Pattern du jour: Hot Patterns 1016 Hello, Sailor Pants

My current sewing project. I’ve been sewing like crazy for the past couple of months, with very little success, since my learning methodology with crafts seems to involve trying to most elaborate interesting project and failing repeatedly until it sticks. Case in point–these. I’ve never owned a pair of pants like this, so I have no working knowledge of how they work to draw on. The instructions are also pretty brutal.  But that’s why the internet is amazing because there are a few other blogs I’ve found with the same problem to draw on. Also, buttonholes–my machine is very basic, so I have no button hole function and have been winging it with chalk markings and my zigzag stitch. As a perfectionist, I tend to be appalled by the results–but then eyeing buttonholes on my ready made clothing makes me realize no one notices these glaring mistakes when they aren’t the ones making them. There are huge asymmetrical oopses all over my storebought clothing, and sewing has really opened my eyes to this (and, more on this another day, the fact that my store bought things are probably made by hand by someone overseas working in awful conditions for little money and I never think about the ways I’m feeding into that system with my happy little “bargain hunts.”)

I’m sewing it first in this ugly military green suiting that I bought online. I’m a sucker for a pretty color on my (poorly calibrated?) computer monitor, which upon arrival, tends to fall far short of my expectations. I’ve learned to buy reds that look almost black on screen to get that rich, bluish deep wine red that makes me drool. I’ve been burned a few times into buying what I thought was a beautiful burgundy that ended up being bright tomato, which isn’t my thing. So I can mangle this pair if need be in the attempt to figure out that front flap feature. No grommets this time around, though in the future I might try them for a fly closure.

Which brings me to why these pants are amazing, theoretically, for my body type. It has taken me decades of living as a woman to realize the real meaning of the fact that body types differ structurally. No amount of stomach exercise will ever make me look like a Victoria Secret model, not because I am less of a woman somehow, as I tended to assume subconsciously in my younger years. But because of fucking geometry. The mass of my body is arranged in such a way that a broad rib cage sits on a nearly nonexistent waist stacked on narrow hips. I will never have an hourglass figure, and the little belly that results from this configuration used to make me feel crappy. But I’m starting to understand the female skills of style and dressing as a systematic analysis of body types and how to flatter them. They are visual representation hacks. And these pants will be fantastic for that, since the flare at the bottom flatters my body type (apple shaped. See: Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Sigourney Weaver) and eventually when I’ve mastered the pattern I will attempt it with buttons on the side seams instead, which will take mass away from my already pronounced belly curve and put it on my undefined hips where it actually does some good.

So for today: attaching all the parts together in the right configuration. Hopefully.

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