Sunday 1 September 2013

Prototype Pants : Pattern Mash

I've been planning a pair of pants to go with the "too scary" tiger jumper. I don't have a pattern for the jumper, or ribbing for the cuffs (thanks everyone for your tips), nor did I have a pattern for the pants. But none of those technicalities can keep this good idea down.
The trousers that I want to make are a copy of a pair of pants that I picked up on sale for P back when I was buying clothes for the kids. The front has articulated knees and a faux fly and the back has a full leg with a yoke at the waist area. There are some wonderful stitched details on the pockets and some little fancy designer tags that I'm going to pilfer for my knock-off copy-pants. They fit wonderfully well for a long time but he is finally outgrowing them.
Without a pattern that had all the required elements I decided to mash a couple of patterns and see what came of it.
I had the front of the pants covered with my Field Trip pattern and then the back looked like it wanted to be a pair of After School pants.
Can you make the front of one pair of trousers and stick them on the back of another? I had no idea, but I was prepared to have a go. Or, in more fancy sewing talk, to make a wearable muslin (ooooh,... I find it quietly hilarious when I start sounding like I know what I'm doing)
I figured as long as the front and back pieces ended up the same length along the side seams it would work. And it kinda did. There's probably a bit more 'room' at the rear than there needs to be and there may have been a little bit of tugging to get some bits to line up and be sewn but in all they look like one pair of pants.
The fabric that I used is a light weight drill with a self stripe that may have a bit more bias stretch than the fabric intended for my ultimate pants. I may make some minor adjustments to my pattern pieces or I'll just cut it with my fingers crossed for luck.

The pants were a pretty quick sew as I left off the cargo pockets and did minimal top stitching in keeping with them being a practice run. Then I spent ages in making myself a little Pattern Mash button!
The other element of my designer daks that I wanted to copy was a thin section in the inner leg. The After School pants has an outer leg stripe which had to be taken out of the pattern piece that I had for the back pants. I held my fingers against the pattern pieces and guessed that the back pattern piece would need to be a few fingers wider to make up for the lack of the side leg section. I think I effectively cut the size 5 pants piece but took the side seam out to the size 8 line.

then I sliced the front pants pattern piece to give myself this inner leg section:

In order to do this I had to fold the articulated knee pattern piece in the middle to make it the same width as the adjusted upper and lower leg pieces. By folding it I was able to preserve the knee darts of the original pattern piece.

To make that mash more palatable here's the summary:
1. Field Trip front pants - narrowed by a inner leg strip
2. After School rear view - widened to side seam
3. Field Trip rear pockets rather than the smaller After School ones

So there's my Pattern Mash pants. I'll tweak them a bit for the final version I think...
Here is the button that I made with some HTML code for anyone else to have it too.


I'm not kidding myself that anyone else will want to grab my button I just wanted to learn how to write the code to do it! Thanks to Teacher Blogging Basics for the clear instructions.
And here's P hanging out in his new pants.

 Today's photo shoot was brought to you by Puffin and Big Bird.


  1. I love these pants! I always chuckle at the term "wearable muslin". I much prefer prototype lol

  2. Great pants. And, if I was the blogging type - I don't sew anything interesting to make it worthwhile- I would so use that badge. I much prefer this term to the much over-used "frackenpattern", and the patch is cool

    1. Isn't blogging all about an over-inflated sense of your own interesting-ness?! I never thought my stuff was interesting and here you are saying nice things about it. :) thanks.

  3. That was a hardcore pattern mashup worthy of making a button for!

    1. Thanks. I live with a man who speaks fluent HTML but I find the blog techy stuff every bit as challenging as the sewing!

  4. wow, these pants are awesome and look so professional (and difficult!). very nice.

    1. Thanks. You know I'm yet to have a real failure in experimenting with this kind of pattern mixing (minor recuts excepted!). I doubt I have any natural talent I think fabric is just very forgiving stuff!

  5. Great job on the 'sewing mash'! The pants look great!

  6. I am just so impressed by this pattern mash-up. Now I want to try this for Joe! Fantastic look, overall.


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