Nature Walk knit pants for Anya

Yesterday, thanks to rain and saturated soccer fields, we found ourselves with a few hours of free time that would have otherwise been spent at soccer games. You'll hear no complaints from me (I'm not the most enthusiastic soccer mom, can you tell?); I'll happily spend my Saturday morning crafting in the basement rather than chauffeuring the kids from field to field and praying no one gets a concussion.

I've got this complicated corduroy jacket I've been wanting to finish for two weeks now, but it's on the back burner because it takes more time and concentration than I've got to spare between my work demands and progress on the house renovation (which is slow but ongoing). Also, Anya needs some clothes! And since she likes to wear handmade things, especially when she has a role in the making of them (or at the very least choosing the fabric and pattern) I'm pretty much willing to drop everything and do that for her. I know it won't last forever.

The previous weekend we made her a pair of Nature Walk knit pants from Oliver&S, a pattern I've had sitting around for a while now. It was a test run with fabric I had bought at a yard sale and had leftover from another project...good thing because while the instructions were clear and the sewing went smoothly, it was evident once Anya tried them on that I should have gone up a size. (Note to self: Oliver&S runs small, despite the body measurements on the pattern envelope).

Obviously, she finds them comfortable.

The test pair of pants was so comfy, if snug and a tad short, that I made the leap and ordered fabric online (there's shit for fabric options in this town if you're looking for non-quilting fabric at a local business) with the intention of making a pair of pants for realz this weekend. Yesterday's soccer-free morning was the perfect opportunity, and within a span of about three hours, I had the pattern traced, the fabric cut, and the pants sewed up.

Anya loves them and was happy to put them on for a brief photo shoot.

Unfortunately, it's practically impossible to get good pictures of a pair of pants when they're actually being worn by a 7yo. Just trust me that they fit and look good and are comfortable, okay?

The fabric is organic interlock knit from Organic Cotton Plus. It was a big deal for me to order from there; I've been trolling browsing that site for years, even since back in the day when they were Near Sea Naturals, always wanting to buy but never knowing what to get or how much. It's not the cheapest fabric, you see, and while I believe the price should reflect a fabric's true cost (for production, dyeing, ethical sourcing and all the rest), I've not felt confident buying something of this quality knowing how likely I am to screw it all up and have to throw it out.

That I now have the confidence not only to buy this fabric but to cut it up and sew something out of it the day after it arrives says something about how far I've come recently. I think when it comes to sewing you just have to take a big breath and just DO IT or you'll never really learn.

And let me tell you, this fabric is BEAUTIFUL. It feels wonderful and the color is lovely and it's stable and sews up nicely and is worth every penny, if you ask me. One pair of pants for Anya didn't take that much and I have enough leftover for a t-shirt for her if she wants. (Or a tank for me if she doesn't!)

I'm just posting this picture to show you the ramp to our front door. I CANNOT WAIT TO HAVE A REAL PORCH HERE, PEOPLE. They tell me it will happen this week.
For what it's worth, here are a few close up shots of the pants with a few more details. That curvy waistband is such a cute feature. I added topstitching just below the seam line to help it sit a little flatter.

The cuffs were Anya's idea. I added orange cuffs to the practice pair because we didn't have quite enough of the main fabric for the legs to be full length. Anya liked the cuffs so much she requested them on the next pair, even though there is plenty of the blue fabric not to include cuffs.

Here's a close up of the cuff hem. Someone on the Curious Handmade wardrobe challenge discussion thread suggested that I use double-sided fusible stabilizing tape to help with hems on knit fabrics and it worked like a dream here. I'm thinking of doing a separate post sometime on the tools I use because there are a few things I've found that make sewing a whole lot easier, especially sewing knits, which is something I'm learning a lot about right now. Would you guys find that interesting? Or not? I know there are already quite a lot of online resources available at the moment...

Here's the inside of the waistband with topstitching. I do have a serger but I have not been using it for sewing with knits. It's just not a great machine and it leaves rather sloppy edges. Knits don't ravel so I don't think it's necessary for finishing. Maybe someday when the remodeling is done and I can save money again I'll save up for a nice serger. Someday.

And here are the pants sideways. You get an idea of what they look like, at least.


Julie Crawford said…
hooray for nature walks! and those sweat pants looks amazing, I love the black cuffs. Good call Anya!

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