Now that I’ve sewn up 5 pairs of these pants in recommended ponte knit, I thought I would throw caution to the wind and make a pair in a stretch woven fabric for the 6th pair. Although they’re both stretchy, the ratio is very different in the two fabrics; my stretch-wovens did not stretch in the lengthwise direction, and has less stretch in the widthwise direction (depending on how much lycra was woven in). I won’t bore you with the percentage of stretch and all that mathy stuff.
The designer herself, Sandra Betzina, created stretch-woven versions of her design. So, off I went to see what she did. Sure enough, Sandra Betzina made a pair in a printed stretch cotton, seen below. On their website, there are a few free episodes of the web tv show, and lucky me, the Vogue 1411 episode was on the free list. You should go there right now Note to self: Gift myself a video subscription for the next birthday.
If one proceeds to the web page called Sandra’sCloset, one can find this very pant in stretch leather and suede, pictured above. Perfect! We’ll now proceed with my own denim version. Here’s my work in progress, below, in a stretch denim.
Fabric: A stretch denim, which I’m pretty sure has some rayon in it because it is drapier than just cotton/lycra. It was bought so long ago that I’ve forgotten the exact fiber content; even a burn test was not conclusive.
Design tweak: I thought it would be fun to use the wrong side of the denim for the middle front panels on each leg. All I would need to do was turn over and switch out the center front pattern piece – the #4 piece.
Pattern adjustment and moral of the story: the woven, lower-stretch fabric demanded that I use a larger size pattern. Since 1411 (a very close fitting pant) is already fit and cut to my size for stretchy knit, I needed to enlarge it. I added 1” to the side seams, ½” to each inseam and extended the center back and center front/crotch seam by ½”. I call it the “play-it-by-ear grading process”. I wanted to err on the too big side and it could be taken in, if needed. Also, I wanted these pants to stay a pull-up and not have to put a zipper in. As it turned out, the basted pants were way, way, way too big, and had to be taken in at the sides and inseam for the snug fit. Moral: a small addition goes a long way!
Sewing: Using a #14 universal needle (it should be a stretch needle but I did not have one and the universal worked out great), I sewed the pattern pieces together, remembering to switch pattern piece #4 so the lighter weft side is outside. At this point I consider the frayed denim look on the front seams, but decide against it. The seams are topstitched with my go-to triple stitch and a double needle.
Finishing: added the separate waistband, topstitched the pants hem, aaand we’re done.
Sometimes we fashion sewers ought to have fun with fashion. Otherwise, what’s the point? See image below. Do you agree?
Just for fun and more inspiration, here is Italian designer Roberto Cavalli’s offering for Spring Summer 2017. Denim is pervasive in the very high end fashion houses this season. Which makes me conclude that denim is the greatest sartorial equalizer. Do you think that’s stretch denim in the photo? I spot some frayed edges! How would you recreate these pants?
Image from voguerunway.com – I love their mobile app, where this image is from. Many thanks to them. No, they don’t pay me for saying that.