Brown Slacks

Cotton Pants

Brown slacks and a blue shirt

February 2005

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After making a couple of shirts (I also made the shirt in the above picture), I decided to use the pants half of the pattern to make a pair of pants. Sometimes it's difficult for me to find pants that meet all the requirements I'm desiring at the time, so being able to make pants could come in hany. I decided to make view C, the flat-front (I hate pleats) long pants. I found some soft, brown, cotton gabardine at the farbic store, and started in.

I'm unlikely to use this pants pattern ever again.

First off, the pattern is set up for three sizes only. Extra small, small, and medium. I have never seen this style of pants sold anywhere in "sizes" like that. Men's pants are usually sold by waist and inseam measurement. If you can't buy pants that way, why would you want to custom make pants that way?

This sizing also leads to the most annoying idiocy, telling you to buy a 12 inch pants zipper. This size of zipper is difficult to buy, since very few people actually need that size. In fact, the pattern does not need that size, and has you cutting the zipper down to size later. They could just tell you what size to buy based on what size you are making, but it's simpler to just say, "Buy a ludicrously large zipper to help support the zipper industry and your local fabric store's retail numbers," or even, "Buy two 9 inch zippers and throw one away," but instead they just send you around to stores looking for that perfect zipper you're just going to mangle.

Second, the design is bad. There are some parts that are very nicely designed to finish the seams and cover all raw edges, but then right next to them are exposed, unfinished ragged edges. What?

Lastly, the instructions are horrible, incomplete, and wrong. They spend a full column telling you how to make the back pocket, then sketch over complex seam work with a compound sentence and single diagram. They have you using basting to hold layers together for final assembly, but never tell you when to pull out the basting. There are a couple of spots they never tell you to sew, as far as I can tell. They have you putting a buttonhole on the back pocket after the pants are finished, despite the fact that you could do it much earlier and avoid having to cram the base of your sewing machine into the back pocket of your pants.

I finally finished the pants, but I had such hard time with them that I really thought about giving up. They don't fit very well, and I'm not happy about how some parts came out. I will probably wear them, but maybe not very often. Faults:

Grading them, I'd give them a C. Bleah.

I want to hunt down the president of Butterick and make him an uncomfortable bodysuit made of his/her own skin. Ha ha, just joking, I would never want to do anything bad to Mr. Bob Herman, President of The McCall Pattern Company (which owns Butterick). I'm not even sure how to get to 11 Penn Plaza in Manhattan, and haven't even called 212-465-6800 to leave a nasty message.

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