Saturday, December 28, 2013

Independent Pants Pattern Face-off

There aren't too many reviews for the Colette Juniper pants, but there seem to be in the thousands for the Sewaholic Thurlows. The Junipers also seem to be on everyone's to sew list, but apparently no one ever gets to them. That made it kind of hard to choose between the two. So, now that I've made both, I thought it would be handy to compare the two.


These have a fairly curved waistband, which is not surprising since Colette patterns are drafted for more of an hourglass shape. Out of the envelope, the size 6 fit me quite well. I don't think I made any changes to these pants. 
While I love a wide-leg pant (LOVE), these are kind of too wide in the wrong places. I've seen someone's who don't seem to have this problem (I thought it was Mary, but can't find evidence to support that thought) but she (whoever she was) thinned the legs out. On the other hand, they do swish nicely when worn dancing. Standing still, however, they're a little overwhelming. I whole-heartedly endorse these for swing dancing. (I caught a glimpse of them in the mirror a couple times coming out of swingouts and they really were nice.) I may yet try thinning them out some through the mid parts of the leg. 
I also suspect they might be less overwhelming in a lighter fabric - I think a linen would really work, although I usually see them made up in thicker fabrics (denims, twills; mine are a mid-weight RPL).
The few reviews there are do talk about the legs being too wide. But I found myself justifying that as that many people maybe just don't actually like wide leg pants. (Whereas I really do. I still have a much loved pair I made many years ago with 49" hems. They are awesome.)
(These also have a slightly weird poofiness at the edge of the front pockets. I suspect that has something to do with how I stabilized the edge of the pocket, but am not sure exactly what went awry.)


Sorry - black
The Thurlows are a much nicer shape, while still being somewhat wide at the bottom. I have not worn them dancing, so can't comment on the swishability of them.
Since Sewaholic drafts for pear shaped figures, I would think that for pants they'd be pretty much fine. But no.
The Thurlows did not fit right out of the envelope. I first muslined them in a size ten. They were huge. I lost five pounds. I made them in black RPL (relatively expensive stuff, from Emma OneSock, that is now pilling on the underside of the legs) in a size 8. When I sewed the back seem, I had to sew with a more than 3" seam allowance to get them anywhere close to fitting. Now they do stay up, but they're a bit loose, and if I lose another 5 pounds they'll be too big to wear. And since the back seam is so big, the side seems hangs weird, and it feels weird where they pull across the back of my legs.

Pair #2 was made in cheap RPL from Joann's that seems like it will be fine (i.e., not pill). In a size 6. I totally screwed up the back welts, however. I managed to mark one a little high, and one a little low. The result is that while the individual welts are nicely done, one is maybe an inch higher than the other. And of course I didn't realize this mistake until it came time to finish the back seem. Lovely.

On the bright side, I am usually in a sweater, and most sweaters I own will cover one or both welts. If it starts to bother me I may try to even the appearance of one or both out with a flap over the pocket. 
These pants are still too big, however. The back seam is still nearly 3". If I lose some more eight, per the plan, they'll no longer fit either, and can't be taken in any. Oh, and the fabric is pinstriped. And I did not make any attempt to match up the pockets when I cut them out, yet it does match, almost perfectly. Apparently the screw-up with the welt pockets was karma for that working out so well.

The pocket construction is much better designed in the Thurlows, so you don't see lining peaking out. I did stabilize the bias edge of the pants front for the pockets in pair #2, and I highly recommend that step. On the first pair they gape a little because of the stretch.
The fly construction is different in both, but I don't really have a preference. 

Oh, and where, in real live fabric stores, does one actually find batiste? Thurlow #1 used some cotton that is really too thick for lining (since the pattern requests batiste), Juniper used leftover poly silky from another project, and Thurlow #2 used bemberg left from another project (with self-lined waistband).


For a beginner, the Junipers would be easier, but that's not a superior pattern issue as much as a fewer included options issue (no welt pockets, the front pockets don't have the other lining pieces, etc.). 

I compared the waistband pieces of the two, and they don't seem that different, but the Juniper waist fits much better. I also find the Juniper waistband construction easier. (I actually laid out the two waistbands when I made Thurlow #2, fully planning to use the Juniper waistband, and then convinced myself they weren't that different, so didn't. Looking at them now, the Juniper does curve more - it's just that because the pieces are cut on the fold, it seems less noticeable).
In many ways the Thurlows are better designed. With a good sewalong available, they seem pretty beginner friendly. 

(Based on size 6)JuniperThurlow
Waist (i.e. top of pants)2932
Bottom leg circumference25 ¾24
Knee circumference25 ¾18 ½
Finished Waist (pattern back)28 ½32
Finished Hip (pattern back)4043
Size waist2827
Size hip3839
45" fabric needed2 ⅞ 3 ¼
60" fabric needed2 ⅔2 ½

Ignore the color. . .
So that explains a lot right there: The Thurlows are drafted with 5 inches of ease in the waist while the Junipers are drafted with 1/2 inch of ease in the waist. How are pants with 5 inches of ease in the waist supposed to stay on? Also, since these pants don't sit at the actual waist, what do these waist measurements really mean?

Here are some other cute junipers.

So, what next? Well, I've got two different pieces of fabric set aside for more pants in 2014. I think I'm going to frankenpattern the heck out of these two patterns. Maybe Junipers from top to crotch and Thurlows from pockets to hem. I may try muslining the Thurlows in a 4 though, just to see.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you SO much ;) I have both patterns & have only made a disastrous attempt at the Thurlows, so perhaps the Junipers may fit my waist better.
    Such a simple yet effective comparison - bring them on! 2014: The year of pants!