Saturday, 29 November 2014

Anita Ponti Pants OF JOY!

Normally when I make something that is a wadder I ditch it almost ASAP - either to a charity if it's wearable, or in the bin if it's beyond all help. I am the opposite of a hoarder! For some reason I hung on to my Anita Pants of Broken Hearts as I felt they didn't need all that much help to make them wearable...I just didn't know how to fix the pattern.

It's about 6 months down the track, but today I finally I attended a class at Tessuti in Surry Hills that was all about altering a pants pattern. I actually thought this pattern might be TOO easy for the class but it turns out they were the perfect project as we got the pattern altered and the new toile all but complete within 4 hours!

When I tried on my dodgy pants our teacher Meghan actaully said they weren't too bad at all - they just needed a few tweaks to make them great for me.  Just to jog your memory here's the aforementioned "evil pants of pain, heartbreak and broken needles"...

Confession: I am really bad at spatial stuff and maths, which makes it near on impossible for me to figure out how to make changes to a pattern; and how "things on papper" and "numbers floating around in the air" would translate to the sewn garment. I tried to concentrate on what Meghan was doing, but I got a bit lost.  I'm not sure I could replicate these changes again, but I have a "general idea" of what went on.  In summary this is what I "think we did":
  • Added 5cm to the back rise
  • Lowered the front rise but about 2cm
  • Lengthen the hem by 5cm
  • Added 7mm to each leg seam allowance (which we later shaved off below the thigh as the pants were too roomy)
  • Added more material to the crouch area so they didn't sit so low
  • Made the waist elastic looser (though I think I still need to work on this as I think it's a fraction too tight -- I have "issues" with tight stuff on my guts, so perhaps a regular Joe would think they are fine?)
  • Changed the way of sewing on the elastic - made a channel and threaded the elastic through the channel, which I think I like better than over locking the elastic to the pants (at least this way if the elastic is too loose/tight it can easily be fixed...over locking it to the pants is too much "elastic commitment" for me)

The fabric is pretty crazy, a ponti knit from that I bought back when I first thought I'd be making Anita's by the truck load. It is much thinner than my purple Anita pants which may account for some differences to the feel of the fit.

Overall I am SO happy with how these pants turned out. So happy that I gave the teacher a big hug for helping me out and I almost burst into tears I was so RELIEVED that something finally fits me. After well over a year of sewing I don't have many wearable garments/"go to patterns" that have worked for my this pattern alteration means the world to me. I know that it takes time blah blah blah but that dosen't stop me losing my sewjo in a major way when things go peared shaped.

So YAY for Anita Ponti Pants and yay for classes! Dave says my tiger roar below is null-and-void as these pants are a zebra perhaps this is the sign of a zebra being eaten by a white tiger?

I'm so excited to try these pants again. After the class today I bought some black ponti which is washed already and on the clothesline as I type.  Meghan also found a remnant in the sales bin of a cotton/elastaine that she thinks could work well with this pattern as the fabric is very stretchy.  I think they could make good work pants if they work.  Watch this space...


  1. Helen // Grosgrain Green29 November 2014 at 20:25

    Yay! Well done! It makes such a difference when something fits well and you made it! I don't suppose it matters too much that you didn't understand the process if you have a pattern that works for you. Just don't change shape! :)

  2. I love how happy you are - well done!! - and aren't the classes simply wonderful! ;) Now, make all the Anitas!

  3. This post made me so happy, and as much as your rants make me laugh, I do so love to see JOY. May your sewing life be filled with happy pants until the next TNT comes along

  4. Hells. Yes. These are epic and your joy is so obvious, Mel! Congrats on cracking this pattern, rockstar!

  5. Fabulous Anita pants of joy! Classes are so good. I wish I could do lots.

  6. Yay! So glad you got the pattern working for you. I look forward to seeing more Anita pants. I might need to see if I can get down to a tessuti class one day. I think they'd do me well.

  7. Oh yes! These turned out great! And you look so happy! A happy Mel is a happy world! Can't wait to see your next pair, and your next ...

  8. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:37

    The Tessuti classes are GREAT. They have just listed a bunch of new ones on there website actually.

  9. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:38

    So much winning. I've just been reading your post on your Anita pants in that fantastic bunny rabbit fabric...that fabric is AMAZING!

  10. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:39

    I "sort of" understood the process...but you're right, best not to change shape for the rest of forever.

  11. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:39

    Having an expert on hand really does make all the difference. She makes it look SO easy, but I know it's years and years of training and practice.

  12. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:40

    I LOVE classes...I have done so many, and this has been a really useful one. Now going to go on a Ponti buying rampage.

  13. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:40

    I wanted to have a rant about waistband elastic here...but I've saved that for my next pants post (just for you)!

  14. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:41

    I am a zebra-print rockstar!

  15. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:41

    Classes are SO great. I've done tonnes of them since starting to sew and they really are my favourite way to learn.

  16. Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)5 December 2014 at 13:42

    2015 is going to be the year of Happy Mel and Anita Ponti Pants. I'm thinking I could make a few pairs of these to take to Japan in Feb...

  17. OMG these are amazing and super flattering too! I would never have thought all that pattern on the bottom half would be so good! Well done you!!!