I’m determined to try some new pants styles this year! It’s be ages since I wore anything other than slim jeans, but dammit, life is for living. Will wide-legged pants make me look rounded, shorter, or wider? Um, yeah, probably… but whatever, I already am those things anyway!
So, with this experiment in mind, I’ve got 6 yards of Tencel denim winging it’s way from Cali Fabrics to my door. It’s a fraction of the price of buying locally, plus I get a season allowance because I blog for Cali. It’s time to play with shape and proportion!
I already have plans to make the new Jalie Vanessa Fluid Pant in Tencel denim from Fabricland. (Thank you, Jalie, for the curvy model!) I’m hoping to either muslin them in either my local fabric or in the Cali fabric, then have the other on hand for a “final” pair! I’ve never worn pants like this because I felt like a light fabric like challis couldn’t handle my jelly… but I think Tencel has enough strength to hold when I sit! (Picture my butt hulking out of pants mid-day – this is my worst nightmare! But on the other hand, maybe they’d be so cool and light and effortlessly chic that I’d never take them off?)
But what about something more adventurous – a truly wide-legged pant?
The first pattern that springs to mind is Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes. They’ve got that “Is this a skirt or pants?” vibe , and they look really easy to fit. Last summer I think I loved every version I saw! The one thing holding me back is that I always see people style them with a tucked-in top, and my lower abdomen is the one body part I generally try to hide.
*Bonus: I fit the pattern size range!
Another option would be the True Bias Emerson Cropped Pants and Shorts – most likely in a full length, I’d think. These have less volume than the Winslow, with a release pleat in the front and an elasticated waistband in the back. Of all the patterns, I could see liking these as a short as well as a pant.
*Drawback: My hips are 2″ bigger than the largest size, so I’d have to creatively extend the pattern. Not that hard, just annoying to spend money on something that doesn’t fit.
Another obvious option would be the new Megan Neilson Flint pants, which are super cute… but the largest size (XL) fits a 4″ smaller than my hip, and that’s a) making me annoyed, and b) more than I want to grade up.
Ok, now this is just getting a bit depressing! Maybe Style Arc can help?
There are the Style Arc Erin Culottes, which are a bit Winslow-ish in the front, and Emerson/Flint-ish in the back? Sallieoh made a gorgeous pair a couple years ago (2 years behind Sallie seems about right for how trendy I am!) On the other hand, that scissor pleat in front is a bit, um, on the nose? I worry, friends, I worry.
Good news: They offer 5 sizes larger than I need!
Other potential options – all of which include my size, barely:
- Every line of Big 4 has culottes, I’m sure, but I don’t think this is the time to learn how to sew Bi 4 patterns.
- Oliver and S has some ladies culottes that look alright, but I can’t tell enough detail from the images!
- Itch to Stitch Emily culottes have no pleats or gathering, for a cleaner look.
As you can tell I didn’t start this post with a plan… but it sure was educational. Basically, if I gain any more inches, I’ll be sized out of almost every indie pants pattern, which doesn’t feel great! I’d fit the largest size (or not even) of every pattern listed here except Style Arc. My hips are 48″, for reference. Arg, and ugh, and wtf?
(I stepped down as editor of the Curvy Sewing Collective last month so I could enjoy some extra free time, but oh man, I’m so keenly aware that I’m at the small end of the plus-size community! There are 40 000+ readers of the CSC – someone make us some patterns, please!)
AND YET – I’M MAKING THESE AWESOME PANTS, PEOPLE! I think it comes down to Winslow (lots of volume!) or Emerson (less volume!) for me. I’d like to hear what you think might work best on me! Picture dark, buttery-soft flowing denim, colourful sandals, and a cute tank on a summer afternoon – what pants should I be wearing?