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Vogue 1116 – The Clown Pants!

September 8th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Yes, the andreakatzobjects AKO atrocities!  And I love, love, love them!

Remember how I was vowing, in my very last post, about how I was never going to make anything geometric again, blah, blah, blah?  Well, I forgot about Vogue 1116.  In my defense, though, I just want to point out that this geometry has nothing to do with the rounded parts of my body.  This is a whole different matter.

I did NOT make the insane bow.  I have no problem running all around town in wacky pants, but even I am not eccentric enough to sew a huge decorative sash to the back of a pair of pants I may actually want to wear while sitting.

Because I no longer trust Vogue’s sizing chart, I used a size 12 pattern, although my waist is theoretically an inch-and-a-half too large for size 12.  I had a feeling that I’d be drowning in size 14 legs, so there was no way I was going there.

I did add 1.5 cm to the front waist, and reduced the back waist measurement by .5, since I was nervous about ease.  As a result, my initial fitting meant that my size 12 was 1 cm larger than Vogue’s.*  I didn’t really need that 1 cm, but the pants fit better because of the front/back alteration.  In the end, though, I had to make them smaller.  See the asterisked note below.


Majorly wrinkly; I know.   (Just like Vogue’s!)  I love crushed cotton and linen, though.  No complaints here.  Good thing, too, since every time they’re folded, they wrinkle anew.

The real challenge here was altering the length.  Not surprisingly, there’s no provision on the pattern tissue for an alteration anywhere but in the crotch.  After pin-fitting the pieces (fun, fun, fun — if you try it, you’ll see why!), I eyeballed the trickiest bits — the fronts and sides — metaphorically closed my eyes, and drew a straight line right above where the leg “boxes” begin.  Then I shortened the pants by 4 cm, which turned out to be perfect.

You probably think that the wildest thing about these pants is the sculptural affect on the legs.  But you’d be wrong!  The wackiest thing is the hem — the pant legs are hemmed straight across the back and side, but they’re curved — and faced!! — across the front.  Strange, indeed.  You can’t really see it in Vogue’s photo, but the curve follows the top of my foot very nicely.  It’s one of those wonderful touches no one will notice, but the maker knows is there.

The facing and hems didn’t match up perfectly; I’m guessing that’s my fault, not Vogue’s, and a result of my shortening the pattern.  But when I make these again, I won’t bother with the facing at all; I’ll trim the pant legs and face them with bias binding, turn it under and topstitch.   I think the facing’s just a lot of bother for no good reason.

The pants are meant to be lined, but that’s not happening in my lifetime.  Instead, I used the enclosed facing pieces (yes!  no drafting for me!) to face the waist.  I carefully used a cotton/poly as close to my skin tone as I could find, forgetting completely that I only had white interfacing on hand.  Oh well; the fabric’s opaque enough that it really wasn’t an issue.

Here’s a view of the back:

These pants were so much fun to make!  There you are, sewing along, making what looks like a perfectly normal pant leg.  Then you pivot, pivot again, and once more and bam! suddenly there’s a three-dimensional something under your needle! It just doesn’t get better than this.

The fabric is a new IKEA duvet rescued from the AS-IS bin.  I wanted something white and crisp, but not just ordinary sheeting, so this mondo-seersucker fit the bill perfectly.  And how much do I love having designer pants from IKEA’s cast-offs?  A bunch, folks, a bunch!

Tip for wearing:  The sculptural effect in the legs morphs when wearing the pants.  The legs become shape-shifters.  Although this is a rather cool effect, and probably part of the designer’s overall scheme, it’s not necessarily desirable when actually wearing the pants.  I ended up tacking the lower front of the jutting triangle to the pants legs on both sides.  This preserved the geometry, but made the pants far more wearable.

* This gets confusing:  After I wore the pants, I ended up taking in the waist another 6 cm, or about 2.4 inches.  This is a woven, non-stretch fabric, and the “ease” gapped badly when I was actually moving around.  This final alteration made my version of these pants over two inches narrower in the waist than the Vogue size 12 version. According to Vogue, I’m a perfect size 14 in the waist, so this is another score for Vogue’s ridiculous size chart.  Way to go, Vogue:  Mystery sizing — that’ll keep the home-sewing market strong!

Update:  A few more photos and observations at Reality Check

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  1. ann smith
    September 8th, 2010 at 12:10 | #1

    Please, please a photo of you wearing these. I’m so intrigued. What does it look like with the side tacked down?

    • September 8th, 2010 at 13:43 | #2

      I’ll see what I can do about that, Ann. Mr. Noile took a few pictures, but he was a bit preoccupied, and possibly not as focused on the matter at hand as he might have been. Weirdly, I’d say that they look on me exactly as the Vogue ones do on their model. Except that I’m not a Vogue model, of course.

      Sorry, Ann, missed your question about tacking the side on the first pass. The sides are tacked in the photos I posted. I just took a very few stitches where the end of the triangles meet the pants legs. That’s all it took to keep them in place, though it helps to tuck the inner section into place when you first step into the pants.

  2. September 8th, 2010 at 11:44 | #3

    Hilarious and lovely! Thank you! I do not have the temperament for these trousers, but I would like to see them walk into a room.

    • September 8th, 2010 at 13:42 | #4

      Funny, EJVC! They’ve got so much character, I think they could do the walking themselves!

  3. Shams
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:15 | #5

    Oops! I just realized you did post the back picture. My mistake. Seriously, I’m going to have to make these now. Thanks!

    • September 8th, 2010 at 13:41 | #6

      I’m glad you plan to make them, Shams! I’d love to see other versions.

  4. Shams
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:46 | #7

    If you know me at all, you would expect me to love these and I do!!! These are great! I really would love to see them on and to see a back view. I would also leave off that bow. What a clever idea to use the Ikea duvet cover. The fabric is great!!!

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