I’ve been sewing clothes for most of my life, both for myself and my family members. Early this year I began my own blog, designedbydanita, to start telling some of my stories and to show off some of my ongoing projects. Now that I’m a grandmother, I’m especially pleased to talk about the fine outfits I’m making for my two granddaughters, and occasionally my grandson.
More recently I discovered — and quickly joined — The Monthly Stitch, this wonderful collaboration of sewists just like me. This is my first post to this group blog, and it all happened because the September sewing challenge, and specifically the photo above, inspired me to make something special. Let me summarize the story, and if you’d like to read the full account, you can find my own designedbydanita blog post here.
I’ve got a rare family get-together coming up this weekend, and I was hoping to wear something new and beautiful so I can look and feel my best.
The event is going to involve lots of food, and considering that I might want to overindulge on some of it, I’ve been thinking I might need some comfortable pants that provide a little breathing room (read: elastic waistband). Luckily for me, I found the perfect pattern for just such a pants-sewing project!
I stumbled across the pants pattern while browsing this very blog. As any readers of The Monthly Stitch will know, every month features a sewing challenge for its members, with a different theme to help inspire creativity. The September theme was an open challenge, in which members were allowed to sew anything they wanted, provided it was inspired by any of the colors, textiles, silhouettes, prints, keywords, embellishments, or whatever else was shown in the September post. Talk about carte blanche!
In my case, I was inspired by the photo above, which shows new Monthly Stitch staff member Kyla, who was wearing a lovely pair of dressy pants that she had made herself. I was under the impression that she made the comfortable-looking pants to accommodate her changing body. What do I mean? Well, Kyla was also shown in her wedding dress and a maternity dress. Clearly, her body has been going through some changes lately, not unlike my own! So if these pants were good enough for Kyla, they should be good enough for me, especially with the family get-together (and all its yummy food) staring me in the face! So you might say that Kyla’s desire to look good and be comfortable was my inspiration.
And that brings me to my own project. I didn’t know what pattern Kyla used, but I figured I might find something close enough to fake it. Like I said, I too have an ever-changing body, but mine has to do with getting older. Anyway, I began my search for a good pants pattern by reading The Monthly Stitch’s October post, which is challenging sewists to give indie patterns a try. To my great surprise, I found the very same photo of Kyla wearing those adorable pants as a promo for Blue Dot Patterns. My search was quickly over! I raced to the Blue Dot web site and purchased the pattern for the pants, which, adorably, are called Coffeehouse Pants (what could be more perfect for a coffee lover like me, right?). Better yet, the pattern is designed for beginners, which means just about everyone can master it.
Now that I solved my “what am I going to wear” problem, I needed to take the next logical step: turning my own Coffeehouse Pants into a reality.
I wasted no time in printing my digital pattern. Then I had to find some material in my stash that would work well with the simple lines and elastic waist. I chose a textured light blue topanga cotton. Luckily, I had just enough to make these pants. And for the pocket lining, I wanted something extra special, so I used scraps from dresses I recently made for both my granddaughters.
The pants came together quickly. From start to finish, they were done in just two hours. I didn’t try too hard to match the lines at the pockets, because I didn’t think they’d even be visible with a top sitting comfortably at my waist.
Just as I expected, these pants are super comfortable, and they’ll be awesome for a day of eating. Many thanks to Kyla, who inspired and motivated me to make something I wanted and needed. These will be great for the Indian summer we’ll be having next week, and they’ll no doubt be my go-to pants next spring. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be making more of these lovely pants next year!