Terra Pants – Fantastique!

Okay, I love these Terra Pants from Pattern Fantastique!

I think that, every once in a while, one hits on a pattern that just works – it feels right, looks right, is interesting, unique, and fun to sew. I’ve had such a good time the past 3 days, sewing this funky muslin of the Terra Pants.

It was hard to find any pics of these pants. I found a couple that weren’t very telling, so I decided to just give it a go and hope I didn’t end up looking bow-legged and drowned.

Actually, they’re really cute, extremely comfortable, and, yes, a little bow-legged.  They also fit incredibly well! I love the narrow look at the waist that is accentuated by the fuller cut going down. And I think the cropped length provides a perfect balance.

It’s so hard to see any details with all these dots, but here are a couple closer looks at the waist area. A nice wide waistband, chunky belt loops (a narrow loop pattern is included as well), and an open pleat on each side…

The slant pockets are structured, bagged, and sewn like those on a man’s trouser – I think they’re lovely and by far the nicest draft I’ve ever sewn.

A couple sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 12. Nita-Jane and Ben, the designers/pattern makers, advise a smaller size to lift the waist and achieve a slimmer look. And a larger one for a more relaxed look, with a slouchy dropped front waistline.
  • I split the waistband at the center back (as on a trouser) and sewed the center back seam last, after attaching the waistband. This is a great way to keep the door open for backside and waist adjustments. 

Center back just prior to closing it up.

  • I had to redo the zipper insertion completely. The seam allowance in the crotch is only 1cm, and the instructions just can’t don’t set the zipper back far enough to hide it. Being a good sport, I first sewed the zipper using the instructions…then took it out, added width to the seam with a folded band, and redid the insertion. Ah. Won’t do that again – I’ll be using a 5/8″ allowance for both the back and front crotch seams in the future.

    If you need help with the zipper – Jen, at Grainline Studio, has a great tutorial as part of her Maritime Shorts sew-along. Note: please increase your crotch seam allowance to 5/8″ before you cut your fabric!

  • And I used a hook-and-bar closure at the waist, instead of a button. Buttons under a belt buckle make me nutsy.
  • The instructions. The drawings are great and the text is awful 🙂 If you have experience sewing trousers, you won’t have any problems. If not, prepare to read carefully and perhaps back up your understanding with a google for more info. 
A view of the back, which has single darts and a nice fit. I opted out of the back pockets for this muslin, but the pattern comes with both patch and welt pocket patterns…and even directions for either a single- or a double-seamed welt!
Well, these are my new spring/summer pants! I’ve already ordered two print denim fabrics, and I also have a solid marigold twill that will make a ‘dressier’ look. I plan to crop this Salme Pleated Tee shirt (I’m not fond of fussing around with tucking in a shirt) and also make a couple cropped Pattern Fantastique Aeolian Tees to go with…
Ciao! Coco

26 thoughts on “Terra Pants – Fantastique!

  1. Hi Coco, I should also mention that my fly topstitching didn't catch the entirety of the facing below. At some points, the facing was too narrow and didn't get caught in the topstitching. I used a 1cm seam allowance to sew the facing to the left-hand-side of the pants. In your opinion, is that the right seam allowance for this job? Should I have used a smaller one, maybe 6mm? Thanks again.

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  2. Hi Coco
    I am making these pants and it is the biggest saga I've ever undertaken – and I haven't even got to sewing the yet!! (But I have made 2 toiles.) Your blog post has been fantastic guidance and your enthusiasm for the pattern has helped keep me motivated during times that I've wanted to chuck it in the bin. I have just finished a practice run of inserting the zipper using the instructions from the pattern. I know the Grainline tutorial is highly recommended but for whatever reason I do like the instructions that come with the Terra, EXCEPT as you point out, the fly doesn't completely cover the zipper. I'm wondering: if I make the front crotch 5/8″ instead of 1cm, will this be all I need to do to fix it? I *could* do another practice zipper to find out but I have spent SO long on this pattern already I thought I would just bite the bullet and ask you! I have already followed your advice of splitting the centre back, and used a 2cm seam allowance for the back crotch. Thanks a million.

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  3. Coco, the pant is so much cuter on than they look in the pattern drawing which has been a turn off for me. Seeing your version certainly makes them more appealing to me. I like your back waistband technique and your version of the zipper installation is much more attractive. Love this on you!

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  4. Oh, and love that tip about closing up the back last. I'm going to incorporate that, just like a men's trouser. And thanks for the zipper area heads up on the SA.

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  5. Love the polka dots and the fun style, Coco! I think a crop top like you're planning will be great with those pants. I have a RTW pair of pants in a similar style, been looking to make something similar. Think I just found the pattern I need. Thanks, my dear Coco!!

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  6. Thanks, Vicki! Other pants I enjoy are McCalls 6291 and Vogue 8584 – lots of ways to use these for fun pants. I've blogged them both, you can find them using the Search box!

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  7. I adore your pants. The style is fantastic. I have an awful allergy to nylon which is in almost every pant on the market. I have just been suffering through it but this year I have decided to master the cotton pant! Your pants make me want to get right on it. So fun and look so comfortable!!! The fabric makes me smile!!!

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  8. Thank you, BeaJay. Fabric – JoAnn's, lots of colors. I have a pair of wide leg pants in the chocolate and white. This red and white is kind of stiff, really coated with the color 'paint', so it worked well for these pants. The chocolate/white are more calico weight. Go figure!

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  9. Thanks, Ruth. I find all these because I'm retired, and this is my new vocation!! I also think, with your tall, long-legged bod, you could carry off pleats like crazy! I mean, look at you in all those gorgeous jeans and pants…

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  10. p.s. they are 'wide' at the hip, I'm quite a bit smaller than the pants are. But I think they're meant to be that way, kind of a different look.

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  11. I'm chuckling, Sharon! I thought the drawing was kind of weird when I saw it – Spock's ears! But no – it's just a drawing, not reality. Perhaps the designer was trying to highlight the slant pockets. In fact the pocket is very a conventional slant pocket and does not stick out at all, nor does the upper hip. As to hip dimensions…not sure what you mean. I think the measurements table on the PF website are correct, I've sewn two of their patterns now. If I spread the front pleat open, the hip is much wider than my hip is – but the pleat is a feature, not part of the pattern hip measurement. Hope that makes sense. IMHO, the pants don't make me look hippier than I am…

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  12. Perfect! I could never wear pleats at the front but these are just great – lucky you!
    How come you find all these indie patterns?

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