Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Slub Linen Arden Pants

I wanted to drop a quick post about the trousers that I was wearing in my last post about the Lou Box Top, because I feel they deserve some attention of there own. These days I only buy fabric if I have a very clear idea of what it'll become. Sometimes I even have a specific pattern in mind, sometimes not. And when I do by some fabric, I really try (but often fail) to use it before long, so it doesn't become another piece of stashed fabric. With this linen, I DID manage to use it within a few weeks of purchasing. WIN! Zoe, 1 : Stash, 0. 


A few months ago, Fabric Godmother (where I work part-time) got in some lovely, slubby linen in navy with white flecks (sadly now sold out, sorry). It had such lovely drape and body and movement, but I reminded myself that I hadn't sewn up the last lot of fabric I bought yet, so couldn't justify buying more at that point. Then a couple of weeks later I saw my colleague Claire wearing a pair of Merchant & Mills 101 Trousers made in the same linen and they looked AMAZING. Claire has incredible taste and buys fabric only when she sees something INCREDIBLY special. I decided that if Claire felt this was some good stuff, then it would be an investment to get some for myself.

For a few years now I've been interested in creating 'summer jeans': bottoms that are really comfy and that will go with so many other items in my wardrobe that they get worn ALL THE TIME during the warmer months. I felt that this almost denim-y look linen might fit the bill. 


There are soooo many elasticated-waist woven bottoms patterns out there now that it's almost impossible to keep track of them all. But the one that instantly appealed to me the most (apart from the Luna pants pattern by Made by Rae, which I feel is more suitable to very drape-y fabrics) is the Arden Pants pattern by Helen's Closet. I was lucky enough to receive this pattern for free shortly after it was released and I've tried it a couple of times so I had a good idea of the fit I could expect and the size I should use. 

I love the elasticated ankle views included in this pattern, but I chose to make the regular hem that I wear turned up hoping they will be suited to a wider range of outfit vibes. The construction of these trousers is very simple, but with some nice details like topstitched seams that should ensure longevity. In hindsight, I should have added some stabilisation to the pocket mouths though, because I'm pretty sure they will stretch out over time. 

The only other issue I have with these trousers is that I can't decide if the waist should sit higher up near my natural waist (which I like to look of more), or lower on my hips (which feels more comfortable but I don't like the way my belly protrudes a bit over the top!). I'm erring to the former/higher position, but I need to tighten the waist elastic to stop them from slipping down. The pattern calls for topstitching through the waistband after the elastic has been inserted. I really like the look of that, but I find it makes the elastic less effective and looser after the topstitching has been added. For future pairs, I should probably overcompensate and make the elastic too tight to begin with. Or include the step to insert a cord or tie through the waist so you can tighten them up when worn.


In short: I have achieved my summer jeans! I have worn them A TON since making them (I'm wearing them right now, in fact). They look great with all sorts of casual tops, and I'm interested to see how far into autumn I can get away with wearing them before I feel too cold. I definitely plan to make another version or two of this pattern in the future, perhaps slimming them down through the hip ever so slightly. 

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