trousers 011 Finished trousers.

There are lots of flaws in these pants.

The pockets are put together wrong. The inside is a telltale record of my errors and re-doings. There are imperfect corners on the waistband.

However, I am very pleased with them.They are recognizable as pants. They fit. They are comfortable. With a sweater or jacket covering the badly-done pockets, and no one having the opportunity to see the inside because I am wearing them, they will look like very nice pants.

They have some good points, even. I was surprised at how good the top-stitching looks. The paired back darts are a stylish detail. My hems are downright elegant.

I cannot undo and redo the pockets. This is because I put them together as the first step.

This is a sensible tip that I read online. You do the pocket assembly (in this classic pair, that means six different pieces of fabric) first, and then the zipper and fly. That means you do all the tricky bits on the flat. Of course, that did not keep me from making errors. Still, it is easier than doing it the usual way, with the pants mostly put together before you put in the zipper.pants and jacket Presumably, next time I will have a clearer idea of what I am aiming at, and will not make that mistake.

Then, once you have that bit done, you simply do the long straight seams, and you are ready to put on the waistband. It was only once the whole thing was constructed that I saw that the pockets were wrong. They do not lie flat, either when being worn or when merely hanging on a hanger. Upon closer inspection, I found that the length of the pocket insets simply doesn’t match the length … Well, I don’t know. I am not sure what they need to match the length of. Possibly some portion of the pockets escaped into the fourth dimension while I wasn’t looking.

There was a point, early on, at which I thought I had sewn the side insets backwards and I undid them. I think perhaps I was right the first time and wrong when I put them back together the second time. By the time I discovered this possibility, though, the whole pocket assembly had been so thoroughly sewn into the whole of the pants that repair was impossible.

In any case, I photographed them with their matching jacket when both simply needed buttonholes.

trouser detail 1 I then managed a respectable couple of machine buttonholes (I like a second, inside button on the waistband) on the pants.

My sewing machine does not have automatic buttonholes, as many modern machines do. I used a scrap of fabric to figure out what stitch width and length approximated buttonhole stitch and what directions to go in, and then chanced the real ones. I tidied them up by hand, and they look fine.

 I may be bold enough to do the buttonholes on the jacket today. If not, I still have my FO for the week.

If so, however, if I have actually mastered buttonholes, then great new vistas open up to me.

I will be able to make shirts (since, as you may recall, I have already tamed the wild Set-In Sleeve). I can make tropical print shirts in defiance of my kids’ assurances that they are completely inappropriate. I could finish the Rosie the Riveter shirt I said I would make for the Sew Retro project last summer.

three piece suitHere the trousers are completing the three-piece suit which is a foundation of the SWAP, and then below with some other pieces of the SWAP to show how the colors work.

The pattern is McCall’s 3740, a Palmer and Pletsch pattern which includes very simple pants with a back zipper, a flat-front pair with no pockets and a lapped front zipper, the ones that I made, and a pair with cuffed hems. The ideal approach would probably have been to make them in that order, honing my skills.

The version I made has, I read on the internet, “Escada style pockets.” This may have been my difficulty. I do not know what Escada is, and only know singing Italian. If they were pockets to do with God or love, I might recognize the allusion. Perhaps that would have made all the difference.

The pattern includes a lot of fitting information. I tried them on as instructed and found that I did not have smiles, frowns, or the dreaded Camel Toe effect (I read the sewing blogs; I know the lingo), so I guess the fitting directions work.

trousers 007

I sewed them in a grey microfiber that #2 daughter and I bought a whole bunch of when it was on sale for $3 a yard. One of the benefits of making a three-piece suit is that you get to use up all the little bits of extra fabric rather than cutting the small parts from large swathes of cloth, and can do the whole thing with much less fabric than you would calculate by adding up the yardage for the jacket, the skirt, and the pants.

I also used this fabric to line the bag I made last week. I really like this stuff, but I think I will have to send the rest (and there is some left) off to #2 daughter before I end up with any more garments made of it.

I may watch for other colors of it, though. The makers claim that it maintains its lovely feel and pretty sheen through many careless washings. They want it to be called a “supernatural” fiber rather than an artificial fiber.

Good luck to them on that.

So I will now go don my new pants and a nice sweater that will cover all its flaws, and get ready for church. More buttonholes may be in my future today, unless I decide to be sensible and clean house.