Sewing pants or the infamous Landers

Lander pants oh Lander pants why did it take so long to try you out? I don’t know what my initial hesitation was. It was probably the button fly, I was nervous about putting in those exposed buttons, but really it seems now they were easier than a zipper. The Lander pants are a sewing pattern by True Bias and had a moment of fame in the sewing corner of Instagram with the hashtag #landerpantsdance. People were so excited by them they danced in their finished pants with glee. 

Lauren wearing green denim Lander Pants with a black Blondie tank top standing on a entry landing with hands on hips.
The fresh off the sewing machine length.

I ALWAYS have to do some alterations to sewing patterns. Would this pattern be any different? Doubtful. So I thought. These are wide leg trousers with large pockets on front and back so they do take up quite a bit of yardage. I found the perfect colors for shorts and pants versions, I made the shorts at a sewing retreat. It wasn’t love at first sight.

I get worried about trying to sew patterns that a large group of people have success with, my body while the statistical average, isn’t the body most patterns are designed for.

You see I have what they call in the medical biz a “shelf”, growing up it was called “spare tire”, “tummy pouche” or my favorite now that I’m a mom “mom belly”. I can’t remember a time not having it. So when I wear high waisted flat front pants the front fly area is more curvy. Not really a complaint just a statement of fact. So if I want these pants to have a flat’ish plane to rest on I have to add power mesh in the construction phase (I didn’t) or wear foundation underwear. 

Group photo of Craftcation Ambassadors smiling faces with palm trees in the back ground.
Wearing my pants at Craftcation 19 as a Craftcation Ambassador

So back to the lander pants they are a surprisingly fast sew, there are not as many pieces as a traditional jean but it has many similar styling features. My only trip ups were the grain line of the back pockets, then when I ran out of fabric and had to piece together my waistband, but you won’t make those mistakes. After adding all the pockets to the back and front you are instructed to baste the side seams, this is where it gets a bit magical. They actually almost fit! I didn’t have to add to the generous seam allowance to make them my size. After making the shorts and grading out two sizes, I had rolled the dice and cut out the largest option even though it measured two sizes too small. I had to take out the half inch seam and instead did a little over a quarter, but they fit! I also had to adjust the back darts in a bit more to remove my usual back gap, gotta love a big round booty.

Mirror selfie of green button fly pants and hot pink velvet tank top with one hand in pocket and one holding up a cell phone.
Change in length to high waters, with my hand dyed silk rayon Springfield top

I am going to do better next time and make note of the knee and thigh length to make sure I have that shortened for my 5’4” frame, and I think I am going to try adding some height to the front waist band to see if I can’t get a high waisted look like I want. These and other pants are a bit tricky because there is such a change in size from my natural waist to hip measurement and there is no where to hide that transition like there is with gathered waistbands, belting or stretch fabrics. There are some styles that just work right from the word go and some that need more alteration and tweaking. Amazingly these pants work for many and they are in heavy rotation, still a ways to go for larger sizes in patterns but it was thrilling to have a pair of pants made up so quickly.

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Sewing for kids: The Marieke Playsuit

I recently acquired a new indie sewing pattern from France, the Marieke Jumpsuit from ikatee.com. At ikatee there are lovely makes for kids and women. I rarely sew for my kids anymore. They are such opinionated little style makers that it’s hard to give them what they want when they want it. Sometimes they just want something in a fabric I’m not a fan of and that makes it harder for me to say yes. I know that might make me a fabric snob, but I know that a printed quilting cotton in just an “ok” substrate isn’t going to be as comfortable as a double gauze. They don’t know what substrate means or proper hand, so bit by bit I try to teach them, and bite my tongue when the dig their stylish heels in.

Image of young child in a floral jumpsuit with lime green pocket and shoulder ruffles in front of a blue green cabinet.

This jumpsuit was my idea, not something the little one picked out. I saw how cute all the variations were and just thought it would be a great summer make for all our outings. I printed out a size seven and pulled out fabrics from my stash that could make a wearable muslin, knowing she requested another fabric. I made a few adjustments, a tiny bit more room in the belly and bum but that was it. I think it’s quite stylish as a first run. It would be so lovely in a double gauze or with some color blocking in the bodice top and bottoms.

Image of a young child looking over her shoulder with a floral jumpsuit with a lime green waist band and shoulder ruffle standing in font of a blue green cabinet doors.

The instructions were very well written and it works up pretty fast. The waistband in the contrast chartreuse is actually a tube the elastic is fed through and could even be a drawstring if you add button holes. I love how easy it is to assemble and not fiddly like folding over and stitching in the ditch. Sleeveless with a ruffle was cute and it would be just as cute without. I just realized I could make a version with my pink pearl snaps that didn’t work for my Harrison button down a year or two ago. YAY!

Up next is to make it in a black and pink plaid with cute skulls, she is so my kid.

Close up image of a front button placket with bubble machine embroidery stitches and lime green waistband
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