Tardy Refashion Friday: Rayon/Silk Lounge Pants. Alternate Title: Don’t wear straight pants!

Yesterday I was a bit upset. I’d been working for several hours on my refashion Friday, after all, and it just wasn’t working. I was going to have to skip it again, because blogging about failed projects is terrible.

But then I reconsidered. After all, I write about my projects because I like learning from others’ projects. And since people usually don’t blog about their failures, I don’t get that side of it. One of the neat things about humans is that we learn from stories, both of success and failure. And besides, if I’m going to be a flag bearer for authenticity in blogging, then I have to blog about my failures sometimes. With that in mind, I give you: rayon/silk pants!

Working from home means I often don’t change out of my pajamas. Then people come over and I forget to change unless we’re going out somewhere. Which means I really should have something nice to wear instead of a sports bra and my ex-boyfriend’s Family Guy pajama pants.

I like silk. And unconventional things. And this print. But as a dress or skirt, its original form (I didn’t take a picture. Sigh), it was just way too girly. So I wanted to make it into pants. Pants like these.

Turns out that my dress was a TERRIBLE candidate. First off, there was an invisible zip in the a-line skirt portion. Removing it made the sides surprisingly uneven.

Cut off the top part and it seems like great loose pants potential!

Take the skirt apart and it seems like it has great loose pants potential!

Transfers 089

But there’s no way that’s going to make a straight pant leg.

I decided to ignore all of the evidence and plow straight ahead. Oh, and I also decided to ditch the stretch poly lining because I thought it would weigh the whole thing down too much. I just like making my life difficult.

With fabric like this, you have to french seam or bind everything. Or serge it, if you have that capability.



I decided to french seam the side seams and bind the bottom hem and the actual crotch portion of the pants (which isn’t transparent, as you’ll see). I wasn’t too worried about fit, since they were designed to be a bit loose. So I just  eyeballed a shallow curve at the appropriate spot and threw together the pants. I mean, I’ve made enough pants that I should just be able to make a pair of loose lounge shorts, right?

But the slipperiness of the fabric combined with the A-line shape (I flipped the skirt upside-down since the bottom portion was opaque silk and I wanted to use that as the crotch portion) and the screwy grain made for all sorts of problems. The inseams corkscrew a bit (I managed to correct for it a little bit somehow, but it’s noticeable.) And the top of the pants were HUGE. Way larger than I anticipated for some reason. That’s what happens when you think you know what you’re doing and don’t double check some things.  Hubris.

I wish I had more picture of this part, but I just kind of started fiddling around. I didn’t want to do an elastic waist or make a new seam down the outside of the pants. So I ended up with a sort of folded diagonal crotch that I would like except that the fabric doesn’t behave, and it kind of balloons sometimes. It would be a neat design feature in a crisp linen, I think.

2013-02-09 12.26.59

Laziest picture ever.

I’m still debating whether I want to re-seam the sides and add a drawstring waistband. I might in the future. But I learned something about straight pants: If your behind is at all prominent, they make your thighs look freakishly huge. If the difference between your hips and your thighs isn’t very large, then straight pants will be more flattering, but if you have a butt you really need the pants to curve back under.

For comparison: straight pants vs a pair of not-super-flattering jeans.

For comparison: straight pants vs a pair of not-super-flattering jeans.

See the difference? In the interest of objectivity, I purposely picked a pair of jeans that are fitted, but don’t employ any lycra or nice shaping. In fact, they’re  GAP jeans, which, as you may have seen making the blogosphere rounds, are fairly sub-optimal. I tried to replicate the pose and angle exactly. (Even though these pictures were taken within 10 minutes of each other, the light on the door is different, I see that. But I did the best I could.) And even with all that, look at the difference.

In conclusion: if you have any kind of butt, please do yourself a favor and don’t wear straight pants. Oof.

Worry not, though; this fabric pattern is way too awesome to just give up on. I’ll find some use for it.



    • Jessie

      I really like the idea, but in the comparison picture – that’s not a strange poof of fabric in the front of my leg, that’s actually the front curve of my thigh. I have robust cycling tree-trunk thighs, and when the fabric just adds to that, I look… cylindrical. Might try again in a different fabric and see if that changes anything. Thanks!

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