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The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

|by oonaballoona|

These pants do not exist. They are a figment of your imagination.

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

Pay no attention to that crotch behind the droopy curtain!

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

Passersby! Pass on by! Ignore my high-water hem! MIND THE DERRIERE DRAGLINES!

Would that these pants were a figment of my imagination. After THREE separate attempts to take good shots, I finally realized the problem was the garment, and not the photographer. The much beleaguered man-behind-the-camera realized this well before I did. On the walk home from our third attempt, I moaned over fit issues. Ruggy mused: well oona, of course you had problems, this material doesn’t have the right drape for wide legged pants.

I stopped in the middle of the street to pick up my jaw.

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

Ruggy’s summation lit up a lightbulb for me. In my sewing adventures, pants are a relatively new venture. If I’d used this fabric for a dress, I would have thought on whether I should go more body con, or line it… but, just like my first dresses, these are questions I’ve yet to apply to pants. This mystery yardage has a bit of stretch (and there’s something very polylicious going on in that stretch, like, I’m talking rubber threads coming off the cut edges), but yeah, it doesn’t have enough weight to back up the stretch.

Besides which, I went a little tunnel vision with these By Hand London Holly trousers. After making them up in a medium weight cotton sateen, it seemed that all I needed on my next try was a slight raise of the crotch. During fitting, things seemed to be working out. And it was my second go at it, so surely I was destined for success! I flat felled! I topstitched! I steam blasted seams! I embellished the bejesus out of them!

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

I’m falling in love with embellishing. I created this little angular guy the very first day Gorgeous George landed on my desk, with the Stitch Creator function (this basically lets you create/combine/edit stitches to make your own custom ones). And when I decided each column needed MOAR GOLD, I pulled up the exact number of copies I wanted, and added them to the top of each row. I kept it all straight with George’s newest partner in crime: the multi line foot.

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

HOW COOL IS THAT?!! It’s like a mini invisible quilting ruler! I was seduced into a charmed meditation of unfurling gold rayon lines. How I loved watching George hum along! THESE WOULD BE THE BEST PANTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE!

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

But, yeah. Delusions of grandeur, reality bites.

Although “there is no crying in sewing” is a golden rule of mine, apparently, where these pants are concerned, there is also no sleep. Two nights in a row, I woke up around 3am and could not lull myself back to dreamland for the thought of the droopy pants lurking on my desk. So I let my sleepless brain work on a solution instead. Dawn of the second morning found me with scissors in hand, and a maniacal gleam in my eye. I cut those wide embellished legs apart, and decided to show some leg of my own with Vogue 8773.

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

Better, eh?! What’s that? But what does the waist look like, I hear you cry? Well, better than it did…

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

During one of these tossing and turing nights, I dreamt that rain had washed away all of the chalk from this decorated facade, and had also magically washed all of the fit wrinkles away from my garment. Nice dream…

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

Yeah, not completely smooth sailing, but I’m way happier with it.

The Pants that Were (then Weren't)

And sleeping better, too. (Though a few of those chalk additions might keep me up. Why exactly are we doing wolves?)

Have you ever had a dramatic, insomnia-induced total project redo?

MARCY HARRIELL Oonaballoona
I’m oonaballoona (oona for short) aka Marcy Harriell (Marce for short). But I’ll answer with wild abandon to any name you call me…especially if you’re calling me to cocktails. I started sewing when I started blogging, during a temporary trek to tinsel town. Before the move to Los Angeles, a wise friend advised: Get a hobby. Blogging kept family close…sewing kept my sanity intact! Eight years later, back in New York, this “hobby” has turned into an obsession. When I’m not acting (the civilian side of oonaballoona) I’m stitching in the city, right next to my very best friend Ruggy.
Sewing machine: PFAFF® creative™ 4.5


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29 Comments on “”

  1. Kimberly

    Hey Oona;

    Both pieces are nice. The fabric looks alittle stiff and I concur that a heavy drapy lining would have made all the difference in the world with the pants or perhaps some curtain weights. However, the idea of the pants is good and I hope you are able to do it again with a more suitable fabric. Also, with fabric like that, have you washed it to possibly break it down? Nice to see your boy-toy George working well with you to create a yellow brick road.

    ….Wild and loose women like me are always lurking around ready to take him for a spin. Does he have a twin? 😉

    1. oonaballoona

      curtain weights!! what a fantastic idea, i think i’ve stumbled across that somewhere but have never used it… i’m definitely having another go at wide legged pants so i’m on the home dec hunt. i did pre wash the fabric, but, it occurred to me that my wash/dry was not as hot as my iron setting during construction! i do wish i’d thrown the finished pants in the washer a few cycles before attacking them with scissors, just to see.

      george says thank you for the new nickname (i’m totally using “boy george”). indeed, he has a bevy of twin brothers just waiting for the right wild woman ;)))

  2. mrsmole

    Good save, nightmare no more. Pant fabric has a big job to do, slide over hips and butts and still manage to sneak through and join at the crotch junction…and this fabric did not want to do that. I’m sure this will not be the last embellished garment!!! Nightmares are my business…bridal gowns that don’t fit calling my name during the night like the wolves on your chalkboard…howlers!

    1. oonaballoona

      your bridal posts are screamers for sure, i don’t know how you do it!!! that’s an excellent way to look at pants fabric, when i’m on the hunt i’ll consider all the things the fabric needs to do. superhero fabric for sure.

      1. Nikki

        Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to saythat I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any cals;&#8217Iel be subscribing to your blog and I hope you write again soon!

  3. Ofer

    What !? the pants looked great. especially the back. don’t get me wrong the dress is perfect , but this world need more good pants. (well, not really the world, just my closet…). and the embellishment is impressive. never considered to go into that, but now…

      1. Dany

        Try a virus scan in safe mode.If you still dont have any luck doing that try turning off any un-needed startup programs with msrovfig/secnices.msc. The virus could have also installed itself as a non plug-and-play device driver that you would have to troubleshoot and remove manually.

  4. Highball Emy

    Wow Oona! I have to admit I’m not a fan of the pants, but I love the skirt you’ve turned them into! The gold embroidery looks great along the slit. Nice save!

    Emy x

  5. sharon jester

    The fabric is gorgeous with the stitching, the pants was nice, but I know how you feel, when something you created hunts you in your sleep, you constantly thinking of it, until an ah hah!! Moment hits you and you totally recreate, and the results is beautiful, I love the skirt and the styling.

  6. Alicia

    Both of these are great, but the skirt is for sure my favorite! Late night fits of insomnia are when the magic happens (ha ha). Only in sleep deprivation do we truly tap in to our creative mind as some of the other areas of the brain shut down.

  7. Becky

    I thought the pants looked pretty good in the photos! But if you’re not comfortable with the fit or look of them, of course it’s better to acknowledge that and move on. The skirt is a great salvage job. And wow. That embroidery!!

  8. Robin McBride

    I liked the pants in the first pic and as you described the problems, I agreed along with u, so the skirt is a fantastic fix! The top looks perfect with it too. Im sure youve since also worn it with another top too that shows the waist embroidery. I am about to make a pair of those pants in denim and add the big front pockets like in your first few blogs on your site. Already have black platform boots to go with it so maybe a darker color for the top and Im thinking baby Tee. Here goes and thanx for the inspiration!

    1. oonaballoona

      that first pic was definitely the best of the bunch. i would have had to walk around with that look permanently o my face;) love the sound of your big pockets, hope you’ve already begun!

  9. Lexie

    I love the skirt! Wow and it looks so good on you. I like the way you carried the embroidery up from the top of the slit to the waist. It’s interesting that you only put a small amount of embroidery in the back. I probably would have continued all the way around. But, that makes the back more interesting and unexpected. I love embroidery. I’m going to try this with some plain fabric. I might even try it on a knit. You’re so inspirational. I just started reading your blog and I love it. Thanks

    1. oonaballoona

      thank you lexie! actually, i was thinking of going crazy on the back as well, but after all of that hacking i didn’t have the energy. the skirt has a 3″ faced hem, so i might undo that handstitching and add some more golden rows…

      this would be so much fun on a knit! maybe a ponte?

  10. Angela

    OMG!!! I love the skirt. So cute. Looks so good with that slit. I am now going to have to try some of those great stitches on that machine of mine. I have been dying to do so and now that my kids are back at school I can give it a go :)

  11. Inès

    wow, i really love those pants! the colors matching of the fabric and the embroidery is just perfect! i wish i had this Pfaff sewing machine 😉

  12. Julie

    You are so darn cute you could wear either and pull both off fabulously. I honestly thought the pants were great, and would have changed the top to a cute capped sleave ivory silk top to hide the high waist but that is just my amatuer eyes and idea. :-) You are adorable, keep sewing, keep inspiring!

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