Back around 10 years ago, when I was just getting back into sewing, I thought my best strategy was to make simple, easy patterns in really nice fabrics. Hmmm. I was pretty smart back then. Anyway, one of the first patterns I bought, was Louise Cutting’s famous One-Seam Pant. I’ve made them several times through the years, and every pair gets lots of wear. Last weekend I pulled it out and made it again – the tapered version. (She has both a straight and tapered leg version in the envelope, and there is more difference between them than just the width of the leg.) Louise has recently published a chart for making both versions narrower – they are both fuller than the current fashion. So I used the chart and modified the tapered pant, making it up in sophia ponte. (here’s a link to her chart: http://fabriccollections.com/whatsnew/One_Seam.html )
I’m wearing the LC tapered pants on the left. On the right is another pant with no side seam that I made very recently – Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 8397. Marcy’s version has darts at the hem which I left off on this pair.
It’s a little hard to compare and contrast, because the Vogue pattern should really be compared to Louise’s straight leg version. But the LC straight leg is really too wide for my taste now, and I haven’t tried narrowing it down yet.
Aside from the leg, the Vogue pattern has waistline darts front and rear, which cuts down on the gathering at the waist. I don’t think either of these scream ELASTIC WAIST!!!!, do you? However, the fuller version of Louise’s one-seams (pre-chart) do have a lot of gathers and you have to wear your top pretty long to cover them up. Marcy’s Vogue design also has a secret pocket just big enough for your phone that hangs from the waist on the inside of the pant – no outside opening – so if your phone rings you have to access it by sticking your hand down your pants…and this inelegant action will also reveal your elasic waist.
Which one is better? The Louise pant is highly-regarded, and she’s famous for it. Of course there are differences in the draft, but what really sets the Louise pant apart is her very complete directions for fitting and construction. I really like both of them. With a no-side-seam pant, the grainline runs straight down the middle of the pattern piece, which makes the grainline drop straight from the hip; that’s a really good line for me. Both versions go together quickly, and you can customize them with tabs, patch or welt pockets, and all kinds of boutique-y doodads. Neither one requires a zipper (yay!), although I guess you could add a side seam, add darts, add a fly, and have the straight-from-the-hip grainline with traditional styling.
I’m so enthused about these that I’ve pre-laundered several fabrics to whip up a few more.