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.