Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sewing Dare Part 1: Style Arc Barb

OK, Gillian: I am following through with your sewing dare to make pants, but I am doing it in baby steps. Yes, I made pants. But are elastic waist stretch pants really daring? The rules state, "A good dare should be a fun challenge, just slightly outside your comfort zone." I'm thinking this gets me a quarter or maybe halfway to completing my dare, because although technically pants because they cover the lower half of my body with two tubes, these pants have no zip, no button, no pockets, and thus are completely within my comfort zone.


These are the Barb's Stretch Pants from Style Arc, a simple elastic waist pant made from stretch woven. This is my first Style Arc pattern. I never bothered with their patterns before because I couldn't commit to a size and couldn't download them. Now that Style Arc is selling PDFs on Etsy, I decided to give them a go. They have a couple of the patterns for sale for pretty cheap as trial patterns, including the Barb's Stretch Pants pattern for $3.66. However, that includes a range of only 3 sizes and, turns out, the 3 sizes are not layered for easy grading, but are individual PDF files. Hmmmm. Not sure about that.

What I am sure about, though, is that I am pretty pumped about my final product! Sure, it's a pair of grey elastic waist pants... not the most exciting make ever and it certainly won't win me any fashion awards. But a solid wardrobe staple? Yep.

My fabric is some super stretchy woven I got in Hong Kong's Sham Shui Po district. I'm not sure what material it is, maybe poly, lycra and something else? Good recovery.

My waist fell into a different size range than my hips, so I cut the size closest to my hip measurement, figuring I could take the waist in. Ultimately I didn't end up doing that, rather I just cut the elastic shorter to fit my waist so it pulls in a little bit more. This pattern is quite forgiving.

You've probably heard this same gripe before about Style Arc patterns, but I'll reiterate it anyway: the instructions are a bit of a joke. They are really minimal and only contain a couple of diagrams. For something simple like the Barb Stretch Pants, the sparse instructions are not a problem, but I imagine for more complicated patterns it could be a struggle.

So, to sum up: I made pants! But not real pants. So I will forge ahead with more complicated pants now in order to truly complete my dare. Are you doing a sewing dare? How far along are you?