More FESA Makes - The Smooth Sailing Trousers


Pants.  We've had a long and somewhat traumatic history. I think my pants fitting rant was the first blog post that was written purely for "laughs."  Laughs really meaning cathartic venting/sobbing into my sewing machine.  Two years later my pants fitting has improved all that much when it comes to fitted pants. The perfect crotch length/depth ratio seems to be an elusive number that forever tap dances out of reach. So I did the only sensible thing, stopped wearing pants.  OK, maybe not sensible, but it was an effective way not to have to deal with pants fitting for awhile. For the most part being an exclusive wearer of dresses and skirts has worked out just fine.  I've got my emergency pair of RTW jeans in the dresser for really dicey weather, but wool tights get me through most of winter.

Being a happy dress wearer does not stop me from occasionally having sexy pants daydreams.  You might be saying, "Listen Heather, we all daydream about sexy men in pants sometimes. I mean have seen Tom Hiddleston dancing?"  Oh yes I have and I'm a strong proponent of his "snake hips", but that's not really what I'm talking about here.  The kind of pants daydreams I have are of completed outfits that are not actually in my closet. Red capri pants are featured heavily, but it seems planning outfits in your head does not make them magically appear. My window for red capri pants is quickly closing so I decided to put the second most wished for pant on my FESA list, a pair of wide legged cuffed pants.
For several years if I put on a pair of pants, it was a close fitting capri or jeans style. But Vivien of Holloway's Swing Trousers got me thinking about wearing wide leg pant. So roomy, yet elegant!  I toyed with just buying a pair, but my inner seamstress was very adamant that saving money through sewing was the way to go.  "You know there's a shit ton of wool in the stash. Sew that stuff up!!!" OK inner voice, you win this time.
There's a couple of nice wide legged pants out there but I decided to go with the Smooth Sailing Trousers from Wearing History.  They were the closest in style to the Vivien of Holloway pants with the waistband at the natural waist and a seam seam entry.  The Smooth Sailing Trousers use a zipper instead of buttons, but that was just fine with me. I can confidently say that I don't need more "visual interest" in that particular area of my body.

So pants fitting, how does that work out when you're making wide leg pants?  A lot better than it does with fitted pants!  Only the waistband area is supposed to be close to the body so it's a lot more like fitting a skirt than pants.   I did need to lengthen the back rise because hello big butt.  It might still be too long or too short, I honestly don't know.  There might be some sort of black hole vortex thing going on back there bending time/distance so that no rise will ever be right.  But I do know that you don't have to worry about under butt wrinkles in these pants. Huzzah!
See? And any wrinkles there I can just use the excuse, "It's how I'm standing." Muhaaa, Big Pants!

As a sewing project these pants were pretty boring.  While a good wardrobe staple, plain navy wool is enough to put anyone to sleep. This lead to a lot of procrastination, especially since they needed to be lined. My brain knows that skipping lining is a bad bad move that I will forever regret later. That doesn't make it any more fun cut and sew.  I need to hire some lining elves or to promote froggie to linings. He says he needs a pay raise for that and a cake every Monday morning.
But enough about my frog contract negotiations, let's get back to pants for a minute. During the boring sewing I kept telling myself that once these babies were done I'd be pleased a punch.  Happy to report that this is 100% true.  The Smooth Sailing Trousers pattern was exactly what I had in mind when daydreaming about big wide legged pants. Now I can finally get my 40's vibe on and/or climb things in a reckless fashion.

Smooth Sailing Trousers from Wearing History  (I bought the PDF version.)

Fabrics used
Lightweight wool suiting and poly blend lining.

Pattern changes/alterations
- To accommodate my tilted waist, the front waistline of the pants was cut down 1/2" and graded out to nothing at the side seams.

- Added 1" of length to the crotch.

- Straighten out the front crotch curve to give an additional 1/4" of ease on waistline at the CF. (For cake babies and such.)

- Shortened the leg length by 3/4".

- To line the pants I used the same pattern piece but shortened the pants length an inch.

- My muslin showed I needed more waist ease. Then my real pants were a little too big in the waist.  Curse you muslin! (Or maybe I need to start putting zippers in muslins. Sigh.)

Husband Comment
"Wait, did you make those? Really? Pants?   They're BIG."

My Final Thoughts
Swishing around in giant pant legs is weirdly addictive and I might.....might have to make another pair. Or maybe I'll wait until I've got my child labor trained.  Sew Desmond, Sew! No, put the scissors down! On second thought child labor might be more work in the long run.  Sigh.
P.S.  I finally did my Better Photos Project homework and scoped out a new photo location near my house. Or how the police might term it, "Trespassing on a local law office for inexplicable reasons." Don't worry though, I'm non threatening enough that no one pays attention to me dancing around on a lawn....
other than one very loud squirrel. I almost started hollering, "Go eat those nuts loudly somewhere else!!" Blog picture taking is much more important than your winter preparations Mr. squirrel. ;)  Anyway lighting was a little dicey here and I wound up trying out 5 different angles. Took so many pictures that I fully depleted the camera battery and had to hope some of those shots were OK. Thank the sewing goddess that several of the pictures were fine.  Meanwhile Gillian has far surpassed me and is taking street photos. Oh My Lord how cool is her last post?! 

Seriously Gillian, you're too cool for school...which might make your job hard to do. ;)  Thanks for having me on your blog pal. I'm looking forward to next month's Better Photos Project posts so I can learn a thing or two.

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