Guys. I think I’ve found my holy grail pants. For *real*. I’ve wanted a pair of sailor pants forever. Seriously. At least 10 years. When I made my big Hot Patterns purchase two years ago, this pattern was the first I put in my cart. I even muslined it a few years ago, liked the fit, but just never got around to sewing it.
I love these pants. They are everything I wanted in sailor pants. Plus, they are a really really good cut for me. I only have glowing remarks about the draft and pattern itself. I did make two muslins, but that was to check fit. I’ve taken lots of photos because I would have found some more helpful in construction / picturing final product.
Fabric: Super heavy, cotton / linen blend from A Fabric Place /Michaels about three years ago. They kind of wrinkle when you look at them. I used the khaki version for the Burda trench/ safari jacket and skirt. I am nervous that there was NO stretch in the material. These pants are snug on me and I’m worried that I’m one potato chip away from splitting them. Hence, my desire for some stretch. They did not feel this snug in my two muslins! I swear!
Pattern Alterations: I made a swayback adjustment by extending the back curve and adding about a one inch wedge through the hip. I cut a size 12 and these fit nicely.
There is some fabric folding at my crotch, but consensus at the office is if the waist was snugger and stayed up higher, those go away. That being said, I think they are slim fit.
There’s loads of chatter about HP directions. I sew with Burda! The directions overall were fine. Yes, a little sparse in comparison to Big 4. But, inline with Jalie and Burda. And, I think that chatter is from the early days when there were directions and no diagrams. This pattern has diagrams — without which I do not think I could have sewn these! **ETA: Trudy at Hot Patterns reminded me that they now post tutorials on YouTube.
For this pattern, the main thing to remember is that the front ‘dart’ is not a dart. Those two lines are in fact the stitchlines. Erica has a helpful diagram.
Because the fabric is all natural, I expect it grow like my linen pants. So, I used twill tape in the upper waistband to prevent stretching. But, I would like it to stretch everywhere else! I’m reminding myself that jeans used to not have lycra and they stretched…
I wish I had used twill tape and re-shaped the flap a bit. The upper edge follows the curve of pants / waistband, but I would like like it more straight across the top and the upper edge stabilised with twill tape too. Especially because I used cream topstitching, I feel like the flap is smiling against my stomach.
I serged my finishes. These are unlined and would have looked gorgeous with bias binding for the finish. Next time, that’s what I’ll do.
The facing is seersucker left over from a vest project.
I struggled with buttons. I was afraid if they were too bold, I’d limit myself from wearing ‘statement’ pants. If they were too subtle, what a waste all the details would have been. I also couldn’t decide on top stitching or not. I am terrible at making these kind of choices.
I did make the buttonholes 1/2 inch from the edge. I think I could have done 3/8 or so and been happier. My buttons are 1/2 inch as recommended by the pattern. I think they are a little small. Not terribly. That being said, I FREAKIN’ LOVE these black buttons with gold anchors. There is no button placement guide on the pattern. Which I kind of like because you may not always want the same button size recommended.
The design is based on a Marc Jacobs sailor pants.
Last thing, the vent in the back. So, I was going to leave this off b/c I wasn’t sure it was ‘classy’ enough for work.
But, it’s such an interesting detail (and straight from the inspiration) I couldn’t resist. I’m also happy to report that my underwear don’t show.
But, I HATE EYELETS. These inserted like crap and don’t look good from the back. There is so much fray check on these holes I think they are emitting toxic fumes.
Note the graveyard of badly applied eyelets.
I’m hoping to take them to NYC with me soon and have them done professionally. Or, take them out and use my eyelet template on my automatic buttonholer. The pattern directions don’t have a suggestion on where to place the eyelets.
Overall, I’m THRILLED. I’ll have these in time for Baltimore’s Navy Week / Star-Spangled Sailabration in June. I have serious stunt / theme dressing planned for June 🙂
My pattern review is here
Notes on construction details (these are just some notes I made to myself while sewing that I was unclear about upon first approach. Nothing is ‘wrong’ — just more detail for me.
First, I my preferred method of pant construction is to sew the waist band on to each leg piece. Then assemble to pants at the side and front seams. Personally, I find it much easier to take in the waist (common for me) this way. I haven’t quite worked out how I would do that with these pants. Luckily, I muslined first and they fit fine at the waist. But, could be 1/2 inch to 1 inch snugger.
Step 2: My stand is not finished at the bottom as I missed the step on sewing the short ends.
Step 4: You want to use the non-intefaced pieces
Step 5: If you are serging, I recommend you finish all the front button. See my photo below for which edges are left exposed
Step 6: When joining the facings, you’ll do so right sides together
Step 8: ‘Join the fabric layer’ means right sides together and as noted above, that’s not a dart. One is your ‘stitchline’
Topstitching back: the line drawing for pattern has topstitching only going up to the waistline. I thought it looked ‘short’ and extended onto and through the waistband.