I’m getting started on my Fall wardrobe with a pair of olive green sailor-style wide leg pants. These are View E of the Butterick wardrobe pattern B5859. Essentially, they are high waisted pants with a back zip. If they look a little familiar, it’s because I have made them before. Why re-invent the wheel?
I dreamed up these pants as part of my Fall wardrobe plan, but also as part of a 5-piece wardrobe to enter in patternreview.com‘s 2018 Mini Wardrobe Contest. Even though this is make number 3, I used several new techniques and learned a lot.
Selvedge Trimmed Facing
After I finished cutting out the pants, I cut the selvedges off the remaining fabric and set them aside. Pre-washing the fabric had brought out their texture as well as a short fluffy fringe. After recently buying some trim by the yard, saving this “trim” seemed like a good way to economize.
Meanwhile, I went through my scrap pile and picked out a piece of pretty floral lawn that coordinated with the green. I think that one of the delights of sewing for yourself is using surprising fabrics for pocket linings, facings, and bindings that only you can see. The floral became the waistband facing fabric.
Serendipitously, I had piled the twill strips piled on top of the facing pieces. They looked so good together that I used the strips to make a sharp binding for the facing’s bottom edge. Here’s a little slideshow of the facing going together.
Basting with Double Eye Needle
Do any of you read your sewing machine manuals just for fun? It sounds dull, but if you haven’t cracked yours since your machine was new, it’s worth going back and taking a second look. When my machine was new, I was only interested in learning the basics: threading, straight stitch, zigzag, etc. Now that those skills are second nature, the rest of the manual is much more approachable. All of this is by way of introducing the double eye needle.
My manual has a page devoted to using a double eye needle (not to be confused with a double needle) to make long basting stitches. I don’t know if this trick works universally, or only with some machines, but it is pretty slick. Here’s what you do:
- Thread machine normally, threading the needle through the upper of the two eyes.
- Set stitch to blind hem stitch
- Set stitch width to widest setting
- Set stitch length as desired
These settings will result in a long straight stitch slightly to the left of center (test the needle position before sewing to learn how this works). Since the blind hem makes its stitches in a 3 to 1 pattern (RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT LEFT), you will get a stitch that is 4 times as long as the selected stitch length.
Once you are done, you can continue to sew normally by just switching to the bottom eye.
Double eye needles are a little tricky to find. I have never seen them in shops and they are even hard to find online. I located a package of 5 size 80 universal double eye needles in just 3 places:
If anyone else has other or better sources, please post a comment!
I really like the look of vintage sailor-style button front pants. I can’t imagine how annoying they must be to actually open and close when you need to (ahem). For my pants, I just copied the look without copying the design. Besides, I was already going off on my own with the green color. The buttons are just sewn on – there are no actual buttonholes. I sewed the buttons on top of the seams created by the front darts.
I wound up using an invisible zipper, just because that is what I had on hand. I don’t think it makes a big difference in this case, but I think a plain zipper would go better with the casual style.
Here’s what I used:
- 1 1/2 yards 60 inch green twill from Mood Fabrics 5% spandex, 95% cotton
- 1 yard of selvedge cut from twill
- Scrap fabric from stash for facing
- Schmetz Universal Double Eye Needle, size 80/11.
- 4 20mm (13/16″ or 32L) buttons: mine were from cards of Belle Buttons by Dritz
- 10 inch invisible zipper
- Lightweight non-woven fusible interfacing
What do you think about the supplies list? Should I keep doing them?
Next time, more Fall fashion.
Until then, happy sewing!