Finished - the Shar Pei pants

How intriguing! Shar Pei pants! Sadly, this latest make has been a little disappointing. I'd seen this gorgeous stretch brocade at Darn Cheap, in an amazing black and silver lace pattern (which from a distance actually looked a little snake-skin-esque) and immediately saw myself in some awesome Elle pants in this slightly rock'n'roll fabric.




As regular visitors to Chez Tragic will know, I am a devotee of the Style Arc Elle pant, and have had great results with all versions up until now. The pattern calls for a stretch woven, with at least 25% sideways stretch. Bengaline is the ideal fabric but it also works fabulously with ponte.

But this fabric is WEIRD. It's super stretchy, and a whole lot of synthetic from memory (which to be honest is the same as bengaline and a lot of pontes going around it seems), but it creates these weird awful AWFUL folds on the backs of my thighs and knees. The front, not so much.....


But the back..... WTF?


These wrinkles form and just sit there in deep horizontal folds, making me look like I've got a super glamorous version of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. All the reading I've done on horizontal wrinkles say that it means they are too tight, but this doesn't really make sense to me with these pants, as they are definitely not skin tight especially around the backs of my knees.  I was actually wondering if they were too loose, so I quickly went up the outer seam on one leg with a basting stitch to narrow it slightly, and I think it made a slight difference. I'm not sure what to do. Maybe there's nothing I can do. My mum thinks its the fabric and she could well be right. It's really not the nicest to wear and I wonder if the fact it's so heavily woven (it is a true brocade) just makes it sit weirdly.

Horizontal leg folds cute on him. Not so much on me.
Anyway if anyone has any thoughts or opinions on what maybe happening here I'd love to know. I can't let them out as the Style Arc seam allowances are only 3/8 inch and I've already finished the seams (and this fabric is almost impossible to unpick!). Should I take them in even more and see what happens or just (as my mum suggests) wear them around the house as uber-glam Stretchy Wear?

BTW I'm wearing them with a new Burda Dolman Sleeve tee, made up in a lovely faded drapey black wool pointelle from the Clear It store. As you can see from the pics I've made the neckline a little too wide, but I've already been wearing it a heap. I've made this pattern up so many times now, I've lost count....



Narrowing the neckline has been an easy fix - I've just stitched across the edge of the neck opening at a deeper angle, tapering to the normal shoulder seam which has narrowed the opening, and therefore tightened the slightly sloppy appearance:


It's such lovely fabric - I'm pretty sure it was another Alannah Hill wool for maybe $10m, and there was acres of it there. I'm heading back to get some more for cardi making - thanks heaps everyone for the recent cardi feedback and suggestions!

Comments

  1. Cute top! I would wager the pants issue is the fabric. sometimes that damn stuff just won't behave no matter what you do!

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    1. Thanks Maris! I was hoping you'd have a magical solution for me.....

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  2. pants fit is still a mystery to me - love that pointelle dolman though ;o)

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    1. Thanks - it's such a great pattern, and so nice in the wool! I too am yet to delve the full depths of pants fitting, I know a little and don't know a lot!

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  3. I think you are over analysing the pants. They look damn cute on and if they were rtw pants you probably wouldn't have even noticed the wrinkles. Ok, so maybe in your pre sewing days. But anyway, you know what I mean.

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    1. I agree, definitely wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't said. I think they rock!!

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    2. Thanks ladies - I'll be less critical of myself!

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  4. I agree with Kirsty - to anyone who doesn't sew, these will just look just fine. It's just that we're so used to not having to settle for these wrinkles! I wish I had a solution for you, but my pants-fitting method is to make them too big and then pin-fit to my body! Not very scientific! I guess I should learn one of these days :-)

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    1. The problem I find Gail is that each fabric plays such a role - the slightest different stretch content and it changes the fit completely - this is the perfect example!

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  5. Are the pants snug around your calf? I wonder if the wrinkles are the pants trying to ride upwards to avoid some snugness lower down. Just an idea.... I find that kind of fit issue hard to diagnose! I think they look cute, and I doubt anyone will notice the wrinkles!

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    1. Thanks anyway Gillian - it's made me a bit nervous about trying some stretch cord that I have..... I'm considering all future pairs using unusual fabric to add some extra in the side seams, just in case!

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  6. Love your new top - as for any wrinkle-free suggestions sorry but I'm all out. I too scaredy-cat to make trousers yet - need to sort that out. I have just printed out the Grainline Maritime Shorts to start small and then take it from there....

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    1. Shorts are a great starting point in the world of pants making! I look forward to seeing them!

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  7. I think my standards are lower than yours, because I would wear the hell out of those pants! They're super cool. And I'll bet if anything's at fault, it's the fabric. Does it have more stretch on the grain line than the fabric from your previous versions?

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    1. Thanks Morgan! I think it is stretchier.... It's weird fabric!

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  8. I have nothing in the way of Useful Advice when it comes to pants fitting, but I think those wrinkles look a lot worse to you than they would to anyone else - especially non-sew-ers (which is, what, 98% of the population?) I say be uber glam in AND outside the house :)

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    1. Thanks Danielle - it's such pretty fabric, I hate to waste it laying on the couch!

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  9. I recently had this problem and noticed it on all my RTW pants! I tried this adjustment and it did help a bit! http://thesewingspace.com/2013/01/14/trouser-pattern-adjustment-for-forward-tilted-hips/

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