Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pattern Review: Paprika Patterns Amber Trousers

Today I've got a review of the latest pattern release from Paprika Patterns: the Amber Trousers!

Please note: I was provided a copy of this pattern for free in exchange for a review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

The Amber Trousers are described as the perfect summer trousers. They have a curved yoke* that closes with an invisible zipper on the side, inverted box pleats, slash pockets and either tapered or wide legs. I sewed up the tapered leg version here.

Lisa advises that you should make a muslin of the yoke portion since that is the closest fitting part of the pants. I did exactly that, found I had a great fit there- hurrah! No lower back gaping!! I like how the yoke, combined with the box pleats, camouflages the tummy a bit, too.

The instructions also have you do a baste fit on the actual pants before inserting your zip, which, in my case, was smart because it turned out I needed to make a few minor fit adjustments to deal with my butt/hip situation. I felt like the rear was a bit tight and I was having some pulling in the area where the pockets meet the side seams. I thought letting the side seams out a bit would help, but that just gave me strange, rippled saddle bags, so I unpicked and sewed them as instructed. It was really the fit across the butt. I probably should have done a full butt adjustment and/or scooped out the crotch a little bit, but instead I cheated a bit by sewing the crotch seam with a smaller seam allowance.

All of my unpicking and resewing led to these pants looking a little bit tortured in certain spots. This fabric is rather unforgiving as far as unpicking seams goes...! It is some silvery rayon that I got at the shop formerly known as Grey's Fabric. I can't remember exactly what it is; I think it's from Robert Kaufman? Looks pretty on the bolt, but was surprisingly difficult to sew and seems to look permanently wrinkly and bubbly.

The instructions for the Amber trousers were quite thorough. I learned a couple neat tricks, too, such as basting the box pleats just on either side of the seam allowance before sewing to ensure they stay shut. Maybe this is common knowledge, but it was new to me and I am thrilled with the results! In the instructions, Lisa also provides links to several helpful tutorials to help with the trickier parts, like the invisible zipper insertion.

I topstitched my yoke; the rayon was too slippery to do an accurate stitch-in-the-ditch! Also, in this slippery rayon, I found that my yoke pieces got all stretched out. I had to trim them to match the interfacing. Beware the stretchy bias pieces- handle them with care!

Although the Amber Trousers didn't fit me perfectly straight out of the envelope (what pants do, though, really?), I think they're quite stylish and would love to give them another try with a few fitting adjustments and perhaps a fabric that is slightly firmer and easier to work with. Maybe the wide-legged version. I could also see making these in a knit- eliminate the zip and add some elastic inside the yoke?

*Speaking of the yoke: for some reason the wide, curved shape of the Amber yoke keeps bringing to mind "I Dream of Genie." And I mean that in the best way possible!