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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, February 22, 2016

Easy, ageless and Cool

A while ago at a sewing group meeting one of the other women, whose cool style I admire, said she would most definitely make some wide Louise Cutting pants.

I have to admit something.

I have never made any Louise Cutting patterns. To be honest I thought they would swamp me, and they are just not my usual style.

That said, and thinking things over after the meeting, I decided it was time to see how I would look in something I never wear.

Also who can exclude themselves from categorization as Easy, Ageless and Cool?


Here we are, in what my dad would have called Whoopee pants. In size small/medium in the RV setting where whoopee pants are more appropriate than they might be in other environments.

First the pattern:

 Then the me:
The back view because, well you are strong enough to take it, as I am about to fall off the RV. I also  thought you would find it interesting to see what happens when a girl decides to let her hair go grey and it turns out she has one white patch in the back. Now how's that for surprises?
More highway than runway and I think the Birks and socks set the look right off perfectly. Also I am pretty sure my eyes are closed here too. At one hand we have the food bloggers who take pictures that look like artwork and on the other hand we have me...

And now to the pattern itself.

I really regret not sewing any of Louise Cutting's designs before. Her instructions are the bomb. I mean they were more interesting than any book I have read this year, and I read a lot of books. I would sew any of her patterns again just for a chance to read her instructions, they are that good and that interesting.

It made me almost cry when I worked through her pattern to think of all the knowledge she has, the wealth of that handy hint stuff that any sewer knows makes or breaks the final product, and think what some of the Indie patterns would be if they had this kind of talent working for them at the teaching and word end.

Why have we let this gulf between a sewing generation who knows so much, and one that is trying to learn develop?

Back to the pattern.

Here are some detail shots.

The wide waistband with stitching lines, you would not believe how much that woman has to say about elastic waists:

And here is a shot of the big pockets on each leg:

I have to say I love the pockets. 

They are huge, really you could put a couple of overweight cats in each one and go for a walk. Or carry a small child on one leg and two weeks of library books on the other and still have room for Kleenex. 

I mean how handy is that?

But back to the main question Babs.

Do you like these pants and would you make them again?

Would you wear them 20 feet past the RV?

Well I think I would.

There is something bratty about a garment that is so comfortable and practical and everyday. You have to have a certain amount of confidence to wear these I think, you would probably have to be easy, ageless and cool.

I am considering making them in something flowly and white for when in the summer you want white pants that don't touch your body, rayon would be good, although I would make them for myself again in a small, which in fact I am not.

I also was expecting something a little shorter, more crop-esque, even though I am 5'9," these still are nearly pant length on me.

Final verdict. 

There is a place in every wardrobe for something so easy to wear for days when things aren't easy, or when you just want to mail in your performance, and be nice to yourself.

Make sense?


Anonymous said...

Agree on Louise's instructions! And each pattern seems to have useful info. (Her classes are good too.) I think the pants should be longer or shorter, either way. They look a little high-water, as is. Although maybe that's good for Florida. Elle

kathysews said...

Love these, and enjoy your thoughts. I just ordered my first Cutting Line pattern, also for pants... based on a conversation at the JoAnn pattern table with a complete stranger, who was very well put together, while on vacation in Florida. I second the motion about reading the instructions. My Mother's vintage patterns have similar pithy hints included. I think folks who are new to sewing get discouraged due to poor instructions and sewing order that doesn't make sense. I see white or cream, flowy, maybe linen/rayon blend. I will put that pattern at the top of my stack, thanks!

thornberry said...

I've never sewn any of Louise Cutting's patterns either, but you may have just convinced me. Even if only for the instructions! I think that these look pretty good.

Coco said...

Such a great post! I have several of her designs, and I absolutely agree with you - they're great reading, she is very talented, and the patterns are just downright nice! Yes, wear them everywhere! they're darling, I love Birkies and socks, go for it!

Quilt Print said...

I like this! Something easy to do and very functional

Lyndle said...

They look cool to me... I certainly think you could wear them (and rock them) in a myriad of public places, but then I've never been to Florida so what would I know? Enjoy them and those pockets!

Janet said...

Totally in agreement about the instructions. I thought I would rebel against the level of detail of instruction, but instead it felt like a sewing course. And I loved every minute. I have bought several of these patterns after watching the Cutting Line Designs fashion show last year at the International Sewing Expo. The show was brilliant. The fabric choice was exquisite. The garments have so much ease and it is difficult to translate what I saw on the runway. Her photo gallery is great inspiration.

celkalee said...

At a recent sewing expo I purchased several of Louise Cutting patterns. The envelope sketches are interesting, modern. The line drawings very good. But then I saw a fashion show, with just her patterns. Amazing. In the show the clothes were made with very high quality fabrics, many linens, find knits and rayons. This one is in my queue and I have balked because I am not that keen on crops and the pockets may be a bit much for my less than trim thighs. But you have piqued my interest. They look good on you, a little big (you skinny girl) but great casual wear. Particularly if you are an RV girl!

garnet128 said...

I LOVE CLD patterns. Louise is, as others have said, extremely talented and very generous with her knowledge. Her patterns are a sewing lesson in themselves. She is also a very nice lady in person. I always attend at least one of her classes at the Atlanta sewing expo.. not because I need too (I already know what she is going to teach since I have been to so many year after year), but because I want to.

I have many of her patterns and love them all. I have made in excess of 30 pairs of one seam pants of different variations. With that said, I am a plus size lady and prefer a little room in my garments, however, I still usually come down a size...or two! I use the finished measurements to decide what will work for me and the fabric of choice.

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

You look adorable and comfortable in the new pants. I know that I have one of Louise's patterns in my library but not sure which one, now I am excited to go home and check it out! I am at a place in my life where comfortable clothing is where it's at! If I could get away with it I would wear my leggings to work, can't do that but could probably get away with these! Thanks for the share!
PS You are very funny and make everyday I read your blog whether serious or not a better day! Keep up the good work!

Linda said...

Like the pants. I do find some Louise Cutting patterns overwhelming in size and have learned to modify them to fit my petite size. Some of her styles I truly love but they don't work for me and my work setting, maybe when I retire and casual becomes a way of life.

Anonymous said...

Her style seems to be for the more willowly body type, which I am not. But I've made her patterns and absolutely agree that each instruction sheet is an example of excellence -- so much to learn! And so well presented! When I sew her patterns, I look for darts and seams, since I am an "apple" shaped, short person, and seams make alterations possible. I've taken a class with her and asked for advice on adapting her patterns to my shape and she was extremely generous -- "just drop a dart in here" (on one of her tank tops). I loved her willingness to help someone make her style work for them. She's a generous, very knowledgeable sewer and a terrific teacher. And she sells some fabulous elastic for use in her patterns.

Laceflower said...

Sorry Babs, I disagree with everyone; I think they are hideous. I wouldn't even let my DH see me in these!

Barbara said...

Well Laceflower you may have a point there. I always wondered how I would look in arty, sometimes it's a hit and sometimes a miss. I like to try new things and that comes with the territory.

Sandra O'Leary said...

Love your posts! I look forward to each one that appears in my emails...
I absolutely love Louise Cutting's designs and think I have most of her patterns...now I have to start sewing!
These pants are great on you and as you said so comfy, 'nough said.

Anonymous said...

Went to her style show--which was excellent--at the Puyallup Sewing expo yesterday and learned that Louise designs the patterns, and does the drawings and technical illustrations, and that her partner writes the instructions. Once again, two heads etc. Elle