Fanciful Rose Pants

made by rae - rose pants in fanciful fabric

When I’m experimenting with a new pattern I often make samples using a basting stitch; it makes the sewing go faster and allows me to adjust the fit really easily as I go. I baste the seams and pin the hems, and often I don’t finish one sample before I move on to the next one to experiment with some new variable.

This pair of cropped Rose pants was one of those samples. I cut and basted them together one day last fall when we were working on some aspect of the pattern. I used this gold quilting cotton print from my recent line for Cloud9, Fanciful, and as the weather got colder, I lost the motivation to finish them. However, when the weather started to warm up a couple months ago, I pulled them out and sewed them up properly.

made by rae - rose pants in fanciful fabric

I’m happy to report that I think quilting cotton actually works quite well for Rose if you want a pair of lightweight pants or shorts for warmer weather. I’ve discussed some of the issues you should consider when sewing garments with quilting cotton before, so check out this post (also Fanciful garment, interestingly!) for that discussion.

The print itself is really fun and I got a “Wow. I like your pants! They’re so….FLORAL!” from the checkout guy at Kroger when I was buying groceries the other day (me: “Thanks! I made them myself!”).

made by rae - rose pants in fanciful fabric

The “fit-as-you-go” technique is something you can also do when making a muslin or sewing a pattern for the first time. Jess discussed the virtues of basting your seams to “fit as you go” in this post, and I’d encourage you to check it out if you’re unfamiliar with that technique.

Meanwhile, I’m wearing these babies with the bounty of other gold things in my closet — it seems to be my color of choice lately (here, here). One recent make is this this cropped top version of the Emerald dress that I made with leftover fabric from the sample I made for Making magazine (see it here).

made by rae - rose pants in fanciful fabric

We do intend to release an expanded version of the Emerald dress later this year as a standalone pattern (currently it’s available as a dress in Making magazine); it will include all 11 sizes in our new range in addition to this cropped top option, which I totally adore. My top versions of Emerald have definitely been in heavy rotation this summer. Not sure I will wear it with these pants — it’s a LOT of gold, even for me — but it’s kindof fun, right?

made by rae - rose pants in fanciful fabric

For more about Rose, check out the Rose page, get inspired by all the amazing Rose pants and shorts on Instagram, or buy the Rose pattern in my shop!

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My favorite fabrics for Rose pants (and shorts)

fabric for rose pants

Choosing fabric is a fun part of sewing up a new pattern, but fabric can have such a huge impact on fit (see this post for evidence) that if you miss the mark on fabric selection it can really make or break a pattern for you. Two garments made with the exact same pattern pieces but different fabrics can fit so differently (remember Jess’ post?) that it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you’re worried about the pieces fitting correctly in the first place. I know this can be stressful, especially if you’re new to sewing garments, so I wanted to provide some suggestions just in case you didn’t know where to start.

Here are five fabrics we’ve successfully made Rose pants or shorts out of, along with a few notes to help you in your fabric selection process.

1// Silk Noil (100% silk)

rose pants in silk noil

This fabric was an instant fave from the moment I sewed my first Cleo skirt with it last year. Meg got me into this fabric from Stone Mountain and Daughter (a number of other shops sell it as well; see list at bottom of post). It has a slightly nubby texture, is not at all shiny (it seems similar to what we used to call “raw silk”), is super soft, has tons of drape, and best of all, it’s machine washable (and can go in the dryer on low); just be careful as some of the colors may bleed when washed.

2 // Brussels Washer (linen-rayon blend)

rose pants in brussels washer linen

Jacqui was the first of our testers to try this cotton/rayon blend from Robert Kauffman, and Jess’ shorts sealed the deal: this fabric is PERFECT for Rose, plus it’s a fairly affordable option and widely available. Win-win.

3 // Essex (cotton-linen blend)

essex linen rose pants

This fabric has less drape than most of the other options in this post, but it still has a lovely weight for pants or shorts like Rose, as well as a softness that seems to get better with every wash. My light pink cropped Rose pants are made with Essex. I love that Robert Kaufman (the company that manufactures Essex) also offers some prints on the Essex base-cloth (shown above), as well as yarn-dyed options.

4 // Slub viscose-linen (linen-rayon blend)

rose pants in viscose linen

We discussed the pros and cons of this fabric at great length in this post, but it’s still one of our very faves due to its awesome drape, softness, and slub texture. Note that it goes by a number of names; see that post for names/sources.

5 // Loose-weave cottons (ikat, Loominous)

rose pants in loominous

This is a slightly less defined category, but when it comes to summer pants and shorts, you can’t go wrong with a soft, loosely woven cotton. The handwoven ikat cottons from India that have grown super popular in the past couple of years are a great example, so are the Loominous cotton collections from Anna Maria Horner. Both of these have similar behaviors: mid-weight but breathable, 100% cotton, loosely woven (as opposed to poplin, quilting cotton, or lawn), and soft. Avoid cotton gauzes and double gauzes for pants, however; the weave is a bit too loose for pants, and won’t stand up over time like more durable cotton fabrics will.

Where to buy:
You can also find some or all of these fabrics at Fancy Tiger Crafts, Ewe Fibers, Dry Goods Design, Imagine Gnats, Stonemountain and Daughter, and Shop La Mercerie; Blackbird Fabrics and Needlework Hamilton are great Canadian apparel fabric sources.

Finding the right fabric for a project can make the difference between loving something you’ve made and having it end up in the back of your closet. What are your favorite fabrics to sew pants or shorts with?

The Rose sewing pattern can be purchased in my shop. Check out the Rose page for more posts about this pattern!

Let’s talk about size range!

Not all of my sewing patterns come in the same size range, which is definitely confusing to people and something I’d love to remedy. However, as it seems unlikely we’ll be able to accomplish that in the near future, I thought it would be helpful to post some information about our women’s pattern sizing. And look! Elli made a handy infographic to make it easy to see at a glance the evolution of our size range and which patterns come in which sizes.

Many of you are aware that my latest pattern, Rose, comes in a larger size range than any of our previous patterns. Rose has gotten a fair amount of attention for having a more inclusive range, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Rose has been our most successful women’s pattern launch to date.

Here is the size chart (11 sizes) we began using this year (2019) beginning with Rose:

I’ve noticed that many people aren’t aware that the size range we began using in 2016 included plus sizes (up to roughly a US size 24). Gemma was the first pattern to be released in this range. We have begun working to update our older patterns as well, starting with Ruby, which we released in this new nine-size range in both print and PDF early last year.

Here is the size chart (9 sizes) we began using in 2016 (Gemma, Isla, Ruby,Cleo, and Jade come in this range):

And here is the original women’s size range (2012-2015) — patterns in this range include Washi, Beatrix, Josephine, Bianca, and Luna:

If someone stumbled across an older pattern in the original size range (like Washi or Beatrix), it makes sense that they would assume that ALL of our patterns have the same range. Until we manage to update all of the patterns, this will continue to be confusing. It’s also a bit of a vicious cycle — if people assume that all of our patterns come in a limited size range, we don’t get included in plus sized pattern roundups and it’s harder to get the word out that we have more sizes, which also means the updates don’t sell as well.

Happily, we’re currently working on grading both Luna and Washi into the newest range, and adding a bodice piece for fuller busts to Washi (similar to what Gemma, Beatrix, and Josephine already have). Because Washi is my oldest women’s pattern and has been in print since 2013, figuring out the logistical issues of re-releasing this pattern is definitely going to be a challenge. But I really want to be able to provide a wider range of sizes for those of you who would like to sew this beloved pattern (and Luna!), and I’m committed to this project. Stay tuned.

In the interest of transparency, one of the questions that I still can’t answer is whether the investment of increasing size range for older patterns (that is, grading, testing, updating and reprinting) pays off. We’ve only managed to update one pattern (Ruby) so far, but I suspect that that a re-release will never be as exciting as a new pattern launch. Fewer people talk about it, or share online, and despite our best efforts to let people know, it is understandably less of a big deal. My guess is that the most sustainable path forward will be to continue to intersperse pattern size updates with new pattern releases. We’ll see how it goes with Washi and Luna.

I’d like to say thank you to the awesome sewists who shared their body measurements online using the #sewmysize hashtag earlier this year. Knowledge is critical, and knowing what sizes we weren’t reaching allowed us to depart from using the size data we were using before and add more sizes to our size chart. Voices matter, and the amplified conversations around size inclusivity have been important to this change for us.

Many people have expressed appreciation for the new sizes. It’s encouraging to hear that feedback, and I am also very aware that we still have a lot of work to do, and that there are still people who are outside of the current range who would love to sew for themselves. While I certainly wish I had done things differently from the start, the best I can do is try to do better moving forward.

Thank you to those of you who helped post about and spread the word about our new size range and previous size updates. And if you didn’t know about it before, know that we are working hard to make more of the patterns fit more of your beautiful bodies!

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Jess’ brussels washer Rose shorts

Another day, another Rose post! We continue to celebrate the versatility of the Rose pattern with Jess’ shorts. This pair is made from Brussels Washer Yarn Dye by Robert Kaufman. This is a lovely blend of 55% linen / 45% rayon that is easy to care for (machine wash & dry!) and easy to sew.

While this particular color is sadly no longer available, there are still some gorgeous options in the yarn dyes, as well as the [non yarn-dyed] Brussels Washer collection.


Jess chose to use the inverted pleats on this pair. I’ve included a bunch of different pleating and gathering alternatives in the Rose pattern, and I recommend trying different ones when you make yours! I went into some more detail about gathers vs. pleats in this post.

A few reliable sources for Brussels Washer:
Fancy Tiger Crafts: Regular / Yarn Dyes
Imagine Gnats
Ewe Fibers
Stonemountain & Daughter

Find resources, inspiration, and everything Rose-related on the Rose Page. Just need the pattern? Find it in my shop!

Have you made a pair (or three…) of your own Rose pants or shorts? Share them and get inspired at #mbrrose!

Rose pants in viscose-linen

viscose-linen rose pants

Rose pants can be made out of a pretty wide variety of fabrics for different looks and textures! Here we have a couple of pairs sewn from viscose-linen. This fabric has been VERY HOT on the Apparel Sewing Internet for the past year, so both Jess and I wanted to try it out for Rose pants, being both super comfortable, apparel-appropriate, and easy to find both at fabric shops and online. I also used it to sew the yellow Emerald dress sample for Making Magazine.

viscose-linen rose pants

Jess used the “rust” color, and I used “caramel.”

Rose pants in viscose linen

This fabric is easy to care for (machine wash and dry) and incredibly comfortable. It has an elegant drape too, but due to the slubby texture, it’s not difficult to manage while sewing, the way some slippery rayons can be. (note that the terms “viscose” and “rayon” mean the same thing)

Sewing Rose (or any garment, for that matter) out of this fabric does require some adjustments we wanted to tell you about. It has more than the usual amount of stretch for a woven fabric, so it has a tendency to “grow” while you sew it. For both of us, it stretched out quite a bit while sewing, especially along the curved crotch seams (basically, be careful with any curved or bias-cut seams), so when we were finished the pants felt at least a size too big.

viscose-linen rose pants

As a result, Jess (who has a 36.5″ hip and made a size S) narrowed leg at inseam, shortened rise, and reduced width at center back by taking in the top section of the back crotch seam. On my pair (I have a 41″ hip and made a size L), I took in in 1″ along both side seams from back pant pieces and waistband (so 2″ total), reduced back crotch curve by 1″ by taking in the back inseam at the crotch and inner thigh. I’m pretty sure I would also have taken up the hem if I were not so tall (I’m 5’8″).

I think the big question left unanswered yet is “should you go down a size in this fabric?” and I’m REALLY tempted to say yes, especially if you are between sizes. However, since this is — as of this writing — still untested, if you decide to do so, I must remind you to proceed with caution.

For those who would prefer to stay on the safe side and cut your fabric out according to your size, use the adjustments you made to your muslin and be prepared to make some tweaks. We also highly recommend in all cases that you baste all seams (except pockets) and adjust fit as you go — there are instructions for checking fit throughout the pattern to remind you to do this — this is always immensely helpful whenever using a new-to-you fabric.

With fabrics that have so much give, it’s always a good idea to hold off on hemming right away as well. Once you’ve done everything but hem, hang them up for a day or two, then try them on once more and sew your hem.

viscose-linen rose pants
viscose-linen rose pants

You may be left wondering: why the heck would I use this fabric if it may requires so much tweaking?? The answer is because these pants are so freaking comfortable you can sleep in them. This fabric is just the dreamiest thing to wear, and any hateful thoughts I may have mentally pointed in its direction when adjusting the fit of my pair have since magically disappeared. Sometimes, the problem solving involved with sewing garments is justified by the end result. I feel like a million bucks in these pants.

Rose pants - made by rae

One other note about this fabric. While it is widely available at many of our favorite apparel fabric shops, most shops use different names to identify it (a personal pet peeve, but moving on…). If you’re a shop that carries this fabric, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your listing so we can add you to this list:

Ewe Fibers – Viscose-linen
Blackbird fabrics – Viscose-linen noil (note: NOT the viscose-linen slub!!!)
Stonemountain and Daughter – Mora Slub
Shop La Mercerie – Avery Slub linen blend
Sewing Studio – Grace Viscose & Linen

I hope this post has been informative and helpful. If you have sewn something with this fabric or try it for Rose, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts so we can hear what you think!

The Rose pattern is available in my shop. Rose pattern information and yardage can be found on our Rose page.

Posted in Jess, Rose
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