Hot! The “Sitting on the Stoop” Pants

The Facts
Fabric: 2 1/2 yards yarn dyed Essex linen-cotton blend from B&J Fabrics, $37
Pattern: Simplicity 2367, View A
Year: 2010
Notions: invisible zip, interfacing
Time to complete: about 6 hours
First worn: 5/5
Wear again: yes
Total cost: about $38

These pants look like a total yawn, sorry!  With two pairs of unwearable pants under my belt and one fairly successful Clover (but we’ll talk about Clover issues another day), I’m happy to be yawning and not tearing my hair out.  Since I got a good fit with the shorts (View D) in this pattern, I was optimistic about the pants, even though they use different pattern pieces.  I checked the pattern with my fresh pants block from the Consulting Dressmaker.  Wow, did I learn a lot about crotch curves working on that thing.  If you want to understand more about pants fit and construction, that is the way to go.  I didn’t totally follow the Consulting Dressmaker’s guidelines for using the block as an alteration tool– I lined up the grain lines and the top corner of the inseam instead of the waist because I wasn’t confident I would get the waistlines right– so I very nervously cut into the back crotch curve of my pattern.  The front pattern piece matched my block.  And the pants fit perfectly.  There are a lot of wrinkles– this is linen, after all– but they aren’t fitting wrinkles.

I looked to the pants my grandma and grandpa are wearing in this photo for inspiration.  I was going for leisure wear workhorse pants, though not in polyester or baby blue.  That’s my sister on my grandma’s lap and me in the background.  Even though I didn’t do my mom’s look, I love it, and I’m thoroughly impressed by her here, all trim and stylish just a few months after my sister was born.  I don’t remember her with a perm like this; she always had frosting and smoothed out the curl.

please ignore the line my camisole makes across my butt

and my hiked up t-shirt. yeesh.

With the pants, I avoided previous mistakes by pre-washing and drying the fabric three times and overcoming my tendency to hem too short.  The more time I spend with the nubbly black color, the more it reminds me of the 80s, though, and not in a good way.  I hope I’ll find the way to wear these that doesn’t set those associations going.  Linen is tough and I did some serious finishing, so these could last a long time.  I did flat felled seams on the inseam and turned and sewed the side seams and the crotch seam.  I know that’s not the best way to finish the crotch seam, but what is?  You have to do all those clips, how do you finish that?

I wish I looked more comfortable in the photos, but I was sitting on an acquaintance’s stoop, without her knowledge, while she and her family were home.  Actually, that’s not too weird– is it?; I think it’s just the camera in general that makes me go all stiff.  Maybe by the end of the month, after posing every day for me-made-May, I’ll be slightly more at ease in front of the camera.  I can dream.



Lee is a highly educated stay at home mom with a lot of projects. She lives in New York City.


Comments are closed.

  1. You may think “yawn” but I am impressed! I am so afraid to tackle pants. I think these
    look great! I love the linen.

    • Thank you, Bethany. You’ll draft a pattern based on a facing but you’re afraid of pants?! Actually, I’m still a little afraid of them myself.

  2. I think they are great! They fit perfectly, and don’t look the least bit 1980s! They may not be the most exciting garment ever, but how many crazy dresses do we all need in our wardrobe? I really like seeing people sew basics.

    And Steph is awesome isn’t she! I can’t wait for the opportunity to dig into my fitting block with her!

  3. I’m impressed with the fit! Congrats on that, Lee. I like how you posed on the stoop the way your family was posed in the photo. You look a lot like your stylish mom too!

    • Thank you! I wish I’d had more family on the stoop with me like the photo, poor planning on my part. All my life people who knew my mom when she was my age are stunned by me. I look exactly like she did.

  4. This looks great! I love your pants, they look like exactly the sort of thing I’d slip on every day over the summer. Useful and quiet and well-made- love them.

    And thanks for the link! :)

  5. I often trim down my crotch seams to 1/4″ and bias bind them… Most of my husband’s pants that he buys are made that way, it works pretty well. The other option is to trim down the crotch seams and zig zag or serge them the regular way- if the seam allowance is narrow enough, then it’s not going to pull on the seam which is what makes the wrinkles…

  6. I don’t see the 80’s in this at all. I had a pair of linen pants much like yours, but I wore them to death and they ripped up and down the thighs. I wore them with T-shirts on the weekends, and with a blouse tucked in for work with cute flats. These pants look so wonderfully versatile!

  7. Ah! So that’s what a stoop is! Another mystery cleared up…. the trousers are lovely, so wearable and such a good fit. Great job!

  8. I like them! I do get the 80’s thing-it can go terribly wrong! It’s cool that you’re participating in Me Made May. I tried to participate once but wasn’t good about my sewing. I think I managed to get by on accessories. I used the same handmade bag-I guess you could say I kinda cheated a little. I’ll try and look at your blog from time to time to see how you’re doing. Go Lee!!!

    • Thank you. Ha! I might steal your bag idea to get by one of these days. Today was the first day the me-made challenge seemed like a burden. Hope to get some excitement back tomorrow.

  9. Love these! I too often suffer from VCL = Visible Camisole Line. I would consider shortening them but I also like to wear them un-tucked. Anyway, these pants look like they fit you really well, and I love the fun facing. Great job!

  10. Thank you! If not for these photos, I would never know I suffer from VCL. Now I have something else to worry about!

  11. Hey Lee, great job on the seams. Sorry I didn’t comment earlier, was out of town.