Pattern: Vogue 9745 (OOP) from the VogueElements line, c. 1997
Pattern Description: Straight-legged (below waist) trousers with low contour waistband and side pockets. View B.
Pattern Sizing: Size 12-16. To be safe, I started with size 16, which matched my waist and hip measurements. However, with 4.5 inches of ease (!) included, I ended up cutting down to size 14.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. The VogueElements patterns usually have only one page of instructions for their garments and use simple techniques. However, this kind of brevity might be difficult for less experienced sewists or anyone who has not made a pair of pants before.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the slim sleek look of view B without the cuffs and belt carriers. The only issues I had were with some confusing pattern markings. There is only one pattern piece used for the waistband and its facing. However, even though the right and left sides of the front waistband are to be treated differently because of the fly front all of the markings are on this one piece. The markings that show that one side seam should be 5/8" and the other more like 1" are hard to distinguish from the other markings for constructing the fly and for all of the other sizes. You can only get that information from closely looking at the illustrated instructions. For future use, I copied the piece eliminating any markings that I do not need for my size so I won't have to deal with the issue next time.
Fabric Used: 2 1/4 yards 58" stretch bengaline in Potting Soil (81% poly, 15% rayon, 4% spandex) from Jo-Ann for $11.24, Coats and Clark all purpose matching thread in #8950, Coats and Clark 7" zipper in Cloister Brown, #56B, and Pellon Easy-Knit fusible interfacing.
Recently I started checking the grain of all my fabric when I bring it home and before I wash it. Unfortunately, this bengaline was very off-grain. I clipped the fabric at 1/4" in from the edge, pulled a thread and ended up 2 1/2 inches in on the other side! That's a lot of fabric to lose; that could make or break a garment in terms of having the right amount of fabric for a chosen pattern. The fabric care instructions indicated this fabric should be handwashed and line dried. I normally pre-wash everything in the washing machine since I rarely dry clean, however, this time I followed instructions. I don't know yet if that was a good thing or not.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Besides cutting down one size I made no other changes or alterations to this pattern! However, I didn't think that would be the case, so the construction of these took forever and a lot of basting when I could have just sewn them straight through. From now on, watch out! My first TNT* pants pattern has arrived!
I liked the bengaline fabric; however, because the stretch is parallel to the selvedge, along the length, if I wasn't careful it would stretch oddly like when I machine basted the side seams the one side would end up longer. I had to switch over to my walking foot. This fabric needed to be handled carefully, no letting hang over the edge of tables or pressing at too high a heat. However, light steam and gentle pressing worked well on getting flat open seams and defined creases.
Because of the sleek look of the pants when they were basted, I chose not to have pockets, which in this fabric would only add bulk and the possibility of stretching out of shape over time.
The rest of the fit was right, the "c-curve" and all. So well that I will transfer the same curve to my other pants patterns even before I create muslins. The zipper installation on the faux fly went along easily after I translated the markings on the pattern piece.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I made this pattern hoping to end up with a TNT pattern for full-leg pants and that's what I got! As part of the VogueElements line, I have to say they are batting 4 out of 4 with their patterns! Yes, I would definitely recommend this pattern, if you can get your hands on it. If you can't find one online, the current Vogue 8751 looks very similar.
Conclusion: I learned a huge lesson with these...stop being scared of pants/trousers. I made them without fear when I began sewing in high school and it seems that only in the last few blog-reading years that I became doubtful due to a fear of pants in the sewing blog world. The most important thing though is I now have a TNT pattern for this type of pants. There will definitely be another pair made this winter season, perhaps in denim or no-wale corduroy?