On my sister's last trip to Hong Kong, she brought home an old pair of cotton pants that my stepmother made completely by hand. This includes the measuring, cutting, and hand stitching. My sister gave me the task of copying these favorite pants of hers, and creating a new pair.
|My stepmother's original handstitched pants.|
A while back, I created a large, long cork board to use for transferring ready-to-wear clothes into paper patterns. Here is the board, which fits nicely on my small fold out table.
I placed a large tissue paper underneath the pants, and used push pins to hold the pants steady. I took a sharp dowel, which has a rather large point, and poked little holes around the outline of the pants.
I only had to do one pant leg. Then I added seam allowances.
My stepmother's pants do not have side seams. So the side seams are placed on the fold. Basically, there's only three lines to stitch to piece it together: the front and back of the seat, and the crotch line. Pretty brilliant design huh? She pretty much perfected it after 30 or 40 years of sewing these pants.
Here's my pattern all sewn up. I used a cotton stretch poplin. It is slightly heavier, and great for cool Summer wear, and it gets pretty hot and humid in Hong Kong. These are similar to Kung Fu pants which have a wide crotch. These allow for a lot of movement and stretch. Squatting is a common resting pose.
Close-up of the tie in the front. I created a similar elastic waistband, except I attached the same cotton fabric to the end of the elastic piece. The cotton fabric is sewn together, so the strap never gets lost in the pants.
See how the strap is one complete loop, and she never worries about losing it in the wash?
I created button holes on the inside waist to pull the tie/elastic through. I also secured the elastic at center back so the strap does not slide around as much.
Here's my stepmother...at 96 trying to smile with her mouth full. Happy sewing everyone!