Monday, June 27, 2011

Son of Bride of the Triumphant Victory of the Epic Tale of Pants, Redux

My biggest irritation with sewing manuals of the past is that they don't start telling you how to make pants until the seventies. There are loads of mid-century pants patterns (my favorites have a Rosie the Riveter utilitarian vibe, like these), but pick up a contemporary text for advice on how to assemble them and you'll get nothing. Now, most of the books I've read don't tell you how to sew men's or children's clothes, either, though surely women sewed for their families as much as they did for themselves. Am I missing something? Were these just supposed to be natural-born female abilities, like using those eyelash torture devices or not breaking your ankle in heels? It's not like pants are easy or obvious, either--they're a lot harder to construct and fit than the A-line four-gore skirts my 1940 sewing book loves to describe. Actually, pants suck, and putting them together requires mental gymnastics of the highest order.

This is all to say that I drafted the pattern for these slacks with just my own ingenuity (and Pamela Stringer, bless her, and the incomparable Reader's Digest guide) and I think they came out all right! I'm calling them Sailor Pants for no reason whatsoever, and I love them dearly. (I'm currently in the middle of constructing the sequel, Sailor Shorts, which I think sounds like an awfully dirty insult.)

I'm smiling in this picture because I have just crushed the mewling, lifeless corpse of pants beneath my conquering flat sneaker:

Pants: wide-legged linen trousers with a high waist, belt loops, and a side zip/hook and eye finish.

They've got some fitting problems--hello, Thigh Creases, and I see you've brought your "friend," Swayback--but not bad for a first try, I say:

And my landlady was all "wow, you made those yourself, you look like Katharine Hepburn" when she saw us taking those pictures, which I'm counting as Victory.

It is difficult to choose a place for one's hands when being photographed:

And when one's dear love of a partner is bossing one around like a fashion photographer, that place is sometimes "on one's head for no apparent reason":

But check out those belt loops, wow. Clean and even. VICTORY.


The first day I wore this outfit, dear-love-of-a-partner took one look at me and said "You look like a movie star." And I feel like one.