The design and concept for
The first pair I made, roughly three years ago, I used a patchwork eyelet/crinkle cotton/lace fabric, intending them to be a cover-up to wear poolside.
They were a lot more intriguing in concept than in actuality.
Island pants are wrap pants that are sewn up in the inseam and crotch seams only, with extra fabric that extends past the side seam line on both front and back, and long ties extending from the waistbands. They tie on.
After I made them, it felt a little like tying on a diaper.
There were a couple of problems I had trying to wear the first pair. The lace squares in the patchwork are so lacey and see-through that even poolside, they were a bit awkward.
And the ties never stay put, so the front or back was always riding up over the other panel. And, having a tie at center back at the waist meant that I couldn’t sit back comfortably. So I toyed with ideas about how I could change that waist arrangement everytime I picked them up and moved them from one side of the armoire shelf to the other. In any case, they languished.
Still, I found the concept intriguing. And I wanted a pair of breezy, full, lightweight pants to take with us to the
So, in the infamous words of Tim Gunn, I pulled some handkerchief weight turquoise linen out of the stash, and set about to “Make it Work”.
I cut them out, turned under the long vertical side seams on each front and each back ¼ inch twice and topstitched, then stitched and serged the inseams and crotch seams. Next, I matched the side seams lines at the waist, overlapping the back on the front, and pinned. Nope, if I stitched that closed, they weren’t going over my hips.
So, I opened out the waist opening so that it was barely an inch less than my full hip measurement, then pinned the overlap together at the waist.
Next, I cut a 4” wide waistband that same measurement long. I folded it in half, and stitched it to the waistline 1 to 1, leaving it open about an inch either side of the CB seam.
Then I inserted a 1 ¼” wide elastic in the waistband. And stitched the elastic right into the CB seam, then finished stitching the waistband to the pant at CB.
Voila, a pair of elastic waist pull-on pants that are ‘wrap’ pants that have no stitched side seam but have a comfortable waist that stays put. They are still modest enough in that they don’t fly open, even in the high trade winds of the
They are exactly what I wanted – definitely lounge pants. These won’t go to the grocery store, but they will do evening on the deck while barbequing here in the hottest summer months.
For this pant to be successful, I think only the lightest weight fabrics are suitable. Anything too heavy and they’re going to sit out like balloon pants.
Changes I would make on another pair, if I were to make them:
I would make sure that the width allowed the side seam markings to match and still go over my hips. In the case of using this Burda pattern, I’d have to cut a larger size…or just not stitch that shaping dart on front and back. I’d still stitch the dart at the side seam mark though. I like that shaping detail.
However, this could easily be drafted from any TNT pant pattern. Just straighten the side seam line up to the waist from the hip. Then add approximately 6 to 8” to the side seam (less if you’re petite, more if you feel you need it to balance your girth) to both the back leg and the front leg.