Friday, January 27, 2017

Pattern Hack and Tutorial: Flat Elastic Waist Lazo Trousers

I am really excited to share this pattern hack and tutorial with you today! So excited that I wanted to share it immediately, so it's jumping the queue ahead of several other projects...

I've hacked Thread Theory's recently released Lazo Trousers to have a flat elastic waistband!

I was a tester for the Lazo Trousers, waaaaay back in spring of 2015... the pair I made at that point was total crap. First, my fabric choice was just plain horrid: some weird poly suiting that a) didn't press well, if at all and b), in the cold light of day, was the unfortunate blue/grey color of a U.S. postal worker's uniform rather than the lovely grey I thought I'd picked up. Nope. Second, I was sort of between sizes, so I sized up. I was new to the pantsmaking scene and I panicked at the thought of too tight trousers. The resulting pants were poofy in all the wrong places and generally too big. You shall never see a photo of that pair. Never, I say!

In any case, heinous test pair aside, I really like the Lazo pattern and I was delighted to hear that Morgan was finally releasing it into the wild as I thought it deserved a wider audience!

So, in honor of the Lazo Trouser hack contest (and Curvy Pants Month at the Curvy Sewing Collective), I decided my first non-tester Lazo trousers would be a hack.

I've been living in elastic waist pants these days. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I am sure that I don't care. My preference is the type of elastic waist that doesn't look elastic, though; the type where the waistband is flat and smooth, not gathered. Hack time!

This was one of those sewing projects where I was really jazzed about it at the beginning, thinking I was the most clever thing since sliced bread, then halfway through I was ready to pack it in because it seemed like a disaster, then at the end I was back to elated and a little bit smug.

Here's how I went about my Lazo Trousers hack, if you'd like to try it yourself!: 

1. I sewed the pockets, pleats and legs as instructed.

2. I sewed the crotch seam without making a zip fly (or a faux zip fly like Morgan did in her hack) by cutting off the fly facing and sewing straight up to the center front notch. 

3. For the waistband, I loosely followed the elastic waist jogger hack on the Thread Theory blog in the sense that I altered the front waistband pattern piece according to Morgan's instructions, cutting two front waistbands on the fold at the notches. I cut two back waistbands. I didn't interface either.

4. I sewed both sets of front and back waistbands at the side seams to form two loops.

5. Then I sewed the two waistband loops together at the top edge.

6. I then cut a piece of 1 inch wide elastic to my waist length (well, a little bit shorter because I like it to be snug) and sewed it in a loop.

7. I divided the loop in half, marked the halfway points and lined up those halfway points with the center front and center back of the waistband, pinning the elastic at those points to the inner waistband, snugged up against the top seam I sewed in Step 5.

8. I sewed the elastic directly to the inner waistband using a zigzag stitch and stretching it slightly between my two pins so that it lay flat. I sewed a second row of zigzags on the elastic to make sure it was secure.

10. Then I pressed the waistband and sewed it to the pants, finished the seam and pressed it up. I probably could have enclosed that seam in the waistband as instructed, but I was lazy.

(Look away now if you have an aversion to mismatching serger thread or pocket bags!)

11. Ta da! Flat elastic waist Lazo trousers!! You can see the elastic sewn to the waistband on the inside, but the exterior waistband is smooth and nice when you put it on, with no visible stitching or gathers.

So, size wise, after my oversized tester fiasco, I decided to go down a size to a 16. But after sewing up one size 16 leg and trying it on, I realized there was insufficient room for my thunder thighs. Since I had already cut the whole pattern out at a 16, I opted to sew the inseam and side seams with a 3/8" seam allowance rather than the 5/8" called for, from the hip down. I sewed the waistband with the specified seam allowance, though. Next time I'll do a size 16 waistband with size 18 legs!

My fabric is a mystery; one of the perils of buying fabric when you can't read the label. Drapey, nice and matte on the outside, but weird and shiny on the inside (you can see the texture a bit in the innards photo above). A bit of stretch, but not a crazy amount. Not melty when ironed. Maybe a rayon/visose/poly blend of some sort with a hint of spandex? I'm not sure. I really struggle with choosing bottomweight fabrics.

A note on fabric: I don't think I would try this pattern hack with a non-stretch fabric, especially if your hips are significantly bigger than your waist. I imagine, without stretch, that getting the top/smallest part of the waistband over your hips could be tough.

I hope this was interesting and/or useful! I don't do many tutorials, so please forgive my crappy in-progress photos. I'm pretty pumped about my new Lazo trousers... I'm wearing them as I type this! 

BTW: The shirt I'm wearing with them in these photos is my Bento tee; I like how the slightly cropped tee pairs with the Lazo's pleats!