The pattern for these princess seamed pants came with the Craftsy course I did on Fitting and Sewing Pants by Sandra Betzina. We were asked to use this pattern, and as it came with the course, I did. I have to admit that I was not keen on these pants at all from the pattern illustration which was unappealing to me.
Vogue describes them as "fitted through hip, tapered pants have front and back princess seams, contour waistband and left side or back zipper closure with button tab. A: topstitch detail and front pockets. B: Contrast strip trim, forming piping."
All sizes are in one envelope. The sizes don't follow the usual Vogue numbering system. These go from A through to J based on hip size. This covers hips 88 cm (34 ½ inch) to 145 cm (57 inch) – so a good range.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes the general shape was the same.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were very easy to follow including several pages of information showing how to alter for your own particular shape. Sandra Betzina has many suggestions about what to look for in customising these pants to fit you. For example she suggests if you have thin legs to use a smaller size below the crotch. If you have a smaller waist in proportion to your hip then use the smaller size for the waist. And so on. She explains why you should adjust the pant length before you cut your fabric and how to add extra room for larger thighs, a protruding seat or a bit of a tummy. As well an explanation is given for what to do if you have a flat seat, or sway back or if your pants roll over at the front.
In my own case I made lots of changes following her explanations, both on the pattern pieces and also in her online class.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made the legs 5 inches longer because I am tall with long legs and a high waist. I didn't want these to fit to far below the waist but just on top of my hipbones. I find if they don't sit just there I need to wear a really tight belt or I am constantly adjusting them by hitching upwards. This is not an attractive look. So I added length between the crotch and the waist and in two places on the legs. The place for doing this were all clearly marked so it was easy to do. I took the advice of cutting a smaller sizes from the crotch down because I have thin legs. I took out a wedge above the front crotch because sometimes I have "poofiness" there and added a wedge into the back seat for my backside. In her online class Sandra suggests making up your waist pieces first (in a muslin of course) to make sure that you cut the right size. Then you add more or take away from the size you have chosen to fit your hips. I did that and found it helpful.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't like the lack of a decent pocket. Pant A has two ridiculous tiny little pockets between the waistband and the legs. I added pockets from another pattern. B has no pockets at all.
I always use pockets. Love them.
Also I don't like back zippers and I couldn't easily put in a side zip because of my different pockets so I hid the opening using an idea I first came upon with Simplicity 4701 which I believe is out of print now. I have used this idea a number of times in skirts and pants and really like how easy it is. My hidden placket is inside the left side pocket and my right pocket is just for me.
This illustration from my ancient pattern shows what it looks like. And here it is on my pants.
I have read that people feel this is not a very secure method of holding your pants or skirts up but I have not ever had a problem with it and I find it very easy to use and to execute. I use a button and also a couple of snaps. They've never let me down yet. However I like my clothing loosish so if it was very tight I suppose it could be a problem.
I used fairly robust cotton sateen. It is very colourful. I bought it on sale a few years ago and didn't have any idea what I would make with it but I just loved it. Now there a lots of colourful pants about in the shops and so it has became pants.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes to both those questions. I would like to try it in a softer fabric, probably a soft linen. They are certainly comfortable and pretty easy to construct too. I've even seen a pair of jeans with the seam up the front recently and that could be fun to try too.
Conclusion: A nice fitting pair of pants which has lots of details written in the instructions to help you if you are a newbie to pant making. Back view
My next problem is that I only have one shirt that looks nice with them.