Friday, May 20, 2016

Moji Pants.

Hi readers! I am here today to share my most recent make, the Seamwork Moji Pants. I've had my eye on this pattern since it first came out - I liked the casual patch pockets, the little cuffs, and the fact that this "jogger" pattern, unlike the Hudson Pant, was intended to be made up in woven fabrics like linen and chambray. But I was intimidated, because, um, PANTS! Even a casual draw string pant seems somehow harder and more complicated to fit than a skirt or a top, right?

Nah. It was really totally fine! Seeing everyone's cute casual pants this Me Made May inspired me to finally start this project. I really like linen pants in the summer - they are cool on hot days, but provide a little cover on cool days (i.e., perfect for a Bay Area summer), so I chose this dull red Kaufman Essex Linen from my stash to try them out.  I've been on a red kick lately. After measuring the inseam of the pattern and shortening my pieces by a whopping 4 inches to hit above the ankle (Justine warned in her review that they were a bit long on her and she is an inch taller than I am!), I had just enough fabric to fit all of the pieces of this pattern, with the exception of the pocket facings, which I cut out from a similar but not identical piece of red linen I had in my scrap bin (hey, I like linen, and I like red).

Essex Linen is really nice stuff to work with - it isn't as shifty to cut or work with as most 100% linen fabrics and it presses beautifully. It is also relatively affordable compared to 100% linen so I felt reasonably good about using this piece to try out these pants without first making a muslin .

I sewed these up in a straight size 10 (minus a lot of length as noted above), and I tried them on after I sewed the waistband on. At that point, I made an additional change - I narrowed the legs of the trousers starting around the knees, down to the ankles, and made a corresponding change to the cuff piece, to emphasize the tapered shape of the leg. It's possible I lost some of the taper when I shortened the pants so much. (At one point, I measured the width of a pair of tapered pants that fits me because I was worried the openings would be too narrow to fit my foot through! The width ended up perfect, and the pants are easy to take on and off.)

The cuffs on these pants are a bit odd, only one layer but quite deep. I decided I like them best folded twice, like cuffed pants. I have been meaning to go back and tack them down like this, so that they don't unroll themselves. The cuffs make a cute detail that elevate these casual pants a bit above scrubs.

Finally, I added elastic to the waist as well as the drawstring, because I find drawstring-only waists to be uncomfortable and unflattering on me. I used 1.5" wide elastic, the widest I could fit in the waistband, and sewed the channels over it similar to the way it's done in the Hudson Pants. Then I threaded the drawstring through the middle channel, on top of the elastic. Threading the drawstring through the tiny eyelets and through the thick linen, on top of the elastic, was officially the hardest part of this project. I had to pull it out and start over several times, and it took some concentrated time on the couch in front of the television to get it threaded all the way through.

In hindsight, I am wishing that I had cut the drawstring in two pieces and sewed some more elastic to the back before threading it, but no way am I doing THAT again. Even with the elastic underneath, I feel like the drawstring gets uncomfortable when I'm sitting down or moving around a lot. Elastic rules the day!

I tried but completely failed to apply eyelets to the center front for the drawstring - I hammered them together, and they seemed to be fine, but they basically started to fall out right away. They just did not "grab" the fabric properly. I've also consistently had this experience with snaps. I can't figure it out! I am hammering them in as hard as I possibly can without destroying the snaps but they just never seem to have any staying power? What am I doing wrong? All you lovely sewing bloggers seem to put snaps on things regularly, but I have literally never once had them work out. I've heard mixed things about snap pliers, but maybe that's the key? Do tell! Anyway, after that fail, I hand embroidered eyelets using six strands of brick-red embroidery thread, and they look fine and feel really sturdy. That only took me a few minutes and I know they won't fall out.

I've read a recent review pointing out that the drafting of the Moji pants may be off, especially in the smaller sizes. Luckily this did not seem to be an issue in size 10, but it should be noted that I chose that size based on my waist measurement, and my actual hip measurement is smaller than the size 10 measurement (not a pear shape). Regardless, there is plenty of ease around the hips and waist for me in this size, but this is something you should be aware of if you are sewing up a smaller size.

Incidentally, these pair well with both of my new Lark Tees, so yay handmade weekend wardrobe! Yes, these are weekend pants. I think they're too casual even for casual Friday at work, with the drawstring waist and all. But I am sure I'll wear them plenty on weekends and days off.

Here's the back view. Yeah, they have a little bit of "mom butt" happening, but don't think it's going to prevent me from wearing these pants! I will be honest, when I first saw the back view, I was a little dismayed, but they don't look so bad in these photos. They are really comfortable and perfect for schlepping kids around on the weekends and doing "mom" things! Elastic waists are a trend I am embracing whole-heartedly! HA! 

Will I make these again? Well, I am already planning to make a shorts version for this summer! Maybe with some back pockets to break up the back expanse, haha.  I think this pattern would make perfect casual drawstring shorts in a lightweight cotton. I don't know that I would do another pair just like these pants, but it is pretty exciting to know that I have a couple of patterns for casual pants (these and the Hudson Pants) that fit me and are easy to sew up. The possibilities are endless! On the other hand, I have so many patterns I want to try! One of these days I am going to take on an actual, non-elastic waist trouser ... 

I have really enjoyed participating in Me Made May this year, and I love seeing all of your outfits on Instagram! It's super inspiring, and my list of planned selfish sewing projects has gone through the roof! I've also ... um ... bought a few new patterns! It's kind of ridiculous, because I also have a lot of plans to make more of the patterns I currently have, but it's impossible to resist! Hopefully I'll be back soon with a roundup and reflections on the first half of May (running late as always on the blog). 

Are you participating in Me Made May? What selfish projects do you have on your list?

P.S. I am planning to participate in KCW this Spring, because, why not? I have several kid items I want to make so this seems like a good way to motivate, although as usual I can't promise a full hour every day what with a planning commission meeting that week but I will make it up on the weekends. Hope some of you will join me!


  1. They look great, Inder! I'm glad they worked for you; I've read a few reviews of Seamwork patterns that I've been tempted by, and they're always pretty terrible so I haven't bought any.

    Re: snaps, I have a set of snap pliers and a snap press for Kam Snaps (super-useful during our cloth-diapering days). They work well for the resin snaps, and if I buy dies for the press, I can use it to set metal snaps too - but I've never actually used a metal snap. So that's probably not very helpful information.

    And finally, I'm planning to participate in KCW too - most of my kids need a new swimsuit or two so that is my KCW plan. I've been on a selfish sewing roll lately and I am a bit loathe to interrupt it, but the pool opens Memorial Day weekend so swimsuits it will have to be.

  2. Hey - these turned out pretty awesome! Love the fabric choice. I sew a lot with Essex linen - great stuff.

  3. I think they look great! You could totally wear these for casfri. I sewed some sew in elastic waistband casual/pajama pants yesterday for a school assignment. I think of them as sitting around drinking beer and playing video games pants. I'll post a pic after I get them back from being graded.

  4. These look great! I agree about drawstring-only waistbands: yuck! I like the drawstring plus elastic combo. I also have trouble setting snaps- not sure what I am doing wrong, but they never seem to catch!

  5. Hammer in snaps and rivets are the spawn of the devil. They're rubbish in my hands. Either loose and useless or bent, skewed and useless. I have a bench top snap press for metal or plastic snaps, but I still need some way of doing rivets, jeans buttons etc without the hit and miss of hammer setting.
    Great pants, they look perfect weekend summer wear. I agree that cord only waistband would be awful. I'd have tried multiple channels of 1/4" elastic, that always feels "softer" for some reason.

  6. They are super awesome! I love linen. I have a bunch of that Essex linen in blue and I've used it for all sorts of things. Re snaps, Ive never used an actual pair of pliers made for snaps but I do use a regular pair of pliers. I always hammer the snaps slightly first (on a scrap of wood with a wooden block on top) then I pinch around all the edges of the snap with the pliers. I have to be really careful not to pinch hard and bend the snap out of place. But I can always feel those little teeth bend and grab like they are supposed to with the pliers. I only pinch along the edges.

  7. I have some of this linen in blue, I am very tempted to try these.
    As for snaps, Jed does it for me, no idea what he uses... tractor?

  8. What beautiful linen. These look like really cool pants, "mom butt" notwithstanding :) I use hammer-in metal snaps quite a bit, and am generally fairly successful with them. I don't know whether you used interfacing for the section you applied the eyelets to, but when I use the snaps I always make sure to go through two layers if the fabric is thin, often with interfacing as well. Then I push the teeth through by hand to make sure they're protruding before hammering them down. Hope that helps!

  9. Great job on your pants! I want to make linen pants this summer, too, and Mike's already made faces at the pattern I chose. :D

    I'm so envious of your greeeeeen garden! Mine's all brown.

    Marisa already said what I was going to mention -- about just adding interfacing and being fine with the old hammer-and-thread-spool method. :} Good luck!

  10. These look great, and what 'mom butt'?? For drawstring/elastic waist pants, they're really very flattering on you, especially with the way you've tapered the legs.
    I've never really attempted eyelets although I did get some put in 'professionally' once and hey, they just pulled out pretty easily too. I have however been very pleased with the hammer-on snaps I've put on my Marilla Walker Roberts dress. One lot needed an incredible amount of bashing to make the bendy bit bend to attach them, and the next lot was a lot easier (same brand and looked almost identical so I guess just the batch of metal?) but both seem to be holding nicely and seem very sturdy.But they're bigger, more solid things than drawstring eyelets.
    I think your thread-bound drawstring holes were an excellent solution.

  11. These pants look great on you! I have the pattern but I haven't attempted it yet because I was concerned about the legs being too slim. If you had to taper the legs down maybe that won't be an issue for me, though. I giggled about "mom butt." I wouldn't have though twice about the back view had you not said that, but maybe some patch pockets would be a nice addition.


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