Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Amy Butler Wide Leg Lounge Pants

These pants were a labor of love. And frustration. I'll call these my lounge pants, but I've been working on them for 3 days!!! OK, not 3 full days, but I started them mid-day Sunday and have been working on them in my free time since then. Probably a total of 12-14hrs. Maybe more? I've been calling them my never-ending pants. I felt like I'd never finish them. These pants were one of the first projects I wanted to do when I started sewing. I was soooo intimidated by the pattern, though. It's from Amy Butler's In stitches. A very beautiful, inspiring book. Had I followed the pattern in the book, my pants wouldn't have trim at the waistband or the cuffs. As for the strip of contrasting fabric down the side, well I am blessed with childbearing hips and a narrow waist, so when I selected the size medium based on my hip measurements, somehow, the pants seemed too snug around the hips so I added the extra fabric at the sides. Fortunately, I realized this before I had sewn them together, thanks to my friend, Jen, who guided me through the project and held the pieces together as I tired to figure out sizing.

So, I'll be honest and say that had I followed the pattern it may have been easier. I'm not the best at following patterns though. I pretty much figure things out as I go along. In general, I often do things the hard way! So, in making this project I learned many lessons that I'll share with you as well as a few tidbits about my process:

1) Read the pattern and instructions thoroughly before starting a project.

2) If I want my project to look like the picture, it helps to know if the pattern reflects the picture! (in this case, the picture in the book has contrasting fabric trim on the waistband and on the trim - like mine do - but the pattern is not written to include trim at the waist and cuffs. So, I had the joys of teaching myself how to add the trim.

3) I learned to use the buttonhole feature on my sewing machine!!!!!

4) The divine designer, Amy Butler, notes a seam ripper in the list of materials. She instructs to use it to open the buttonholes once they are sewn. I used it to rip more than just the buttonholes. I think I ripped open half the seams I stitched. As I said, I'm not so good at following patterns.

5) I ran out of top thread for the first time on a sewing project. I didn't have anymore of the pale pink, so half of my pants are sewn with white thread. (I didn't use all the pink thread on this project, I've used that thread on several projects).

6) I can finally sew in Taylor's presence!!!! This is the first project that she's let me work on without getting all up in my business!

7) I need to learn how to adjust patterns to accommodate my narrow waist but not so narrow hips.

And, finally... as frustrating as this project was at times (again, only because I insisted I wanted the to be like the picture!), they were worth all the effort. I absolutely LOVE them! As for the fabric, it's from a 400 thread King size sheet set I got on clearance from Marshall's for about $14. They are so incredibly comfy!

When I put them on after they were finished, Taylor lit up and said "I want to wear those!". That's great because I'm making her a matching pair!


RootsAndWingsCo said...

If you had never mentioned why the stripe on the side was there, I would never have known it was a sizing issue. Which means, in short, that you did a great job!!

They look great!

I had to check our your lounge pant post since you posted about making lounge pants with nearly every fabric post I read. LOL

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