I’m going to lead with a confession. I think it has been nearly two years since I’ve sewn a functional fly into a pair of pants.
I was really excited to sew up Laela Jeyne’s new Ivy Trousers pattern. Not in small part because my drawer is full of ill-fitting RTW bottoms that I have really been meaning to do something about. I collected my supplies, cut my muslin, proceed to get sewing and then hit the zipper installation.
Have you ever been caught in a wave of theme park excitement bought tickets, stood in line, clicked into a rollercoaster car only to get to the top of the first big drop and remember you are totally terrified of rollercoasters?
While it’s probably dramatic to compare zipper installation to dropping hundreds of feet at 60 mph, I was nervous, and since these pants need a functional fly I was also at a point of no return.
Good news, a well-written pattern will get you where you need to go if you follow the instructions. I find this the most satisfying part of sewing up a garment that is a bit more complicated. By clicking through the steps one at a time you end up accomplishing something really great- even if the first time you do it it seems like it must have been some act of magic at the end.
I did put a zipper in my muslin pair of pants so that I could do a practice run, and for me it was worth it. This zipper is much nicer since I had a practice go.
What is a muslin?
A muslin is a shorthand for your practice garment. You make it out of inexpensive fabric to check the fit of your garment.
The Ivy Trousers pattern includes a full chart of finished measurements if you are looking for extra guidance in choosing between sizes. Sometimes I debate when I’m sitting in between sizes.
Why do you need one?
Even a well-drafted pattern cannot account for all of our quirks. Because as it turns out adult bodies are all different- even when we share measurements.
This is why RTW garments fit in ways that make us crazy, and the great benefit of being able to make small adjustments to a sewing pattern to make it fit like a glove. Once you know what you typically run into this process goes faster.
What changes did I make?
My waistbands always pull away from my body in the back. Even if everything else seems to be right on- my back waistband will stand inches away from my body. Which results in a cold breeze, exposed underwear, and a whole lot of yanking.
What I love about the Ivy Trousers are the darts in the back. It makes this such an easy adjustment. I made my darts wider, keeping the same depth. Presto a well-fitting backside.
I had “frowning” lines across the crotch of my muslin meaning the rise was too long for me, so I adjusted that as well. Personally, I think figuring out your rise will really help you nail the perfect fit on a pair of pants.
Now that I’ve made my personal human body adjustments I plan on using this pattern a ton, especially the short version, as I’m dreaming of weather warming up in a few months. I did not add belt loops to this version but I will for my summer shorts when I’m chasing kids all day and want the extra security.
This is a great cheat sheet of potential adjustments you might want to make to your muslin.
I paired the Ivy Trousers with Laela Jeyne’s Madeline Wrap Sweater. The sweater pattern is originally more of a crop style. I had a really light knit and wanted a longer fit. I simply dropped the height of the bottom band and sewed up the sweater just as directed.
This sweater was a very quick cut and sew. I did the entire thing on my serger in under an hour from start to finish.
Both patterns used layers, a feature that allows you to print only the sizes you want. Really handy if you are going to grade between sizes, or if you are just looking to making taping and cutting less stressful.
I will admit I did skip out on one rollercoaster. The Ivy Trouser includes a welt back pocket. Welt pockets are on my list of things to conquer this year. We have had a very rocky relationship. For now I turned tail and ran. Maybe the next pair…..
The Wanderlust collection consists of four patterns: the Ivy Trousers, the Girls’ Wren Skinny Jeans, Men’s Reed Trousers, and Women’s Willow Pleated Trousers. releasing will be on sale for $5 until February 3rd. Make sure to check out the posts below to see more great pants. And Laela Jeyne’s pattern shop here.
Laela Jeyne Patterns Wanderlust Collection Blog Tour