Sunday, 6 July 2014

Papercut Anima lounge pants

I made it about 4 weeks in Arizona without sewing.  I planned endlessly.  But I did not sew.  Then I caved in, of course.  I wanted something that would reliably arrive on time and so I settled on the Anima pants since they were a pdf and I knew any knit would work.  I was curious about them.  And Mood even ships to the middle of nowhere in about 48 hours (amazing!  But the hospital hid my package from me for a further four days...)  However when I was buying supplies in Flagstaff I was "not in the mood" to buy the elastic.  I can't harp too much on how stupid of a decision this was.  Everything would have gone smoothly if I had taken the extra 15 seconds to walk that box of elastic over to the checkout counter...

My fabric from Mood is a boring-appearing double faced cotton jersey.  One side is almost terry cloth like (I put that on the outside) and the other layer is ultra soft cotton.  The ultra soft side is prettier but I was going for ultimate lounge-potential.  (As you can see in my pictures, I will not win any style awards if I walk around in public in these.)

I cut a size XS, which is my usual in Papercut.  In this pattern your waist measurement can be modified when you cut the elastic, and I cut it a bit longer than the recommended 27.5 inches because it was so stiff.  I remembered what Sonja had written in her review and I shortened these by about 3 inches (the height of one of those advertising postcards in magazines...I didn't have a measuring tape.)  I am 5'4" and the fabric was too thick for me to desire a bunch of folds at the ankles.  In fact I think an XXS would have been reasonable because they are pretty roomy, and the extra fabric created by the pockets adds a lot of bulk in my thicker fabric.

I sewed these up on a friend's Kenmore sewing machine.  It was amazing.  The machine looked similar to my Janome but with lots more options.  If I had time to read the manual I might have been tempted to try some of the faux-overlocking stitches.  I cut these pants out at lunchtime, and I sewed them before dinner.  Total time was about 2.5 hours.  That was up to the point of installing the elastic, of course.  I was very sad not to get to finish them (I wanted to take exotic pictures on the mesa...) but I had to wait til I got back to Seattle and got some elastic.

I'm not sure if it's the only kind of 2" elastic but the stuff I have always found is disgusting.  It's very rough, hard to stretch, and I would never want it against my skin.  It is better in the Minoru but not very pleasant in a pair of lounge pants.  I have seen softer elastic in other sizes.  Is elastic best sourced online?

Anyway so I finally settled in to do the waistband and it seemed very very wrong to me that the elastic is supposed to be sewn to the edge of the band - when it's flipped that will be a rough edge on the bottom inside of the waistband.  I distrustfully left a 1cm band of fabric at the edge.  When I flipped the elastic over I thought I could tuck that underneath.  I was quickly disabused of this notion.  The work of pulling that monster elastic straight, while keeping my poor 20$ Necchi sewing, was itself too much.  Not to mention that it was no longer topstitching or stitching in the ditch at all.   I left the extra fabric loose and followed the instructions.  (Maybe I should have done this from the beginning?)  Now my waistband was a little narrower and I was topstitching straight on the elastic.  I added the two decorative layers as well.  The instructions say to make sure you dont stitch on the elastic in this step, but for me it didn't matter since I did not want the drawstring or the buttonholes and had skipped them.

In fact, these are rather high waisted on me.  So when I flip over the waistband it is very comfortable and has this nice frill...

These are so ugly on me that I'm not immediately convinced to make more, but in a slightly lighter weight fabric, and with an XXS they might be less bulky and unflattering.  Also that waistband really doesn't match the fabric - it's almost painfully stiff, and the fabric is sooo soft.  It would be a lot of work to take out, but I may consider doing that anyway and putting in a 1.5 inch soft elastic instead, which would also lower the waistband a bit (it's too high for lounge pants.)   Despite the gripes, they are comfortable.  


  1. Hello high waist! I want a pair, but I'd need the waist cut WAY down...

  2. Hi! I've made a couple pairs of these now, and I lowered the waist band on mine by an inch after the first pair.

    Also, I made one pair in verrrrry thin ITY knit and another in sequins backed with ponte... Neither looked too too bulky, so I think it might be the waist band height rather than your fabric choice. also I scrapped the cuffs early in my process.

    here if interested:

    1. Hi Wasted, thanks for your comments. I'm about to make my second pair and my main concern is the waistband. What did you do to avoid bulk at the waistband seam where the elastic attaches to the pants?

  3. I think your pants look great. I love the wide hip pegged look any way so think I must get some.