Monday, December 18, 2017

Late to the Party … Again — True Bias Hudson Pants Review

So, this pattern has been out since mid-2014 and currently has at least 30 reviews on Pattern Review, (plus more if you count the men's and kid's versions and reviews not on PR). I bought it about 2 years ago. Good intentions blah, blah, blah. Finally, its time had come.

Here I am wearing my adjusted second pair with the goofiest of goofy expressions. But you come here for the sewing and chit chat, not my (non)modeling/posing skills. The short verdict is: I love them! My wordier thoughts follow below.

The temps in Tampa dropped quite a bit a couple of weeks ago and I really needed casual long pants for after work, walking the dogs, running to the grocery store, etc. (We're back up to the 80s today, and I'm kind of missing the chillier weather.) Making Hudson Pants had been on my to-do list forEVER but kept getting pushed. And every time I'd want to wear those casual long pants and NOT find them in my wardrobe, I scolded myself for not taking a weekend to Just Sew Them.

Finally, my Hudson sewjo and weekend coincided and I got started. Better two years later than never. My first pair is below. They are the better pair to look at since they have a lot more visual interest than my next solid black pair. The fabrics are deep stash/leftovers from at least 10 years ago. And it holds up like iron. The bomber jacket I made from both the "print" and the solid is still going strong and I wear it on dog walks All. The. Time. This means I now have a dog walking suit. Hahaha. The "print" is a ponte with some, but not a lot, of stretch. It must be poly the way it's not changed at all over the years, but it feels like cotton. I'm pretty sure it's from back in the days that Stephen was still at the helm. The solid is also ponte, a rayon blend I believe.

I don't have a photo of me wearing them. Life is not fair.

The size chart appears less generous than it is in the actual wearing. I had read some reviews from other sewists on the higher end of the measurements reporting plenty of room in their finished Hudsons even though they themselves were quite outside the given numbers. In other words, these are very casual pants with a lot of ease. Basically, if you can pull 34-36" of elastic up and over your butt, you're good with the size 18. (That elastic measurement is about what you'd use in the waistband for the size 18 waist.)

I did make adjustments, though. One, because said other sewists/reviewers have proportionately thin legs. I do not. Two, my "muslin" fabric isn't the stretchiest kid on the block. Or something like that.

While these are not particularly low-rise, my muffin-top waist and cake-eating butt will be better served with a higher cut. (More on this below.) I added one inch to the front and back rise. In the front pattern right below, you can see that said inch was added below the pocket so messing with the pocket pieces would not be required. Yay!

I also added inner thigh space, pointed to by the red arrows, tapering to nothing around knee level.

The pattern calls for 2-inch wide elastic. Of course I did not have any on hand. I "made" my own. It was a little trickier to feed through the casing, but not terrible, and now that it's in and stitched over, I can't even tell it's really two pieces. I will probably never buy 2-inch wide elastic now. Heh.

I also cheated and didn't thread a tie all the way around. I made the buttonholes in the waistband as instructed and then just threaded a short "faux" waist tie through the buttonholes without going around the waist in between. I won't tell if you won't.

This is as close to modeled as we're doing today. (This was actually a week ago.)

Trying on and wearing the brown, first, pair told me I definitely needed more room over the caboose. I could be a plumber in these pants if you catch my drift. I added a wedge to the CB, tapering to nothing at the waist. I also thought I wanted a bit more length in the rise all around. Ultimately, I was wrong about that last part and will go back to adding just 1 inch to the rise, not the 1.5 inches I added for the second, black, pair.

Here's where the second, black, pair hits me ... right over the belly button. I don't mind too much because I'm never going to tuck into these, but if I'm aiming for best fit, they'd be better with 1/2" less height in the rise.

For the black waistband, I cheated even more and completely omitted a tie and the buttonholes. As mentioned, I'm never going to tuck into these pants and the bulge from a tie looks weird under untucked shirts.

The last thing I did differently on both pairs and which step I think is glaringly missing from the instructions and sew-along, is to edgestitch the pocket just past the band. It's a nicer finish and holds everything in place better. Speaking of the pockets ... I feel that they are right on the very edge of being too shallow. They're fine as is. My hands fit. I just want them a little bigger/deeper. I'll alter this for a next pair.

This fabric is from Cali Fabrics, my new favorite online fabric store. Cali calls it "techno knit," which feels very much like a thin scuba. It's nicely stretchy with 100% recovery, comfortable to wear, and doesn't pill. Cali is sold out of black. I hope this is a fabric they will carry again. I know these Hudsons are boring with no contrast and hard to see details but they are definitely a basic I sorely needed in my wardrobe and I'm so happy to have them.

Overall, I think the Hudson Pants is a good pattern. It sews up quickly, the PDF is easy to assemble accurately, not too many pages to tape together, and nothing was out of whack in the pattern pieces or instructions. It was the first True Bias pattern I've tried so I've had a good first impression. I've had my eye on Jalie's similar Vanessa pant and may give into buying that one too, if only to compare. Because I'm weird like that.

This is the realistic shot of how they'll be worn most of the time.