Since the Elizabeth costume is done (for now), I worked on my husband’s Booker costume this week.
I bought Simplicity 4760 as a basic template for a pair of men’s pants. I wanted to have a guide for the fly part of the pants. I don’t think I could have accomplished this piece myself, but oye. This was one of the least usable patterns I’ve seen.
Pants are pants, so I will spare you the gory details, and just focus on the problematic areas of this pattern as well as my modifications.
1) The fly and waistband on this pattern are weird. The only other pants I have made with a fly were much more understandable. Step 7 was annoying as the picture was not terribly easy to understand.
I felt like this pattern drew zippers funny. I kept thinking the zippers were stitching.
Another note related to the fly – the button will go on the inside. I think the other pants I made with a fly just gave me so many pre-conceived notions about how to do this that I was confused the whole time.
2) I expected the waistband to be a separate piece of the pants that would sit above the pants themselves. Apparently the waistband piece of the pattern just sits INSIDE the pants. Probably a little easier, but odd. And the instructions for how to attach the waistband were NOT good.
I mean, the picture with the zoomed in oddity on the left – really? And then a giant paragraph of text next to the confusing picture? That was enough to make me cross-eyed, since I read that mess 20 times. When I finally figured it out, it looked like the bottom picture. The yellow arrow in the pattern instructions match the yellow arrow in the picture. Spatial reasoning puzzle indeed. Oh and I did not use any twill tape like this pattern suggested. After attaching the waistband this way, you pressed and folded the thing over and then top stitched the outside of the pants to the interfaced, invisible waistband piece. Oye.
3) The pockets on these pants are gross. I didn’t like them and didn’t want them messing up the costume pants. I thought I would just make some easy pockets to go between the side seams of the pants. Well, I failed miserably at that. I removed the pockets because they looked like this. *Grumble*
4) The pattern wanted me to put the pants together by placing one leg inside the other and stitching the u-band after the front and back pieces were sewn together. While I know this is a common way for pants patterns to work, my pajama pants experience has taught me that it is way easier to stitch the inside leg seam first, then the u-bend, and then the outside leg seam. So that is what I did, except I did all the fly instructions first, and only needed to stitch a little over half of the u-bend when I got there (every time I say u-bend, I think of Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter …).
5) The final modification I made was to cut six little rectangles of fabric, about 2.5″ by 1.5″. I folded edges under and made neat little belt loops out of them, and stitched them onto the waistline of the pants so the husband can wear a belt with them.
In summary, these pants were more annoying than I had hoped they would be. I blame the pattern. And my apparent inability to figure out pockets. But here is the finished product.
I also measured my husband for Booker’s vest, created the pattern, and cut the fabric for this over the weekend. I had my first experience of not buying enough fabric. I bought only 1.5 yards of green suede for the vest, and maybe at the time didn’t realize I was planning to line the vest. Ooops. Thankfully I was indecisive at the store that day and also bought 1.5 yards of green corduroy fabric. I will be using some of the corduroy for some lining pieces. For anyone who is curious, here are the pattern pieces I wound up with for the vest.
It amounts to a front vest piece (one side will be slightly wider so there is a bit of overlap for the buttons), a back vest piece, a collar facing piece, and a pocket piece. Since I didn’t manage pockets on the pants, I KNOW I can put pockets on the inside of the vest. I’m still really wishing I had remembered to do this for my Elizabeth bolero.
I’m glad I am making progress on all this stuff … only 46 days to go till DragonCon!