Pants making is something that seemed very difficult to me for a long time. All the topstitching and a button fly made the process seem very daunting but I’m so glad that I finally decided to give it a go! I made my first pair out of a funky cotton print basically as a wearable muslin to check the fit. I was so excited when I found the patterned fabric earlier this year. It’s a nice weight for pants and has such a funky print with a subtle bit of cordroy (ish) texture on the right side that I really like.
My second denim pair had some minor alternations that have made them fit perfectly to me.
The Persephone seems like a good pattern for me to start my pants making adventure. I’ve seen so so many versions of the Persephone pants and they seem to look so good on everyone and all different body types. I also chose them as I’d seen a few reviews stating they were easy to fit due to the absence of a side seam so fitting could be done only by changing the inner leg seam.
This pattern is a very large PDF file with lots and lots of pages. I printed all of them but then found I actually didn’t need many of the pages. If I was to print it again I’d be careful and look at the file a bit closer to make sure I’m only printing pages I need. I also found the fabric requirement to be very generous. I had about half a meter less than recommended for my patterned pair and still managed to squeeze a pair out. That said, I cut one of smaller sizes and my waistband and pockets were cut on the perpendicular grain so I did compromise a little bit.
For my patterned pair, I cut and sewed a straight size 8 with no adjustments. This was my first time sewing pants so I’m lucky the fit was alright. My hip measurement sat exactly a size 8 and while I found the fit to be fairly tight for the first few wears both fabrics have nicely softened and stretched so that the fit is perfect now. My waist measurement was a little larger than stated this did turn out ok. The waistband sits firm but doesn’t dig in at all. I did find that the waistband gapes a little at the back point which I easily rectified in my denim pair.
For my denim pair, I opted to use a curved waistband. I followed this tutorial by Sew Altered Style which was very helpful. This removed a little bit of the gaping that occurs at the back waistband with a straight wasitband. I ended up overlapping the pieces about 5cm to form the curve. My new waistband sits just as I want it and I don’t think I’d want to take any more out of the back as it does cause a subtle visual scoop in the back. I imagine if I took more out this would become more obvious.
Additionally, while the front pockets are a fun detail, I find they are not super comfy when I sit down with something in them as they tend to dig into my legs. I ended up serging these off in my patterned pair as they weren’t really functional and didn’t always lay flat. I found the pocket sewing to be a little fiddly, not impossible, but I think they look cleaner without them. My denim pair has patch pockets and no front pockets. Anna Allen offers a patch pocket download free on her website that I’d use next time. I drafted my own pockets but think I made them just a little too small as I copied off a lower rise jean that I had.
I found that overall the Persephone pants were a good pattern for me to start pants making and I felt like I levelled up my skills in the process. The actual construction wasn’t difficult however the major difficulty for me was the topstitching. I’d never done that much topstitching so I got in some good practice sewing a perfect parallel lines. I’m glad my first pair were with a busy pattern so the wonky stitching is a bit disguised. The second time around I had worked out how to set the right tension and changed my needle which helped tremendously. I also learnt that my machine will be much happier when I thread the bobbin with an all purpose thread instead of the topstitching thread. I did also omit some of the waistband stitching for my denim pair as I wanted them to look very simple and I chose a very contrasting thread colour.
Once I cut out the pattern this was a straight forward sew that only took me a few week nights, which as a slow/easily distracted sewist is pretty quick for a more involved project. I used the zipper fly extension pack and found the instructions to be very comprehensive and I ended up with a really nice zipper. I fabric covered a button for my pattered pair and used a jeans button for my denim pair. I think the jeans button is v cute and also much stronger as it is hammered in. This was my first time using hardware and I’d be keen to play around with rivets in the future to add to the jeans look.
I wear both these pants very often so think another pair may appear in the near future. I’ve especially found the denim to be so versatile and have made me enjoy wearing ‘jeans’ again. Overall, I think this is such a great pants pattern and I really felt like I learnt some new and exciting sewing skills in the process!
Pattern : Persephone Pants by Anna Allen Clothing