Fancy Pants

Sometimes I don't feel like I take enough advantage of being a sewer. Hear me out: while I sew every chance that I get, I don't always make things that look that different from ready-to-wear. Jeans are jeans, t-shirts are t-shirts, and, at the end of the day, most of what I sew isn't that unique. Sometimes I wonder, am I really getting the full utility out of making things myself?

But these pants. THESE PANTS. These pants you can't buy off the rack. These pants are weird, creative, and very different. And they make me glad I can sew and wear whatever the hell I can dream up. 

Pattern: Style Arc's Ebony Woven Pants
Fabric: 1 yd embroidered stretch velvet paired with 1 yd stretch suiting
Cost: $40

The inspiration for these pants came from Pinterest - it's a very unique design from the Chloe 2013 spring collection. In it, one leg is covered with 3D flowers while the other is a plain solid. I copied this design using an embroidered stretch velvet from Stone Mountain and a Robert Kauffman stretch suiting remnant from a jumpsuit. It's a great way to feature a more expensive fabric like the velvet because you only need half of what it would take to make a full pair of pants. And I love that Robert Kauffman stuff. It drapes like a dream. 

The pattern is a fun one, too. It's the Ebony Woven Pants from Style Arc, which have a cross-over feature at center front, kind of like Thai fisherman pants. I feel like this draped portion was really necessary to emphasize the embroidered velvet fabric and give it some extra treatment. See how it folds over the center front? I even appliqued an extra flower at center front to emphasize the design. 

I wasn't sure exactly how this pattern was going to fit since I had never made it before. Not wanting to make a muslin, I simply compared it to a pattern that I knew already fit me well: the Thread Theory Lazo Trousers. I sometimes need a knock-knee or crotch curve adjustment in Style Arc patterns, but the fit seemed pretty comparable so I plunged ahead. 

These pants have a flat-front elastic waistband, which also makes them easy to fit. While I normally grade out from my waist to my hips, I am aware that if you do this in an elastic-waisted pattern then you might not be able to get the pants over your hips. So, I cut my full hip size for the entire pants and planned to use smaller elastic to draw them in around the waist. This worked well. The pants aren't super snug at the waist, but this makes them quite comfortable. 

If you can decipher the brief Style Arc instructions they are quite quick to sew and only took me two evenings to put together. The only thing that I would change is I don't think the front crossover goes quite far enough, so I could see extending it to really emphasize the style. I also think the pleats on the under side (my left) look a little sloppy on most versions like they don't quite hang with the drape. You could probably eliminate them and still get the same fun look. 

Speaking of look, I didn't quite intend to go all sun flare artsy with these photos, but that's what you get when you're a one-woman-show shooting on a tripod. Yes, that cameraman husband of mine gave up on taking my pics ages ago. 

I am feeling quite fancy in my fancy pants. I plan to wear them out anywhere that I want to feel dressed up but also a bit artsy or quirky. They've already come with me to dinner and a concert and gotten compliments from my stylish friend, so I think I'm on track. The elastic waistband and roomy fit also make them perfect for eating large meals or dancing the night away. Could you ask for anything more out of your sewing skills? 


  1. Very creative and oh so pretty! I am not one to go "crazy" with clothes. My style is conservative but I would make an exception for these pants. Bravo!

  2. They look very nice without going over board. 2 thumbs up really like them.


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