Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Sew Liberated Arenite Pants in washed silk

I was inspired yet again by instagram.  I saw these posted by@threadbeargarments
and immediately learned how to save posts just so I could savor that perfect picture.  These turned into number 4 on my trouser tour of autumn.

Love: the droopy pockets but the way they still leave a hip line.  And the huge amount of fabric around the hips!  They looked so comfortable, and yet because of the line of the ankle and the pocket, they still show shape.  How inventive!  

I bought the fabric specifically for them at The Fabric Store in Auckland.  We discussed various options but the assumption was that in a pair of pants with a lot of volume, this lightweight washed silk would be great because it wouldn't make the pants too heavy, and it wouldn't be see-through when gathered around the waist.  It was very expensive and a bit painful to buy 4 meters of fabric since I totally generally assume I can make everything out of 2 meters.

Well, in this case I could have.  I had just about 2 meters of fabric left over.  I'm sure I can find something to do with sand coloured washed silk but I was disturbed that the pattern could be so off regarding fabric requirements.

I made a size 4 by my measurements. 

Of all 4 trousers that I have made: Calyer, Esther, Persephone and Arenite, these had the least exacting instructions.  Of course, it's still pretty exacting to have to flat fell front they took a day of work.  Because of the flat felling, I would prioritise using a fabric that will behave and won't go off grain too much while you cut and sew.  Unless of course you decide not to do the flat fells.  Other that that they were a relatively fast sew.  Until the end.

Bad instructions regarding the cuffs.  I was using the 2" elastic version for the waistband and the cuffs.  I got the waistband on ok without big surprises.  But the cuffs are supposed to be loose, yet the designer says she measured her elastic at 8".  So when I measured 12" in order to have a loose cuff, I estimated down a bit assuming I must be wrong.  The problem is that the cuff needs to be so loose that it doesn't catch anywhere on your calf.  These pants are also really short!  I mean, I'm 5'4" and the pants pull. So the cuffs now are too tight and they catch on the back of my calves, which pulls the entire pants downwards.  The fabric, which was not nearly as billowy and as *much* as I anticipated, feels very fragile compared to the pull from these 2" elastic cuffs.

I thought about this some more - if you wear these low on your hips you wouldn't have that problem.  That's for people with skinny legs.  I dislike a low crotch so my tendency was for the waistband to fall over my belly button.   

The pockets: are fine, but are not nearly as big and deep as I thought they would be.  Things don't fall out though.

Also a bit of bad timing - the sewing machine I am using does not have a removable bottom.  So sewing those cuffs at all was total torture because I couldn't get them on the machine as a round object and just sew along.  I was indeed ready to give up but I soldiered on.

In the end I'm disappointed in the Arenite pattern.  I like the pants themselves but I expected something with a lot more fabric in the general crotch and hip area.  They actually don't gather so very much.  Clearly I could size up and see if that gave me the anticipated volume.  But in my size, I would have preferred a much heavier fabric so the pants would feel more substantial - silk twill or rayon, not washed silk.  When wearing the pants I am pretty happy with them, except from the pull from the ankles.  Sometime far in the future I might redo the cuffs.  I recommend thinking about your lower calf measurement rather than your ankle measurement when you cut the elastic for the cuff, because that's where you get movement in the pants - as the cuff can shift to give you room for things like bending over...

No comments:

Post a Comment