Colette Clovers: The Full Everything Adjustment

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I hate pants. So I made some.*

Everyone has their own fit issues to whine about when it comes to pants, and I am no exception. Let’s just say that I’ve disassembled three pairs of J. Crew Minnie pants and taken out three inches from the back waist to make them fit. But that twill stretches out a lot over the course of the day and then the pants droop pretty badly anyway. That was the closest I thought I was going to get. [Except for a brief weeks-long episode this fall when I bought two pairs of Pixie pant. Then I saw this and felt bad about myself.]

The Colette Clovers have a lot of things I like about those stupid Minnie pants: a flat waist band and a side zip. I am short and there’s no reason for there to be extra material from pockets and fly fronts junking up my lower abdomen area. Also, I used to love pockets and then on one of the approximately four episodes I’ve ever watched of Project Runway, I saw Michael Kors recoil in horror when a designer put pockets in pair of pants. ‘God they look terrible on women, they aren’t flattering, who puts pockets on a woman, if a woman’s garment has a pocket it should CERTAINLY be sewn shut and be nonfunctional’, etc. He’s not wrong, but he was a little mean about it and I’ve been self-conscious about pants pockets ever since.

The Clovers have no fly and just little baby pockets, so they are both flattering AND relatively simple to put together.

Simple, unless you need a full everything adjustment.

For my muslin, I cut Version A in a size 4,  according to my waist measurement. I eliminated the patch pockets because I am lazy (those little pockets won’t junk up your front but they didn’t look that useful so I don’t feel even a little guilty). The size was perfect for the waist and mostly for the thigh.

BUT. I have a butt (…even I was slightly taken aback at that side view pic up top). And I have quads. And I have calves. (I did gymnastics growing up, and I like the gym). Which mean that after making my first muslin and evaluating all my drag lines I did:

A full butt adjustment.

A full thigh adjustment.

A full calf adjustment. The full thigh was on the front leg adjustment and was easy, but after all of that, my back leg muslin looked like this:

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I followed almost exactly the instructions Colette tells you to in the sew-along.

Now. The Colette instructions call for a material with a little stretch, but I used this non-stretch silk suiting for this pair. Since the clovers have no ease built in to the pattern — you’re supposed to be getting some ease from the fabric — I decided to go up a size. I did this by measuring the differences between the original pattern size 4 and 6 and transferring those differences to my adjusted pattern. I’ve cut out a size 4 in some brown stretch material, so hopefully those will come soon.

I also did a few extra things:

1. I added belt loops! It was very easy. I will write you a tutorial in a minute.

2. I underlined the pants using this method on the vertical seams. I used a light weight china silk, and it totally worked. It looks awesome and clean on the inside and the pants are so nice to have on. It also meant that I got to hem by stitching to just the underlining, making the hem invisible on the outside. This is what they look like underlined. [Ignore that rip right in the center of the crotch seam. It happened after three wears, which is what I get for not zigzagging in my seam allowances. ZIGZAG IN YOUR SEAM ALLOWANCES]

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3. I lowered the waist at the center front by 2 inches. I lowered the waist at the center back by 1 inch and at the sides by 1.5. The next pair of pants will get a further half inch drop all the way around.

4. I scooped and lowered the crotch by about an eighth of an inch. I don’t want to talk about it.

And now I have pants that I like! I immediately put the navy pants I have in the give away pile. Those were Tory Burch that I bought on sale, had to re-sew buttons on after approximately two wears, and took in the side hips by about an inch. They STILL stretched out so badly every time I wore them that I looked like I had a diaper by about 11 am. Ridiculous. (One time I read an interview with her in which the writer asked Burch, just how she was able to deliver such aesthetic at such a price point. I can tell you: because they require about ten hours of DIY-ing to make them acceptable for wearing in public.)

Anyway. Pants! I made them.

* If you are my mother, stop reading. I’m working on the wedding dress, I promise.

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