Sunday evening project:
After a wardrobe purge this month I was in serious need of new pants. I realized while going through my clothes that that my favorite (and most frequently worn) pants are all stretch wovens. I think wearing mostly skirts and dresses to work for the past few years have made me less tolerant of sitting at a desk all day in non-stretch woven pants. I also prefer pants with a straight or slight bootcut leg, and since I hate having to tug down the legs after standing up I also like them to be a little on the roomy side. So with that in mind I decided to try the Style Arc Jasmine.
The Jasmine pants are the Style Arc Linda’s big sister. They both use stretch woven fabric and have an almost identical leg shape (straight and around 18-20″ at the hem). However, instead of being a plain elastic waist pull-on pant like the Linda, the Jasmine has a front fly closure, traditional waistband, pockets, and a back yoke with darts. There’s also more design ease through the hip/thigh region, so you have more flexibility with regard to how much stretch is required from your fabric. The additional ease combined with the front fly closure and back yoke makes these a more friendly option than the Linda for pear shaped figures if you want to use something other than stretch bengaline. I would describe the draft as slacks – somewhere between trousers (full and wrinkle-free) and jeans (slim and with lots of sitting ease wrinkles.)
For this pair I used this cotton/rayon/wool/lycra blend suiting from Fabric Mart:
It is mid-weight and very crisp – very similar to new denim. Before they included it in their regular website offerings it was a $6.99/yard Julie’s Pick. It is very comfortable to wear, and the weight, color, and fiber content make it perfect for the colder than normal spring weather we’ve been having. It has about 25% stretch, with some given in the length as well as width. (Most of my stretch wovens seem to be in the 10-20% range.)
I finished the hems with a blind stitch using my Janome 6500P. I know some people have dedicated blind stitch machines, but I think my Janome does a pretty good job.
The pockets are one of my favorite design features for this pattern. The angular shape something you would see in a Marfy pattern.
I used hidden hook and eye closures instead of a button for the front closure. In addition to interfacing the front waistband I also interfaced the back yoke with Pro-Sheer Elegance.
When it came to finishing the inner edge of the waistband I had intended to fold back the inner seam allowance and very carefully stitch it in place. However, the angle and V of the back yoke made this really difficult to do neatly and accurately. I ended up using a method I learned from a Kwik Sew pattern: fold back the first few inches at the center front and either hand stitch or very carefully stitch in the ditch. Serge the edge of the rest of the waistband and secure it in place by stitching in the ditch (with the fabric straight out instead of folded). Does it look as neat and pretty as a folded edge? No, but it is a lot easier and just as secure. I never claimed this was a couture blog! As long as the edges are properly finished to prevent fraying I have zero f&*#s to give about what the inside of my garments look like.
- Lengthened the legs 1″
- Increased the depth by 1/4″ in the front and 3/4″ in the back
- Added 1/4″ to the front crotch curve extension for my full thighs. It is a little bit too much for this particular pair, but as I mentioned before most of my stretch wovens are not as stretchy as this fabric.
- For my light gray pair I took in the side seams 1″ at the hip, tapering to nothing just below the upper thigh.
- Added 3″ width to the leg openings, making these pants more of a bootcut rather than a straight leg
- Pinched out 1/2″ from the back inseam only, tapering to nothing at the side seam. I then stretched it to fit the front while sewing. This technically puts the back leg off-grain, but when I wear them it helps get rid of those diagonal drag lines from upper thigh to knee.
- Took in each back darts 3/4″. To get rid of the bubble at the end I had to taper them quite a bit, which resulted in them being a little too long…
- Took a 3/4″ tuck out of the back yoke to match the amount taken out of the back darts
- Removed a 1/2″ vertical wedge from the back yoke at the waistline, tapering to nothing at the bottom of the yoke. This made it more curved.
After wearing these for a day I feel like the entire back piece is too wide, which makes the back wrinkles more pronounced.
I think I will handle this for next time by taking 3/4″ tuck out of the entire back, from the upper edge where it meets the yoke to the hem. I will revert to the original dart width as well.