Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to my old stand-by.

Since my first attempt at Oliver + s Sandbox Pants turned out awesome but way too big for Joe, I had to go back to the drawing board to come up with some pants that would work for our warmer Spring weather.  I had a few different ideas, but in the end, I fell back on my old stand-by, the Oliver + s Sketchbook Shorts pattern, lengthened into pants, in a striped black denim that I bought using a gift certificate (to Britex fabrics!) that my friend Melissa graciously gave me for my birthday last year.


Stripey pants


Well, there is a reason that this pattern is the most used (overused?) pattern in my stash. It just works. These pants go together easily (they ought to, I've lost count of how many times I've made this pattern). Once you've made it up a few times, this pattern really lends itself to modification and customization. And for whatever reason, the fit of these pants has always been just perfect on Joe: they don't slip down his bottom or pinch at his waist. Sometimes "old reliable" is just the way to go.

(Yes, I bought the pattern in the larger size range for a later date. If I make it up even a quarter as often as I have the smaller size range, I'll get my money's worth from it.)

Stripey pants


Besides just making them longer, I made a few additional modifications to this pair, which aren't very visible in these photos. I elasticized only the back of the pants (giving the front a flatter look) and omitted the front pleats, making these flat-front trousers. Here, I followed the advice of fellow blogger, talented seamstress, and mother of five (!), Nicole, and simply darted the pleat out in the pattern piece, flattened the pattern piece as best I could, and cut. (By the way, Nicole has used this pattern to make every type of pant you can imagine, including skinny jeans for her girls!)

My only complaint about these is that the fabric is really ravelly, so I foresee a lot of trimming of seam allowances and clipping of threads, even though I zig-zagged over all of the raw edges as I always do. These don't look so pretty on the inside. It's at moments like these that I decide that I really need a serger. But it's not that big a deal.

Stripey pants


I didn't really match up the stripes on these that well. The stripe on this fabric is not symmetrical (it's different going in one direction that the other), and the repeat was really wide, so it would have been a colossal waste of fabric to try to match it perfectly on the side seams. Shhhhhh.

I was also too lazy to match stripes and reinforce the knees on these pants.

Stripey pants


Which I may live to regret ...

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations, the pants look great! Try flat felled seams, they are not difficult, they are very strong, and the inside will look good too.

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    1. Good idea! I find the 1/2 inch seam allowances on O+s patterns to be a bit tight for true flat-felling, though. And I'd still have to deal with the pocket edges, fly, etc. Of course, all of that could be finished with bias or something like that, but whew, that sounds like a lot of work! So I usually zig-zag the edges and do a "mock flat fell," but this ravelly fabric is defying my usual finishing approach.

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  2. Thats a great idea to make the front flat and elasticise the back. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Yeah, it makes the pants seem more like "grown-up" trousers, and after all, the back is where you need the most ease.

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  3. These look great! I've only made two pairs of these shorts - must make more (funny, isn't it, how we get stuck on one pattern - my boys adore their Sandbox shorts/pants, so that's my favourite)

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    1. Well, the Sandbox Pants are YOUR old-standby! It's a great pattern, so I can definitely believe it. When I get that smaller size (or when Joe gets a bit bigger), I may have a conversion experience! Because I do love the casual styling of the Sandbox Pants - the reason I got the pattern is that I wanted something a little more jeans/cargo-y than the more formal cut of the Sketchbook Pants.

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  4. They look fab Inder!
    I did enjoy our chat. I think you are right about 'stand bys' I have only made the Sandbox pants twice but I do like them.

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    1. Thanks for your help, Nicole! So you've made 1,340,236 pairs of Sketchbook Shorts/Pants, and only two Sandbox Pants? I think we can safely guess what your "stand-by" is!

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  5. I'm so with you on the using of one pattern over and over - when you find something that works, why not? They look great, love the stripes. And you can always put some cute patches on if he wears through the knees. Thing I've found with reinforced-knee school pants on my big boys is a worn/ripped knee on the outside layer isn't really any more helpful than a single ripped layer... maybe there is no ventilation problem but they still look ripped!

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    1. That's a good point, and that's where my husband's work pants currently stand! With little boy pants, it probably won't be too hard to get the knees under the sewing machine for some patching. It's not so easy on my husband's pants!

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  6. I really like the fabric, gives the pants some character! Joe looks like he is a catalog model, so effortless and happy :)

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    1. Yeah, we've thought about hiring him out as a child model, but we keep getting tangled up in the various ethical concerns ... :p

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