Oh. Hello. To get through this fall, I have made something I never thought you’d hear me say: Ponte Pants.
My friend Carly claims I told her I don’t sew with ponte. That’s not exactly true as a broad brush rule, but I really didn’t mess much with it. When Jalie asked for testers of their Renee Ponte Pants back in December 2019, I knew I had to BECAUSE IT’S MY NAME (sans the accent). Also, turns out they named them with me in mind? I was hesitant to claim this, because who wants to be Al Gore talking about being the inspiration for the movie “Love Story” and get called out by the author?
Turns out I LOVE ME A PONTE PANT. Here’s why…. They hug my waist and hips but are kind of straight below the thigh. The ponte is warm and cozy for fall and winter. They are also flexible so I can curl up in them, but also put on nice shoes and feel dressed. They come up nice and high, so are very smoothing. I sewed a size DD which matched my hip / lower thigh measurements.
This is the fun part! When I first tested these pants, I made no changes. The drag lines at the front were egregious, bordering on disrespectful as you’ll see below. Thankfully, I knew from Debbie Cooke’s ten year old blog post that a knock knee adjustment was what I was looking for to address my full inner thighs.
Here’s a photo of me from the Cashmerette Ipswich swim photoshoot. My knees don’t even touch, just my thighs. To me, they don’t turn inward. I just have full inner thighs (I always have at any size). Now, I don’t have knock knees necessarily, but I hav very full inner thighs that touch down to the knees. Because my thighs touch, they draw up fabric at my inseam, creating these folds and pulls.
A knock knee adjustment definitively works for me. I used the method from the Singer Guide to Perfect Fit to adjust, and you can see the before and after for yourself. Singer says you can adjust between 1/2″ and 1.5″. I ultimately made 1.5″ total on my pairs after trying just 1″ on a muslin.
My black pair from 2020 was one of the four pontes I bought from Spandex House in NY a few months ago. These are mostly rayon content and closer to the stretch asked for in the Jalie Renee. For my muslin (which I can no longer find photos of), I used a ponte with more stretch. While softer, the waistband was practically at my bra underwire. With the correct stretch fabric, they sit at the right place at my waist. I also added 1″ to the pant leg as I don’t care for cropped pants on me.
I also made a small, like 1/2″ swayback adjustment in my four new pairs in addition to shortening the front crotch length a hair at 1/4″. Finally, I used 2″ elastic instead of 1.5″ and shortened the elastic 4″ for a snugger waist fit.
My olive and navy pairs sewed up super quick and now I have a real wardrobe of pants for the fall!
Oh what an actual joy to open my closet and have pants to wear. I swear I haven’t had more than two pairs of pants at any given time in ten years.
Fabric: Except the first black pair which was in my stash, I bought my mostly rayon ponte from Spandex House in NY (am linking to the swatch cards, you probably need to call to order). This has almost the same make up as the well loved and raved about Robert Kauffman Arietta ponte. I would have happily purchased the latter, but I couldn’t find all the colors I wanted from one store when I was looking.
I’d like to try a wider leg ponte pant next fall. I’m looking at the Style Arc Sailor Sue. I love the slight flair and pull on nature. Plus, I read with wide leg pants, my knock knee alteration isn’t as needed. And because they are a little more flowy, I’d def try them in red, royal blue and yellow.
Despite my blog name, I avoid sewing pants. These made me feel like a pants ninja!