Happy Friday (evening for me) guys! Hope you've had a great week! Did you know that Palazzo Pants are described (on Wikipedia!) as "extremely wide leg that flares out from the waist”, and with a Shanghai summer creeping on the horizon, I decided to give a pair a go … but I think these really are mini palazzo as they’re not ‘extremely wide’ of the leg and are all kinds of petite… and even a bit too petite for this petite babe/dickhead who writes you this blog right now!
They may not be now, but they were striving to be Palazzos! As 150cm/4 foot 11 tall, I’m firmly not on Team Culottes… I made a pair once in my early sewing days (before blogging!) and I suddenly became 2 foot tall and could never be taken seriously ever again. So I think I’m a Palazzo fan because I remember fondly the two crazy pairs I had as a teenager in the 90s, they were floaty loveliness with my heeled boat shoes and my Reality Bites Winona Haircut.
Anyways, the fabric first came to be at my local fabric store, it was very floaty and I get a little bamboozled shopping there because even though there’s not a lot of choice and I have to be careful I don’t get swindled (while I translate the cost of things, remember numbers in Chinese all while at least 2 Chinese women talk to me - there’s always women in the store who don’t work there, up for a chat!)… and this time, I think I got swindled! I think it was at least 10 bucks Australian a metre, and when I took it to sewing school, Teacher Catherine explained it was light fabric but was plastic something… so no way could it be the Holly Jumpsuit or anything around the arms. There was just enough for the Holly trousers… and so has begun my search for Ultimate Petite Trousers (UPT?!)!
These are the wearable muslin variety of trousers, and I’d fully intended to wear this look (It’s a Plantain/Deer & Doe t-shirt - I’ll write about next week) with my black wedges last night at the launch of the new Shanghai Bloggers App! (More on this soon!) But the day turned extremely humid and as you can see, this snug fitting waistband is not perfect for the heat. Or riding my bike to the party… so I scrambled to find some light weight fabric to make another short short pair, with a bigger size, but alas (or YAY) my stash is lightweight itself so I defaulted in a positive way to my Spring for Cotton Shanghai dress and felt way more comfortable and sassy anyways.
Channelling Oona's fantastic tush angles!
Now let's talk sewing! By Hand London's Holly Jumpsuit’s Trousers are a very regular trouser pattern, in my opinion, and I feel they could be just another 1970s vintage pattern, if not for the invisible side zip. I’ve made maybe 3-4 pairs over the years, from different vintage patterns (all long gone now from my pattern stash and wardrobe) but these ones I made during Sew Weekly’s Madness of 2011 were my absolute favourite. I did make a velvet pair once that I gave to the op shop (wish I hadn’t, but oh well). So I might be wrong, but I kinda feel this is the basic wide legged trouser pattern that you can find anywhere, but because the Holly pattern has the several looks to go with it, I wanted to buy the pattern (hardcopy) for all of them, apart from the Disco Top. I cannot do spaghetti straps with the bras I keep.
BUT can’t wait to start the jumpsuit!
Teacher Catherine also gave me fitting tips, check the finished crotch measurements against my own, and there was a 6.25cm difference, so I shortened it 2cm on the horizontal all the way around to be conservative. I then took a lot of care with the fabric, it’s light and shifts easily and maybe good practice (but cheap practice!) for the silk I see at the fabric market. It was time consuming with the cutting (I chalked my size this time) but so quick with the sewing, especially with the overlocker. I market the right and wrong sides with the chalk too, because it was only a very subtle difference…
The invisible zipper was the best, however I do need to improve on the seam under the zipper… there’s a small gap between the zipper finishing and the seam starting. But then I stalled because the waistband is super skinny and I only had a button twice the size of it and that would be ridiculous. No STASH problems!
I got a nice hook and eye thingy from the button store woman (more on her soon too) and finished up after my bossy Housekeeper ironed all the seams for me, including the waistband and hem without checking my height… and I topstitched it all (instead of the suggestion of hand stitching the waistband) because halfway along… the feeling grew that these ‘palazzos' wouldn’t be worn that much. And then the iron dragged something across the waistband anyways, puckered the fabric and it was decided… a test! These are test trousers!
So! OK for a test, but very petite for me, and not the best close fit for me either. I’m too curved for this tight fit, and will go back and do some more fitting brainstorming for my next pair.
Because I do want more pizzazzy palazzo’s and I wanna get to that EXTREME wide pant eventually (slash & spread? Add 10cm across and gather at the waist?)… I think I can do highwaisted (I know I can with shorts) so it’ll be a bit of testing to get the right fit for my shape!
What do you think? Have you tried trousers or palazzos? I'm not usually into SLACKS but I'd wear short shorts no worries.
Pattern: Holly Jumpsuit - By Hand London
Fabric: Plastic Rayon? We’ll never know but it was probably $20 worth and it’s not that nice, it doesn’t iron well and creases in that yucky crumply way.
Size: 6/10 but next time I’ll try 8/12 but keep the 2cm shorten of the crotch on both pattern pieces AND the 10cm shorten on both pieces at the line on the pattern.
While Sewing: Got nervous about the size (rightly so) and overlocked at 1cm instead of 1.5cm.
Will I Wear It? Not sure… deffo will try it when it’s cooler (maybe 3 months away)