Yvette’s Robert Kaufman Ventana Twill Dani Pants
Let's start this tale with a classic plot device, the introductory flashback: It's January 2021, I'm chilly in my ample viscose dress collection, having fallen out of love with my skinny jeans so I vow that 'this will be the year I sew my own trousers!'.
Flash forward to the present - the year is dwindling rapidly and I can feel winter creeping in, yet so far I have produced zero pairs of trousers! My (now larger) collection of viscose dresses chuckles from inside the wardrobe.
My DMs *ding* (metaphorically of course, I'm a millennial so my phone is always on silent) - it's Jenny from the Sew Me Sunshine team, asking whether I'd like some fabric in exchange for a blog post? My mind instantly flicks to the Robert Kaufman Ventana Twill I'd been eyeing up for a while...it would be perfect for trousers and I do need the motivation...I'm in! I very gratefully received 3m of the vermilion colourway, and with it, fresh determination on my quest for perfect trousers!
I decided to make the Dani Pants by True Bias because the design checked all the boxes - high waisted, pockets, elasticated back waistband, yes, yes, yes. I knew it was likely that I would have to make some adjustments though, as I often struggle shopping for trousers. I'm 5'2 with booty to boot so now is the time to brace yourself for lots of pictures of my butt, as I take you through the toiles and adjustments I made to the Dani pattern.
Toile 1: Dani Pants view B, straight out of the packet with no modifications. The crotch was sitting too low, it felt tight on the legs and the waistband was slanting to the back.
Toile 2: I cut toile 1 across the lengthen/shorten line and removed 1 inch from the rise. This meant the crotch was in the right place but the legs felt even tighter and the waistband was even more slanted towards the back. I figured this slanting was because I didn't have enough fabric in the back to accommodate the aforementioned booty.
Toile 3: When altering a pattern it's advisable to make one change at a time, so I traced the pattern and made a full seat adjustment - I could let out the seam allowances later if I needed more room for my legs. As it turned out, the full seat adjustment was just the ticket to fix both the waist angle and the leg tightness - my butt must have been hogging the leg fabric too! I decided the amount to add by trying to measure the distance between toile 2's waistband and where I wanted it to sit on my waist. Alas, this was quite tricky to measure by myself so I really overshot by adding in 8cm! As you can see, this toile is quite baggy above the butt.
Toile 3.5: Mr Sandwich assisted me in pinning out the excess fabric in the back of toile 3 - meaning I could avoid both the emotional pain of making a whole new toile and the physical pain of stabbing myself in the bum. I then measured how much had been pinned out and reduced the full seat adjustment by 3cm. My final adjustments were to remove 2.5cm from the rise and do a 5cm full seat adjustment. I found the Closet Core guide helpful. All toiled out, I decided it was time to cut into the 'real' fabric!
I have to say, I LOVED sewing with this fabric. It was stable to cut and sew and the structure of the finished garment is really satisfying. Sew Me Sunshine stocks this Robert Kaufman Ventana Cotton Twill in loads of delicious colourways so there’s plenty of choice. I'm tempted to get more as it would be perfect for lots of projects - I'm contemplating an Ilford Jacket, but it would also be great for dungarees or even a bag.
I have high praise for the Dani Pants pattern too. This is my first experience sewing a True Bias pattern and I thought the instructions were top notch (excuse the pun). There was reassurance where you needed it - the zip instructions note that the bulk of the zipper pull means the stitching would never be perfectly straight and that’s fine - and there were also gentle reminders at exactly the right times - "If you haven't already, fuse the interfacing to the left and right waistbands" - how did it know I'd skipped over the interfacing bit?! It felt less like following instructions and more like being in a sewing class where the tutor was observing your process and interjecting when required.
All in all, I'm really pleased with my new trousers and I can see more in my future! I am very grateful to the Sew Me Sunshine team for sending me this lovely fabric and giving me the opportunity to write this blog post. I hope you have enjoyed coming on this wild ride with me! I have also made a YouTube video if you want to watch me thinking through my toile adjustments in real time and check out some styling combos with my new trousers and just about everything else in my wardrobe. Find me @BlossomSandwich on Instagram to follow my next sewing adventure