Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend of Palazzo Pants

Hello Hon,

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of the nice fall air.  I'm excited about today's post, I have wanted to try this for some time.  I hope you've got some fabric ready and that you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed doing it.

During the summer I had a one week break from school.  The family decided to take an overnight road trip to spend a little quality time together.  I didn't have anything I wanted to wear since I had packed on a few 'stressed from math class' pounds during the last semester.  So I ran into the sewing room that Thursday night, because we were leaving Friday morning.  I was determined to whip up a quick pattern and make myself some of my favorite style of pants, PALAZZO!  4:30 a.m. Friday I had three pair of palazzo pants in knit fabrics.  I bought these fabrics months ago just for such a task.  I love the heavy weighted patterned knits for palazzo pants.

The pattern was simple.  I took a pair pants from a sweat suit I loved.  The pants had a good fit, not too tight but not too baggy either.

Creating the pattern:

  1.  First I taped some pattern paper to my cutting table.  NOTE:  I use wax paper, it’s cheaper that actual pattern drafting paper.  So is banner paper, brown paper used to wrap package for the mail, medical paper (that stuff they use on the medical examine table you climb on in the doctor's office), news papers taped together, even the backside of wrapping paper.
  2. Next I folded the pants in half and then I laid that side out flat (make sure it's nice and flat).  I traced to top, then the seat and down the inseam.  When I got to the mid-thigh area I start to draw my line straight down to the hem (in other words I did not follow the shape of favorite pants, I just made it more of a boxy look with the pattern I drew on the paper).  Then I traced the hem (do not worry about tracing the outside seam, it's not necessary)NOTE:  The fold is with the front of the pants folded to the inside creating a curved point at the seat of the pants.
  3. Added two inches to the top to make you waist band.     
  4. Then I carefully flip my favorite pants over to the other side.  Again making sure everyting is nice and flat.  NOTE:  you can draw that outside seam if you need a line to help you keep you pants lined up, I just eyeballed it. 
  5. Now trace around this side the same as you did in step 2, remembering to make a straight line down at mid-thigh like you did for the previous side.  
  6. Removed your favorite pants and returned them to the hanger in your closet. 
  7. Next I labeled one side front and the other side back. 
  8. On the side that I labeled backside, I measured in about an inch.  Cut that 1 inch off.  NOTE:  You can measure with a ruler from the top line of pants down to the point of that curve in the seat of the pants.  I eyeballed it.  
  9. That's it!  You now have yourself a quick and easy pattern, the rest of just finding cool ways of manipulating your pants to the shape(s) you desire.  
Now that you have a fabulous new quick pattern you can place that on your fabric.  NOTE:  I would make sure the fabric is folded so you only have to do the physical action of cutting it once.   However you like to cut your pattern pieces out just ensure that you have two pieces.  

Sewing the pattern: 

  1. Match the two backsides at the pointed part of the seat and pin up to top.  Now sew from the top down to the point of the seat.  Use a zig-zag stitch or if you machine has it the stretch stitch.  Don't forget to back-stitch at the start and end of the seam.  Then match the two front sides from the point of the seat and pin up to the top.  Now sew again as you just did for the back seat seam.  
  2. At this point you simply placed the inseams together and pin, making sure to match the seams at the seat together.  Then sew together from the bottom of one leg all to way around to the bottom of the other leg.  Again, using a zig-zag stitch or if you machine has it the stretch stitch and don't forget to back-stitch at the start and end of seam.  
The Waistband:  

  1. Measure around you waist.  NOTE:  Write that measurement down for quick reference (I'm forgetful, I have to write it down).
  2. Cut out a piece of elastic using your waist measurement (some people added 2 more inches. I have since stopped doing that, but please feel free to do so.  I found I really don't need the added inches when I sew the ends together.  If your's is too tight, then you will need to add that extra 2 inches to the elastic.)  The width of your elastic is your choice.  Because of my tummy size I like to use at least 1 to 2 inch wide elastics.  
  3. Overlap the ends of your elastic and sew them together using a zig-zag stitch or if you machine has it the stretch stitch.  Take this time to try on your waistband to make sure it's not too tight.  Again, if it is too tight add those two inches to the next piece and try again.  It should be a perfect fit after that.  NOTE:  Make sure to reinforce the stitches and the back-stitch at the beginning and end.
  4. Once your elastic is sewn together place the top of your pants through the center of the elastic.  
  5. Now fold your fabric over the elastic to make a casing.  I generally like to make my casings about 1/2 an inch bigger that my elastic, but this is up to you how big you want to make yours.  Then sew the casing closed using a zig-zag stitch or if you machine has it the stretch stitch, being careful not to hit your elastic.  That way it can move freely and you can adjust your pants as needed.  
Wala!  Flip you new pants right side out.  You've got yourself a stylish pair of pants.  Now you can play with the size of the bell in your leg shape.  You can make it bigger, you can taper some of it, or even make it more straight.  You can even make the leg wider.  It's completely up to you.  

These Palazzo pants were great!  I tried something a little different on each pair so I could see what I liked better.  The first pair was exactly as my pattern was (the black pair) and I did nothing to the hem.  Wonderful thing about knit is that it does NOT fray!  The second pair I serged the bottom of the legs (nope, I refused to try to hem knit at that time of morning) because they were white on the inside and it looked like the bottom was going to roll up a bit.  I felt if the bottom hem did roll up the underside would be very noticeable since the design on the fabric was purple, wine, gold and black (no white).  The third pair I made more of a box cut, unlike the other two which were cut with a slight curve on outside leg and a little deeper curve on inside leg (the green pair).  I did not serged the hem and they did roll just a tad bit.  However, it's okay because they are the same on both sides and because to the southwestern pattern design of the fabric, the slight roll of the hem adds to the look quite nicely.

I must say I love the way each pair of pants turned out!  They were a joy to wear over the weekend and felt super comfortable.  I had wanted to make these pants for a long time now.  I had bought several commercial patterns and still had not used them.  I really wanted the experience of making a pattern myself.  Nothing fancy just simply run to comfy causal to sporty style pants to dress up or dress down.  Sooooo, now that I have successful done that, I can go ahead and try some of my commercial patterns.  It's the same concept of how I felt about quilts.  I started hand quilting so I could say and know that I could do it that way, if I wanted to or had to.  Then I moved on to machine quilting and piecing.  I should also mention that I created yoga pants waistband for my Palazzo pants, because of my tummy size I just prefer that type of waistband.  I will do a write up tutorial with pictures for the waist band soon, I absolutely love it!

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween.  I love any reason to dress up and pretend.  Unfortunately this year I did not have the time to make our costumes as we had planned.  So we'll be heading to Party City and picking up whatever we can find and then I will agree to wear.  We always do couple costumes but this yea our youngest son wanted to join us so it was going to be a family costume event.  But we will see what we come up with, I'll definitely post pictures.  If you share you costumes on your blog, Facebook or Instagram please let me know so I can check them out!

I hope you found this quick and picture-less tutorial to be helpful, simple and inspiring.  I now present to you photos of my 'Weekend of Palazzo Pants' created for a weekend trip to Atlanta with the family.  However, I have gotten so much more out them!

The third pair was a solid black pair, unfortunately at the time of putting this up to the blog we were unable to find any pictures of me in those pants.  See, I have had one camera to break and it's replacements was lost and now my currently camera is uh, temporarily missing not in it's proper place at the time of upload, sigh.  The lost camera also included the original photos.  Luckily I had my husband used his camera on the gold and purple pants.  The pictures from the green pants are from 2 later events.  Not only does the lost camera and it's micro card have all the original pictures, it also included all the step by step pictures for a clear tutorial.  My honey loves to peek in the sewing room and take progression pictures of whatever project I am working on, that's how we have the picture above at least showing the pattern.  I've you would like to see a more detail tutorial on how to make you own Palazzo Pant patterns just shoot me an email or contact with at any of my social media: Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.  (the links are also at the top of the side bar to the right)

Thank you so much for stopping by, see ya soon!  I'll see you Friday for Color Play Friday, the picture this week is from Lorinda and it's Christmas-y,  YEAH!  I lovvvvvveeee this time of year.  So be sure to check in to see out cool color palette and dreamy fabric choices.

Love and Shimmies,

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