Please zoom in on the photo and observe the finest example of pattern-art humor I have ever seen in my entire life:
The girl all in white? Who looks like she’s going on safari? Check out her belt buckle. SP. Simplicity Patterns! Hahhahahaha! Isn’t that amazing?!
I made the pants, which are double darted at both front and back, a natural-height waist and a straight waistband, with a shaped bell-bottom leg, out of this fabric:
I couldn’t find a repeat in the dot pattern. Usually I squint at the fabric and the repeat will jump out, but this one, just, not jumping out. Each dot is irregular in shape, and irregularly spaced. I tried folding, flipping, all kinds of realignments, no repeat.
This fabric is actually a set of curtains, and it finally occurred to me that they must’ve been printed from one big screen-print. Like, there is no repeat, the pattern of dots was created, in a large format, and that’s the entire print. Each dot its own, no yardage, no repeat. I guess the fabric was printed with a break between each curtain-sized dot-array, where the factory would cut and hem? More convenient for a large order this way? Kind of funny to think about. I’m so used to endless, continuously printed yardage, designed in scale for a human, not a window.
So, I knew I wanted this big dot stuff to be pants, and that the center front seam had to match. Or else. No mirroring or butterfly or open-book effect at the center front. That would be embarrassing. Other than that, I had to give up on any of the other seams pattern-matching. And they sure don’t. I considered running a solid stripe down the side seam to make the chopped up dots less crashing-into-each other, but decided not to: that would only make a crazy pair of pants look crazier.
I was able to get the front to match by using the second curtain, which is identical, and having the pattern continue across the front. Which is a little weird in that the pattern appears to continue across my legs too, but hey, at least no butterflies.
These pants took 9 hours to make, three or four of that was messing around with pattern placement and then flatlining the pieces for better weight and opacity.
I really like this picture above, with my boy at edge of frame. I like how both of us are completely into our own projects. Also, I made everything he’s wearing.
Part of the reason I made these pants is beacause I actually need pants. I got through the winter last year with three pairs of pants. Which got me thinking about how many is enough, what’s the optimal number.
I recognize that I am fortunate, in that I could theoretically have as many pairs of pants as I want. But how many is that?
Three is not enough, because they end up being worn on such a constant rotation that they wear out at the same rate and suddenly I go from having three pants to zero. So what is ideal. Seven? Is one pair of pants for every day of the week excessive? In addition to skirts and dresses and gym leggings etc etc?
Maybe five is more reasonable? But if one of them is a little crazy looking, like with giant dots, does that pair become more of a second-tier pant? Less of a basic?
I think this is why people live in jeans: they’re such a neutral, they blend from one day to the next, no one’s ever going to notice if you wear one pair several days in a row, you’re free to not think or to enjoy the comfort of a broken-in pair.
After thinking over this for a while I remembered how I have a friend who owns seven tuxedos —like not just suits, tuxedos— and how in light of that, seven pairs of pants seems totally reasonable.
This fabric, by the way, is from the most annoying yard sale I have ever been to. Nothing had a price tag, which is the worst, so I had to ask the lady of the house how much everything cost, and each time I asked she would launch into the entire story of the thing in question, including how much she paid for it when it was brand new and how rare it was and all other details she could recall. Then she would name the price, which was high. For this set of two curtain, from IKEA, “These are designer! They don’t make them anymore! We barely even used them!”, she wanted ten dollars, which is completely against my belief that nothing at a yardsale should be more than a dollar, since I consider yardsales to be the last stop before donating to the thrift shop.
Later my husband and I came up with the perfect yard sale pricing scheme: X is twenty dollars, but if you listen to my entire story, it’s free.
But I totally bought the curtains. They provide a lot of yardage. And I felt a little sorry for her and maybe recognized myself in her, her belief in the worth of her possessions was a little heartbreaking, and apparently no one’s ever told her about eBay or Craigslist. Which is where you sell old things when you want real money for them.
This pattern is a Sew It!