Monday, February 10, 2020

Stretch Persephone Jeans, with a little help from Ginger

It's taken me awhile to warm to the high-waisted silhouette. My body and mind are adjusting, as slow as ever, to the inevitable creep of fashion. 

The Persephone by Anna Allen is the most high-waisted silhouette in my pattern library. My first pair, made over a year ago in linen, languished because they would stretch out during the course of a day and end up sagging. I fixed that recently with a length of buttonhole elastic, and now that they stay up, I love wearing them. So I decided to make another pair.

This pair is made in Cone Mills 12 oz S-gene denim. Or at least, that's what I think it is... I got it as part of a kit back when Closet Case Patterns was selling Cone Mill kits, which was a long time ago! The kit came with 9 oz and a 12 oz jeans-sized pre cut pieces, and I used the 9 oz and have reordered it multiple times. But the 12 oz has just sat in my stash, until now. Very satisfying to reclaim this stash space!

The Persephone pants pattern calls for non-stretch, and has a note that testers have used up to 5% stretch. If I'm not mistaken, Cone Mills denim usually is said to have at least 10% stretch. I thought it might work just fine for me. I've never been one for non-stretch pants... I have no tolerance for things that squish my midsection, they make me cranky. And, it worked for isewthereforeiam, and I LOVE everything she makes, so I thought it might work for me too. 

I made them one size smaller than my non-stretch linen pants. If I recall correctly, that would be a 12 graded to between a 14 and 16 at the waist. Then I sewed them up in an order that allowed the most efficient path towards fitting: Sew the inseam on each pant leg, then baste the crotch seam and back darts. Gotta love pants with no side seam! Then, try on, which allowed me to determine that an extra 3 inches removed from the waist would be ideal. I distributed that 3 inches across 2 darts and the back seam, removing 1 inch at each location. Re-tryon-- perfect!

As before, I substituted the Ginger Jeans zip fly for the button fly. I just don't see the point of a hidden button fly, somebody enlighten me on why I should go through the trouble? To use the Ginger Jeans zip fly, all that is needed is to add the fly extension onto both sides when cutting (I just held up my ginger jeans pattern to the Persephone and traced it on, extending for the longer waist of the Persephone). I used the fly extension piece from the Ginger Jeans, also lengthened. Then I followed the trusty Ginger Jeans sew along that never lets me down. 

Since I had my Ginger Jeans pattern out already, I went with the Ginger Jeans curved waistband. I'm not sure it matters, but anything that might help keep my pants up is worthwhile in my book. I cut it in the stretchy direction of the Cone Mills denim, and faced it with quilting cotton. I also added my favorite medium weight interfacing. This interfacing is mildly stretchy in one direction, and I cut the waistband interfacing in the stretchy direction which I then fused to the Cone Mills. 

When it came time to add the waistband, I basted it in first. Sometimes I find that tugging slightly on the waistband helps the fit of the jeans and keeps the waistband on a stretch jean from bagging out... not so here, my first basted version messed up all of the good fit previously obtained. So I ripped it off and tried again with no attempt at easing any of the waist in... and the fit was perfect. 

I went with the cute and barely useful pockets that come with the Persephone. I'm not in love with them, but having a pocket is better than no pocket, and it do love the minimalism of the look. They also sew up very quickly, with minimum fuss!

I hemmed them up 4 inches for a fashionably cropped look. I'm 5'4" and I think Anna Allen drafts for 5'7", so I guess I should have thought about using the shorten lines. 

All in all I think this might have been the quickest pair of pants I've ever made. I cut them out one weekend morning in about an hour, and sewed them up over the course of another weekend day, and with lots of interruptions for kids, housework, napping, etc, I still managed to finish. 

I loving them so far. Might even require the creation of truly cropped top... that would also be a first for me... 

Wearing them today with my plaid long sleeve Cielo top, Black linen Wiksten Haori, and a silk-wool black checkered scarf (just a square of fabric with fringed edges).


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