originally published 5/23/11


I have a new pair of Ciggies. Oh and I am extremely pleased. I have 2 pairs currently in the closet, one in dark brown the other is a light amber-yellow.   Both in a cotton twill.  This weight cotton twill is excellent for nearly year round use.  Perfect in spring and autumn, fine in the winter if worn with tights.  OK in the summer except for those very hottest days but you know, I would wear these in the desert or other really sunny places just for protection.  In that case, I put up with the immediate discomfort knowing I’m avoiding 2nd degree burns.  The brown is mostly for autumn and winter wear.  I change to all dark colors as soon as the first flurries of snow appear.  I’ve learned that somehow the snow picks up road tars which are flung on the cars and then brushed against by me.  Road tars are never removable. Not by me at least.  So it should come as no surprise that I had another 1.5 yards of a light rose-pink languishing in the Under-2-yard stacks. Since spring refuses to arrive, instead of sewing spring and summer wardrobes, I’ve been sewing whatever matching up yardages with appropriate patterns.  It was time for this also cotton twill to become pants.  I considered shorts, but that would have left a big awkward piece.  Like too big for me to throw away without a guilty conscience but too small to do much with.  I have been working those small projects and let me tell you, I’m reluctant to deliberately add more stash for them.  This fabric was 58″ wide and just the perfect length for a pair of ciggie pants.


After months, years even  of depending on elastics and belts to adjust the waistlines to fit my body. After making pant after pant and trying to figure out where my waistline is.  I’ve finally discovered the right waistband size for me.  At this length my pants stay in place, neither dropping to my hips nor riding up under my bra, but sitting just at the waist.  This is vitally important.  Pants hang from the waistband.  All other fitting is for naught if the waistband isn’t where you want it.  For me, I want the waistband at my natural waist except for jeans.  I do like jeans about 1″ below.  For years I was afraid to make my waistband’s tight enough.  I always thought it was better for them to be slightly loose.  I knew the too tight ones were uncomfortable, tending to ride up and under my bra and generally ended up being unbuttoned sometime in the afternoon.  So too loose rather than too tight was my objective.  The last 8 or so pants I’ve concentrated on getting it just right.  I’ve been decreasing my waistband by 1/2″ each try.  Finally I’ve arrived.  The last 3 pants I have made the waistband to the same perfect-for-me measurement.  I must stress that the perfect measurement not only keeps your pants sitting where you want them, but is comfortable to wear. No I won’t tell you my measurement because you need to find your own.  It’s a very personal thing.  People can tell you what measurement to start with, but then you must spend the time experimenting, ripping, sewing, swearing until you find your very own perfection.


So these pants, even though I have 2 currently in my wardrobe and a few more in the winter clothing, are somewhat new.  They have no belt loops, the waistband is expected to keep them in place.  They are also the perfect length to me.  I like my long pants about 1/2″ to 1″ above the floor, just enough that I’m not walking on them.  That changes of course with the shoe that is worn.  This pair breaks over the front of my foot but in the back is just above the floor.


Now keep in mind that these were ironed about 6 hours ago.  I wore them before taking pictures. I was anxious to see how the correctly fitting waistband would affect the feel and appearance of my 3rd favorite and DH 2nd favorite long-leg pants patterns. (DH likes the Jalie jeans best. My #1 is the TJ906 jeans, #2 Jalie jeans, #3 Ciggie slim pants #4 JSM trousers)

My feeling is that pegging the hems might help some of the wrinkles, but maybe not. After all 100% cottons wrinkles about as much as 100% linen.  That’s why the “new” fabrics back in 1950 were so welcome.  No ironing and wrinkle free were advertising words guaranteed to wiggle dollars right out of mom’s purse.


They feel a little tight in the rear and I can see the back waistband dipping slightly.  I’ll scoop this pair and maybe the pattern.  There is still plenty of ease in the pant and leg.  I could remove a bit more from the back of my thigh, but I’ve got to confess these are comfortable to wear.


I also see the side bending just slightly forward also at the waistband.  I could let that dart out and see if that solves my problem.  As it was, to fit the waistband to the pant, I increased the back darts from 3/8″ to 5/8″ deep. I don’t want the waistband to gain any overall length, it is perfect. So whatever I do in front needs to be compensated probably in the back.


This particular pair might still have benefited from a belt.  I can see that they have dropped slightly from the waist, which also adds wrinkles below.  However, I’ve read other bloggers discussing the problem of waistlines stretching.  One of the solutions is taping the waistline and/or waistband.  I think I’ll try that next.  I do interface my waistband but I’m not sure that is enough.  I do like this pair and will wear them just as sewn, but styled a little:

See you at the grocery store!