I became acquainted with the delightful designs from Designer Stitch during the Day and Night Dress Challenge. The pattern designer, Ann reached out to me on IG to be a sponsor, and I had such a great time getting to know her. I picked up a few of her patterns in the course of the challenge, and I’m glad to finally be trying out my first one! Here’s my Designer Stitch Alyse slim leg pants.
Designer Stitch Alyse slim leg pants
The Alyse pants are available in 3 leg widths, slim, tapered, and wide leg. I went for the slim leg pants because I love a slim leg pant! Over much trial and error with styling, I’ve found that slimmer leg silhouettes just sit better on my short, narrow frame.
When I first saw this pattern I thought it had the styling of a good cigarette pant. I recently rewatched Sabrina and was reminded about how clean a nice cigarette pant can look:
Totally expect to see that back v-neck on a bodysuit here soon. Audrey Hepburn was such a fabulous dresser!
A quick trick for dealing with negative ease
It should be noted that this pattern is created with negative ease. I saw this at first and I panicked a little. Negative ease with a woven, what? I was about to sew 2 sizes bigger when I read Ann’s really helpful bit in the pattern. She instructs,
“The fit of the Alyse pants has been designed as negative ease when comparing the body measurement
chart with the finished garment chart. The garment is smaller than the body size. When constructing these pants they have to fit very, very snugly on your body when first wearing them. After an 1/2 hour or so the fabric starts to relax and it will stretch.”
You will want to pick a size based on the sizing chart, not the finished measurements of the garment which are definitely smaller than your body.
I was a bit dubious about the sizing, so I employed a trick I learned from Peggy Sagers. Take the yardage of your fabric and wrap it with the stretch around you at your widest part. Next, stretch it to a comfortable point. You want to think about how the fabric is going to behave in a real garment; i.e. don’t stretch it to its maximum or its minimum. After measuring how much fabric this takes against a yardstick, check the finished garment measurements. When I did this, sure enough the fabric measurement matched the finished garment measurements perfectly.
My fabric for these pants is a pale blue stretch cotton. To be honest, I don’t remember where it came from. I’m equally clueless as to what weave it is. It’s not a twill, it’s not a sateen, but it is cotton with a reasonable amount of lycra. The wonderful recovery on it makes these pants absurdly comfortable despite the fact that they are fitted. A swatch of this fabric is going to go into storage with this pattern so that I can compare future fabrics to it when I want to remake this pattern.
My sewing friend Linda asked me if I could breathe in them because of the fit! Ha, with no problem! Thanks lycra. You’re a champion.
Full length vs. 7/8
For my version, I chose the full length as opposed to Audrey Hepburn’s cropped styling. Trying to figure out precisely where 7/8 hits on me sounded like an exercise in advanced proportions. I’m not entirely sure I can pull off a cropped pant. At my height, do I need to look shorter? Would it look too twee? So many questions! I figure if I really want to try out the style, I can always fold up a cuff.
You’ve made pants, surely, and you know that altering a pants pattern can be a long trip down a very deep rabbit hole. The good news is, once you’ve altered a pattern and got a fit that you’re happy with, you can lather, rinse, and repeat with very little hassle. For this pattern, I compared it against my favorite Ottobre skinny jeans.
For me, that means that every pattern gets a flat seat adjustment. 1/2″ taken out is what I need and it really helps. I also shorten the length for every pair of pants. I shortened these by 1 7/8″ to match my Ottobre jeans length (full length for me).
The last thing I needed to do for fit was to shorten the back crotch length. There was quite a bit of excess on it vs. my Ottobre. Without taking it out, I would have had a lot more excess fabric on my backside than I want/need. I didn’t measure precisely because I just traced the Ottobre pattern onto the Alyse, but I think I took out something like 1.5″ from the back crotch. It was a lot, but I felt confident in doing so since I was comparing the pattern to a pattern that I’ve made multiple times with great success in the fit.
Best waistband ever
The self-faced waistband is really wide on these pants. It’s almost like a skirt yoke it’s so wide. but man, it fits perfectly. The contours of it fit the body so well. I always have to fit waistbands while I’m constructing a pair of pants. First, I have to baste on waistbands and then rotate out little darts to get a good fit. I did not have to do that at all on this waistband. It fits just right as is. Yay!
The Alyse pants feature a side zipper. Side zips are a fun alternative to a fly front and a lot more dressy. The pattern calls for a centered zipper on the side, but I chose an invisible zipper for an ultra clean look.
Back flap pockets
Pants without pockets always leave me feeling a bit bare. To remedy this, I added some back welt pockets with buttoned flaps. I purposely wanted a pocket that wasn’t just a denim style patch pocket, and I think the welts make for a dressier choice.
Breaking Ground Blog Tour
Melissa, of Mahlicadesigns is hosting the Breaking Ground Blog Tour this week. The idea is to try out a new style or pattern designer you haven’t before. Check out the fun there. These Designer Stitch Alyse pants are my first foray into sewing Designer Stitch patterns and they won’t be my last. It’s always interesting to try out something new, and it’s even better when the results are just what you were hoping for.