Colette Juniper Pants

This was my first ever attempt at making pants, and it was a challenge. I can’t definitively say it was the fault of the pattern – my own insistence on total perfection combined with having no idea what I was doing certainly added to the challenge, and resulted in me unpicking and resewing seams more times than I would like to admit.

I also resewed the pockets THREE TIMES:

Attempt 1: Using cheap acetate lining – I have metres of this stuff that I bought when I had only just started to line everything I made and before I realised just how horrid this stuff is to sew and also to wear.  I have since been converted to how amazing real cotton or silk feels as a lining fabric and can’t imagine myself using acetate ever again. 

Attempt 2: Using some quilting cotton scraps I had in my stash.  Then I realised it was too bulky, stiff and thick for pocket lining.  I lazily serged the edges in black thread and then could see the serged seam outline on the outside of the pants, plus the black blah on the inside was just WRONG.  This was when I also decided the big dinner plate shape was not for me as I don’t put anything in front pockets except for maybe a tissue or a scrap of paper/shopping list – my hips dont need any more bulges.

Original “dinner plate” pockets

Attempt 3: Some lovely japanese cotton from Spotlight.  Its beautiful.  It feels divine.  I redrafted the pocket shape by eyeballing my RTW jeans interior and also the Thurlow front pocket tutorial by Lauren from Lladybird.

The only issue I had with the construction was that I would have liked a side seam notch on pattern piece C (the top/under piece of the slash pocket) as, I had a tough time getting the fit/positioning to my satisfaction on that part when I used the original pocket shape.

When I changed the pocket shape it became much easier as the pocket gets lined up/sewn into the side seam.

This is piece C after I added some bits to it for the new pocket shape. 
But notice no notches except on the bottom edge which gets attached to pocket lining.

The problem was that the position of this piece was determined by the notches on the pocket pieces, which are helpfully removed as the first step is to finish the pocket seams before sewing them together and even a small misalignment means the top piece C doesn’t sit properly.  I found this out in pocket attempt 1 and 2.  My inexperience was REALLY showing.

New pocket shape open so you can see pattern piece shape and closed into pocket bag.
The altered Colette Patterns Juniper interior showing the new and improved pocket bags based on the Sewaholic Thurlow Pocket shape

I took in the legs as I felt they were too wide and baggy for my 5’4″ / 164 cm frame (aka short legs).  This took me a couple of tries before I was happy, although I am still not sure if I did it “correctly”.  After googling to not a huge amount of success I ended up tapering the legs from crotch to hem on both the inside and outside leg seam.  I am seriously thinking of taking the Craftsy course Pant Fitting Techniques and Pant Construction Techniques next time they come on sale or perhaps getting the Pants for Real People book. 

Another shot of the Colette Patterns Juniper Pants interior showing contrasting facings.
Side view. Hopefully, they just look like
pants that I bought somewhere and not “happy home sewing”.

I do like the pattern, I will probably make again in a better fabric.  I made the size 6 and they fit perfectly around my waist, hips and only a tiny adjustment to the crotch curve.  They also hug my back with no gaping and no need for a sway back adjustment.  I made these up in basic black cotton sateen with a slight stretch from Spotlight.  I think this pattern would work really well in linen or something with a bit of weight but great drape, like a crepe.

I learnt alot and spent way more time on these than can really be justified but if I consider it learning then it was time well spent.

I have always been terrified to make pants so this is a real accomplishment for me to even think about tackling them, let alone have something (hopefully) wearable at the end of it.

Based on making these and also from silently following along Lauren’s Thurlow Sewalong  I have purchased the Thurlow pattern and plan to make them next to compare the two patterns and decide which one will work best for my pear/heavy leg shape.  I got mine (plus a Sewaholic Cambie dress) from Sew Squirrel, who sells with free shipping for Australians