Continuing the trend of sewing bottoms from my last post, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts about Simplicity 8457. This pattern was quite a step up for me, involving an all new technique in terms of inserting an invisible zipper. And it was also my first time dealing with trousers with a pleated front. My love of wide-leg, high-waisted trousers had well and truly set in by this stage, as had my desire to find pairs that fit. Naturally I turned to another one of my Spotlight Specials patterns to make this happen and stumbled over a series of patterns called Amazing Fit. I was intrigued by the notion that it had “curvy” pattern options, which seemed specifically designed for people with larger hips and thighs than waists.
This pattern also marked the end of the never sew the same thing twice curse, given I actually sewed two muslins and then the final product! I made View B, with an overall size of 16 but snuck in the size 18 crotch and inner leg seam for comfort. I also made up the hem length by seeing how it looked once on, and comparing it to other wide leg trousers I had on hand. So I did my classic double-turn hem manoeuvre, of first turning it up ¼” and then turning it up again – this time by 1 ½”. Straight out of the packet there was a lot to love about this pattern. The instructions were clear, and included a whole section for basting to check fit – and diagnosing fit issues. I still adore that about this pattern.
The real struggle for me had been in locating appropriate fabric. I could not for the life of me find decent black fabric, no matter how often I went to the op-shops and scoured online. And what I could find online was not at all worth the asking price. Although generally speaking fabric in Australia is ridiculously expensive, I expect due to the cost if import and so on. So I regrettably had to go to an actual shop for the fabric, which proved to be the first problem. I had a fairly negative experience, and wasn’t thrilled to be stuck with Chino. It wrinkled badly and wasn’t fun to pin or sew. The invisible zipper I bought from this store also broke within the first three wears, and attempts to replace it were disastrous. It’s put me off invisible zippers in general, because I’ve never had that issue with regular, second-hand zips. Maybe if I can find an invisible zip from a reputable brand I might attempt it again, but for now I’ve put that aside.
I did get some chances to wear these until the zip gave out on me, during which time I realised something. I hate pleated pants. After washing, wearing and relaxing the front area of the pants became extremely unflattering. My natural shape means that my lower stomach sticks out, and when that was combined with pleats it had the unfortunate effect of making me look like I was attempting to smuggle goods down the front of my pants without being caught. I also examined all the pants I currently own, and even today the only pair that has pleats is made largely made of viscose so that they drape rather than puff. So it seams darts and flat fronts are more for me!
Pattern: Simplicity 8457
Views Made: View B, Curvy Fit
Pros: Very fitting friendly, and various “fit” types like curvy make fitting much easier. Instructions are also very detailed.
Cons: Has pleats, but other than that absolutely none – and even that is more of a personal preference than any reflection on the design.
Would I recommend it to beginners: I would recommend it, so long as you already have some prior pants experience, and are happy to consult Youtube and other media if you need help with the invisible zipper portion.
Would I sew it again: Unfortunately I wouldn’t. Three times is enough for me, and with the pleats I simply wouldn’t wear them.