Edgey pants, or ….?

Some time ago I pulled out a 90’s Donna Karan wrap skirt and baggy pant pattern and went to town. I made two versions of the skirt, and then tried a pair of long shorts, using the pant pattern. This is the pic, in case you’ve forgotten, or didn’t see that post 🙂


Why do pattern companies use black for their envelop pictures anyway? Is it when they don’t want you to see details of the design and/or fit? I had a really hard time figuring out if the shorts fit. This was partly because it had been decades since I’d worn pleated pants, and the whole look was new. Although the size 16 was perfect for the skirt, I was taking in the size 14 to try to get what looked right for the shorts. I did discover that the lovely “paperbag” look was not for me.

I wanted to try the pants, straightening out the legs instead of going with the peg leg look. I actually went out and bought some fabric especially for the project. (I didn’t go so far as to buy it at regular price!) It’s a Kaufman linen cotton blend that’s so popular it’s actually for sale in two Vancouver stores.

I cut off the top two inches of the front and back pieces, as well as of the facings, to eliminate the “paperbag”. I had a pretty good idea of how to straighten the legs, but confirmed it by placing a wide-leg pattern piece on top of the Donna Karan piece.

Here’s the result.


I had to ransack my closet to find something to wear with them, as all the tops I’ve made are too long. I found this shirt, which I haven’t worn much because it was always too big. Looks like a decade in the dark caused it to shrink. I love the fabric, but it is a little tight in the bust, isn’t it?


I deliberately eliminated the pockets so I would have a clear canvas to examine size. I took a one inch  seam allowance  at the waist down to the hip, grading to 5/8ths. After finishing them, I finally figured out how to tell if baggy pants fit. It’s the rear end! Now matter how baggy the pant, if they don’t have an elastic waist, they’re going to fit properly across the derriere (notice how polite I’m being?). These pants didn’t, so I had to eliminate a slight outward curve at the hip. The side seams are now completely straight.

They’re still not snug enough to stay up without a belt, though. I think I could still lose about an inch at the waist.


I also think the waist to crotch length is a bit long. I find they fit best if I let them slide a little down from where they’re supposed to be. That means the crotch is hanging pretty low. I think I’ll make a horizontal cut across the front piece at least next time and take out an inch. That will necessitate a shorter fly, which will be a good thing.

I do like them. The fabric is just right for them because it’s really light weight. But in some of the pix I took, my  legs look somewhat shortened. Having legs disproportionately short for my body, I have found extremes in cuff width (too narrow, or too wide) can give me a stumpy look.


I was trying to put together a “look” above. The top is from   Simple Modern Sewing, one of those Japanese pattern books. But I’m not sure I want the tucked in look — again because of the leg/trunk lack of proportion. What I really need are some shorter tops that cover the waist, but not the pleats,  and maybe a knee-length sleeveless or sleeved cardigan — something that will add a perception of length. That’s the thing I’m discovering, as I try out different styles of clothing. You can’t just wear any top with any bottom. They have to complement each other in cut and design. You need to make an outfit. Who’d a thought???

Anyway, I’m open to critical comments, if anyone wants to take the plunge.

10 thoughts on “Edgey pants, or ….?”

  1. Your energy (and patience with fiddly things like belt loops) astounds me & you do look very comfortable, despite the disobedient blouse. Think you’re spot on with your thinking, including proportion. I have a similar prob with tucking things in & pleats. Try out your ensemble idea of a long vest/jacket/whatever to elongate the line.
    Since ancient Greece, the feminine form, including patterns, are drawn or photographed on models with elongated torsos. We all should re-train our eyes. And yes, companies deliberately use black fabric and/or specific poses to hide specific design areas. There are entire books for design students dealing with this.


  2. Oh, I just love those 80s and 90s designer Vogue patterns! Good style never dates, just keeps coming back only in different colours. Of course black, and this lovely chambray you’ve chosen, are both timeless classics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.