, and I've never bought anything from Fabric Mart before. My order came quickly and they sent a very generous cut, almost 4 yards, with a note saying that I had gotten extra because it was the end of the roll. After making these pants, I think I still have enough to make another pair.

I decided to take the risk and prewash, since I will almost certainly wash at home. I also figured the lycra mixed in would help prevent felting. However I dumped too much wool wash in, and it wasn't the kind you can leave in, so I ended up running multiple rinse cycles. Then I threw all caution to the wind and tossed it in the dryer to dry. After all of that, it shrank about 18 inches in length. I've since bought some Euclan (no rinse wool wash) and I never dry me-mades in the dryer, so I hope not to shrink it further after sewing!



I was pretty sure that a lining would be preferable for me, since I love wool but the feel of it rubbing between my legs is not ideal for me. It's a stretch wool, so I wanted a stretch lining, but all of the stretch woven linings I could find were poly and I don't like poly next to my skin either. After some searching I settled on a stretch rayon challis from Fabric.com.



I used my Persephone Pant pattern that is modified for stretch (ie, a size down from measurements) and with a fly extension for a zip fly that I used for my Stretch Denim Persephone pants.

None of the pants patterns that I regularly use have instructions for lining, so I sort of just winged it. I just cut another set of the same pieces from my lining, minus the fly extensions. I sewed them separately from the wool outer fabric, then basted them in place at the waistband and the fly, thinking they lining would end up being tacked down somehow in all of the sewing of the fly. (I was wrong, btw!)



What should have been a simple and straight forward zip fly that I've sewn at least 5 times turned into a mess of unpicking. I got cocky and didn't follow the Ginger Jeans instructions, thinking I knew the steps. Well, it finally got all sorted out with a functioning zipper, but I can't say it's the prettiest fly I've ever sewn.

After the fly was sewn, I realized the lining was still not firmly connected. In the future I think I should add the fly extensions to the lining, so that they would get properly attached in sewing the fly. But as a stop gap measure, I folded the raw edge under and sewed the lining to the pant at the folds of the fly. Not the most elegant solution, but on a dark navy pant, the extra stitching doesn't show, and on the inside it is hidden by the fly.

I used the navy wool for the back piece of the pocket, and the white lining for the front piece/pocket facing. It was a bit of a trick trying to keep the white lining of the pocket facing from showing when I sewed the waistband, it required sewing about 1/8 of an inch over the edge of the pocket and then pulling the top edge of the pocket out of the way. It is however nice that the pockets end up enclosed inside the lining.

The waistband is interfaced with medium weight fusible cut in the maximum stretch direction. The waistband facing is made from the rayon challis lining fabric, interfaced with light weight knit interfacing to give it a little more body and durability.

The lining is shorter and hemmed with a simple double turn of the fabric. The wool is hemmed with a deep 2.25 inch hem done with a machine blind hem stitch.


I'm glad I went through the extra effort of lining, the pants feel smooth and soft inside. I also think the lining helps smooth out some of the extra bumps and lumps, and it makes the wool hang so nicely. 

I'm loving these pants! The stretch makes them so comfortable. I'm wearing them for the most spring-y day yet this March, but there are some cold days yet to come and I think they'll be gorgeous with my gray trench coat

Have you made lined pants? What method do you use?


Monday, March 2, 2020

Pietra gray Pietra pants from Closet Case Patterns, with modifications

Finally complete-- my Pietra Pants! As y'all probably know, I'm a huge fan of Closet Case Patterns, but these were a bit of a struggle for me. 

I have yet to meet an elastic waist pant that I like the look of, I've sewn up several that have ended up in the pajama drawer. But after seeing so many happy bloggers and instagrammers showing off elastic waist bums that looked just fine, I thought that perhaps Closet Case had perhaps worked some magic...



The pattern, as usual, was a pleasure to sew. Since I know Closet Case patterns tend to fit me right out of the envelope, I sewed these up without a muslin, to my measurements. My fabric was a stone gray (pietra!) medium-heavy weight linen from Fabrics-store.com. They came together quickly, with the neat construction typical of Closet Case, facilitated by their fantastic instructions.

The fit was perfect, as usual. The front view was gorgeous, love those pockets!

However, when I spun in front of the mirror, I was instantly horrified by the back view. The baggy butt was there, in all its fabric glory. Most likely the effect was intensified by my fabric choice... light gray moderately heavy linen (7 oz) certainly does not have a flattering gather. The thought of elephant skin jumped into my head, and would not leave. The pants got wadded up and buried in the bottom of my project bin.

I thought about taking a photo for before and after purposes, but could not muster the energy to wrangle a rear end selfie. And dear audience, no matter how much you might say that the rear view was really not that bad, the image of a pachyderm was not going to be easily dislodged.

After working my way through several other projects, glimpses of gray started taunting me, and this weekend I finally hauled the dreaded baggy butt pant out of the bin and went to work. Closet Case actually does have a tutorial addressing both the addition of a zipper and the removal of excess ease (on the side of the pant) for certain fabrics that don't play well with gathering, and I took these to heart and went even further in my hack-job modifications.

I unpicked the entire back of the pant, and took (very approximately) 1 inch out of each back side seam, 2 inches out of the center back, and made 1 inch darts over each buttock. I shortened the back waistband to fit the new dimensions of the rear of the pant. I added a side seam invisible zip. It was still was a little loose... so I added the elastic back into the rear waistband.

And the result...



I love the result, for me it is a good compromise between a bit of comfort ease in the back and a tidy rear end that I'm not going to be constantly hiding under untucked shirts and tunics. 


Now that my difficulties are behind me 😉, I love the taper of the leg and the huge front pockets. I might need more of these, especially with spring rolling around. I think if I try to sew these again, I might lay out the rear panel of the Pietra over the Jenny trouser pattern to see a hybrid of some sort might work. 




So happy to finally get my Pietra fix. These are on their way to become a favorite in my wardrobe (with modifications!)

Readers, how do you feel about elastic waist pants? I love the look of some of the RTW elastic waist pants out there, ES Florence pants come to mind, but I have no idea if I'd like wearing them. Do you like the look, or do you tolerate them for the comfort factor?