When we were having our early Christmas, I was spending a little time with my son and he asked me if I could just do what I wanted, what would I do? I’d sew! If only I had time to just sew…
Being a curvy girl means pants and I don’t always get along. Until a few years ago when they came out with curvy styles of pants, they were one of my most dreaded clothing pieces. I hated having to shop for new pants because they weren’t going to fit anyway. Any curvy girls out there who know that large gap at the back of the waistband? However, pants are fitting much better now that manufacturers have realized woman aren’t all straight up and down.
Hearing how difficult pants were, I’d stayed away from them. Even though I’d made maternity pants for myself ever so long ago. I just figured they were ‘hard’, and I didn’t want to even think about it.
However, I needed pants, so I went shopping for a new pair of pants. I wanted a casual dress pant. And I did find a pair. However, they were $60, thin and static-y. I started thinking back a few months ago and how if I signed up for the Style Arc newsletter, I’d get a free Barb pant pattern. I had signed up and had the pattern. You can get it here. So I bargained with my hubby. Instead of buying a pair of pants, how about you let me buy material to make a few pair. He thought it made sense.
Here’s the Barb Pant. The photo is from Style Arc.
The Barb pant comes as a digital download. That’s not a problem. I’ve worked with digital patterns before. But this time, for some reason, I really didn’t like working from the paper pattern. It was so stiff. It’s possible that because it’s a lot longer than the apron pattern I’d done before, it was just a lot more cutting. For my next pair, I’ll trace the pattern off onto tissue paper for cutting.
Style Arc are also very generously in that they give you three sizes. I wasn’t quite sure, so I ordered what I thought would be closest to my size and then one up and one down from that. And the sizing is spot on.
I sewed up a first draft in some Ponte I have. It was one of those purchases that I wondered about afterwards. I don’t love the color and don’t even know if I’ll ever wear that color. So why did I buy it? Well, I bought it because they didn’t have the color I wanted. However, it was perfect for a muslin of the pants.
Before I got to sewing, I took out my favorite pants and drew off a quick clone of them to compare to the pattern. That helped me right away to know how much to shorten the pants.
I must say, as a first draft, they fit quite well. I did take in the waist elastic as that was too big. But that’s quite normal for me. Another alteration that is still in the works is to take out a little extra fabric at the back, just below the waistband. But other than that, the fit is really good.
Here are the pants pinned to Catherine – just to show how they’re coming along. This was also before I took the waist in. I’d read Anne of Clothing Engineer had to do the same. You can read about that here. Another alteration I made was to shorten the height of the waistband. The pattern calls for 2-inch elastic, and I know I don’t have that much room. I’m curvy and short.
So, in the photo, my band has some wrinkles before I fixed the elastic, and after taking two inches out, it has more. When the pants are not on, they have a sweat pant look to me. I’m not in love with the waistband as it is. So, I’ve removed it and will re-do that this week.
And again on Catherine, this time with the top untucked – like I wear most things. I can’t see that waistband. Even though I will likely wear the pants untucked most of the time, I still wanted a cleaner look on the waistband. So I will make the band 1 size smaller, and the elastic 2 sizes smaller and it should look better.
These still need to be hemmed; next week when they’re done, I’ll put on some Spanx and show them to you on me.
I do have a pair of pants that I don’t use. Again, one of those ‘I don’t like the material’. But I did love the style. It was the waistband that sold me on them. It has a criss-cross front. I love little details like that. So out came my seam ripper this week and after I’d removed the Barb pants waistband, I removed the other waistband.
There is still a little more work to be done on these, but they’re coming along a lot better than I had thought.