Not for myself (I despise wearing pants), for my boyfriend. It all started when Thread Theory released their Jedediah pants pattern and announced the sew along. I showed my boyfriend the pattern, along with The Creative Counselor’s modification, since he likes a looser fit, and told him one day when I have the skills I’d make him a pair of pants. A few days later he said he needed a new pair of pants, but couldn’t find any he liked in the stores… ha! Well, I decided to give it a try, but told him there was a good chance they wouldn’t turn out so not to get his hopes up.
The first challenge was widening the legs. I knew if it was done incorrectly it would cause the legs to twist, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it properly. I asked Morgan (the designer of the pants) for some tips, and she was so helpful! One of the many advantages of indie patterns 🙂 Thanks, Morgan! She said to make sure to add the same amount on both sides, front and back, so that’s what I did. I used a pair of my boyfriend’s favourite pants as a guide for how much to widen at the knee (23″ circumference) and hem (19″ circumference). I also chopped 2 1/2″ off the bottom, which was surprising since he’s 6′ 2″, but I guess most of his height is in his torso.
The second challenge was the fabric. I used a navy organic cotton twill, but it just wouldn’t line up on grain. After some quick googling, I learned that sometimes fabric is off-grain (especially common with twill), and there really isn’t much you can do about it. After some deliberation, I eventually decided to shift the fabric so that the lengthwise threads were on grain and the crosswise threads were off. This eliminated the bubbling at the fold line, and I kept my fingers crossed that the legs wouldn’t twist in the end!
I decided to skip the bias tape finishing since I was doubtful the first pair would turn out, so I wanted to make things quicker and easier. I then proceeded to make things infinitely harder by trying to do a flat-felled back seam since someone mentioned it in the comments of one of the sew along posts. What a mess. I realized too late that it is physically impossible to line up the back yoke seam this way since the seam is no longer centered. Then when I tried to do the flat-felled inseam I couldn’t ease in the excess fabric at the crotch, so there’s a mini dart/fold right at the crotch in the seam. I took it out once to redo, but the fabric frayed so much it was all I could do to just get it back together! I’m just going to hope no one looks there 😉 And next time I will definitely follow all instructions properly and do the bias binding!
I had some trouble with the waistband too. I just couldn’t get it to line up when I used the notches, but it worked fine when I ignored them. Someone else had the same problem, and Morgan said it was okay to ignore the notches. Hammering the button on was a bit of a challenge. I broke the first one. Oops.
The fly construction was surprisingly easy. I was expecting that to be the hardest part, but Morgan’s video tutorial made it really clear!
The verdict? He loves them! He says they don’t twist at all, and as long as no one looks up close at the crotch, I think they look pretty good! I cut a size 36 according to his measurements (this is also the size he wears in RTW) and the fit is perfect. Next time I’ll probably widen the hem a bit more to make the style more boot cut than loose taper, and I’ll definitely do all of the bias binding!
Thank you, Morgan, for your thorough and clear instructions, and for answering all my questions. I honestly couldn’t have made pants without you!