Persephone Pants by Anna Allen
Truth be told, I started out as a serious doubter, a suspicious misbeliever of the Persephone Pants by Anna Allen Clothing & Patterns. How can a pair of pants without side seams fit properly? On top of this, the pants are drafted without a curved waistband, and that filled me with dread about having to draft my own. It seemed to defy logic, but all the versions of Persephone Pants that I saw by Instagrammers and bloggers looked great with fabulous fit. Out of curiosity, I bought the pattern and decided to give it a try.
Even after purchasing it, it took me a long time before I finally gave it a go. Part of the procrastination was due to not knowing whether I should go with a non-stretch or stretch fabric. It is drafted for non-stretch fabrics but I knew that I prefer pants made with fabric with some stretch in it. Then I went back and forth about the waistband - should I draft a curved one or not? In the end, I decided to go with the original straight waistband, and was ready to make up a curved one if the former didn’t work out.
But the main thing that jump started this project from a state of inertia was when I finally discovered the fabric, or fabrics for it. I chanced upon a baby corduroy in a checked pattern that resembled patchwork print in dark blue, white and yellow in the Minerva website. When it was offered up as an option for the Minerva Brand Ambassadors Program, I grabbed it up. Then I purchased another dark blue baby corduroy with white polka dots during the Minerva end-of-year sale. These 2 fabrics are 100% cotton needlecord, and when juxtaposed together, they are a perfect match even though the prints are so different from each other. I thought it’ll be brilliant for the right and left legs to be in contrasting fabrics.
What I love about the baby corduroy is that it is of medium weight, but light enough to wear in warmer weather. There is also some give in the crossgrain, and that provided just enough pliability to solve my dilemma regarding the use of stretch or non-stretch fabrics. Where the pants are more fitted around the waist and hip area, the needlecord moulds nicely around the curves. There is also minimum sitting wrinkles which is a bonus. Best of all, it’s really easy to work, and provides adequate structure to define the shape of these sailor-inspired pants.
Sizes for these pants come in 0-20. I sewed a size 2 with zero modifications. Yes, I said zero. That is the mind-blowing miracle of these pants: I didn’t have to make any modifications for the fit at all. And they ended up fitting me beautifully. This whole internal conflict about the curved waistband was completely superfluous. The only adjustment I did was from a design choice. I chopped up the waistband pattern piece into two at the back centre line, and added seam allowance. This is done so that I can achieve the alternating contrast of prints at the waistband to echo the contrast of prints in the legs.
The pattern instructions are solid - I have no complaints whatsoever. There is another view available in the pattern - the shorts version. The front pockets have these openings that are parallel and close to the bottom edge of the waistband. That’s another unusual feature since there are no side seams to sew on side seam pockets. However, if you prefer front patch pockets, there is a tutorial on the Anna Allen blog that comes with a free PDF pattern for them. This tutorial also includes the pattern and instructions for additional back patch pockets.
And if you have other fitting issues, there are helpful tutorials, e.g. grading between sizes for the Persephone Pants. The pattern comes with a hidden button fly, and a zipper expansion is available for purchase on the site.
These pants made me so happy that I was immediately inspired to sew a jacket to pair them up for a matching set. They also inspired the making of this tank top which is the Pua Tank by Paradise Patterns. I wanted to throw in another print - stripes this time - to jazz up the print party even more. This polyester rib knit is also gifted from Minerva, and I will post about it in the near future. Coming up soon is also the pattern review for the jacket, which I am very excited about. From the sneak peak below, can you guess which sewing pattern it is?