(More) Polka Dot Elle Pants

Two years ago I hand-stamped polka dots onto a pair of Style Arc Elle pants and now I’m back with more polka dot Elles!

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No hand-stamping this time though – who has time for that??? These are made with a super-stretchy woven which claimed to be 100% cotton but feels much more like 100% polyester bengaline. It’s got at least 30% stretch and that very synthetic slithery feel. (If you aren’t sure what bengaline is, I did a video review of the Style Arc bengaline last year.) It’s not my favourite fabric to wear, but how could I say no to STRETCH and POLKA DOTS!?

front back side Collage

Elle pants were my TNT before Ginger Jeans came along. Style Arc does a bunch of great pull-on trouser patterns, which I think are a perfect place to start sewing trousers. (And this sewalong is just about to start!) I went back to the pattern this time because I couldn’t face sewing the yokes and front pockets on Gingers – I wanted a quick project! Thought you can’t really tell, I put patch pockets on the back. I also slimmed the leg a bit – other than that, the pattern is as I fit it 2 years ago. (Thank you stretchy fabric, or I’d have to add room for some extra fluff.)

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I did make two other small changes… straightened out the front crotch curve a bit (don’t think that was a good idea) and added a wider waistband because pants with a lot of stretch tend to ride down on me. Sadly, I didn’t pull the elastic tight enough, and these still slide down. Oh well. They are suuuper comfy.

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I have to say, they were fun to sew. I started and finished before noon on Sunday morning. It helped that I used the coverstitch to do most of the topstitching – must faster! With all the stretch, there isn’t that much pressure on the seams, so it should be strong enough.

accessories Collage

In my head, black and white polka dot pants sounded really easy to mix and match with other prints and patterns. When it came time to actually pick an outfit though, I found it rather hard. I fought the urge to make an all-new top, because a) no closet can sustain all new outfits every post and b) I like seeing other people bring mix and match older and newer makes! The turquoise sweater is a Jalie raglan in sweater knit that I made last year. The scarf was 500yen ($5) in Japan, and the shoes were $20 at Target. Nothing fancy here!😉

Oh, and after encouragement from people on my recent photography modes post, I played around a bit with Aperture priority mode on my camera…

aperture mode Collage

… before switching back to Portrait! I wasn’t getting the depth of field I wanted on AP, and auto-focus wasn’t doing it’s thing… but I’m going to read up some more and keep experimenting a little bit each time I take pics.

In the name of the Better Pictures Project, I also experimented with a new location…

photo location Collage

… a parking lot on a busy road! It was fluke, really – I wanted to use the grey cement walls around the back, but I chickened out when someone opened a door, so I used this red wall facing the street instead. Honestly, no one even seemed to notice. Thank you, Double Double pizza, so sharing your wall.

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I guess it’s really fall now, eh? Leaves on the ground, need a scarf… time to pack up my summer sundresses and remember what on earth I own for cold weather. Here’s hoping there are hidden gems packed away!

What would should I wear with these pants? Help me make more outfits, because I’m stuck!

Ps. More posts inspired by the Better Pictures Project are popping up, and each one makes me so happy! Thanks for joining in, Becky, Joyce, and  Craftastrophies


32 thoughts on “(More) Polka Dot Elle Pants

  1. Oh, I LOVE these trousers. They are completely fabulous. Polka dots are one of my favourite prints. I would pair them with bold African fabric, matching up the white and black or something like a big bold floral. Or dressy, a plain shirt/blouse with a contrast band picking out the colours and a pair of heeled boots. i know that wovens are not your thing but what about the Style Arc Stephanie blouse? Or a knit Hot Patterns Blouse Back T. Those stripes would be ace with the dots.

    Anyway, don’t listen to me, stylish is not my middle name. I am currently wearing non-matching pyjamas and look like a bag lady at the best of times!🙂 I love the way that you have styled your trousers in the pics. They really look superb and your location shots are great. Xx

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    1. I am also currently wearing non-matching pyjamas and my hair is sticking in all directions. Solidarity!
      I love your ideas for styling! I’ve been feeling like I don’t have enough tops in my wardrobe now that it’s fall – I’ve worn dresses every single day since school started! I like your ideas for graphic blouses or and tops with a bit of volume. Great suggestions!

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  2. Ah, polka dot pants!! I love them! I think you should should wear something striped on top- black and white, of course. A striped, drapey woven collared shirt maybe. And your location is great. I’m such a wimp when it comes to taking photos.

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    1. Yesssss, stripes and dots! I’ll have to make that happen. (And let’s be real, if I had a toddler in tow, I would now be galavanting around taking pictures in parking lots! :P)

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  3. What fun pants! I love polkadots, and you rock them with “adult” style. Sometimes women in polkadots look too little girly, but this just looks fun and playful – especially with red kicks! Great work as usual!

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    1. Thanks doll! I worked with a teacher once who always wore a suit with crazy bright running shoes, whose philosophy was “Give the kids something to look at when they are bored!” These shoes are totally a tribute to him!😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I adore the polka dots! You can mix and match tons of patterns with them, you just have to be brave and do it. Try the cute top and coatigan from the previous post. That should be a fun grouping!

    Did you try a burn test on the pants fabric? I’m all curious to know if they are cotton or poly!

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    1. I have to admit, i’ve never done a burn test! I think I still have some scraps in the trash though, so I’ll pull out some fabric and give it a try!

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  5. Look at you all out and about! And I love the polkadot pants, especially with the red shoes.🙂 My wardrobe is sadly red-shoe-deficient at the moment and I am feeling the loss keenly.

    I’m pretty sure the next set of pants I make will be stretch and pull on (maybe some more Eleonores…)… that seems about the right level of complexity for me right now!😉

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  6. My first thought was to pair it with something striped, especially if it was predominately one of your brighter palette colors. It also looks like the pants are fitted enough that they would go great with any more relaxed fitting tunic length tops, especially in a snuggly sweater knit. If you come up with more outfits, I’d love to see them– I love sewing separates, but styling them can be such a challenge, especially for the colder months!

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    1. Hmmm, now you’ve got me wondering about a coral and white stripe raglan I wear as pjs these days… I wonder if it would work with these pants? Maybe with a cardigan to tame things down? I’ll have to give it a try!

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  7. You’re so inspiring! Your awesome pant posts are making me want to dive into trousers again, and I’m terrified of trousers, especially after my recent weight gain. But yours is kicking, and I think I’m going to look up this Style Arc pattern. I haven’t braved the Gingers jeans yet, and maybe this pattern here will be an easier start to pants.

    Your polka dot pants are kicking, btw, and I love how you’ve styled them. I think you probably need to stick with solids or semi-solid tops, but you could probably pull off any colour with those black and white pants. The printed scarf looks great and makes the solid top more interesting, if you find it “boring”. But uh, what do I know, I have very little style.😀

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    1. Ugh, weight gain is the worst – and weight loss too! I hate when suddenly my clothes don’t fit. Like last summer, when I spent two months eating and lounging around the house in stretchy clothes, and suddenly my work pants didn’t fit for fall. The good news is that pants like these are SO forgiving. If you are trying to gear up to sew pants, I can’t recommend Style Arc enough. There are a bunch of pull-on trouser patterns to choose from (wider leg, slimer leg, work wear, jeans, or just plain like these.) When you are trying to figure out fit it’s so nice to only have to sew a few seams to sew before you can try them on. No hours of topstitching to unpick! I hope you give them a go!🙂

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      1. I’m looking them up right now! Honestly, most of my pants don’t fit and the ones that do I managed to destroy. 😛 I think it’s time. And I want fun stylish pants, something I just can’t get here in Whitehorse, Yukon. Not in my size, anyways. Which is entirely why I need to overcome this stupid aversion to sewing pants! lol

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        1. Oooh, hi, fellow Canadian! *Waves* Just make sure you get fabric with serious stretch, and it’ll make the fitting so much easier. I like 30% stretch for this pattern, which usually means 3% lyrca or more, not less. If a website describes it as “slight” stretch, it’s not ideal.
          Oh, and if you search my blog (from the sidebar) for Elle pants, you can see my maaaaany other versions. Good luck! Go for it!

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          1. I’m just erm, stalking your Elle pants posts now. 😉 I have a tough time finding fabric up here – our garment fabric shop is moving more and more away from garment fabric, and I have yet to brave online fabric shopping. Might need to break that. For now, I might have something that could work for a trial in my stash. We’ll see how this goes.

            Thanks so much for the info and encouragement! 🙂

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            1. Frankly I’m shocked you can get any good garment fabric up there! If you are looking online, fabric.com has the best selection of cheap fabric, or Emma One Sock would have more consistent quality for a higher price.
              Good luck!

              Liked by 1 person

  8. I love these polka dot trousers!! They look fantastic with your red shoes, so any red top or accessory would go really well. My problem with making a printed bottom is that all my tops seem to be printed – I need more solids! I think these would look great with either of those swingy/ruffly tank tops you just made, with a morris or cardigan, and I also wonder what they would look like with stripes!

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    1. That’s exactly my issue! A lot of my striped tanks are starting to look a little old, and most of my solid tops are navy which I don’t love with black. Everything else is a crazy print, but not quite bold enough to hold up against all these dots!!!

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  9. Cute cute as always! I may be a bit boring for you if I were making an outfit for these pants. BUT here’s my two cents…. I am currently making a black crop top and would wear a white button down shirt under it with heels, bright bag and of course your awesome pants.

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    1. Oooh, I can picture that immediately! It would be so good. Too bad I haven’t owned a white button down in a decade… I might ned to fix that some day!😛

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    1. Thank you – the jogged my memory about a top I’d forgotten! I wonder where it is. Hidden in a laundry pile? Disappeared into the reashion pile? Donate? Only time will tell!

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  10. Awesome outfit! I love the polka-dots and both the teal and red make a great contrast! I’m pretty sure you could pair most of your tops with these – stripes or flowers or geometric, as long as your shoes more or less match the top. Polka-dots pretty much read as a neutral to me.😉

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  11. Polka dot pants have been on my list of things to make for hmmm, 2? 3? years? You’ve reminded me I definitely need to get on that, sooner rather than later… they’re excellent!

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