i bought this soft, paisley knit fabric over the summer on clearance, thinking i was going to make a dress out of it. but then i realized, after making some other dresses that weren’t great, that i don’t really wear dresses. so i left this fabric in my large fabric pile and forgot about it… until i received the breaking the pattern book from named over the holidays. i saw the rae pants pattern and knew i wanted a pair of flowy knit pants. the pattern itself calls for a lightweight draped fabric like rayon, but i don’t have rayon, so i decided to use this knit. this is a long adventure (6 hours, over the course of 2 days) so i’ll break it up into some steps.
- tracing the pattern. this was interesting because i’ve never done this before, but i opened up my new roll of medical paper and started tracing! and i used sharpie, which of course bled through the paper and got on the pattern… i also didn’t read any instructions before i started tracing, so i messed up a few times with the ends of the pant legs being longer than i had traced…
- breaking the pattern. i didn’t want the vents and pleats typically called for in the original pattern, so i eyeballed it and shortened the front leg by taping the front and front side pieces together at the pleat.
- cutting. i layed out my fabric on the floor, and placed my pattern pieces on top. i had just enough fabric for everything to fit perfectly! i cut out the leg pieces. i was about to cut out the waistband when i realized that i needed to cut it on the fold. but there wasn’t enough fabric left! so i just cut it a little shorter than i should’ve been, thinking i could stretch it, because it’s knit.
- realizing i didn’t have enough fabric and i only cut on pant leg. so silly me somehow overlooked that the knit fabric was not folded over, and only cut one of each leg piece. i had used up all the fabric so i had none left to cut another piece. i went to the store to see if they would still have this fabric, but they didn’t and they didn’t have something similar either.
- i decided to make shorts. i had to piece together a few pieces but it was going well. until the waistband.
- the pattern calls for interfacing on the waistband! which i had not read earlier, but luckily i had some extra interfacing in my stash so i pieced some together and stuck it on the waistband. and then i realized the waistband couldn’t stretch and was a little short… but i went with it.
- the pants were too large for the waistband and wouldn’t like up. i took them in on the sides and the crotch area, and they still didn’t fit! i ended up making two mini pleats in the front.
- sewed on the waistband, made it over the pleats, things are actually looking ok. time to thread the elastic. so i did that, and somehow the interfacing came unattached (i didn’t iron it properly or it’s so old it didn’t stick well) so i had to cut a hole in it to get the safety pin out.
- tried on the shorts. the waistband was a little tight and hard to get over my hips, it wasn’t as elasticized as i would have liked, and there was a huge bulge on the waistband. i determined that the interfacing had come unstuck and i had threaded the elastic above the interfacing so now it was bunching and i couldn’t really do anything about it. i sewed over the elastic hoping that might help but it didn’t do much. i need to make bigger waistbands next time knowing that they will shrink when i add elastic!
- hemmed the shorts anyway to practice and of course the hems turn out perfectly.
- wore them to take some pictures of this massive fail before they went in the trash and i tried again. the pleats were too close to the crotch so it just looks like i have a camel toe, though the fabric is patterned so it isn’t super obvious.
- these shorts were really comfortable though! just the waistband and pleats were funky…
and that was my rae pants/shorts adventure! i learnt a lot, and i definitely need another go at these because i got a glimpse at how comfortable they could be. sometimes, projects don’t work out and it’s super frustrating. i try to save myself, and my beautiful fabric by not making anything at all, but i realize now that that is the worse thing i could possibly do. the only way to get better and make nice projects is through experience. i’m lucky, i can afford to buy new fabric when i mess up, so i shouldn’t hold myself back and let fabric accumulate in my room. and i don’t want to hide my failures and mistakes, because it’s all part of the process. i’m annoyed now at these shorts and how stupid i was when cutting, but i know for sure a few months from now i’ll have forgotten all about it and will laugh when i read this post! 🙂