Free Range Slacks (including 4 different non-pajama-y outfits)

I made something new for myself! Introducing the Free Range Slacks by Sew House Seven. This was my first time trying one of their patterns (although I’ve had my eye on the Tabor V-neck awhile and suspect I’ll have one in my closet by winter).

I’ve noticed that when it comes to sewing clothes, I really have to strike when the iron’s hot, which is to say that I’ve got to get sewing when I’m excited about the idea otherwise it might never happen. Back in April I got really excited about about a slightly hacked pair of Arenite pants. I slowly acquired the material and adjusted the pattern as necessary. Everything has been cut out and ready to sew for months, but my interest has waned. I’m still excited about them…just not quite enough to start sewing them. Same goes for a couple tops. Ugh. I’m awful. Anyway, I’ve been seeing so many Free Range Slacks as of late (I think they are a part of the Sew My Style 2020 tour) and I started wanting to try a pair. I knew I had to jump on it if I wanted to get some wears out of them this summer.

The Free Range Slacks come in two views: one with a tapered leg and one with a straight, cropped leg. And here’s the thing: when you search this pattern on Instagram, there is quite a wide range when it comes to fit. Of course the straight leg is always loose and flowy. But the tapered leg comes across as anything from very tight to very loose. And that’s one hard thing about sewing. You don’t always know if you are looking at a pattern that has been heavily altered, or if even if someone’s measuring skills are a little off, making their garment fit differently than intended…to say nothing of the fact that different clothes fit differently on different bodies. Right? Right. Which, of course, is why all responsible sewists make muslins, right? Ummm…

I knew I wanted to make the tapered view. Something about being on the shorter side of life makes me a little worried about being consumed by my clothing (I’m 5’3{and a half!}” for reference). My waist measurements were right in between sizes 8 and 10, but the pattern suggests to go by your hip measurements and mine was closer to the 8, so I cut out a size 8. I took off an inch in the rise and 2 inches in the legs. Next time, I think I will take off an additional 1/2-1 inch on the rise just because the waistband is kind of high (right at my belly button). The length of the leg is designed to be rolled up, so I think for that purpose, the length is right, but if I wanted to wear these without rolling the hem, I think I’d want to take off another 1 inch in the leg.

I don’t know what it is, but I find the construction of garments to be so interesting. I’m not super experienced, I must warn, but I get to thinking there’s only one way to do things, and I’m always delighted when I discover a new way. These pants were a great experience in learning different ways to do things. The back pocket installation was one area that was unique (to me). The slacks feature a side panel and the back pocket seam tucks right into it, so they aren’t fully patch pockets. Another interesting things was that the waistband was designed right into the pant part, if that makes any sense. Instead of attaching a fully separate waistband, a facing was added and the top of the pants was essentially rolled down to fulfill the role of waistband, which I think is really cool. So thanks for all these learning experiences, Sew House Seven (not that they’re reading this…but, you know, just in case)!

My fabric makes it very hard to see that side panel, but you can just barely make it out under that back pocket seam.

When I started getting to the point in the sewing process where I was able to try the slacks on, I started getting very worried. What I was seeing was a glorified pair of pajama pants, not something comfy and chill that I could wear out to the store with my children while feeling like a fully civilized and responsible adult (so obviously appropriate for some occasions, but not all occasions). Luckily, adding the waistband helped quite a bit in making them seem less PJ-ish but the fit still seemed a little too baggy for my taste. I ended up taking off probably an inch and a half from the inseam to get this fit, which still isn’t particularly fitted, but moreso than the original. In the future, I could very well see myself sizing down to a six…or so and then working from there? We’ll see.

In looking at others’ photos, I honestly don’t get the pajama vibe at all. But for some reason, I was still worried about it coming across that way on my pair (perhaps it’s my fabric choice?) in any case, I wanted to prove to myself that there were lots of ways to wear these pants that didn’t come across in a sleepy bedhead kind of way, which is why I’ve included some different tops and shoe combos. I’ve never claimed to be fashion forward, which is why these “outfits” are super basic but I think they give a good idea for the fact that the slacks can be worn different ways and with different vibes! And, yes! I’m sure they make great pajamas if that is in fact what you are looking for. But they definitely don’t have to be pajama-y at all! If you are making these, don’t freak out about the pajama aspect until you put on some shoes and roll those hems up. Those things make a big difference here.

When I was a teenager, there was this awesome lady in our church who kind of exuded this pleasant, chill, earthy vibe and I feel like these are the kind of pants that she would wear…so hopefully when I wear these pants, I can draw on the powers of the universe to exhibit the same kind of peaceful aura. Maybe that’s asking too much from a pair of pants…but I guess I can hope.

Anyhow…here’s the rundown:

Pattern: Free Range Slacks by Sew House Seven
Size: I cut a size 8, but adjusted things quite a bit (see below)
Adjustments: I took off 1 inch from the rise, 2 inches from the legs, and, after sewing them and trying them on, I ended up taking about 1 1/2 inch from the inseam
Fabric: Brussels Washer Yarn Dye Rayon Linen (Denim Hue) from LA Finch Fabrics
Cost: Fabric (2 yards)-21.50
Would I make this pattern again?: I am going to say that I will make this pattern again (I’ve seen a striped version that I really want for myself!) but I’m not in any rush.

Making this pattern was a great experience. I learned some new things, but it still came together relatively quickly since the pants aren’t meant to be super fitted. I will say that even with my worries about them appearing as sleepwear, I have been wearing these way more than I expected. Not to mention, Ben complimented them without solicitation (normally I dance in front of him asking if he likes whatever it is I just sewed until he lavishes me with compliments). They are very comfortable and cool and just very nice to wear while I’m doing all the momming, so they are, ultimately, a win. Plus, the pockets. The pockets are amaaaazing.

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