The Never Have I Ever Pants

I forget when, exactly, but at some point in the past year Tasia of Sewaholic proposed an interesting question. Is there anything you wouldn’t sew? This was at least half a year ago, and I remember thinking, wow, there are so MANY things I’m afraid to sew, raincoats, leather items, jackets (more on that later…), JEANS. I wouldn’t sew ANY of those, I thought, they seem so crazy! But if the past year of crafting has taught me anything, it’s taught me to be more adventurous when I’m making stuff. What’s the absolute worst that can happen? I made a sweater. I made trousers. I sewed with knits, for god’s sake. Never say never, I now say to myself, never say never.

So, long story short, I made some jeans. Sort of. Kind of. In my opinion. But I feel like there are people out there who might call what I made non-Jeans. And those people? Can go cry somewhere else. Sure, they don’t have a front fly or welt pockets, or any pockets at all, but damn it, they are made out of denim and I flat felling the fricking seams. I’m calling them jeans and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME. (Honestly, I pretty much think that anything made of denim gets to be called a jean. That’s just the way I was raised.) And you know what? They look gooooood:

Yeah. Yeah they do.

I used Colette Patterns Clover Pants, which of course I have made before, much to my delight (I can’t stop, people, I love these pants, I’m making them again in black, it’s madness, MADNESS I say!). Though they may look black in these photos, these pants are actually dark dark blue denim that I got from back in October for, like, 3 dollars a yard. I cut a straight size six and unlike last time I didn’t add any length to the legs. Which left me with really cold ankles all day yesterday when I wore them, but I think as temperatures rise they are going to be perfect! I made version 1 but omitted the front pockets because I literally have never used the pockets I put in my first pair. These pants are insanely easy to make, they took me like 6 hours tops from cutting to hemming, and I would consider myself a slow sewer.

I made the shirt too. I’m not sure how I feel about the shirt. More on that in a moment. Back to the pants!

These pants have generated a lot of buzz on the internet. Love them! say some. Impossible to fit! say others. Super flattering style! say some. Flattering on NO ONE! say others. Well, I got lucky with these. They fit me very well with literally no fitting changes. I will say, though, that now that I’ve made a few more Colette patterns as I follow along with the Sew Colette challenge, that has NOT remained the case. And that’s okay! Because sizing isn’t just something that varies from company to company, but also from pattern to pattern! So while my first
Meringue might have needs adjustments and I’ve just completed my (first!) FBA on my Pastille Dress pattern, these fit me as is. There is no accounting for patterns, eh?

Just enough comfort, but form-fitting! And the posterior? You want to see that, do you? Of course you do, you’re only human:

And, now my butt is all over the interwebs. Oh, well, at least it’s clothed! Beautifully clothed….

And I wasn’t kidding about the flat felled seams. I found them a little tricky with the stiff denim, but I figured them out and I love the way they look. However, it was really REALLY really hard to sew them up when sealing one leg. I couldn’t do them on the side with the zipper, but I did them on the other side, and I swear it was an act of acrobatics to try to make the skinny leg of the jean move through the machine without sewing the leg together. It was a struggle. Thank god for Lycra, because without some stretch I don’t know how this could have possibly worked.

I probably should have used a denim needle. I totally didn’t. I don’t even change my needle between projects. It takes like five projects before I do that. Is that really bad? I just feel like it’s a waste of needles to change each project, but I’m sure I’m breaking some kind of cardinal rule with that. Oh, well, wouldn’t be the first time. I’m a rebel, Dottie, a loner.

Now on to the shirt. The shirt was a free pattern (FREE PATTERN) download from Dixie DIY. I think I’ve made it clear how much I love Dixie, right? I would say I’m making another Ballet Dress at some point in the near future, but I feel like that’s just assumed. Dixie has a lot of awesome free patterns on her website, and most of them are knit-centric. So I downloaded and dutifully pieced together her pattern for loose flowy shirt with cuffs. And I made it. And it was very easy to put together. And I used leftover fabric from my Thank You Tasia top,which was free, and the pattern, which was free. So no cost, really. But, I don’t know, this might not be a great style for me:

This is the face I make when I’m cold, and I’m not sure if my shirt works on my body. I make it surprisingly often, all things considered.

See, I do like the shirt, and it’s comfortable (hello, Knits!) but there is a lot of fabric happening here at the hem, and I don’t know if that really looks good on me. It looked so good on Dixie! Why aren’t I Dixie? God, life is SO. HARD.

Still. It works with the cardigan, right? I don’t know. Maybe I will chop some off the sides. We shall see what Deborah, my mother, says. Her word is law.

A little interior waistband shot for you. I used some scraps of fabric left over from my Dear Betty Dress. I think that’s really fun, actually, having a surprise printed cotton inside solid pants.

Fun fact about the word fun, my wonderful cousin Elyse has lived many places, and when I visited her when she was living in Buenos Aires she had a great roommate, Briony, who absolutely abhorred the fact that we called things “fun”, like, that’s a fun top! or, what a fun sofa! She thought we were hopelessly American and gauche. I think we are fun.

So, in sum, never say never, as long as it’s denim it’s a jean, objects can be as fun as experiences, and changing your needle is for losers. (Or maybe not. Anyone want to weigh in on this?)

And to leave you with something FUN, another rule of life, or at least, my life, is as soon as I’m almost done with something, like, say, my amazing linen burlap 1940’s jacket (post to come!) and am laying it on my floor to lap the lapels and stick on the button, who should come along but Brother Cadfael?

You made this underlined and lined and bound buttonholed masterwork for ME? So kind. Thank you. It will make an excellent sleeping throne.


Filed under Colette Patterns

24 responses to “The Never Have I Ever Pants

  1. I totally agree with you – anything denim is considered “jeans” in my world.

    The buzz that this pattern has created is totally making my scratch my head – at least, all the people complaining that they ~don’t fit. There is NEVER going to be a pants pattern that fits *everyone* straight out of the envelope! People have different crotch lengths & depths & there are rises and butts and knees and thighs and all kinds of fitting issues to deal with. It’s the same with RTW pants – lots and lots of people (present company included!) tend to have maybe one or two brands that actually fit them well. It’s kind of a moot point to be like “oh this pattern is terrible; the fit is so bad” because we’re talking about PANTS here. I don’t really know where this rant is going, except lucky you that the pattern fits you lol. They look good! I like the length and I think some ankle-suffering is worth it 🙂

    • Haha, I know! People are all up in arms about this pattern, like how DARE they not fit me PERFECTLY and what is WRONG with Colette making a pattern that is not PERFECTLY TAILORED TO MY BODY. It’s like, good lord, folks, this is life, everyone has a different body and not everything looks good on everyone! Case in point, my shirt…

      Also, this is not a style for everyone. There is NO style for everyone. I’m short, so these work on me. I wish I could wear flapper dresses and maxi dresses and boho chic, but I look like a stumpy plump homeless person in such things. But people on the internets are getting vicious about this pattern, like, if it doesn’t work for me it can’t work for anyone. Be cool, everyone! This pattern fit me well. There are 100 others that require serious tweaking on my part, and thousands of others that just would be a huge struggle. That’s the life, people!

      • RTW pants never fit me off the rack– why would a pattern work with no adjustments? Haters oughta chill the F out! That said, I’m still too chicken to cut out the Clovers! It’s on my to-do list, but I just can’t work up the nerve!

        I love the black/white/hot pink combo! Sassy! The pants look way great on you!

  2. Alright- you sold me. I’ve had pants anxiety forever and I got gifted this pattern. I’m going to try! Because yours look fabulous!

  3. Lovely! I am still unsure if they would look so awesome on me. I seem to be a pants fitting nightmare but maybe they are worth a go! x

    • Well, the trick with these is that you do a stretch fabric, and that really does help, because it’s so much more forgiving then other fabrics, it smooths the way to a better fit for you.

  4. I loveeeeee the pants! They look great!

  5. oooo I spy a Pee Wee Herman quote! Your Clovers look wonderful and yes they would be jeans in my book too. I made 5 muslins and could still tweak them a tiny tiny bit, but I love ’em because I feel like they have made me a better sewist. This is the first pattern I’ve ever really altered for and now I’m not afraid of that FBA!

  6. Wow, I am in awe! If we got down to the nitty-gritty, nothing would ever be called jeans because the list of requirements would be too long. I say these are Real Jeans. Also, Brother Cadfael is Such A Cat. Thank you for including that picture. Anyway you’re making me want to attempt pants…this is dangerous.

    • Oh, my god, you of all people would make five pairs of perfect pants in, like, a day, all, oh, pants? I eat pants for breakfast. You should do it!

      Brother Cadfael may be part shark. He gnawed on my fingers this morning until I woke up at 6am and fed him. Jerk.

  7. I’ve heard some positive and negative comments too about the Clover and I must admit that the negative comments influenced me more. But after reading your post I thought in Colette’s case we hear about it and some can be quite vocal. I’m sure the pants patterns from the Big 4 have issues too, just that we don’t hear about it. But good for you since your Clover works!

    I don’t change my needle after each project either. So sewing police shoot me! I jump between quilting and sewing and it’s just ridiculous to swap needles every time.

    Is that the Starlet Suit Jacket that handsome Brother Cadfael is laying on? 🙂

    • Oh, thank goodness I’m not the only non-switcher out there! I mean, I do use a ballpoint needle for knits and I try to change my needle every 5 (10) projects or so, but it just seems excessive to do any more!

      I think people have beef with Colette because Colette is the cool kid of patterns, and very popular, so this pattern, which is as well made and easy to follow as any other from the company, feels like a betrayal to some who fit into the dresses with ease. But it’s like, guys, pants are HARD, and these pants are form fitting, so that’s going to require some consideration about your FORM.

      I WISH it was a Starlet Suit Jacket! It’s a 1940’s pattern I got from Etsy, but after making it, and really liking it, don’t get me wrong, I’m seriously considering taking Gertie’s course, because I want to learn SO much more about tailoring!

  8. Nice pants! I, too, count anything denim as jeans – except for those weird jeggings which are really just leggings with pockets and topstitching and stuff printed on the fabric. That’s just strange.

    I change my needles out depending on the weight of the fabric but I do save my needles back in the original package to re-use them. I just turn them around so the flat side of the needle top faces out rather than the round side, that way I know which ones are used vs new. Because if I threw out every needle after every project I’d constantly be buying new needles!

    And thanks for the continuous pattern love 🙂 I think the shirt looks pretty good on you, especially with the stripes. What I like about shirts like that is that it has a loose fit without looking like it’s way too big because it fits in the shoulders. If you’ve never worn a shirt like that it might take some getting used to if you normally wear close fitting t-shirts. Plus, in the summertime it’s great because it doesn’t cling to you when it is so hot out (a big problem where I live).

    I’m pretty jealous of this whole outfit – I love the pink and black and stripe combo!

    • Wow, that is a great idea, I never would have thought of turning them! So simple, yet genius. Thank you!

      I love your patterns. Love love love. Thank you for checking out my blog! I do like this shirt, and the pattern was so good and easy to follow, I think it is just a different style for me. But I’m taking it down to Puerto Rico and I think it’s going to be a big help with the heat there. Also, this is a thicker knit, so I think with something like that burnout fabric you used for your first version (I stalk you maybe just a little bit….) it would drape even better and I would like it even more. I will just have to make another one and see. Oh, well…

  9. Cute jeans,great fit – and if they’re denim, they’re jeans! I haven’t tried the pattern but it’s in my queue. Certainly not expecting a perfect fit without adjustments but that’s standard here – too many curves. I’m very excited to see teh jacket once Brother Cadfael has finished with it – looks fantastic! Re needles, I’m so terrified of needles breaking and pinging me in the eye that I always put heavy duty ones in before sewing thick fabrics. Otherwise I rarely change them.

    • Haha, I should really be more afraid of my machine. As a child I cut myself really badly on a broken needle and didn’t sew again for years. But now I’m like, lalalala whatever I will be fine no worries!

  10. So cute, you! Love the entire outfit. And seriously, even though the fit on my Clovers in still in a state of flux, I don’t hate the pattern at all. At all. RTW pants are a bitch, which is why I hate shopping for them. So why would a pants pattern fit on the first go? You’ve got me thinking, though… maybe I started a size or two too large. Which I tend to do.
    Change that needle, girl! Okay, not erry single time. But every few garments, and depending on the fabric.

    • Why thank you! And yes, they are a bitch, so why not just accept that alterations may or may not need to happen and move on? People on the internets are weird.

      I know, I know, I really should be changing the needle more….mea culpa.

  11. Hello! Number 1, love those pants on you. I own a pair of black stretch not-quite jeans that I *wish* fit like that! Number 2, I like the stripe shirt too! (Sense a theme?) I find it really hard too sometimes to get used to a new style when I’m used to thinking that I look good in something else… That’s usually when I wear it around the house but not outside! After a while though, I ready to wear it out and be admired! 😛 Hopefully your shirt will be the same!

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