Vintage-style pants in a modern way? Yes, please.
Nanna from How to do Fashion, a gorgeous vintage-inspired pattern company from Denmark, reached out to me an offered me one of her patterns to try.
I'd admired Nanna's patterns and glamorous style on Instagram for years now, but never bought one of her patterns because I assumed both that I couldn't pull off the vintage look and that the patterns wouldn't go up to my size. But a closer look indicated that the How to do Fashion size range is more generous than I thought, and I decided that I could wear some of her patterns if I sewed them in fabrics that made them more fitting with my contemporary, non-glamorous wardrobe and lifestyle.
I opted to try the No. 7 Vanløse pattern, which includes a high-waist, wide-legged pant with a waistband facing and invisible side zipper, as well as a beautifully pleated bias cut cowl neck blouse. I received the pattern for free, but all of my opinions about the pattern are my own.
Nanna sent me the printed version of the No. 7 Vanløse pattern, which also comes in PDF format. The pattern is printed on nice, thick paper and comes in a classy folder/envelope. It needs to be traced because the pattern is printed on both sides of the paper. 3/8" seam allowances are included, but interestingly, the instructions are not. The instructions, and many pattern hacks, are found on the How to do Fashion website, where you can follow them online, or print out a PDF version if you prefer. The instructions are not verbose, but will get you there, and are supplemented with lots of tutorials and videos for the tricky bits.
I opted to start with the No. 7 Vanløse pants because I had the perfect fabric in my stash, so I did a quick muslin of the upper portion of the pants. Based on that, I decided on a size 44 hip blended to a size 46 from the bottom of the side zipper to the waist. This pattern seems to be drafted for a tiny waist and full hip. Full hips I've got in spades... tiny waist not so much.
I gave myself a little bit more seam allowance just on the zipper side, just to make installing the invisible zipper a bit easier. I varied from the instructions a bit by securing the waist facing with some stitching in ditch at the center and side seams as well as at the back waist darts.
I also hemmed them a little bit shorter than called for, giving myself a 2.5" hem; I probably could have done a bit more, judging from these photos. Does anyone else struggle with determining the right length for wide leg pants?
I decided to add a bit of visual interest by doing a pintuck down the center front leg. Nanna has instructions on her blog on how to do this... I sorta followed them, but not to a T. Based on my muslin, I knew I had enough wiggle room in the pants, so I opted not to add extra width for the pintuck. I just folded the front leg pieces in half wrong sides together, then topstitched along the fold as close as I could get, then pressed. I love how they look! I think they give these casual pants a nice crisp look.
The fabric I chose is Robert Kaufman Essex linen, a 50/50 linen cotton blend, in the charcoal colorway. As I said, I'm envisioning myself swanning around in a full linen wardrobe this summer, so these pants will help get me achieve that goal.
I am really delighted with the No. 7 Vanløse pants! The fit is pretty great and I think they look very contemporary in the Essex linen fabric. I know I'll wear them a ton.
I've paired them here with my Toaster Sweater #2 and boots because it's still pretty cold here in Vermont (it's snowed almost every day of April and was 23F out when I took these photos). However, I think they're are quite versatile. I also tried on and loved the No. 7 Vanløse pants with lots of tops in my handmade wardrobe for when the weather warms: my Appleton top, Astoria sweater, Bento Tee and Blackwood cardigan. And I have the ultimate all-linen look planned once I get around to making the cropped version of the Kalle in white linen.
I'm looking forward to trying out the blouse version of No. 7 Vanløse; I think those shoulder pleats and cowl neckline are so glamorous! I'm also curious to try the No. 00 Danmark top, which is a free download if you sign up for How to do Fashion's newsletter. It looks like a cute top. How about you... have you tried any of How to do Fashion's patterns?