With great joy the Fit for Art patterns universe celebrated the marriage of Carrie’s daughter, Meg, in August of this year. It was a grand celebration and our Eureka! Pants that Fit pattern was center stage in the bride’s ensemble. Time now to take a look at the process of dressing the bride.
I was lucky enough to be charged with making the bridal ensemble with design help from Carrie and Meg. We started with the concept of a jumpsuit, fashionable and a favorite of the bride, but got stuck on how to incorporate bridal details like a button and loop closure in the back with the basic human need of going to the bathroom on occasion during the day long celebration.
Imagine a Design Direction
So we endeavored to create a two piece outfit that would look like a jumpsuit, but function as a pair of pants and an embellished top. The pants would be full and drapey so they would resemble a formal skirt and of course the pants design had to have pockets. About this time last year we began to fit Meg in the Eureka! Pants pattern, have her wear the basic pants a while and then create for her a Glamour Details version that had a contoured waistband and wider legs; both features are included in that variation pattern. If you’ve worked on pants with us, you’ll know we made her wear the test glamour pants, too, before beginning the design work on the bridal britches. Pants are a process and the more info you can gather as you wear each completed pair, the better the next pair will be!
Collect the Materials Needed
In the mean time, we assembled our materials. The lockdown made this a bit complicated, so we looked for materials close at hand and decided to take the lace off Carrie’s wedding gown to use on Meg’s outfit. I had made Carrie’s dress for her over 30 years ago, but the lace still looked like new and it seemed the perfect transition between the modern shape of the outfit and the traditional bridal looks Meg had liked when she shopped a bit for dresses in selected bridal shops. Large samples of 3 and 4 ply silk crepe and silk chiffon were ordered in several shades of off white so we could make a choice that delighted the bride and matched the lace. Once we chose our favorite, several yards were ordered of the 4 ply silk crepe and the silk chiffon which would be the underlining. China silk lining was also ordered to keep the bride cool if the August North Carolina weather was hot and humid.
Modify the Pattern to Accomodate the Design Decision
The glamour pants, perfect for wearing to work or out for a night of fun, needed to be even wider to look very full and drapey. The location of the pockets was also part of the design decisions. Adding pleats in the front seemed like the place to start, hiding the pockets in a seam that was folded into the pleat. So this pattern work was done, dividing the front of the pants along the inside fold of a 1 1/2″ wide pleat. The back of the first mock up was unchanged. During the first fitting with this configuration sewn into some old ivory lining, the pleats were not in the perfect location and it was decided that a second pleat would be added closer to the center front seam so the pants really did look like a skirt in front. Additional volume was also added in the sides for a softer drape.
In configuring the pattern work, I decided that the best way to manage this very soft, drapey fabric would be to eliminate the side seam, creating a side panel that would resolve into one of the back darts. This way, all the pieces were pretty manageable for underlining and construction while still adding 10 extra inches to the width of each leg.
Rearranging the mock up to reflect the pattern changes affirmed that this was a grand design for full pants that also needed to have inseam front pockets.
The Hollywood waistband pattern found in the Glamour Pants variations gave the pants a smooth high waistline so nothing ever showed between the pants and the separate top.
Cut and Construct the pants
Once the bride approved the mock up, the fabric and underlining were cut on the meticulously cleaned cutting table. (Read about cutting and sewing white garments in the blog post, Sewing for a wedding.) Each of the three leg sections for both legs were underlined by hand on the cutting table before the pants were constructed.
After additional fittings to get the angles and placements of the pleats just right where the pants joined the waistline, they were lined with China silk.
On to the bodice for a complete picture
Of course the pants needed a tightly fitted top to finish the ensemble. It was made with the same silk crepe but underlined with a sturdy cotton backed with lofty interfacing and lined in two layers of cotton which held the boned underpinnings. The lace from Carrie’s dress was updated with tiny blue chiffon flower buds that matched Meg’s sparkly blue and crystal earrings. The top closed with covered buttons and loops. Luckily, the pants closed up the back with an invisible zipper so she could dance the night away.
The luxuriously liquid pants seemed perfect, beautifully drapey but light enough to catch the breezes as she stood outside during the beautiful ceremony.
Have you tried this?
Have you tried making the wide legged Glamour Variations for Eureka! Pants that Fit? They will add an interesting new silhouette to your wardrobe and you can add even more volume with these pleated additions, from waist to hem, and the side panel detailing shown above. Make sure you add enough length to form a deep hem, assuring a graceful hang.