My most recent make is a re-make, so extra satisfying. I was able to convert a pair of Pencil pants into Helix pants, both patterns from The Sewing Workshop (TSW). I'm still a little amazed this did not turn into an expensive wadder. The fabric is a very nice rayon ponte also from TSW.
The Helix pants are my go-to for pull-on knit pants. There is so much to like - smooth darted waistline, slim fit (limited only by my personal silhouette!), and the fact that they fit my flat butt without those old-lady wrinkles. I worked on fitting these in 2015 at one of those Sew Kansas retreats Linda has in Topeka, KS. This was a huge help because knit pants are very challenging to mock up in a toile.
The waistline was a significant factor. It is a separate piece, which I think is always a good idea. And the elastic is enclosed in the waistband, also a generally good idea. The elastic is zig-zagged onto the inside of the waistband so it's not really visible, and so a fairly smooth unbulkly finish.
And I thought they looked great.
Then I took a look in the back. Good Lord! Totally old-lady wrinkles around my flat butt. I still wear them, but generally with tunics to cover that unsightly mess. Why oh why didn't I think to use the crotch curve from the Helix on the Pencil pants!?!
So now my first pair is just plain too big on me. There's a lot of time spent staring at the TV screen and listening to political pundits, so plenty of time to unstitch all those stitches, even the zig-zag waist elastic. And it's good for the mind to keep the hands busy during these unsettling times in the USA.
I laid out the Helix pattern on the Pencil pants pieces. They did not fit perfectly, so I lost a little through the hips and the length. But, basically, it worked. And knits can be forgiving of a little fudging.
After completing all but the waistline and the hems, I tried them on. Voila! No old-lady butt wrinkles. I love that. But I decided to change the waistline completely. The old Pencil pants waist piece was sufficiently wide and long to allow me to simply cut an on-grain waistband and slide 3/4 inch elastic into it. I stitched down the front part of the elastic to keep the tummy part flat, and allowed the rest to gather just a little. It's still pretty smooth and I like that it sits perfectly at my waistline. So comfortable.
And then there was the length. It's a good thing I don't wear heels anymore. Actually I never did much. These finish at my ankles and will be great with the flats I usually wear. I was tempted to leave the hems unfinished but decided I would not be happy with that. So I added a bias strip of matching silk dupioni, a go-to fix-it fabric I keep on hand in many colors.