Pattern hacking Kwik sew 4221

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So over the last six months or so I’ve completely fallen head over heels with the whole Elizabeth Suzann brand and aesthetic. It all started with the hacked Maya top on the tessuti blog and once I discovered the Georgia top that inspired it I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve got two very young children so have been stuck in a bit of style rut lately. I’ve been wearing the same tried and true silhouettes (and been comfortable doing so) but it’s been really refreshing to shake things up and try something different.

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In the past few months I’ve made my first pair of culottes, as well as my first pair of wide leg cropped pants and have really been enjoying them. The next new shape I wanted to try was something resembling the Elizabeth Suzann Clyde pants. Luckily I stumbled across this very helpful tutorial written by Catherine who you should go check out on Instagram if you don’t already follow her (love her style!) While I probably could have worked it out on my own it was so helpful being able to follow along with her instructions and I’m so appreciative that she put the time into writing that post.

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Catherine used the Marigold trousers as her starting point but mentioned that any tapered elastic waisted pants pattern would work. I trawled through the fold line database and came up with Kwik sew 4221. As always, I ignored the cover photo and zoned straight in on the line drawing. It seemed promising so I purchased the pattern and got started.

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I traced out the smallest size but did end up tapering in the legs slightly. My pants ended up measuring about 6.5” at the leg opening. I muslined the pattern before trying to alter the style lines just to check the fit of the crotch area and luckily I didn’t have to do any adjustments. The original pattern has a front and back pattern piece with side seams (like most pants). I basically followed Catherine’s very clear instructions to change the side seam into a front and back leg seam and create the pockets. My pockets started 1 ½ ” down from the waist seam with the bottom of the curve about 2 ½” further down. I made them about 10” deep as that seemed about right for where my fingertips hit.

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Those pockets! And the topstitching that got unpicked multiple times!

The only thing I did differently was not create one big pattern piece for each leg before altering it into three pieces. Instead I drew the new seam lines on the front and back leg, created the new front and back pieces and then pivoted the two remaining parts of the old pieces along the old side seam (if that makes any sense). I did this as the old side seams were fairly curved so they did not fit together side by side properly without a significant amount of overlap. Although in hindsight I would not recommend doing this as I think this is what contributed to some “pouching out” on my front seamlines near my hips (not exactly flattering!)

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I drafted a straight waistband which was basically a rectangle 5” wide and the length of the finished circumference of the top of the pants. I used two loops of ¾” wide elastic and each channel was 1” wide. The elastic I used did narrow a fair bit when stretched so I decided to topstitch it down vertically at each seamline. Unfortunately I managed to twist the top band of elastic while topstitching it (grrrrrr) and had to unpick some of my stitching in the ditch which proved to be almost impossible as for once I’d actually done my stitching right in the ditch!

In the end I had to unpick the waistband and overlocking to unpick the topstitching but as always it was worth it. I also stitched a small piece of twill tape to the waistband to mark the back of the pants. One of these days I’d like to get some labels to stitch into my handmades but haven’t gotten around to that yet. I pinned up the hems at a couple of different lengths and decided on a slightly cropped length.

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While I had been googling “Elizabeth Suzann Clyde pants” to see how people were styling their pants I’d come across this post and had fallen completely in love with the whole outfit. If you don’t want to click through basically this blogger is wearing an oatmeal pair of clyde pants with a white linen Georgia tee. When I found this cotton/linen blend in the perfect oatmeal colour from the Fabric store that I made my pants out of I also bought some midweight white linen as I just couldn’t get that outfit out of my head.

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So of course I also made a cropped Maya top out of that white linen and have basically recreated my dream outfit (woohoo!) When I was buying this linen it was the end of the roll and there was only 1.2m left. Now while I usually dwell on the negative side of being so short (150cm) one of the major positives is that I always need less fabric than the pattern calls for. I was able to squeeze both a Maya top and another hacked New Look 6483 out of my 1.2m so was pretty happy with that.

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And that was meant to be the end of the story…but once I’d taken some photos I really wasn’t happy with how these pants had turned out (doh!) I took a bit of a break from these pants and over the course of the next few weeks (while working on another project) I did a lot of unpicking, hand basting, checking the fit then finally re-sewing some of the seams. I’ve done a side by side comparison below with the before and after. The changes were pretty small but I think they made a big difference to the overall silhouette, particularly to the lower leg.

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L-R: After and before. The almost identical posing was completely accidental haha!

I ended up taking in the seam allowances along both the front and back seams (which had already been topstitched down grr) then had to unpick some of the front seam again as I’d been a bit too aggressive and they were a bit too tight. I’m pretty happy with the end result and particularly love the colour combination of these outfits. I wore these pants and my Maya top for the first time recently and loved how breezy and stylish I felt – I’m sure I’ll be wearing this combo on repeat particularly as the warm weather has finally arrived. Happy sewing xx

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Pose inspired by the inimitable Julia Bobbin!

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