Sunday, June 14, 2015

First Edition Morocco Pants: PASS

When Celina of petit à petit and family put a call out for pattern testers for her Morocco Tuxedo Pant & Shorts, I couldn't resist. (Even though it was right before a long-distance vacation and I still hadn't made a successful pair of underwear, let alone the cute pair of Tania culottes I imagined wearing on our trip.)

Have you ever helped test a pattern? I had no idea what to expect and enjoyed both the actual testing and observing the way it was organized. Celina used an online survey to collect the measurements of the children we were sewing for and our sewing preferences. (There are so many variations included in the pattern!) Then she assigned each of us a size and view to sew and set up a private Facebook group for our discussion and to distribute the pattern. As we worked, we asked Celina for clarification on pattern instructions, discussed the construction process, provided each other with suggestions and support, recorded pattern errors, and uploaded photos of our progress. It was exciting to work on a project with all these avid sewers I had never met. Meeting the deadline was challenging, but it was rewarding to be work with others toward a common goal.

Though I love the pattern design and the color scheme my son chose, it took some last minute alterations to make these pants a useable garment. My kid's hips are two sizes smaller than his inseam calls for. Celina recommended making the size that matched his hips, leaving out the rear darts to make the waist larger and adding length in the legs by slashing and spreading at the knee. Though my son likes to wear his pants low, these are about two inches too low. The waist was also seriously gapping. (Made me wish I had taken the option to add button elastic to the back waistband.) And though I loved the look of the legs, my kid said these were way too long. (Celina has redrafted the waistband for the final pattern, but I will probably sew a larger size next time.)

Side view before alterations.
I couldn't raise the waist at this point, but I could address the gap. I pinched out a massive dart in the center back and sewed it shut. (No, I didn't remove the waistband first. That is the kind of detail I wasn't ready to commit to right before vacation. :) ) It was so sad to cut off the hem facing I had so painstakingly constructed. I didn't reattach it, deciding to fold up a simple hem instead.

I would have loved to use a hook and eye closure, but my son really wanted a button. Here's a shot before we added it. Maybe it's better with a button, so as to direct attention away from my wobbly waistband.

Let me tell you, participating in the pattern testing process has given me an even greater respect for designers. There are so many details to attend to! And technical writing is no joke. How one person explains a process may or may not make sense to another. And did you know there are several ways in English to describe cutting a mirror image (or reverse, opposite, flipped, etc.) of a pattern piece? Linguistically fascinating, but what a headache to sort out. Mad props to Celina and all those pattern designers out there. You've got brains of steel. (Is that a thing? Let's make it a thing!)

Morocco pants in action.
But back to the pants. My son loves the finished product. And now that the pattern has been updated for the release (and on sale for 20% off right now!), he calls his version "first edition." He thinks we might be able to sell them for a high price, à la Pokémon cards. I told him probably not, but that I was glad he had a pair of pants to wear on our vacation that wasn't threadbare.

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