Featured photo:  The four basic pants foundations, as shown on the 2015 runway.

It’s #pantsweek2015! At least in this house. As I’ve alluded to before, I’ve been specifically searching out styles that I cannot find in stores right now, at least in my usual haunts. Or in my colors.

What I want:

ca. June 1953, New York City, New York, USA --- Stylish Woman Smoking --- Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis
ca. June 1953, New York City, New York, USA — Stylish Woman Smoking — Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

High waist. Like, at the natural waist, where you bend when you sing “I’m a little teapot.”  I am actually old enough to remember wearing pants like this as a teenager before we youths declared them to be “Mom jeans.” And back then, spandex wasn’t automatically added to every fabric, and occasional laying down on your bed to zip them up was required. Maybe this was why they went out of style; people simply wanted to breathe. Well, I hate to admit it, but I don’t think I looked better as a teenager just because I was thinner; rather the styles at that time were generally more flattering to my figure. As they would for most women with a naturally curvier figure, where unless you accentuate the smaller parts, all you see are the larger parts. It just makes you look a little more Grace Kelly and a little less Jersey Shore. Sigh. Breaking up with muffin-top enducing low waist pants as we speak.
Slimmer fit. Not this painted on look where every pant we wear looks like leggings. Because I am also in the camp that believes leggings are not pants. Tights are not pants. I want something in the middle of the spectrum, somewhere between the gigantic gaucho/wide leg pant designers love (which looks great on giants models, just not me), and pants that I need to shoehorn myself into.

 Soft summer colors. I really didn’t pay attention to the subtlety of neutrals before my draping. Black, brown, khaki, and gray were about it. Knowing that my features exist in the land of cool neutrals in the spectrum of true warm to true cool, I now look for slightly warm grays, cooled taupes and nudes, even darker blushed pink/browns. Not exactly what’s available in ready to wear at the big box stores. Some people may argue and insist that I’m not wearing pants on my face, and it shouldn’t matter. But here’s the genius part of PCA (personal color analysis): everything matches. When your entire closet matches, it’s insanely hard to put on clothing that doesn’t work together. All tops go with all bottoms and all shoes. No more searching for a warmer/brighter/darker/whatever so you can make that one skirt work you bought on clearance.  It just all goes together. And when you’re running on little sleep and getting dressed in the dark, bonus. 

Luckily available through the library, as my personal copy is currently in storage.

Whenever I have pattern manipulation questions, I consult Patternmaking  by Helen Joseph Armstrong. This book is my bible. The precursor to the chapter on pants has an extremely helpful diagram illustrating exactly what I want:

 Trousers and slacks. If my pattern drafting tools weren’t in storage, I’d just draft a block as illustrated in the next few pages of the book. Instead, I’ll be following two patterns I got at Hancock Fabrics:

I did have to visit both JoAnns and Hancock in a few locations to find these. While still in the pattern books, the styles are considered so old that they’re not being kept in stock anymore. Grrr.

Hopefully I can get the fit of each of these close enough to use as basic patterns for variations. And knowing the designers of each of these patterns, they should include both good adjustment lines and construction details.

IMG_8922The fabrics chosen:

1.  A soft, almost mint green/grey in a brushed cotton.  Almost feels like flannel.  Should be warm and cozy this winter.

2.  A pink nylon/rayon stretch suiting.  It has a slightly slubbed texture to make it a little bit more interesting.  Great stretch and recovery, which should help in movement but also guard against bagging out in the knees and butt.

3.  A darker, warm gray poly suiting.  Also has great stretch and snap, but a very flat weave.  Should have lovely drape and hang.  And washable!  Score!

I’m currently waiting for my waistband interfacing to arrive in the mail, as both salespeople at Hancock and JoAnns didn’t understand the product I was asking for and pointed me to the bolt of Pellon.  Otherwise, ready, set, pants time!

Love from Wisco,