In my pile, I had two yards of brown fabric that I purchased several years ago. I originally intended to make pants out of this material. This never happened. At that time, I was also trying to make pajamas and that project elevated my frustration level beyond a point where medication or alcohol would help me. I ditched the pajama project and all other aspirations I had to make clothing. Making cloths was hard. That was that. All the material for clothing went into the scrap-material pile.
Years later that cloth seemed like materially manifested unresolved karma. Now is the time to redeem myself, I thought. I am older. I am wiser. Surly I have achieved a level of inner piece that no complicated sewing pattern can penetrate. I can do this. I can make some pants.
I went to Hancock Fabrics and picked up a Simplicity pattern for a buck. The packaging said, “Super Easy.” Great. How could I mess up?
Did you know that Simplicity packages their patterns in such a way that sizes 6 to 18 are in one package and sizes 20W to whatever are in another package? Because I didn’t know that. I picked up the 20W plus package. I realized this error when I got home and was trying to figure out what size fit my measurements. I took measurements on my body and came to the conclusion that I needed a size 18. A size 20W was only one size larger. I really didn’t want to drive all the way back to Handcock’s to exchange this $1 pattern. I figured I could make the 20W work. It was just a few inches difference and it was an elastic waist band. I could modify it if needed. The pants were happening . . . and that was that.
I cut my fabric. I sewed it together. I held it up to my body repeatedly as I went through the process. I felt both confident and satisfied. It wasn’t until the project was almost complete that I realized the error of my thinking. I slipped the pants on my body and stood in front of a mirror. “I look like a weight loss ad,” I said to myself. I wiggled my body about and watched these pants slide right to the floor. These pants were more than a few inches too big on me.
I can’t explain why I thought I would fit in a size 18 let alone 20W. The measurements seemed suggest that’s what I needed. Maybe I measured improperly. Maybe my seams were too small. Maybe the pants are meant to be a bit baggy to begin with. I don’t know. All I know is that I had illusions of wearing the pants to work or to a family function and bragging about my newly acquired cloths-making skill. All my illusions were shattered as I stood before that mirror.
The important thing is that I didn’t give up. I cut inches off here and inches off there and sewed everything again. The pants stay on my body now. Therefore, I am calling it a success. But it is only success in the sense that I made pants that I can wear when I’m painting or weeding the yard. I will never where these pants out of my house. They don’t exactly seem fashionable after my ‘modifications’.
I reduced my scrap-material pile some and I gained just a bit more of an appreciation for the work that goes into making my blue jeans. I feel I have gotten over my hang-up with cloths-making and I would like to try again. But alas, there is not another large piece of fabric in my scrap pile that would accommodate such a project.
I thought about taking a photo of my big pants, but I decided against it for the same reasons I don’t wear them out of the house. That’s why all you’re getting is my artistic rendition.