Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Butterick #5895 - Party pants!

The more I sew, the more I notice that I desperately need bottoms.
I went through my wardrobe recently, and sorted my trousers. Turns out, I have two pairs that can be classified as "out-of the-house" pants. And then there are the ones that are stricktly for home-alone use (indoors, definitely NOT beyond the garden borders), also two pairs. One of which is a 15 year old linen cargo thing. Just pathetic. And when I realized that my newest pair was bought in 2012, it is even more pathetic. I guess I don't have to tell you that I hate shopping for clothes?

Butterick 5895 

So I decided to make some effort to change this sad state of my trouser drawer.
I went through my pattern stash, and didn't find anything bifurcated, but then I remembered a pdf I bought on sale sometime last year, the Gertie capri and top, Butterick #5895. Great!

I did a quick search online to see if there was any bad rap, but not much turned up. Tasha from By Gum By Golly has done some intense work with this pattern here and here, and her last pair looked awesome! I was sold, and promtly printed out my pattern. If you are fitting pants, and having issues, Tashas posts linked above, are great, btw! Lots of tips and thoughts on fitting.

I went straight for size 14, and made it up with no alterations. I expected to muslin a great deal, so I just picked some unexciting grey polyester fabric from the stash and got to work. The pants sewed up in no time, all the pieces fit together beautifully and the instructions were clear, no nonsense. (After the Salme playsuit pocket ordeal, this was just pure sewing pleasure!)

As I expected, my first pair was on the small side, but they did zip up. The general shape wasn't all that bad, but needed some adjustments. The side seams were pulling to the back, telling me that the back pieces needed a bit more width up on top, towards the sides. There was excess fabric at the hips that needed to be pinched out, and the mid/lower thighs were too tight. There was some fabric pooling near the crotch, and also under the butt, I suspect because of the tight thighs.

Very tight in the waist and the mid-thigh.
The fabric is also aweful as it highlights every lump and bump...

It is a bit hard to see, but the side seam gets pulled backwards,
taking the pocket with it, causing creases.

I sized my pattern pieces up one size, and shaved off a little on the hip curve. I added some extra on the back pieces at the sides. I also lowered the front crotch curve, and tinkered with the back crotch curve, too.

The second pair was cut, this time I used some silver-striped black fabric I found in a remnant bin. It was super wide, and I suspect it's for upholstery. Just a crazy blend of cotton, viscose, polyester and lurex. The stripes were actually horisontal, but I decided to try using the weft as the grainline. I don't know how this effects the garment, so a working experiment! As the sewing went on, I was really loving these pants! They looked rather smashing, and after setting the zipper and trying them on I was really pleased! So much so that I had to quickly finish the insides where I still could, to make them a wearable muslin.

They even go with my red blouse!

I still think my pants could use some more work. They are a tad bit baggy around the crotch, but overall, they are comfortable, and fit quite nicely. I think I can pinch out a smidge more on the side seams at the hip, there seams to be a little excess there even when I'm sitting down.
I didn't think I would suit them, but I've worn them out already, and really like them. After wearing them a couple of times, the fabric has relaxed a bit and is not restrictive. The pants really goes with everything, too! And silver pinstripes? Yup, totally partyworthy :D

I've had my fears about sewing (fitted) pants, but this was such a nice experience. I love this style, the pants are easy to use with modern tops and tees, and of course the classic 50s style with a sleeveless tie top or a peasant style blouse.
I hope to continue to perfect these pants, and having more of them in my closet!
Oooo, maybe I'll make jeans now!!!!


  1. The second pair turned out very well :) I can see that they're a little baggy at the crotch, but with this kind of trousers I rather think they would have to be to avoid the dreaded camel toe. Well done :)

    1. Yes, I would much rather have them baggy at the front!!!!
      I will work some more with this pattern, hopefully I'll solve the problem :)

  2. Awesome pants and fabric, love the silver pinstripes! I recently used this pattern to make denim shorts (as a wearable muslin) and was surprised by how fast they came together and how easy it was to achieve an acceptable fit. My shorts are also somewhat baggy at the crotch, though, perhaps the pattern is just drafted that way?

    1. Thank you, Iris! I think the crotch baggyness has to do with the front crotch curve. In my second version, I redrafted the curve so it was more sloping. Think of a j-shape, as opposed to a L-shape. Hard to explain, but on the pattern the curve is very tight/sharp. I relaxed it, and let it down, and so took off an inch at the top of the inner thigh/inseam. Try it, it might help :)

    2. Thanks for the tip, makes perfect sense and I will definitely give it a try when I sew up my next pair!

  3. I have the 'Gertie Sews Vintage Casual' book and there is a pattern for capri pants in that. I have made the shift dress from the book which fitted me remarkably well with little alteration so I am hoping the capris may be the same way - when I summon up the courage to make them! I think you have achieved a really good fit - I love them with the black top. :)

    1. I tell you, you don't need much courage for these! I feel like a dimwit for waiting so long to try fitted pants. This pattern is so quick to sew, you won't believe it :)

  4. Cute, the fit worked well! I have a similar Burdastyle pattern - I really need to make a muslin but I have so many other projects on the go!

  5. These are brilliant, I love the pinstripe version.

  6. Your new capris look awesome! Silver pinstripes is obviously the way to go!

  7. Your new capris look awesome! Silver pinstripes is obviously the way to go!

  8. Lovely pants!! Bottoms are so hard for me to get fitted correctly. They always need a bit of tweaking here or there no matter what I do. But yours look fantastic!