Friday, March 20, 2015

Vogue 1378 - Black pants in embossed knit + baby pictures

Y’all, I’ve made some pants.

Big deal, right? I’ll bet you make pants all the time. You’re a wizard at crotch curves and the fish-eye dart and all the pants making things. Yeah. Well, in all the almost 7 years I’ve been blogging (!!!) I think I’ve made one pair of pants and one pair of knee-length crops. Oh and a pair of shorts or two. I’m not scared of them per say, it’s just that I’m more interested in making things that I can’t afford to buy or can’t find to fit me very well. Pants I can readily find in stores at prices I’m willing to pay, so unless it’s a unique design or some sort of suit coordinate, you probably won’t find me stitching any up.

These happened to be a unique design. Also they have loads of topstitching. (The top I'm wearing in these pictures is Vogue 8536, made way back in November of 2008.)


The pattern is Vogue 1378, part of the Donna Karan designer collection. You can see nothing of significance in the envelope picture, but the line drawing revealed some really cool construction lines, fun vented hemline, and miles of topstitching. I had to give them a try, but first I had to find the perfect fabric. I read the description for this black floral ponte de roma on Mood Fabric’s website and was intrigued. After my swatch came in the mail I knew instantly what I was going to do with it.


You probably thought they were just plain black, right? In normal lighting conditions the embossed floral motif is subtly noticeable. This fabric is really soft and has a slight sheen to it. Most of the construction of these pants are unfinished lapped seams, so the fact that my fabric didn’t fray or curl in the slightest made it perfect for the design.


There was quite a bit of thread switching going on while I was working on these. First I would stitch them together with black thread to get the placement right, then I would go back with heavy duty gray thread to do the 2 rows of topstitching. It was very much like a puzzle – I had to stitch together two pieces, topstitch, trim the excess away, rethread back to black, figure out where the next piece went, get it positioned, and repeat the process again.


Before cutting out the fabric I made a muslin out of an ugly stretch woven from my stash. It revealed that the pattern was super long, really tight from the knees down, and really tight at the hips. I decided I wanted to leave the bottom of these unhemmed, so I trimmed away the hem allowance as well as another inch in length. I also took an inch of length out around the knee area in a process that is too convoluted to describe. Then I added 3″ to the bottom leg width, tapering to nothing right above the knees. I added 2″ to the width of the hips and lengthened the top of the pants 1/2″.


A sharp scissors and a steady hand is a must if you are thinking of making these up.


The waistband is a simple fold over elastic one. The instructions want you to cut the elastic to your waist measurement plus 3″, which I totally ignored. I can’t have my pants falling down while I’m chasing my kids around!


I had a lot of fun making these. After the muslin and the altering of the pattern was completed, the actual sewing went quickly. This design is pretty unique, but I just might make it up again if ever I run across another perfect fabric.

Now, I want to let you in on a little secret. This fabric is not really ponte de roma at all - Mood has mislabeled it. Is is actually a nice weight scuba knit, which I have been wanting to work with for awhile. When I got my sample in the mail I knew instantly what it was. If you've been wanting to try your hand at working with scupa I would snap some up. At $14 a yard and in black it's an awesome buy. The thing with scuba fabrics is they don't want to lay flat at the seamlines. I did try ironing it at first but the heat made the embossed pattern disappear from the fabric face somewhat. For the interior leg seams I topstitched in black thread. The crotch seam is the only thing that's not topstitched down, but it's only a small part of the garment and doesn't bother me.

Here's a few pictures of my baby boy in case you want to see how he's growing. He has the most beautiful blue eyes. My mother and FIL both have blue eyes, so the gene is on both sides of our family, but Joshua is the only one of us that got them. His hair looks like it will either be blond or strawberry blond. Only Nathan was this bald as a baby and he has red hair.


Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

38 comments:

  1. Great pair of pants, but the baby is absolutely adorable!

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  2. Wow Amanda, your pants look really good. I am thinking of trying that pattern, also V8859, the Tilton slim pants. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Also, wow that you don't have two machines so that you can set up one for topstitching and one for sewing--you make such amazing clothing, you are definitely justified in having two! Place it on your birthday/Santa wishlist. :)

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    1. Thanks Kyle! Those Tilton slim pants are on my short list too.

      With four kids and two adults, there's not much spare room in my house for sewing. I have a small desk in my bedroom with the iron set up next to it. I can't sew in the common areas of my home because I tend to be messy during a project. I have no room for a second machine on my sewing desk. Someday perhaps we'll move and I'll gain an extra room, or I might just have to wait for some of these children to grow up. I do always love to see other people's large sewing spaces and all their various machines, but it's not an option for me at this point. ;)

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  3. Great pants Amanda...a lot of work. But Joshua totally steals the show!

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  4. oh how fast is your little one growing. Time flies.
    I like your top too. I never wear pants or I have to work with cattle or in the garden. I have a very sensitive skin and so I wear skirts, we always do any way, also the girls here.
    the fabric is so nice, I have to check that out.
    Love, Wilma

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    1. Thanks Wilma! My husband's family are cattle ranchers, so I understand the need for pants when dealing with them. You should definitely wear what you feel comfortable in!

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  5. Fantastic! Love all the topstitching. And baby is adorable, growing!

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  6. Oh I'm with Kyle ' comment. You deserve a 2nd machine.

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    1. Hi Kathy! See my response above. :)

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  7. Great pants! And what a cutie!!

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  8. The fit alterations you made were so worth it. The pants fit so nicely and your work on the top-stitching is beautiful. What a fabulous pair of pants. Great to see Joshua! He is adorable.

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  9. Great looking pants. Pant patterns with seaming that wraps around the leg can be a challenge to alter. I am a softie for a bright pair of blues eyes. J's a cutie.

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    1. Thanks Audrey! I used the muslined leg to figure out where to alter the length. Otherwise it would have been super confusing.

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  10. Your baby is adorable and so are those pants!!

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  11. Oh what a little cutie. Thanks for the peak at little Joshua. Boy Amanda. Having a new baby hasn't stopped you from sewing some amazing pieces. I've been staying away from the computer for a while because I'm house cleaning , sewing and teaching a sewing class so I was so impressed with your pink coat (Gorgeous !), your grey dress (Beautiful !!) and tweed skirt (Amazing!!!) and now these really cool pants ! I love that fabric and I love, love scuba knit !

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    1. Thanks Diana! I wish I had ready access to more scuba knit prints like you do, I would definitely use it on a regular basis.

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  12. Love the design details. Your baby is such a cutie..

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  13. He's a cute baby.
    I like the fabric you've used for these pants. They're a perfect match for the style.

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  14. Aww, cutie-pie baby boy! But let's talk about those pants! Amazing!

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    1. I'm glad you like them! Thanks Meg!

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  15. All your top stitching make your pants look like a designer original!

    Your little guy is very cute!!

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  16. Your new pants, and your baby too, are both beautiful!

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  17. Man those pants are fit for a rock star! You look awesome as usual and what a beautiful baby!

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  18. I didn't think those pants could get any more awesome until you made them in that funky embossed floral and white topstitching. I'm going to have to try this pattern! The pants look really cool on you!

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  19. I love the pants - you would never find those in a store. And the baby is so precious! I love all you do. How do you stay so slim after the baby? I would love to know!

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    1. Hopefully you find your way back here to read this. I've breastfed all my babies and that really takes the baby weight off my body. I also have high blood sugar so naturally have to stay away from a lot of sugar because it gives me headaches and severe mood swings. When I'm not nursing an infant I do low carb as a lifestyle choice. As in it's not something I do to diet down and then begin eating it again, I eat low carb all the time and have for years. Right now I don't have much time or energy to join a gym or exercise much but I do plan to get back into it once my kids get older and can be left by themselves for any amount of time. Maybe when they are all school age. Anyway, it works for me. I love to cook and the challenge of making healthy choices that are low in carbs but not low in taste.

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