Ann from Designer Stitch recently contacted me and offered me one of her patterns, free. Ann, from Australia, has some really nice summer dresses. However when she got in touch I was considering trouser styles for my casual wardrobe and thought I might try these unusual casual pants.
I chose the Lena pants, described thus:
The Lena Silk Pants are a relaxed and easy wearing pant. Featuring side slant pockets, pleated front, back yoke and elastic waistband these pants can be made in a casual fabric for daytime wearing. They can then easily transition into evening when made in a more upmarket fabric for some glitz and glamour.
I particularly liked the fabric Ann used for the silk version, but I wondered if these pants might be nice in a sweatshirt material I had in my cupboard. The green cotton jersey comes from Fred Perry so it is a nice quality but casual fabric.
I ran the pattern off at home and it was great to put together. Ann had successfully managed to position the pattern at the very left and bottom edge of each A4 sheet, so they could be stuck together with no cutting! Brilliant. Why doesn’t everyone else do this? It cut the sticking time in half. Also she provides the patterns in layers so you only need to run off your own size. I made the smallest size.
The instructions were full, and easy to follow. I didn’t use the suggested technique with the elasticated waist band as I didn’t have the right depth of elastic. The one thing that really annoyed me however was the inconsistent seam allowance – on some seams it was 1.5cms, and on others it was 1cm. I can’t see the justification for this and believe the same seam allowance can and should be used throughout. I had to keep going back to the pattern to check. However all in all well drafted patterns with clear instructions.
The problem for me is the dropped crotch. Obviously this is a design feature but it did mean I lacked reference points for the fitting. The waist is dropped, so is the crotch, and the hems are not in a conventional place. I am not sure I made them up correctly. There are very few pictures of these trousers from the back!
The trousers look quite reasonable from the front. The pants apparently sit low on the waist as well. On me the trousers finish at the ankle, although on Ann they are shorter. Maybe I got them in the wrong place?
From the side they look pretty good. I really like the pockets. And the pleats.
I didn’t like the centre back seam as it has no shaping at all. From the back it looks like I have a nappy on. Elephant bum. I know some people like this look – the harem pant – but I don’t think I should go there.
I am glad I gave these trousers a try. It didn’t take any time at all to make them, and I may copy the cuffs at the bottom which worked really nicely. But I am afraid these will be worn for one yoga class and then I will probably take them to the charity shop. Sorry Ann.
What fun! Oh, I have to agree, the back view is a bit much, but still you gave it a go and I am impressed with that alone. Seems you are on to something,,as you like the cuffs and side view..nudging you in a direction?
As always, fabulous inspirational and post. What will you try next! 🙂
Lol I’m with you on these! Nappy elephant bum is NOT a look [unless of course you already have elephant bum, or wear nappies, in which case, good on ya!]
I’m with you the front, sides and back. I was never a fan of the dropped crotch
Have to vote with you on the back view! Back seam with no shaping is puzzling, how could that work?
Another vote for no.
They’re not terrible, I actually like the style but think that either the back crotch is too deep for you and the top leg too narrow, or perhaps the back needs to be a smaller size and you stick with the narrower thigh. I’d try them on back to front to see if you could make both front and back from the same pattern piece. They’d also look better with an oversized boxier top.
The devil, as always, is in the detail.
Thank you Anne. You are always the voice of reason. I agree the top is wrong. I was thinking exercise clothes…
Ann gets big points for sharing her pattern with someone who will give an unbiased review. I don’t personally like this style of trouser, but I know it appeals to some. Good luck to Ann.
I agree. I feel bad about making a poor pattern choice as she has some lovely dresses. I made a poor choice of pattern – there is nothing wrong with it for the right person.
I wonder if dropped crotch pants are sort of a tropical thing? I do have a linen pair that are so delightfully comfortable on a hot day that I just avoid thinking about how they look.
You’re honest, as always, and I appreciate that. No, these pants don’t look good.
Nappy bottom is a no go! You should look at Simplicity #2061. It’s a great ‘athleisure’ look and a speedy pattern to put together mostly on the serger. Great cuffs to. I’ve made several pairs for everyone in my family and they are a hit.
It’s a no from me too. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have decide to do for Gus’ wardrobe.
Everything about these pants is great except for the droopy bum. Why not open the back seam, and recut them. They look for too nice to get rid of.
Everything about these pants is great except for the droopy bum. Why not open the back seam, and recut them. They look far too nice to get rid of.
I can’t wear dropped crotch either – to me it is a ridiculous look. These look relaxed and comfortable from all angles except the back and I suspect they will go into the donate pile. Why clutter up your life with clothes you’ll never wear?
I’m not opposed to a dropped crotch but I prefer it to be really well dropped so it doesn’t look like an accident. These look ok but I’ve seen you look much better.
Perfect pants for a slouchy evening at home.
Shame they didn’t turn out well for you. I really love mine, but I used a light linen and it turned out really well – the droopy bum isn’t an issue in mine as the material hangs nicely probably because of the material type I used. I suggest you remake them in silk or linen and you might like it better.
Yes I am sure you are right Kee. I often find my worst makes are due to using the wrong type of fabric. So glad yours worked out well.