I'd been stalking the Antoinette Pant page on the Style Arc website since it was released:
They're a slim yet still relaxed fitting pant, with front angled pockets, inverted pleats hidden under an angled knife pleat or fold, and fastening with an invisible zip at the back. I do love the idea of silk pants in warmer weather; they just seem so breezy and effortless. What sold me on this pattern was the way the pleating and folding at the front added drape without seeming to add volume (well, I was hoping anyhow...) and the darts rather than elastic at the back. It looked a really elegant yet relaxed design.
I found a beautiful silk at The Fabric Store in Melbourne in their big sale back in July or August. It's an Anna & Boy crepe de chine called Coconut Ice. In fact, halfway through making these I had a look at the A&B website, and saw they had a very similar style of pants made of this fabric retailing for just over $350. I love being able to sew...
And here they are, with not much hanger appeal, I admit! The close up shows the pattern, though the colour is truer to life in the outdoor shots.
There weren't many adjustments needed in the muslin stage. I made the back darts a bit deeper, and altered the waist facing accordingly. After years of skinny jeans it's a bit counter intuitive to have any volume around the hips and thighs, so that took some getting used to! I did take the side seams in about 1cm from the waist down to the knee; that took a bit of volume out and still allowed for sitting down comfortable without the fabric straining.
Construction-wise, these went together really easily, and the silk was surprisingly cooperative to work with. I've been concentrating on knits so much lately, that I'd forgotten how satisfying wovens are.:) And these are the most comfortable non-knit garment I've ever made - I really love them. The day I took these shots was about 30 degrees, and I was perfectly and happily cool all day - anyone who's lived through an Australian summer will know what a boon that is!
I didn't realise my hands were in my pockets in every shot...
Aaaand.... a slightly awkward mid-way though turning back shot.
Something that wasn't in the instructions that I added in was to sew some narrow silk ribbon in the seam allowance next to the seam of the pocket. I was a little concerned that being cut on an angle they might stretch out of shape over time.
I also picked up some cream coloured silk from the same sale. Something I felt the absence of last summer was a plain tuck-in-able woven singlet or cami, I sewed this one up using Style Arc's Annie Cami., remembering to lower the bust darts (by 6cm!). This silk did not play so nicely.
In fact, it sulked from beginning to end of the whole miserable process. Yes, it's beautiful to touch and wear, yes it goes with almost everything I own, but oh! I've never worked with such a diva fabric before. It just wouldn't stay put. If I ever have to sew air, I'll be well prepared.
I discovered the hard way last time I made this that french seams don't work when the seams have to open at the lower edges. But although I didn't really like idea of overlocked seams on this, the fabric frayed quite badly (because of course it did). In the end I did overlock the edges and then folded them back and basted them in place. Then I sewed them down like this, at the side and back seams. It's not immaculate, but it's passable.
The one thing I'm really kicking myself over is that I forgot to stay stitch the neckline at the beginning. And yes, the fabric did stretch (because of course it did). So annoyingly, given this is something I planned to wear a lot, the neck binding doesn't sit completely flat at the centre front. Live and learn, I guess. Maybe I'll just have to wear a long pendant to help it sit in place, or at least disguise it a bit.