Monday, June 17, 2013

Linen Pants: Two Steps Forward and One Back

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This weekend, my mojo was nowhere to be found. I should have known better than to try to force myself to sew or knit. It was two steps forward and one step back with my jeans styled linen trousers.

Steps forward:  I sewed the zipper fly and finished the inseams. This is what the faux Hong Kong seam with underlining looks like once the seam is sewn.

Isn't this a great finish for a ravelly linen?

Then I sewed the CB seam, which I also did as a flat felled seam. So, the insides of these trousers could not look better - so neat and finished!

I also attached the waistband and started adding some decorative stitching. Here's the zipper fly and waistband. My crack stitching could not have been better, and I've been having fun using remnants to make fly shields lately. Doesn't it look great?

Zipper fly and waistband.

Right. Unfortunately, this is the point where things started to go not so perfectly.

Steps Backward: It was time to try the pants on to adjust the length of the elastic that I had threaded thru the waistband. But once on, I realized a major flaw in the trousers. One of the design features of jeans is less ease at the crotch compared to normal trousers. I had sewn these pants as trousers (ie: normal crotch length/ease) with jeans styling (ie. gold topstitching, even along the center/crotch seam). This made the crotch - which looks totally normal on my red linen trousers -  look long and droopy and sad on the jeans-style trousers.

No worries, I thought, I will just hike them up a little higher and they'll look fine, right? WRONG.

I had to hike them up to slightly above belly button level to get the crotch to look right. Now keep in mind that here is how the red ones fit - exactly where I like my trouser waist to be.

About 2" below the navel = perfect!
I know that rise is a generational issue and that some of you may think that waist-height is fine. We will just have to agree to disagree on this. Anything higher than 1" below my navel is just not comfy and looks, well, tragically un-hip to me.

Anyway, after some pouting and therapeutic cussing, I decided to un-crack stitch the waistband and start figuring out what to do. The current plan is to use the waistband, which is still attached, as a facing by folding it to the inside. I'll use it to create a channel for the elastic and then add topstitching to make it look like there is a waistband. So, essentially, it will be a cut on/faux  waistband. I actually had trousers with this treatment years ago and it was very flattering. So, my fingers are crossed that this will work out. Luckily, I had decided that I wanted a deep hem, so there is enough length in the legs that these won't end up too short.

And since I've decided to complicate this project - because that seems to be what I do best - I also made two decisions.

Patch pockets
First, if they are going to be jeans, they might as well have patch pockets, right?

Second, my SM isn't really doing a great job with the buttonhole. So, I've decided to hand stitch the buttonhole, which will be a new-to-me skill.

Anyway, back with more when I've worked out the rest. Oh, and I should add that I did finish my friend's diaper bag. Our meet up was postponed because of the torrential rains on Thursday. But I'll post some finished pictures when we get together this Wednesday! 


Clio said...

I wish I could send you some of my mojo, I have extra right now. I love the fly shield contrasting fabric, such a nice touch. I love the colour of the underlining too, I would never have thought of underlining jeans-type pants. I like it.

Clio said...

Yep, this old woman remembers when hip-huggers were in fashion in the 1970s. I despised them then, and I despise them now. I will always despise them. I realize that this is an idiosyncratic response, and do not mean to disparage your personal pants position. (My long torso + deep rise + short legs + hip huggers = Tragic Clown Pants syndrome.) Pants should cinch you in at a good inch or so above your belly button, to take advantage of the swelling hip/belly/butt that most of us have, to keep the dratted things from falling off as you walk about in them. I am either too "hippy" or not "hippie" enough, lol, to care one iota whether you think I am "hip."

Clio said...

LOL - I should have said "tragically un-hip on me". With my long legs and long rise (I'm tall), pants above the waist look a bit ode-to-Steve-Urkel-like on me. So, I suppose, the exact opposite problem as you. And that's what makes the world go round, right?

Clio said...

Thanks! I didn't exactly plan things, but the linen - which definitely needed lining or underlining - just looked so much like denim that I went with it. So underlined jeans-type-pants thingys. ;-)

Clio said...

look at how cute your fly is!! These pants are def. worth saving. Good luck!

Clio said...

Wow. I'm blown away at the gorgeousness of your seam finishing. Have you finished the seams separately to the lining/underlining? Or did you add extra to the lining then enclose the edges before sewing the seam? I'm amazed! Couldn't agree more on the rise issue. The only time I break the rules here is with skirts, which are (I think) so much more flattering when sitting at the waist. But not for pants! I'm confident you can make the necessary adjustments :) Goodluck on the buttonhole!

Clio said...

I love love love! the interior of these pants! Can't wait to see them finished. And I'm still on a pants journey myself for that nice fitting TNT pair, although I find that I'm happy with one, and then I do something different with it, and it goes wonky. So I guess each pair is individual, not a factory production.

Clio said...

Totally agree 100%! Each version of these pants (there are 4 now) has come out slightly different.

Clio said...

Thanks! What you do is add 5/8" to the seam allowance of the underlining. Sew underlining and fabric right sides together with a 1/4" seam and then wrap the underling around so that wrong sides are facing and you have a beautiful faux HK finish. Voila! Easy peasy.

Clio said...

Your fly shields look so fun!! I've never thought of using fun scraps for that. What a great idea!