Sew-a-bration Series: The personal pant challenge

Womens sewing patterns, self care sewing by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

I’m very happy to be participating today in Sew-a-bration a series being hosted by Call Ajaire and the Shaffer Sisters. It helps us women focus on doing some self care sewing for ourselves! I’ve only recently started sewing more for myself, it is quite an adjustment for me from children’s sewing.

I’ve primarily been sewing with knits, they’re more forgiving and don’t require a muslin most of the time. I’ve been trying to build into the world of wovens, and bottoms. So I broke out of my knit dress bubble and decided I would make myself a pair of pants. And pair it with a knit top I’ve made once before, because halfway through the pant project I needed a win.

Womens Ottobre top

It was crazy windy on picture day. This is the Ottobre Autumn Mood shirt from the Winter 2013 issue. I’ve sewn it once before and worn that version a ton. I picked up this fabric in a big Girl Charlee knit purchase not that long ago. It’s a white mira slub cotton jersey. It’s very soft and light. It’s also just a little see through and very stretchy. This top fits a little larger than the first because of the stretch percentage, but I can still see it being worn frequently. Actually if you are looking for a knit for summer pajamas this stuff would be awesome.

Jocole Womens wideleg pant

Pants and myself have notoriously not been friends. I decided this would be a good push to try and break through some blocks. I was going to sew these pants out of red linen. I bought the fabric and prewashed. It shrank like CRAZY. I trudged back to the store to buy another yard. I got home and discovered cut one was kind of cranberry and cut two was fire engine. I considered sewing a knit dress. Back to the store, back home again. While these were both cut from the same cranberry red linen they were clearly different dye lots. I seriously considered sewing a knit dress. I tried to pretend I didn’t care. I pushed forward. I managed to sew two left legs while being too distracted by the color difference to say- pay attention to keeping the right sides and wrong sides separate. I was totally going to sew a knit dress.

Honestly if it wasn’t for this series I would have probably walked away. But I felt committed to challenge myself to get over this pant block of mine. I had this gray mystery fabric in my stash, it was a really large piece so I was able to cut the front and back pieces together eliminating the outside seam of the pant- and any chance I was going to end up with two of the same leg again.

The pant pattern is Jocole’s Wideleg pant. Don’t let me fool you it’s an easy pattern. As a benefit it has a yoga style waistband, which is hiding under my belt. This helps solve my hourglass shape issues. If pants fit me in the hip they are huge in the waist, and if I fit to the waist- well I never got those pants over my hips anyway.

I haven’t 100% nailed the fit first time, I’ve got some pulling. But overall I’m feeling good to have the project under my belt. Thanks Sew-a-bration!


My photo assistant was doing wind sprints through the frame while I took pictures. My camera doesn’t have a remote so I have to set a timer and hop back and forth in between pictures. We are quite the horse and pony show!

Make sure to check out the lovely ladies below as well,

Happy Sewing,


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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Magda E. May 15, 2014, 7:51 am

    Love your outfit! Love that you challenged you to make the pants…

  • Amy mayen May 15, 2014, 10:12 am

    I like the idea of yoga style pants! I will never, never make myself tailored pants. Too many fit problems and I’m sure I need a weird butt!! I love your look, even if sewing pants isn’t your favorite, they look great. Okay, now let’s go make some knit dresses.
    Amy mayen recently posted..Ginger Baby Patterns | Tween Pattern SpotlightMy Profile

  • Daniela May 15, 2014, 10:28 am

    Thanks for participating in my link party! I love wide legs pants and yours look very comfy and easy to wear. I have not wear tailored pants in a looong time, the life of a mother 😉 but I can totally see myself making a pair like that!

  • Lightning McStitch May 16, 2014, 6:07 am

    These look great and I can totally sympathise with the red linen disaster. I also have the same limitations on self-photography and the same love of sewing knit dresses!

  • Cindy May 19, 2014, 2:56 pm

    Yay for moving out of your comfort zone and trying something new! Pants and in general sewing fitted adult clothing can be so challenging. But it’s one of those that once you work out the fit, you have an amazing piece of clothing that fits so much better than store bought.:)
    Cindy recently posted..Alder Skirt for SpringMy Profile

  • Scary May 20, 2014, 4:03 am

    These are totally stunning. You did a fabulous job! I have totally been going through a knit dress phase lately as well. I really love how these make a great staple pant with such a neutral color, what a lucky stash find. I think I am going to have to purchase this pattern one of these days because everytime I see it I think wow stunning.
    Thank you for participating!
    With Love,
    Scary recently posted..Lisette Traveler’s Dress by Daisy Chain CreationMy Profile

  • Pam @Threading My Way May 31, 2014, 7:06 am

    Great job on pushing through and making pants from woven fabric, Rachel. You have found a pattern that fits you well, so there’ll be no stopping you now. Of all the things I’ve sewn, pants are the hardest for me to get a good fit.
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted..Umbrella Prints Trimmings on PinterestMy Profile

  • Ajaire June 16, 2014, 9:43 pm

    These look great Rachel! Pants are intimidating, but keep at it cause once you finally hit that perfect pair you will feel so amazing. Being able to make pants that properly fit is like a super power and all it takes is figuring out our own body quirks. I had a pattern that I was obsessed with before having my girl and the fit was perfect. Now that my body is – shall we say different? – I haven’t trudged on to find a new pattern I like. That’ll be my goal for this fall though. A new go to pants pattern. 🙂
    Ajaire recently posted..Romper WeekMy Profile

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