Anthro-Inspired Franken-Pants: A #sewfancypants Win

At some point in November (2018) I came across these pants on the interwebs. I instantly fell in love with the style lines and wanted to recreate them in the wine color.

The ankle button tab detail! Squee!

So I purchased the cardinal stretch chino twill offered by La Mercerie during Jess’ Black Friday Sale.

stretch_cardinal.jpg

After sewing both the Liana Stretch Jeans by Itch to Stitch and the Narcisse Pants by Deer and Doe for Sew Fancy Pants, I knew I wanted to combine aspects of both patterns to achieve the ready to wear pants of my dreams.

[Itch to Stitch and Deer and Doe were both sponsors for the Sew Fancy Pants Instagram event. I purchased the Liana pattern from UpCraft Club with my monthly credit (I have a month-to-month account) and I received the Narcisse pattern for free.]


The back of the pants are 90% Liana. I laid the Liana back pattern piece over the back of the Bryce cargo pattern (which I had also previously sewn) to eliminate the yoke.

(It’s come to my attention since winging this my own way, that there are posts out there (for example) about switching out a pattern with a yoke for one with darts, but I went the mashing route with 2 of my tried and true patterns.)

I used the patch pocket markings from Bryce to situate the welts from Narcisse and used all the back welt pocket pattern pieces and instructions from Narcisse.

IMG_20190129_120203.jpg
IMG_20190129_133328.jpg
IMG_20190202_091038.jpg

The front of my pants are also about 80% (I’m making these numbers up as I go along) Liana with a touch of Narcisse. I knew from my muslin of Liana that I would cut the front of the pants 10” up from the original hem to create the lower front vented panel. I took 2” off from the original side seam to make the side seam panel that would give birth to the front inseam pockets a la Narcisse.

IMG_20190129_124207.jpg

And here is where I made a mistake I frequently make when altering patterns. I cut my new side panel 2 1/2” (width plus seam allowance x 1) wide instead of 3” wide (width plus seam allowance x 2). Thankfully the 1/2” seam allowance was enough that I could sew the fronts with 1/4” seam allowances and not end up with a pair of pants a size too small.

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190130095834524.jpg

So anyway! The front pockets are basically inseam pockets. They sit on the seam I created between the front of the pants and the 2” wide side panel. This general approach was borrowed from Narcisse.

And the pockets are enormous! After all was said and done, the left pocket was too wide and overlapped with the front fly too much, so I trimmed it down.

Sorry this photo is too purple. White balance is for people who know what they are doing. That’s obviously not me.

Sorry this photo is too purple. White balance is for people who know what they are doing. That’s obviously not me.

This was after I removed about 3” from the top of the Narcisse front pocket pattern piece! The rise on Narcisse is higher than Liana and I just guestimated how big I would want these to be by holding the pattern piece up to my body. If I were to do it over again, I would adapt the Liana pocket stays to be compatible with an inseam construction.

Since the fly isn’t stabilized by the pockets in my pants, I interfaced the fly extensions.

IMG_20190130_104056.jpg

The lower front panel was the bottom 10 1/2” of the original Liana front. I attached it to the assembled upper front and top stitched the seam. When I closed the side seams, I simply stopped at the level of the bottom panel.

IMG_20190131_124740.jpg

I removed an inch from length at the hem so they would finish at the ankle (I am 5’ 5” tall). I also slimmed the width of both the front and back at the vent, tapering from 1” wide at the hem to nothing at the top of the vent. (I wear a size 7 shoe and this was perfect for me, but you ought to do some foot and ankle measurements if you want to be able to keep the buttons closed while taking the pants on and off. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have to open and closed the buttons, but I don’t have time for that myself!

Now comes the creative part for creating the button placket/vent feature. I polled my IG followers and mulled it over quite a bit. Folks either said they would approach it as a button fly a la Landers or they would bind the seam a la Brunswick. I don’t own the Lander pants pattern and was familiar with Brunswick having recently tested that pattern, so I went with that method.

I sewed the hem before adding the binding. My pattern piece for the binding was 4” wide by 18” (2” finished width plus seam allowance x 2 by (vent height x 2) plus (seam allowance x 2)). I hope I’m making sense! I wish I had some simple illustration skillz. I just don’t!

IMG_20190131_125836.jpg

Then they just needed a shit ton of buttons. Lucky for me, I’m a glutton and had ordered a bucket load from my favorite jeans button peddler, Citron Jeans, about 10 days prior.

00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190201134518185_COVER.jpg

These are 14mm buttons, so I used 2 for the waistband.

IMG_20190202_090655.jpg

Five on each ankle vent.

00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190202090758896_COVER.jpg

And 1 for each of the welts.

IMG_20190202_090910.jpg
IMG_20190202_090931.jpg

So 14 buttons and holes! Weee!

The end of my story is simply that I love these pants. I think they turned out pretty damn amazing.

IMG_20190202_093519.jpg
IMG_20190202_093109.jpg
IMG_20190201_170423.jpg

And my pocket bags match my Rifle Paper Co. rayon Trevi top (which I made last summer)! Kudos to that Clever gal, Colleen, for telling me to pair these 2 garments together.

IMG_20190202_093550.jpg

And they look great with my new Keds!

IMG_20190202_095204_461.jpg

I’m always happy to talk shop if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!

Linen Bryce Cargo Joggers

I only started sewing pants and jeans this year and let me tell you how incredible it feels to wear outfits that are top to bottom self-sewn.

20180929_103702.jpg

My hack of the Bryce Cargos was borne from my desire to recreate a pair of ready to wear (rtw) linen pants I have. These pants have a zip fly, cargo details, darts for waist shaping in the back, and a jogger-style elastic cuff.

I had (somewhat foolishly) tried using a woven jogger pattern first (Tierras), but of course there was a lot of extra fabric and ease, so they could be pulled on. I often need to grade the waist of my pants down to fit my waist (or up to fit my derriere, depending on your perspective), so naturally, I can get a better fit with a more tailored style.  

I really wanted to make sure the welt patch pocket detail on the rtw pants was a feature on my recreation. Take a closer look at how cool they are.

20180930_084650.jpg

When I asked Adrianna, the beauty and brains behind Hey June Handmade, if she thought the Bryce pattern would work for non-stretch pants, she enthusiastically said it was very possible, because she had already done it! (But hasn’t shared them yet.)

While I was making my stretch twill Bryce Cargos, I laid my rtw linen pants over the unaltered pattern and could tell I was on the right track already.

20180929_140150.jpg

In choosing a size for non-stretch fabric*, I went with the size that fits my waist well (8) and went up 2 sizes (12) for the remainder of the pattern. I simply took the top of the pants in slightly to fit the smaller waistband.

* My fabric actually does have some some spandex in it and is described as having 5% stretch aka not much, so for all intents and purposes, let’s just say it’s non-stretch

20181010_110400.jpg

The basic approach to these joggers was to trace off (a big deal if you know me) the pants front (with the pocket facing overlaid to eliminate the slash pockets) and back, widening the legs straight from the hips and then to taper them slightly at the knee point. I eliminated the knee darts in the front, adjusting the length accordingly. At the hems, squared up the bottom 1.5 inches to become the casing for 1-inch elastic.

20181010_135003.jpg

The welt pocket pattern piece came directly from the original pocket pattern piece, folded on the fold line.

IMG_20181114_120858.jpg

The construction of the welt pockets was fun (and by fun I mean challenging) to figure out. I don’t have a lot of experience sewing welts, but after a few scrappy trials, I figured them out with the help of this post.

I’m not very interested in writing out all the details here. #sorrynotsorry It would have been a snooze-fest. I’m more than happy, however, to answer questions if you happen to have any.

After creating the welt pocket, it’s simply a matter of sewing the pocket to the pants front as a patch. Press the bottom and inside edges to the wrong side and top stitch the pocket in place.

20181016_095738.jpg

I think my end result is pretty close to my inspiration pair. They do sit higher on my waist, but that is good; the rtw pair is constantly falling down.

IMG_20181103_095002.jpg

And they have pretty guts.

00000IMG_00000_BURST20181114114324575_COVER.jpg

I love that these pants can be styled in a multitude of ways from a bit dressy to rather casual.

worn with a Cheyenne tunic

worn with a Cheyenne tunic

IMG_20181103_102433.jpg
modeled with a sweater knit Lane raglan

modeled with a sweater knit Lane raglan

IMG_20181103_102650 (2).jpg

Now that I’ve tasted success with my $5 linen, I’ll be using some more expensive fabric next. I like the Avery linen La Mercerie carries and as well as this (sold out) rust colored linen from Blackbird. A friend picked up a very similar linen for me at Mood recently.

I found Emily’s tutorial on the Hey June blog while I was working on writing this post. Check it out if you’re interested in an alternative approach to Bryce joggers.

Very Wearable Muslin: Bryce Cargo Pants

bryce lines.JPG

I must have just started sewing pants at the beginning of this year and binged on a few views of Ginger jeans, Morgans, Jamie jeans, as well as Birkins just before the Bryce cargos released. So I must have been over pants sewing and thought I didn’t need another pants pattern. Hello. I was rather wrong.

Pockets and knee darts aside, I also don’t think I realized the style lines were different than most jeans or pants patterns with a yoke in the back. Bryce cargos don’t have one, but instead achieve waist fitting through darts and a 3 piece waistband. That waistband is curved just right. Simple rectangular waistbands don’t seem to fit curvy bodies nearly so well.

So anyway! I’m here to tell you that I loved sewing these pants and that fitting them was very straightforward for me.

My body measurements (30” waist and 40” hips) put me right in a size 12, so I started right there.

I used a rather nice navy stretch twill from LA Finch Fabrics from my stash. My records say I purchased 2 yards and it was exactly what I needed (note- I omitted flaps on all the pockets and modified the front pockets slightly, but I still think it was the perfect amount).

#feetforscale

#feetforscale

This is all I had left after re-cutting the waistband including the facing (more on that to follow).

So I basted the pants (minus waistband) before doing any construction and they looked and felt pretty good so I went forward with cutting all the pieces, assembling, and finishing as per the directions along the way. With cargo pockets on the sides just above the knees, the outseams are completed before the inseams. That’s all good, but it is often a seam I make fit adjustments along, so I would definitely muslin or baste these pants without worrying about the pockets first.

It’s very common for me to need to adjust the back waist on pants so they don’t gap. I simply took in a small wedge right along the center back seam that in effect removed about an inch total. The directions give advise on adjusting the waist in 2 fashions- taking in the waist at the side seams and adjusting and adding back darts (or a combination or these for more than 2” of adjustment). So I probably should have taken from the side seams, but it was just so easy to adjust the center back seam.

I love, love, love the finishing on the waistband. These are the first pair of pants I’ve sewn using a bias binding in this manner and trying new techniques is something I really enjoy when sewing different patterns.

waistband facing with bias binding

waistband facing with bias binding

Now, the size 12 waistband seemed to fit my pants fine even though I had adjusted the waist so I went ahead and sewed it on and finished the pants with the exception of the button and buttonhole. Buttonholes are not something I undertake late at night.

Hot damn, though. They really were too big at the waist. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I hadn’t adjusted the waistband even though I had adjusted the pants at the waist. So I slept on how I was going to tackle a fix. I really liked the material and how the pants had turned out so I was willing to put in the effort to make them more wearable.

Simplest fix really- I pulled the waistband completely off, printed a size 8 waistband, recut and assembled fresh (it was just as much a treat the second time around). Now, I’m here to tell you my Bryce cargos fit much better (shocking, I know) and I love them.

20181003_085548.jpg

I’m 5’ 5” and I made no adjustments to the length.

Proof that I put a button on ;)

Proof that I put a button on ;)

worn with a Trevi top

worn with a Trevi top

Looking at these pictures, though, maybe the bum zone could use some adjustment? It’s a tricky area to photograph and ASSess on one’s own. I think I would start by raising the pockets maybe a 1/2”.

20181003_085529.jpg

The front pockets are modified with a welt. It’s a work in progress of a rtw pocket I’m copying.

worn with a Halifax hoodie

worn with a Halifax hoodie

I really excited to use this pattern to recreate a pair of rtw linen pants in my wardrobe. I also want to look closer at Emily’s post for making jeans using Bryce and Sandbridge.


Update! After a few wears and washes, I’m finding this size, 12, to be a bit too big. I’m still very happy with my size 8 waistband and have sewn another pair of Bryces in stretch linen since this pair (blog post coming soon). I plan to sew future pair, going down 1 or possibly 2 sizes (depending on fabric stretch), but will keep using the size 8 waistband.