I'm gonna start this post by saying I know there's no "in-between" on this style of pants - you either love them or hate them (with a passion). I happen to be in the former camp, and not only do I love the way they feel, I actually love the way they look!
I was thinking about why I like them so much today, and it occurred to me that it's because they are so unique-looking (not to mention insanely comfortable). When I see someone wearing sarouel pants (variations also known as harem pants, Thai fisherman pants, drop-crotch pants, etc.), I imagine the person to be interesting, confident, laid-back and well-traveled. But that's just me - obviously there are those who think the person is just plain stupid for wearing such a monstrosity! Ha!
I think the other reason I love them so much is that my husband and I got married in Thailand where I bought a couple pairs of these to wear over my swimsuits while hanging out at Railay Beach. I still have one pair, but the fabric isn't really suitable for wearing as actual pants. At least not in this country.
The pants are the Straight-Cut Sarouel Pants (view L) from Happy Homemade: Sew Chic (affiliate link) in a voluminous and flowy linen/rayon? blend. I put the question mark because I bought them from the remnant table at Mill End here in Portland, so I am just guessing on the content. The fabric feels like a high-quality Tencel but with some linen qualities, too. It was perfect for these pants. (I left off the pockets because I didn't have enough fabric.)
My measurements corresponded perfectly to a size 10, so I cut the 10-12 (the pattern pieces actually only come in 6-8, 10-12 and 14-16). That puts me right in the middle of the size range. I would like to also try cutting a 6-8 to see how they look with a little less volume. I do, however, love them the way they are. I shortened the elastic measurement about an inch for these, and I will shorten it a couple more inches more when I make another pair. (I used non-roll, ribbed elastic in 3/4" width.) I find them to be a little too loose when running after the kids and such as they are. In fact, I will probably re-do this waistband and take in the elastic a bit.
In other words, if you are on-the-fence about size, go down. You will likely have plenty of room! I will likely make another pair in the smaller size using some black Tencel I purchased from the Nicole Miller line at JoAnn Fabrics. My thinking is that the black color combined with a trimmer fit will give a bit of a more dress-up look. We shall see.
Bottom line on these pants? I absolutely love them. Like, love them, love them. I already have fabric picked our for a couple more pairs, and I will be wearing the hell out of them this spring/summer. My one bit of caution if you are interested in these pants is to very carefully choose your fabric. The book suggests using linen or hemp, but if you are using linen, I would STRONGLY advise you to purchase a rayon blend. Otherwise, you're going to have some poufy pants. But hey, if that's your thing, then go for it! I just like a more drapey look. I'd also like to try these in a jersey knit for around-the-house.
You should also note that wearing these pants will probably generate a few side-eyed looks. There are a lot of people who are going to think they're weird and unattractive. But it will all be worth it for the freedom your crotch is experiencing (HAHHAHAHA I soooo hesitated writing that, but hey hey, I have had a glass of wine, and my kids are in 2-hour gym daycare.) and the ONE exasperated, "I love your pants! Where did you get them?!" from someone who is awesome and knows that these pants are actually the bomb.
As for the tee, you have seen sneak peeks of this already if you follow me on Instagram. I traced my absolute favorite Old Navy tee that was starting to wear thin. It was a size medium, so a little oversized since my measurements would place me in a small. There are a lot of great tee sewing patterns out there, but I'm glad to have finally created my own that works perfectly for my shape and taste. With others that I've made, there was always SOMETHING that bothered me - bunching under the arms, excess height in the shoulders, not enough shaping at the waist, too much length, too much hip flare, etc. That's not to say that a pattern can't be altered to fit just right, but this was an easy route to that tried-and-true pattern.
I have been searching and collecting knit jersey for months to add to my tee stash. This one was one of my favorites that I also found here in Portland at Mill End (yes, they still have some). It's very lightweight but not see-through, and it has this awesome slub texture. I love the color, drape, softness...everything!
I sewed the bulk of the tee with my serger, and then I coverstitched the sleeve and bottom hems. I also did a chain stitch (with my coverstitch machine) around the neckline after applying the neckband. Next, I created a pocket and coverstitched the top hem of it. I stuck it onto the shirt with Wash-Away Wonder Tape, and I fused a couple small circles of fusible tricot on the wrong side of the fabric underneath the top corners. This reinforces the fabric so it doesn't develop little holes should you actually choose to use your pocket for a ticket or dollar bill or whatever. It's a good practice either way. I then used my regular sewing machine to sew the pocket on (yes, I use all three machines to make tees!), and finally, I sewed a velvet ribbon along the back neckline to give the tee a really ready-to-wear look and feel.
I am so incredibly pleased with this outfit, and I am going to make many versions of it. I feel like this look really is my style - relaxed, effortless, a little Bohemian. And I honestly think it's kind of cute (regardless of what my husband says). :P
What do you think? Are sarouel pants on your to-sew list?