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Knock it Off - Sewing Like Mad

Friday, November 30, 2012
Wrapping up this week's knock-offs is the wonderful Mie who blogs over at Sewing Like Mad.  I admire her skills so much, and am so honoured that she'd spend the day over here, showing us these hip pants she made!  So many possibilities with this cool look!  Take it away, Mie...

Hi Elegance & Elephant readers. 
I am so happy to be part of this great series of knock off's not only because it is Heidi's blog whom I respect a lot but also in really blogging superstar company - I mean have you seen the line up week after week? I might be an experienced seamstress but blogging wise I am a baby and this is the first ever series I am participating in......and been invited to - thanks Heidi for believing in me! (Too much Oscar speech? okay okay!) 
I think a lot of us started sewing because we saw a garment that was too expensive, sold out or you wanted it in different colors, fabrics etc. I often get inspired by things I see in shops and magazines but because I usually come up with new ideas during the process they rarely end up looking like the original. But they are a great starting points to get the ideas rolling.
When Heidi invited me I immediately knew that I would make these slouchy pants from J.Crew for my almost 5 year old daughter Wilma. I was planning on making them with contrasting fabric like the original but in the mean time I found this amazing selection of grosgrain ribbon from The Ribbon Retreat (and no I am not being paid to say that) and then..... well I changed my mind.
The fabric is a knitted rayon - not super stretchy - and the grosgrain ribbon for the sides is in two different sizes.

J.Crew slouchy pants with contrast side panel. 
My slightly more colorful version.

                                            These pants are pretty simple knit pants with an elastic waist so as a tutorial I thought I would show you how to draft a side pocket plus how a french seam on the pocket bag can make the pants look good inside too.

Here we go:

Start on your front pants pattern and draw the line for the pocket opening. There are no rules - it is more a matter of design and what look you want to give the pants - but remember you have to make the opening big enough for a hand to enter.

Add seam allowance to the pocket opening.

Now it is time to draw the line for the pocket bag incl. seam allowance. Again there are no rules but there has to be room for a hand in there.

Now you have to very precisely trace two pocket bags. The only difference in the two pattern pieces are (as you can see above) the left top corner. The back pocket bag follows the outer line of the pants and the front pocket back follows the pocket opening.

Now you can cut away the top left part of the front pant pattern because you will have the back pocket bag to cover that bit. It is important to note here that I will cut the pocket bags in the same fabric as the pants them self which is obviously the easiest but not always possible. You can do it if the fabric is thin like here but in thicker fabrics like denim, wool or corduroy you will have to do a little extra pattern drafting and sewing but soooorry I won't show that in this tutorial.

If you are a bit confused like me and cut the pants first and then realized I wanted pockets you can use the little top left piece you cut of (see previous photo) to cut that bit of your already cut pants - ahem, great planning here! 
It is always a good idea to put a line of interlining along the pocket opening (on the wrong side of the fabric of course) to avoid the pocket opening to go wavy after sewing.

Sew the front pocket bag to the pants in the pocket opening right side against right side of the fabric.

To sew the front and back pocket bags together with a french seam you have to first sew them reverse against reverse side of the fabric.

Then you turn the pocket inside out and seal the overlock seam (see previous photo) with a stitch and after you have ironed it you will have a very nice looking pocket bag.

Here you see the pocket from the front. Easy? yeeeees!

If anyone is still with me here after it got a bit technical, well thank you!
If you want more you are always welcome at
Last but not least thank you again Heidi.

4 comments on "Knock it Off - Sewing Like Mad"
  1. These are GREAT. So comfy, so chic. LOVE THEM!

  2. Oops, it doesn't look like my comment went through earlier.

    These pants are so fantastic. I love the splash of color!


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