I have been pattern tester extraordinaire lately! Well, not really but I did recently sign up for two pattern tests, each of which ended up being a time and labor intensive project. I’m not complaining — I knew what I was getting into, I learned a lot in the process, and I think that the final patterns really benefitted from the extended testing process. In all, kudos to these designers who would not be satisfied with anything less than an as-perfect-as-they-can-make-it product.
This particular testing endeavor was for the new pattern from Love Notions — the Sabrina Slims (affiliate link).
This is a no-closure, slim fitting pant designed for heavyweight knits and stretch wovens.
Now I am clearly on record as vehemently opposed to yoga-waist pants, so you may be wondering what makes these pants different. Well, they don’t actually have a yoga waistband. These pants are constructed with a separate contoured waistband that is held up with 2″ elastic (3″ for the larger sizes). That along with the slim fit through the waist and hips keeps these pants where you put them very nicely.
The pattern recommends heavy knits with 25% stretch or stretch wovens with at least 30% stretch. You definitely need fabric with a decent amount of stretch to make sure you can get the pants over your bum, but I used stretch wovens with 20-25% stretch and I was very happy with the results. In fact, of the three pairs I made, the stretchier ponte is my least favorite.
And these naturally are my favorite! This is a stretch denim from Joann’s with about 20% stretch. I’m not a huge fan of Joann’s as you all know, but I was running out of appropriate stretch wovens and it was about my only local option.
But I like this fabric and I love these pants. They are incredibly comfortable to wear, easy to make, and I feel like they do nice things for my hips and bum.
These are View A of the pattern with the optional welt pockets. The welts were the most time-consuming part of these pants — the rest of it went together in nothing flat. And even with the welts, it was about 4 hours from printing to finished product, even for slow old me.
I think these are about a perfect fit for me. They’re snug but not too snug and the leg fits exactly as slim pants should IMO. Now I will say that the proper width of the lower leg was the subject of much debate during the testing process. The final pattern has about 1″ of extra width from the knees down compared to what you see here. That’s probably good since most people have thicker calves than I do. For reference, the circumference of the thickest part of my calf is 13.5″. I love the leg width here so I will stick with this version for my future Sabrinas.
And there will be more! My stash is now depleted of its work appropriate stretch wovens so I ordered more the other night. I have visions of an entire work wardrobe full of Sabrinas!
Pattern: Sabrina Slims (affiliate link) by Love Notions
Price: $8.95, but on sale this week for $7.00.
Difficulty: Intermediate. I would categorize just about any well-fitting pants pattern as intermediate simply because of the potential for fitting alterations. That being said, you shouldn’t fear these pants — they are a very quick sew!
Techniques Required: Pants fitting, sewing a straight line, sewing a curved seam, inserting elastic, sewing a welt pocket (optional).
Similar Patterns: Patterns for Pirates SOS Pants, Jocole Ladies Skinny Pants, Sew Liberated Simple Skinny Jeans.
Fabric: Printed stretch denim from Joann’s.
Fit: Excellent. Tami worked really hard to get the fit and rise on these pants as close to perfect as she could. Of course no pattern could ever fit everyone perfectly but I know she tried to design a pattern that would minimize alterations for most people.
Modifications: None. I try to make minimal modifications when testing a pattern.
Pattern format: PDF. The entire file is a beast on this one, but Tami has broken up the two views to minimize pages when printing one or the other. She also includes printing instructions based on size that can minimize it. And the no-trim pages are just a Godsend. Those alone make this rather large file supremely manageable.
- Quick and straightforward construction.
- Really good instructions that walk you through the process.
- The instructions contain a whole section on common pants alterations.
- Very flattering fit that looks good on all sizes and shapes.
- Versatile pattern — equally appropriate for home and the office.
- No front pockets — I’m planning to hack a pair with front slash pockets. I’ll photograph for a tutorial when I do.
- Finding woven fabric with the appropriate amount of stretch can be challenging, particularly since a lot of online companies don’t list stretch percentage (grrr). And I really do prefer these in a stretch woven.
- These are intended for a slim fit in the calf, and that seems to be the biggest wild card here. You may find the calves too loose or way too tight depending on your measurements. That isn’t a measurement that we sewists typically pay much attention to but you really need to here!
Overall grade: A. Tami did an amazing job with her first women’s pants pattern and put together something that will give the widest range of sewists the best chance at a great fit. Thanks so much Tami for letting me be part of this process!
** Disclaimer: I received the pattern for free since I was a tester and am a Love Notions affiliate. I did spent a whole lot of time and effort sewing three pairs of pants and giving feedback during this process, though, so take all of that for what it’s worth. As always, I do my best to remain objective and I leave it to you to judge my success in that regard.