Sunday, August 12, 2018

Palazzo Pants

My friend, Sharon, has this pair of pants. They're not some fancy designer label, but she's carried them with her for years. Decades, even. She likes them, although they're navy blue instead of black, which makes them tricky for her to integrate into an outfit.

She thought it would be nice to recreate them before they crumble into dust, so she asked me if we could come up with a pattern to duplicate them.

Sharon's favorite pants

And we did!

Son of Sharon's favorite pants
Luckily for me, precise fit is not an issue with a pair of palazzo pants. I had her try on a pair of Loes Hines Oxford Pants that I'd made years ago, just to see if the crotch curve was in the right ballpark. It was, so I traced the inseam and crotch curve from that pattern. I added about 4 inches width in the legs and about 5 inches height in the rise and we were pretty much there.

Sharon's original pants have two box pleats in the front. They do a good job of controlling the fullness over the stomach so the fit is a bit sleeker than elastic waist pants can tend to be.

Close up of box pleats. Almost impossible to see with this crazy print.
We used a rayon print from Hart's. You want something pretty drapey if you're playing around with this much volume. We took our time going through the fabric options. Sharon wanted a print with some black in it. She wears a lot of black tops; hence the issues she had working with her navy pants.

We fondled a lot of nice prints, but the flowery ones veered too far into either "jammie" or "beach resort" territory. We decided this print looked a little more "night club."

Sharon also wanted pockets, so we added some in the side seams.

Hand in pocket
Here they are on me. High waisted pants look a lot better on someone with a waist. Can you see those box pleats doing their thing?

Here's a back view, so you can see how I parked most of the gathering at the rear.

And a side view so you can have the whole 360 degree experience.

The pants are pretty fun to wear. Those legs are 29 inches around, so you have all the swish factor of a maxi skirt.

Here's a parting shot of the pants on Sharon, taken while we were pinning the hems. Gorgeous, isn't she?

Sharon, stylin'
It was a blast putting these together with Sharon. It was interesting to play around with drafting the pattern, if you can call my combo of tracing and fiddling around "drafting."I also enjoyed thinking through the construction process.

I might just make myself a pair of these bad boys! They'd be fun to swan around in on our upcoming weekend in the wine country.

I wrote up a little something for here.