As I live in a near-constant state of T-shirts and plain sweaters, I’d like to take a moment and sing the praises of brightly colored pants. Why should our top halves get all the love all the time? What better way than a pant in a bold print or a fun pop of color to enliven our wardrobes and bring some excitement back into getting dressed?
Photo credits: Allie Olson
When I first saw this gorgeous printed corduroy from Elizabeth Olwen for Cloud 9 Fabrics, I was hooked. I love the really saturated colors — the deep blue and purple and the rich orangey reds and browns. Lightweight corduroy makes awesome skinny pants (you’ll recall I sewed up a pair of emerald Jamie Jeans last year), and I thought I’d experiment with the Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It. This UK-based design company curates some of the best styles from the ’50s and ’60s, updating vintage looks for modern sewists.
The Ultimate Trousers pattern is classic and retro, but also clean and chic. These remind me of Audrey Hepburn pants, the “cigarette pant” style that looks good on a lot of different body shapes and sizes. I styled mine with a button-up shirt, a zip-back matching cardigan, and some neutral flats for a fall look that’s perfect for work.
If you haven’t sewn pants before, these would be a very good first attempt. There are minimal pieces to assemble, and an invisible zipper on the side is a good skill builder. (Pro tip: invest in an invisible zipper foot, which is not the same as a regular zipper foot. I discovered that’s the trick to a truly “invisible” invisible zipper.) What’s really nice is that you can sew or baste just a few seams and then have a working pair to try on for fit — no need for a muslin! There’s also an invisible waistband facing, which contributes to the clean lines of the look.
As someone who’s only sewn a few pairs of pants in her life, I was a bit surprised that interfacing wasn’t printed in the materials list but was then later called for in the waistband pattern. It would only have been just a little bit; half a yard at most. “AHHH!” the quilter in me shrieked. “How much interfacing? What weight?” Allie at Indiesew explained that most garment sewists just keep a bolt of mid-weight interfacing lying around for general purpose stabilizing, and that it’s not uncommon to leave interfacing requirements off the pattern. I’ll definitely be stocking up in the future so I don’t get blindsided!
Overall, I love how this pattern turned out. The Ultimate Trousers instructions were well illustrated and very clearly written, and the sizing was very accurate (note that it’s printed in UK sizes, so you’ll definitely want to pay special attention to your measurements). My waist size was 1/2″ larger than the suggested size for my hips, so I tried the pants on before putting in the zipper and verified that I would need to sew smaller seam allowances (and cut a slightly longer waistband) when it came to the waist seams. I did that and everything turned out perfectly.
If you’re starting to feel the chill in the air, from the time change or from the colder weather or even from this week’s election (SOB), sew up a bright pair of pants. My Ultimate Trousers turned out so well for such a sweetly simple pattern, and I couldn’t be happier!
As an Indiesew blogger team member, I am provided with patterns in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.