I’m new to this whole blogging thing, so perhaps I should apologise for the infrequency of my posts lately. However I feel that doing so would indicate a degree of delusion on my behalf as I really doubt that anyone in the blogosphere has noticed my absence.To be honest I’m finding it pretty challenging to balance the demands of single parenthood with sewing, taking photos and then still writing about what I make. Im constantly suppressing my inner perfectionist, she who keeps reminding me of all the inadequacies and imperfections in my work.
I have not read a fashion magazine in a loooong time. I was an avid reader and collector of the British Vogue and the Frankie (although not exactly a fashion magazine) for well over a decade, but have taken an extended hiatus from buying them, initiated by the advent of parenthood, and thereafter prolonged by the constant depreciation of the South African Rand. As much as I love the Frankie I can’t justify spending the same amount of money on it as it costs to fill my petrol tank.
This considered, I’m not exactly sure where I read recently (possibly an article shared on Facebook), that in 2016 skinny jeans are considered passé. I love my skinny jeans, they have been a solid wardrobe staple for me for many years, and honestly I find the idea of them suddenly being considered unfashionable (like I care) pretty silly. Having said that I do find my daily wardrobe wanting of a more spacious and comfortable pair of trousers.
My problem lies herein: due to an indeterminate change in my build since having the twins, my pre-pregnancy clothes, more specifically my tops, just do not fit me the same anymore. Everything just seems shorter and ever so slightly less spacious. I am no taller (I measured), and although a change in girth would not be unexpected, my tape measure implies that this is not the case. Motherhood is a busy, physically demanding affair and some days I just want to thow something on and not have to worry about my stomach sticking out, or my pants riding down while I endlessly bend down to recover discarded toys/ clothes/ food.
High waisted pants have always been something I have loved in theory, but not so much in practice. I’ve attempted them once or twice over the years, but was always undewhelmed with the result. Enticed by the comfort afforded by the pleats at the waist (bending down is a whole new experience in these babies), I recently decided to give them another go.
There were a few pattern options under consideration, but I decided to go with this pattern in the January 2016 BurdaStyle magazine. I made them up first in sweatshirt fabric, like the example in the magazine, and they turned out okay; I liked them, but didn’t love them.
I thought I would try another pattern out and see if it yielded a better result. At the suggestion of another blogger whose work I really admire I then attempted this pair . She makes a pretty convincing case for them, having made a number of pairs that look really great on her. For me however they ended up being quite a disaster and I didn’t finish them, the crutch was too high, the legs were too wide, the waistband was all wrong.
So I reverted back to the first pattern, and committed to making it work for me. I took 2,5cm off from the height of the waistband, hoping to have the resulting pants sit just at my belly button. On both the inside and outide legs I took off around 2cm, tapering up to 16cm. (These amounts are not exact as the fit of the legs were further refined after fitting the pants on). Optimistic about these pattern modifications I purchased a black stretch suiting, very reminiscent of gaberdine, but with more drape and embarked upon another pair.
Pictured here I am wearing the resulting trousers with one of my favourite tops. I made it many years ago but I have not worn it post pregnancy. So happy was I with these pants (I’ve barely taken them off since finishing them) and so delighted at the sudden expansion of my wearable wardrobe now that I could wear my old blouses again, that I was eager to make another pair. I didn’t have a chance to go fabric shopping, so I thought I would make use of something from my fabric stash. I love the idea of pleated linen pants and had a army greenish grey linen blend at hand so I quickly knocked up this pair.
It’s interesting the difference that fabric can make to the fit of a garment, as these ended up so different from the first pair. Due to the the nature of the linen, they start out quite tailored and in the waist when I first put them on, but as the day progresses they get a little low slung and slouchy in appearance. Still, I really like them and quite enjoy their silhouette at both times of the day.
Would I recommend this pattern? Undoubtedly! Would I recommend cutting up that special fabric that you have been reserving on your first attempt? No Ways!
I feel that the fit of man-style troursers like these is such a personal thing and I reckon it is probably best to make a first pair in something dispensable in order to determine what is the perfect fit for you.