Guess what I made?
That's right, ladies and gentlemen: it is now within my power to whip up a well-fitting pair of pants whenever the mood strikes me.
This is kind of a personal Everest for me. What you have to understand is that I despise pants shopping. I hate it with a white-hot, eternal hatred that will never abate while I still draw breath. It is always an excruciating ordeal to locate a pair of pants that comes even close to fitting, and even when they "fit" according to the lights of their designer, they VERY seldom align with my own dreams and desires about how a pair of pants should hang on my body.
Given my penchant for making my own clothes, you would think that I would have got myself together on the pants-making front before now. The thing is, that I always left the acquisition of new pants until the absolute Last Minute Possible, because I dreaded the experience so much. By the time I had admitted to myself that I really, really needed some new pants, I was in desperate straights and couldn't wait the week or so it would take to locate a pattern, make a fitting shell, alter the pattern, and so on. Not this time, though! This time, I did just that: three iterations of a fitting shell on some rotten old corduroy I picked up at Goodwill ages ago for $1.99, and the fabric was about ready to fall apart (one of the butt pockets actually did rip out about six hours after completion). But! I was now possessed of a pants pattern that fit me like I wanted it to, and I exulted in the glory as I made them up again, this time in a nice, light denim.
These are descended from V2907, the Vogue pattern of an Alice + Olivia design. They have a number of modifications, though. The original pants have a HUGE bell-bottom, which I altered to almost a straight leg. They also hung unflatteringly low on the first run-through with the muslin, so I sliced over an inch out of the hips and butt to get them into a more figure-flattering shape. They're now slightly less of low-riders than in the pattern, but still sit low enough on my waist that I don't feel like I'm being suffocated. And I love the cute little waist tabs! I lined the pockets and yoke with some cotton I had left over from my Walkaway dress. I think it's super-cute:
But what's really exciting is the repeatability of these! I picked up two mill-end lengths of corduroy, in olive green and baby blue, and I'm currently in the midst of a winter version of these babies in the olive, with jeans-style back patch pockets instead of welts (the welts are adorable, but I think they're kind of a weak point in the design, since the seat gets a lot of stress and welts require cutting into the fabric). I have to admit, I feel a little like the Queen of Sheba. All the pants I want! It really is a dream come true.