I’m all about the pants making these days (which is good, because my wardrobe was getting a little top heavy!), and my latest conquest is the Itch to Stitch Mountain View Pants.
Earlier this year, I decided to sew a pull on style jean, but got bogged down deliberating between the Jalie Elanore, the various Style Arc iterations, and the Love Notions Sabrina Slims. None seemed quite right- the Jalie don’t have real pockets, which drives me nuts, the Style Arc don’t have enough reviews, and the Love Notions are too big for me, and would require grading, which I hate to do, because I’m a special kind of lazy.
Enter the Mountain Views, with perfect timing and just the right combination of jeans styling and functionality- hooray for REAL pockets! I dove into the test, excited to see what I could create.
And then my sewing machine staged a rebellion. It sewed through my Ginger Jeans just fine, but flat out refused to give me even tension when topstitching the Mountain Views. Still in denial, I unpicked and re sewed my seams a dozen times before it finally stopped working entirely, seizing up and refusing to sew a stitch.
I messaged Kennis in despair, knowing my local shop has a minimum 2 week repair time. As a last ditch effort I visited my local Wal-Mart- NOT one of my favorite places, but in our small town, options are limited, and this was pretty much the only place that might have a cheapie I could afford. I lucked out, scoring a simple mechanical model for less than $100, and took it home, hesitant to get my hopes up, but curious about what this much less expensive model could do.
And wouldn’t you know it? It sewed through the jeans perfectly, though I did make a few changes to my topstitching methods, so I wouldn’t overtax the smaller motor with the thicker thread. You can see the triple stretch stitch I used here- I actually like it just as well as the single long stitch I used on my gingers, and as a bonus it uses standard thread, so it’s easier to coordinate with whatever fashion fabric you’re using.
Nothing from my original grey denim pair was salvagable, so I took a deep breath and moved on to a teal denim from Emma One Sock, and decided to make them skinnies. Kennis includes directions for this in the instructions- essentially you try them on inside out, and pin/draw lines to fit your body. I use frixion pens that iron away for this job, and I love how the fit is perfectly contoured to my larger calves and thinner ankles.
I’ve still got a tiny bit of wrinkling back there- but with skinny jeans, this is really unavoidable, and it doesn’t bother me. One of the legs does twist slightly inward- this happened with my Gingers as well, and I’ve yet to figure out the mystery (I think it’s a body issue, and not a grain issue). I had fore-foot aductus as a baby, and had to be in casts for two years to get my feet to turn out properly, so that might be part of it.
You can see it slightly here, in how my left leg seam curves toward the inner leg. It doesn’t stop me from loving them though!
I made up my standard size 0, but did find that I needed to use a narrower seam allowance at the top of the hips and in the waistband in this fabric, which had exactly 20% stretch- otherwise they wouldn’t have gone over my hips!
Since no pants pattern is going to fit perfectly out of the envelope, I also made a few other adjustments, based on my muslin. These included scooping out the back crotch (low butt), removing 1/4″ from the back inseam (thin thighs), taking in the back center seam a bit, and shortening 2″ at the upper thigh. I think this is the only hard part about making pants- but there’s no way to learn, other than to dive in and make a muslin and see how the different adjustments work on your body.
One of the best things about the MountainView Pants are the back leg seams- they aren’t just decorative. Since many women, including yours truly, have excess fabric that pools beneath the seat, these seams make it easy to make adjustments for a better fit. I found that I could take them in a bit and get a much closer fit than with my Ginger Jeans, where I only had the side and inseams to play with.
Kennis also nailed the back pocket placement- I didn’t have time to futz around with them, so I just took a leap of faith, and I think they turned out to be in just the right spot!
To finish off the jeans look, I added rivets. I was initially terrified about putting them in- poking holes in a finished item!- but after practicing a bit, started to really enjoy using the hammer! I think it was the perfect psychological release for all the frustration over the machine debacle, which, by the way, still doesn’t work, so I’m sticking to my little Wal-Mart buy for the foreseeable future.
If you’ve been holding back on making pants, I think this is a great pattern to start with- and if you’re a pants making pro, I still think it deserves a serious look for the great fit and quick finish- I’m dying to make a pair in ponte- they would be soooo comfortable!
When I ordered this fabric I didn’t realize it was sold by the half yard- so I only ended up with 1 yard instead of two, but I made the best of it with elbow length sleeves, that will be perfect for spring. Whenever it decides to get here, that is.
And, just so you don’t think my life is all roses and pretty poses, here’s a glimpse into what my twins were doing while we were taking photos….making up their sister with lip gloss. This is what the baby ended up looking like:
I guess that’s #babybloggerlife!
Have you made pants before? If not, what’s holding you back?
Note: This post contains affiliate links. I received this pattern as part of testing- but all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!