Thursday, December 16, 2010

Simplicity 2700 - Close, but no cigar

Now that I'm sewing again, I'm determined to only make things I want to wear. It sound obvious, right? Sadly, for me, it isn't always that simple. I tend to enjoy the process of sewing a whole lot more than wearing the finished product. I will never be one of those people who makes their entire wardrobe, I know that much.

But I do enjoy sewing and I love fabric, so I'd really like to occasionally be able to make something that adds to my wardrobe and certainly doesn't scream I MADE THIS AT HOME.

Here's where my latest project comes in. For work in the winter, I typically wear dress pants and a blouse or sweater. I used to exclusively wear Banana Republic pants and suits because they fit me the best, but their fit and sizing had changed in the last few years so now it looks like I'm wearing mostly J Crew dress pants, suits, and blouses.

I have had this beautiful piece of black pinstripe wool/lycra in my stash for the last two years, so I pulled it out this week, determined to make an exact duplicate of the RTW pants I love so much. I even traced the front and back of my J Crew pants and made a muslin of those, contemplating the idea of drafting my own pants pattern. Then I scratched that idea and poured over every single pants pattern I could find. I spent countless hours on Pattern Review.

And then I chose Simplicity 2700.

That was my mistake.

Here are my thoughts on this pattern. In no particular order because I'm tired and frustrated and considering taking a class in trouser construction/pattern drafting.

The RTW pants I love have side seam pockets, and S2700 have diagonal slash pockets. This is a HUGE difference. The look is just not the same. I cannot get the hips to lay flat to save my life, and I'm convinced it's because of the pockets.

I insist on welt pockets on the back of all my dress pants. Not because I want to stash a bunch of things, but because my fanny looks bad unless it has some extra construction framing it. That sounds strange, but it's true. My butt needs more covering than a single layer of fabric.

The waistband on my RTW pants looks to be constructed separately and then applied to the pants. In S2700, they instruct you to sew the waistband pieces to the leg sections and then stitch the pants together. In my opinion, this creates a look of a yoked pant instead of dress pants with a waistband. Come to think of it, I have some J Crew yoke-style pants with diagonal slash pockets and no back welt pockets, and they aren't my favorite. They tend to "grow" as I wear them, falling down on my hips. I digress. I also found the waistband to be way too wide and the rise to be about an inch too high for my taste. That was an easy fix, though.

If you're new to sewing, DO NOT BUY THIS PATTERN. The instructions for almost every step were ridiculous. The zipper?! Holy cow, they must not have wanted anyone to ever attempt a zipper fly insertion ever again. I didn't even follow the rest of the instructions because I was so peeved with the zipper portion.

The finished product is okay. I'll wear them, I'm sure of that. I just don't love them and I really wanted to love them.

I cut the Slim version, after comparing Slim and Average and realizing there is very little difference. I often find patterns for clothing to create a much more voluminous end product than what you find in RTW.

Final judgment? Close, but no cigar. Next time I think I'll actually try to use my self-drafted trouser pattern to re-create the J Crew pants I love.


  1. Hi Heather, thanks for your comments. I'm actually wearing a stretch denim pair I made from this pattern right now. I agree with your comments, although I like the pockets these pants (but I'll probably straighten the curve along the edge) I also found the thigh area way wider on the pants than I'd like and took them in considerably to have a silhouette more like yours.

    I did like your idea about narrowing the waistband and the rise. (I think I already lowered the rise) Thanks for your details, I enjoyed reading your review!

  2. Is there nothing you can sew? For what it's worth, they look awesome to me. And so does your waist!

  3. Well, they look fabulous on you anyway... and none of my RTW pants fit that well!