Style Arc Sadie Pant. According to Style Arc, Sadie is a “Great pull on pant with a flat front and interestingly shaped pockets. The elastic is a feature and comes from the front panel and continues across the back. The ankle length leg has a very wearable and flattering tapered leg with a hem split. The top of the elastic sits on the natural waist.”
Size range: Sizes 4 – 30 (waist: 23.5″ – 50.5”, hip: 32.6″ – 61”)
What size did you make? I chose size 16 because it matched my hip size exactly.
What are your measurements, height, and body type? Waist: 36.5″, Hip: 44.5”, Height 5’2”, Pearish
What fabric did you use?
This pattern is intended for lightweight woven fabrics, so I used this “Telio Stretch Marlow Denim Grey” fabric from fabric.com. I’m not sure why it has “denim” in the name (perhaps the striated coloring?) because it is soft and drapes like a heavy rayon. The fiber contents were listed as “66% Rayon/31% Polyester/3% Spandex.” It’s a lovely fabric; it has a nice drape, a slight stretch, and it doesn’t wrinkle as easily as a rayon challis, making it great for pants. There’s also a bit of a sheen to it. I liked it so much I ordered some more in another color after I received it in the mail. Like a lot of rayons, it does take a shine if over pressed.
The pattern also called for 1.5″ elastic, which will show as a design feature and will sit against your skin. I couldn’t find anything soft enough for my liking locally so I ordered this black plush elastic off Amazon, which was perfect for the job. It would also be great for exposed sports bra bands or men’s boxer briefs.
What adjustments did you make?
I made a muslin first and based on the fit I added 1″ to the back rise (by adding a wedge halfway up the rise that tapers to nothing at the side seams). I always have problems in RTW and in pants sewing patterns with the back of my pants riding too low and gaping, so this is a standard alteration for me.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a similar enough fabric for the muslin, so after sewing the pants in my fashion fabric I found I had more issues with the fit under the bum, specifically smile lines pointing from the back hip to the back crotch. After consulting with a friend I scooped the back crotch out a little (1/4″) and still had issues. Then I let out the upper inseams by 1/4″ which helped some with the drag lines. Style Arc uses 3/8″ seam allowances which I usually appreciate, but in this case I wish I had larger seams to be able to let out the inseams a bit more. If I could do it again I would have left 1″ seam allowances on the inseams and side seams to be able to tweak the fit. I think what I needed here was a full inner thigh adjustment.
Finally, I shortened the pants by 1″ to retain the look of the cropped split hem. (I’m 5’2″.)
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
I’ve sewn up quite a few Style Arc patterns before so I knew they come with minimal instructions. Usually this isn’t an issue for me, but with the unique waistband treatment I found myself feeling frustrated with the instructions. For example, the instructions start by telling you to stitch the pocket top to the pant front and clipping the corner. I stitched the L shape at the top of the pocket to the pant front, and then when I got to the end of assembling I realized that in order to insert the elastic I should have only stitched the horizontal edge instead of the vertical edge. This resulted in some unpicking, and then some cursing because the corner I clipped was now not stabilized by any stay stitching and was fraying a bit. Now that I know how the pants are supposed to go together they wouldn’t be hard to assemble, but if you are a beginner or hate trying to puzzle together unusual construction methods, this is not the pattern for you.
Another thing I tripped over during the construction was the back darts. Most patterns would have you sew the darts up first, while the Style Arc instructions had you sew them after the pants are mostly assembled. I thought that was perhaps intended to be able to try on the pants and adjust how much fabric you needed darted out at the back. When I got to this step I ended up changing the four darts from 5/8″ each to 1-1/4″ each. Huge mistake! It was too much width to dart out in that small of a rise and my fabric bubbled terribly at the end of the darts. I had noticed earlier that there were visible white holes in my fabric when I ripped out stitches so I felt I couldn’t remove the darts to correct, and that led to me adding some welt pockets to cover the bubbliness of the darts. THEN I discovered that I had made the waist too small to easily pull over my hips so I ended up adding a fly front zip. Basically this was a train wreck of bad decisions that was entirely my fault (not the pattern’s), and now I have the fanciest elastic waist pants ever. If anyone else has issues with the waist gaping, I recommend sewing the darts as recommended and using the elastic to take the waist in if needed so that you can still get the pants over your hips.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I was a little disappointed in the fit at first, but some friends convinced me it wasn’t all that bad. I’ve sewn other Style Arc pants before, and I was expecting these to fit perfectly because I made another pattern meant for lightweight wovens and they fit great (the Antionette pant, blogged about here). I think the difference between the two patterns is that the Antoinette pant had a looser fit in the thigh because of the pleating so they were more forgiving in fit. I still think the Style Arc pant sloper gives a better fit for me out of the envelope than Big 4 patterns, and I had similar issues with frown lines in the back of my Ginger Jeans so this is probably just a fit issue I need to work on personally.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
These pants took me 3 times longer than expected to make because of all the detours I took, so I felt pretty done with the pattern after finishing them. But after wearing the pants for a day I have to say they are the epitome of “secret pajamas.” The waist stays in place very nicely without digging in and the flat front means that there are no unsightly lumps poking through your shirt in front. After realizing how nice they are to wear, I think I’d like to make another pair with what I learned from the first pair. Perhaps I’ll document the instructions and post them somewhere online to save someone else some grief.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
I referenced Pants for Real People when working on my fitting issues. I haven’t seen any other resource that comes close to the level of detail on all the reasons for various drag lines and alterations to make to correct them.
Size Range: 5
Construction Process: 3
Final Fit: 3.5
Overall Rating: 3.5
I love the idea of the Sadie pant and I really like wearing them, I just thought the construction process was more painful than I wanted for a simple pull on pant style. I’m a sucker for patterns with unique details like the exposed elastic on this pant, but if I’m honest I’ll never wear them with a shirt tucked in for anyone to see that detail. Still, now that I understand the construction I’d like to make them again.