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

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?

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