rae pants adventure


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.

  1. 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…
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. i decided to make shorts. i had to piece together a few pieces but it was going well. until the waistband.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. hemmed the shorts anyway to practice and of course the hems turn out perfectly.
  11. 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.
  12. 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! 🙂

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