Monday, June 22, 2009

Where do UFOs come from?

Last year at the Patternreview Baltimore meetup, Cidell sent me home with a whole stack of Patrones magazines. I'd asked to borrow one, so this was like Christmas come early. I traced off a bunch of patterns and sent the magazines back.

Some patterns I didn't bother to trace - I know how BWOF pants fit me, and it looked like Patrones ran narrower. I had no desire to re-invent the wheel, especially when I couldn't read the directions. I did, however, photocopy quite a few pages with patterns I liked, and this pair of Sportmax pants was one of the designs that made it to the keeper pile.

I liked the slouchiness of them, I liked the menswear stylingl, I liked that they were seersucker (and I don't particularly like seersucker), I even liked the cuffs (I'm short and generally don't - ever - wear cuffed pants). And I had some seersucker in the stash, provided by Gorgeous Fabrics. I bought it because it was the least seersuckery seersucker I'd ever seen. If that makes sense.

I started with the KwikSew shorts pattern that I'd just successfully completed. I liked their fly front and construction techniques, and I figured I could rework the pockets to match the Patrones illustration, add belt loops, and play with the length and width of the legs. I drafted the pattern pieces I needed, cut into my seersucker . . . and put it aside.

Until this week.

Why? They weren't going wrong. They hadn't even gotten anywhere when I put them down. It wasn't that the weather was getting cooler; I could have gotten plenty of wear out of of them before the end of summer. So what did it?

I have no idea, but after having won Patternreview's UFO contest in 2007, I tend to be sensitive about UFOs left in my workroom. If something's not going well, I let myself put it down to marinate for a while, but when I come back to it, if I'm still not feeling it or I don't like where it's going, generally I can release it to that great scrap pile in the sky with not too much regret. This pair of pants got under the radar and I forgot about them.

When I came across them last week, still draped over the back of a chair with the pattern pieces pinned to the fabric, I decided to give them one last chance before I chucked them out. Everything went together like I'd planned last year. I like the decorative band on the pockets and the wide belt loops. The fly front went smoothly, and even the waistband gave me little trouble.

These pants aren't necessarily something I'd make again - I was right, I am too stinking short for cuffed pants - but as a little something different for the summer, they're just fine.

Most important, they're no longer a UFO, lurking unfinished in the workroom, waiting to jump out at me when I'm least able to deal with them.

(Photo of me wearing the pants still to come - the timer on my camera is acting wonky and the photographer isn't available).


Rose said...

If you ever figure out where UFOs come from, please post about it! You've inspired me to go through my embarrassing UFO pile and pitch 'em or get them on the sewing list. Your pants look great - love those pockets.

Anonymous said...

Love them! So glad you finished them. Can't wait to see them on you.

Little Hunting Creek said...

I have projects like that too. It feels so good to get them finished. The pants look nice!

cidell said...

Karen. You are KILLING me. I was wearing my pants from that same fabric yesterday quietly cursing because I couldn't find anything like this in NYC last week. AND, those are the pants that I've been dying to make. But, don't have the seersucker I want. Please hurry up and show a photo of them on you. Pretty please :)

Pam Erny said...

Aliens. I'm convinced that's where UFOs come from.

They beam in through the window of my studio at night and hide my "works-in-progress"

...just the other day I found a half-finished size 2 romper for my niece. She is now 10 years old.


Nancy K said...

You could always hem them without the cuff. They are really nice pants with great pockets.
UFOs I had no idea I had so many until my ds called me on them on my blog. I started counting, and there are a bunch more than I thought. I cut too many things to sew in the season, so I went on to the next season and have never come back to them. Are they still in style? If not I should chuck them.

Marie-Christine said...

Just because the pants have cuffs doesn't mean the pattern police is going to show up on your doorstep demanding to know why you didn't do them. I have really short legs, and when I want to do a pattern with cuffs, I.. save some fabric :-). That said, I'd kill for some of that fabric too..

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Oh man, I LOVE that seersucker. It is very non-trad. The topstitching and the pants look so cute!

Tany said...

Love the pants, I'm sure they look great on!