Trouble with the Pants – Jasmine

With the bodice officially done, I’ve started on the pants. To refresh your memory, here is my original sketch and a few inspiration pictures.

jasmine outfit
my sketch
an example of the type of fit I am going for
an example of the type of fit I am going for

A few quick Google searches later, I had a basic idea of how to cut out the pant pieces.

a pattern for basic full harem pants (what I wanted)

Here’s mistake #1: I forgot that the crotch width would take away from my waist measurement. So instead of getting a 60″ waist — perfect for gathering into the classic harem pants look — I got a 30″ waist. I’m a 27″, but I wanted these pants to sit closer to my hips, not my natural waist. Leaving me very little wiggle room and awkward clinging around the hips.

Solution: Add a panel to each side for more width.

Mistake #2: I decided it would be better to make the panels as large as possible — after all, I could always make them smaller later, right?

So I added 30″ to the waist on either side and ended up with a clown-worthy pair of fat pants.

aforementioned fat pants
aforementioned fat pants

As one will do, I gathered the hell out of the waistline and out of the ankle of the pant legs — (Mistake #3) dutifully stitched over the gathering to make sure it wouldn’t move around — and tried the pants on.

apparently my cat wanted to be part of the picture
apparently my cat wanted to be part of the picture

And wow, the pants are full. Very, very full. Too full. Where-did-your-legs-go? is-that-a-skirt? full.

Now remember what I said about making the panels bigger rather than smaller, because it’s easier to take away fabric than make it appear? Well, it is. Usually.

Just not when you have two lines of basting and one line of stitching in your way, at both ends of the seam you want to drastically change.

Hoping for some hint of salvageability, I decided to try the pants on with the bodice. Instead, I got Mistake #4: I don’t like the color.

Sure, all the fabrics look great when they’re laid out next to each other in neatly folded piles. Unfortunately, the pants are a lot bigger than the bodice, so the complimentary color combination is thrown off by the proportions. Too much dark blue, not enough light = disjointed effect and a sad Samantha.


Looking back on it, I probably should have done a test run.

But, in a way, I’m glad that it went so horribly badly, because I saved myself from making two pairs of pants before realizing that the color was off.

Right now, I’m trying out some other sketches for different kinds of pants. I’m having some doubts about whether I want to do harem pants at all. I figure I’ve already changed a lot about it — might as well change more.

Harem pants look great with the original Disney bodice. They’re both light, flow-y, and simple. Intentionally, my bodice is more architectural, stiff, and complicated, leading me to think I might want to continue those themes, instead of play with juxtaposition, as I originally planned.

I’ll have some sketches in the coming days.


 

I’m considering finishing the pants anyway. I think they are salvageable, and I already have cuffs and a waistband cut out, interfaced, and pressed. They will either become part of another costume, or will go into my Etsy shop (whenever I manage to get that set up).

–Samantha

 


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