Essex Linen Rose Pants

When I announced late last summer that we would make a pants pattern, we were in the very early stages of the pattern development. I decided I wanted to be as transparent about the process as possible, since I think most people don’t realize just how long it takes to take a pattern from concept to launch. I thought maybe every few weeks I could hop on the ol’ blog and post a little status update. ISN’T THAT HILARIOUS?

I didn’t realize then how hard it would be to post communications on a regular basis on what was happening with this pattern. If you had called me up on the phone at any given point I could easily have told you what we were doing — it’s not a big secret — but it turns out that the work of developing a pattern, running a business, and also attempting to be a present mama of three is quite enough for one person, at least it is for me, let alone try to send out Rose updates to the blog and newsletter on top of all that. It does seem rather obvious as I type it out.

At any rate, the last time I posted an update on Rose, we had graded the pattern into nine sizes, and I was just beginning to sketch diagrams and write instructions. Fast forward to this week: we’ve completed one round of testing and are nearly finished with Round 2 with a smaller group to test out the small set of tweaks we made after Round 1. Elli has digitized most of the diagrams, we’ve written and edited the instructions, and Karen graded the pattern with an additional two sizes (up to a 59″ hip). Though we don’t have an exact launch date, I am hopeful that it will be some time in April, as these will definitely be a fantastic pattern for spring and summer.

Essex linen rose pants / made by rae

With that in mind, I thought I’d post pics of this latest pair of Rose Pants that I’ve made for myself, made with Essex linen by Robert Kaufman. This particular fabric is from Carolyn Friedlander’s Polk line (Carolyn wrote this post showing many of the fabrics in the line sewn up into garments). I love this print and we’ll see how wrinkly these get (as they are 100% linen), though as a mama of three I don’t much care much about wrinkles nor do I have the time or inclination to iron anything once it’s sewn (I do press like a maniac as I sew, just not once it’s finished). The Internet Wrinkle Police will just have to live with that (you think I am joking but I have received so many snarky comments over wrinkles in photos. You would not even believe how many folks there are out there who think it’s their business to weigh in on wrinkles).

Here’s a closeup of the fabric, as the print is a bit hard to see in some of my pics here (I took a few of these with my phone on a cloudy day and I think my 8S has a crappier camera than the 6S I had before).

Rose pants closeup

This is the “cropped” view of the pattern, which also has a full length and shorts option. I hope you’re as excited as I am for this pattern — we’ve had some great tester versions (that you can see a number of these already on Instagram under #mbrrose if you want a peek) that we’ll be sure to post here as the launch gets closer.

Meanwhile, I’m on spring vacation with the family in Seattle this week visiting my parents. We’re going to go to the Space Needle (a request from Elliot, who turned 12 (!!!) yesterday) and visit Bainbridge Island this week; should be fun!

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Pattern update: Rose pants!

Just wanted to give you an update on the pants pattern I’ve been working on this fall! The working name for this pattern is currently “Rose” as in the flower (my late grandmother’s favorite), and I love that the name “Rose” is both strong and feminine. Plus it’s consistent with my pattern naming history in that it’s botanical (“Parsley, Geranium”), a female name (“Bianca, Josephine”), and/or a color (“Jade, Ruby”).

After the striped Loominous pants (shown above) I made this summer got such an incredible response on Instagram, I decided to work on a pattern for it. The concept behind these pants is similar to my Cleo skirt design (flat front waistband, elastic back waistband, super comfortable), but in a pant rather than a skirt. I also wanted a super high rise, wide leg, and multiple lengths. After the initial prototype, Karen made pattern pieces in my size and I tested them out with this fun gold floral print from my recent line, Fanciful. I thought these were pretty cute!

Note that this fabric is quilter’s cotton, so it worked nicely as a sample muslin but could also be a fun summer pant. Since there’s very little drape, it behaves similarly to actual muslin fabric and is therefore helpful for finding and fixing fit issues. Here’s the back view so you can see the elastic in back.

Next I tried a much different fabric, and also played around with a longer length, for those of you who would prefer to have a long pant pattern. The inseam length on this brown pair is 32″ which is really a “tall” (I’m 5’8). I’m planning to include a cutting line for the more standard length (30″ inseam), as well as an easy guide so that if you need less or more length on the inseam it will be super easy to get the correct length.

I was really happy with how these turned out — I love this slub linen/rayon blend fabric (posted more info about it here, by the way, if you’re interested in sources). which made these pants incredibly dreamy and comfy.

Last week, I made another pair out of yarn-dyed Manchester cotton. Like quilter’s cotton, this fabric has very little drape and will probably get pretty wrinkly, but I wanted to try and see if a kick-pleat would work as nicely as four separate outward-facing pleats (like the ones above have). What do you think?

Currently we have the pattern graded into all nine sizes (that’s our extended women’s size range) but the pieces need a few more edits before it will be ready for testers. Meanwhile, I’m starting to sketch diagrams and write the instruction steps this week. Fun, fun!!! Tentative launch is set for early next spring.

I’m really excited to bring another fun pant pattern to the sewing pattern market — Luna has been a huge success and I hope you’re excited about Rose, too. Which view is your favorite so far? Do you prefer the separate pleats or the kick-pleats? Any other ideas you want to share? We’re always open to feedback and it’s fun when a great idea gets incorporated into a new pattern.

PS. If you’re interested in reading more about how we make a pattern here at MBR, check out my behind-the-scenes post from last week!