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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Nichola Pants (cue choir of angels)
I worked all day on my pants, and I got them finished. The fly was the hardest part for me to figure out - not only the Burdastyle instructions, but all of them just didn't make sense to me. I checked out Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing book from the library, since everyone says her fly instructions are great, and I couldn't get it to make sense. I think it was because I wasn't already familiar with the construction of a fly. Sometimes I'm dense about things like that, though. I can read and read and read instructions, but until I actually start to follow them and am in the middle of things, they don't make sense. My mom visited yesterday and today, and going over the instructions with her also helped.
I ended up using the Burdastyle instructions to make it (referring often to the fly of the jeans I was wearing), and the fly turned out fine, but I still think the instructions could use some work. Occasionally it was obvious a word had been left out. Luckily, aside from the fly, I didn't need the instructions very badly.
This pattern was drafted for someone a lot taller than me. I took off 5" from the legs, and they are still a little long (though it depends on the shoes I wear).
I'm very happy with the look of the pants, and the fit. I orginally shaved 1/2" off of the sides all the way down, a total of 2" off of the waist and hips. I sewed them with a 5/8" seam, and tried the pants on before I put in the waistband. They were a little tight across the hips, so I went back and sewed the hips with a 3/8" seam, tapering back to 5/8" at the waist. It worked great. I'm glad I took a lot of time to try them on during construction (6 or 7 times, at least).
I am very pleased with how these turned out. I want to make another pair sometime, in a dark denim, with front, jeans-style pockets added. And maybe without buttons on the waistband tabs.
I love the buttons, but I have a secret: they're all faux button fastenings. There isn't one buttonhole on there. Normally I am a function over form person, and I don't care for faux garment details like faux welt pockets that don't open. But in this case, I thought the buttons were better in a purely decorative capacity.
Buttons at the waist often pull a lot and the buttonhole gaps and looks unattractive, so I put a flat hook and eye fastener under there, and Velcro fastenings on the pockets. I have some pants with buttoned flaps on the pockets, and it is annoying when I want to get things in and out of them. There's no earthly reason I would want to button and unbutton the belt loop tabs, and I don't think the instructions even call for a buttonhole on them.
Now that I have a handle on how the fly works, I am ready to start adapting this pattern into a skirt. Tomorrow I hope to start that.