Monday, 5 May 2014

Tessuti Suzy "stunt pants"

For some strange reason I have been overcome by the need to wear pants as the weather cools down. My general winter uniform is boots, tights and dresses (or tunics) but for some reason this year I’m just not feeling it. Putting ALL those layers on in the morning is a chore-and-a-half that makes me just want to get back into bed.

I’ve also really enjoyed wearing “harem style” pants over summer (without the poo-catcher drop-crotch so popular in the 80s mind you) so I thought I’d give the Tessuti Suzy Pants a whirl. I bought myself some snazzy cotton-silk batik in Langkawi last month and these pants would suit that fabric really well.

I’m dubbing these my “stunt pants” and I’ve made them in some truly fugly fabric picked up from…you guessed it, The Fabric Cave. For some reason this fabric reminds me of the Smurfs.

I can’t quite figure out of these pants are a fail…or a win.

On the one hand I made pants (with pleats, pockets AND a yoke). There's also some pretty wonky top-stitching happening, but I top-stitched so YAY MEL!

Go Mel! Pleats AND a yoke.
I made pockets! I am loving myself sick right now.
On the other hand they are a bit too tight around my hips and thighs *if* I sit down (I don't fancy standing up all day so not sitting is not an option). The yoke cuts across my pot belly (aka food baby) in the most uncomfortable and unflattering way. The belly needs room to pop after a big meal and I imagine the seams would bust if I wore these out to a food-blogging event

I'd like to make these pants again and here's what I'm thinking could be a solution for me (and the belly, thighs, hips)...
  1. Reduce the seam allowance from 1/2" to...less (whatever the next notch is down on my sewing machine plate). That would give me 1/2 more on each leg (would it?...I really suck at maths).
  2. Ditch the pleats...or perhaps one from each side to give myself a bit more room and extend the width of the front yoke to accommodate this.
  3. Somehow extend the front/back leg pieces up to the waistband thus eliminating the yoke altogether.
  4. Make them in a knit so the yoke has room to stretch across my tum; and the hip/thigh area has some stretch too.
  5. Go buy myself a pair of pants (kidding...maybe).

As for the pattern, I (mostly) enjoyed sewing it up.   I scratched my head a little reading through the instructions before I started sewing but once I embarked on Project Pants it was mostly OK just plodding along following the instructions step by step.  Inserting the pockets was time consuming but it all went really well.  I've never made pockets before so I have no idea if this method is different or same as other methods but I have workable pockets. Pleats were easy as was fitting the yoke. I gave up by the time it came to putting in the waist elastic...I was tired.

By the time I got to "step 9" however I was exhausted. I could not for the life of me figure out what this all meant and I needed about 100 more photos to help my poor old brain. Obviously I knew I had to sew the crotch together as these were not those "sort of pants" but putting one leg in side the other...what!? After a rant on Instagram and a walk to clear my head (to the fabric shop to buy MORE fabric) I finally got the pants together. I have no idea what I did (or if I can do it again), or how it worked but it worked.

Is it me, but is sewing REALLY darn tiring! I was popped by the end of this.

And what would you do to make this pants pot-belly friendly? Can I sew them in a knit jersey and have the pants of my dreams?


  1. I kinda like the smurf fabric! Go Mel for making pants! that is so fantastic, am sure you can work out how to make them fit a bit better so you can eat to your hearts content at the next food blogger meet up.

  2. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.com9 May 2014 at 20:41

    well they "look" great even if you can't sit down or eat! I don't see why you couldn't sew them in jersey then they'd be really comfy. I'd go for a double knit ponte so they have some stretch but not too much.