When Anna started posting photos of a new, high-waisted non-stretch denim pants pattern, I about freaked. I immediately messaged her (okay maybe it was after she’d posted a couple times) and asked if she could please hurry up and get it to the masses because I NEEDED THOSE PANTS IN MY LIFE!! You probably know about the famous “Persephone Pants” she released last year that quickly became a cult favorite (is there such a thing in the sewing world? Because I think those pants fit the bill)…….
But today I introduce you to Persephone’s sister, Philippa. Persephone had a wide leg and no side-seams. Her sister Philippa has a similar-looking waistline and butt (with added patch pockets which are super flattering), but with side seams and a skinny leg. They are my dream pants.
Pictured with my new top which I will be posting about soon! It is a mixture of two patterns… stay tuned.
If you are used to sewing with stretch denim, there are some things you should know about fitting with non-stretch.
First, you know how we are always trying to achieve that not-too-tight but comfortable waist? Well, if you want your non-stretch pants to still look wrinkle free/not baggy after hours of wear, you want to sew them pretty tight through the waist. Non-stretch denim tends to relax through the day so you have to start out slightly tighter than you normally would.
Second, and this is something Anna had to tell me during testing— you actually need the knees to be a little baggy. Why? Because you have to be able to BEND!!!!! I remember sewing one pair of Chi-town Chino pants and repeatedly trying to take the legs in so they would be skinnier. I found out what happened when I finally got it to look wrinkle-free. I got really uncomfortable pants that wouldn’t let me bend. Those quickly became shorts.
When you’re used to sewing stretch, you think there should be no wrinkles, but forget all that.
Third. I want you to compare the photos I’ve posted. The ones taken with a blue background were before I’d washed them (even though I had pre-washed the fabric). I was actually a little scared to wash them since I thought they were already tight enough. But… if you have pre-washed your fabric only once, then they will likely still shrink a bit after you’ve sewn them up. I appreciate this fact when making pants. I don’t like pants that get all stretched out and baggy.
My measurements are: Waist: 28 Hip: 35.5
Because of my usual discrepancy in waist and hip sizes, I graded from a size 4 at the waist, to a 2 at the hip (I graded down in about 4 inches). I used the size 4 for all fly pieces and the waistband. I also used the new zip-fly option she included. I feel like that zip REALLY sucks the tummy in which is always a good thing with high-waisted pants!
As always, you should muslin these pants before sewing them. I especially feel a muslin is necessary when sewing non-stretch. I used cheap quilting cotton fabric and it looked a little baggier in my muslin, but I could tell it was because the fabric was thinner so it didn’t hold its structure as well. That is something to think about as well. Trying it out with cheap denim or twill can be a better way to muslin if you REALLY want to see how they will fit.
I hope you all will head over to Anna Allen’s shop and get this pattern because it is just SO SO SO SO (I could type 10 more of those but you get the idea) GOOD!!!!! (And I punched those keys really hard as I wrote that word, as if you all could feel the enthusiasm in my typing!! haha!!)
Im just buzzzzzing with joy over here.
7 thoughts on “The Long-Awaited Philippa Pants!!”
Great post Katie and this is so timely. I am working on my first pair of pants and I am using a non stretch fabric. I am generally nervous about making non stretch garments fit close to my body out of fear of feeling constricted but your point about creating it a bit tight to start out makes sense. I love me a high waisted pant so I need to check these out.
yes its scary because you worry they won’t fit well, but trust! that non-stretch can just stretch out and get baggy and not look good. Especially with the high-waisted its nice if it can suck it all in! HAHAHA!
A question about patterns – if you could only have one pattern, would you choose the chi-chinos or these philippa pants? (I’m a self imposed pattern buying diet, so just thinking where I should best place my $$ 🙂 )
gosh. They are so different!!! One is high waisted slim-legged and the other is a traditional, classic pant… I don’t think I could choose for you!! haha. Both are really great for different reasons!
Working on my muslin over here! What can you tell me about the fabric you chose?
I’ve done them in non-stretch denim and 2 pair in canvas. I love them all equally! Just find a bottom weight with no stretch and you will be set!
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