aka ‘I can’t decide where to crop these pants!” #shortpersonproblems
These are the Megan Nielson Flint Pants (typing this on a Sunday night so excuse rambling – questions? Ask in the comments below).
I whipped these up fairly quickly then hit an epic state of indecision about length. They are drafted for 5 foot 9… which my 5 foot 4 falls a little short of.
So once I finished the main part of construction I think they lived in the WIP pile for about 3-4 weeks before I fixed up the waistband issue (later in post) and the length decision.
Fortunately Bimble & Pimble‘s recent Flint post and Funkbunny‘s Flint post on instagram inspired me to ‘Just Do It’ (thank you Nike). So here we are with my Flint Pants #notsurebutwearingthemanyway.The Flint pattern is described as:
Wide leg cropped pants or shorts with unique crossover closure at the side seam. Pattern sits on the natural waist and features hidden closure at the left pocket , release tucks at the front, darts at the back, slash pockets, two waistband options and two lengths.
Version 1 is a pair of above ankle cropped pants with button closures. Version 2 is a pair of above ankle cropped pants with tie closure. Version 3 is a pair of shorts with button closures. Version 4 is a pair of shorts with tie closures.
Sizing: XS-XL (each pattern includes all sizes)
Finished waist measurements range from: 26 inches to 34 inches
Finished hip measurements range from: 39 to 46 7/8 inches
I sat on the cusp of XS, verging towards S (actual body measurements – which you can find here) and opted for more ease around my hips and decided to make S. Plenty of room but I think I would stick with this size. The crotch feels quite ‘low’ but doesn’t look like I’m having an MC Hammer moment so the comfort factor is a winner for me. Perhaps a XS might have sat up higher and closer to my actualy waistline. The pockets sit nicely and don’t pull out of shape when I slip my hands into them.
Perfect weekend or holiday pants for me.LOVES
AO Pattern Sheets: I purchased the PDF pattern. Megan Nielson provides A0 files (as well as A4/US letter) and that makes me far more inclined to purchase! Yes, it is expensive to print 3 A0 sheets but being time poor I’m happy to pay for the service. I’ve printed far too many A4 sheets, felt sick at the thought of sticking them together and find an easier option.Construction: EASY. Clear and well illustrated instructions. I opted for a trouser slide closures and two snaps rather than buttons or the waist tie (as cute as that is!).
Fit: To be honest when I first put them on, I did a slight happy dance about the butt and hip fit. They are comfortable and don’t seem to do ‘weird stuff’ or pulling when I move – walk my enormous dog at the beach. The folds you see here have more to do with the intermittent sea breeze and grappling with an over-excited large athletic dog that unexpectedly flips about like a possessed soggy noodle.ISSUES
Length: Waaaaay too long for me. Tall sewists rejoice – this one is for you! Perhaps this cropped wide leg thing isn’t for me… but surely everyone needs one pair of ‘big comfy pants’?
Construction: Ummmmm… pretty sure I had a sewing idiot moment and my closure is on the wrong side. Good news? I appear to be ambidextrous in regards to dressing/undressing. I’ve managed to get them on and off without a problem and you can’t tell as I don’t want to wear them with a bodysuit (Rowan) so I’m ok with being a left/right/whatever oddball.Waistband: I used a heavier interfacing on my first waistband. It stood away from my waist/back and I think the ‘straight’ design of the waistband didn’t help much either. I dithered about this problem for a fortnight, whether I could live with it. Decided I couldn’t. Dithered some more. After doing a little research I made a new waistband pattern (personally couldn’t call it ‘drafting’ as I’m not that technical) and put on a new waistband and used lighter interfacing (teach me to just use ‘whatever’!). I unpicked the existing waistband and reattached the new one (two pieces – outer and inner pieces). Worth the effort. So much better!
How to alter the waistband? I drew a line along the centre of the waistband lengthwise. I added a seam allowance and cut along this line. I then almost cut through the pattern piece at the sides and centre back – leaving enough to create a ‘hinge’. I lapped the cut 1/4 inches at the side and 1/2 inch at the centre back. I’m not technical and found some of the online tutorials really helpful but more detailed than I needed them to be (for an non-techno person like me). However, here are a few if you are interested: Handmade by Heather, A Fashionable Stitch, and In The Folds. My recommendation? Read them all, google some more and use whatever bits make the best sense to you.Length: I found these sooooo long but then they aren’t drafted for my height. Firstly I cut them off at the finished length… then I think I cut off another 3 inches before hemming them. I still feel a little odd in them. Maybe I’d prefer them in heels but heck, they are so damn comfortable I’m happy enough in my billowing tencel denim pants, bare foot on the beach.
I quite like them. Despite my reservations about the leg fullness and my height (or lack of) in cropped wide pants. For me, they are more casual wear, I’m probably still more inclined to wear slim, straight jeans or higher waisted wide-legged trousers for ‘occasions’. However for an autumn afternoon at the beach I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and at ease I felt in them.
They are incredibly comfortable and I’m much happier with them after altering the waistband piece. I think they would have ended up in the ‘unworn pile’ without that simple adjustment. they sit and look much better around my waist. I am so glad I procrastinated and then went back and fixed them rather than just thinking ‘that will do’.
Personally, I think I’d recommended a fabric with some drape for this design. I suspect they would look, move and fall very differently in something with more structure. I like the way they swish in this soft tencel denim, very comfortable and flowing.
I’d rather like to try these as shorts with the tie waist option. I don’t wear shorts often but it seems to be appealing to me.
Pattern: Flint Pants/Shorts, Megan Nielson (purchased by me)
Fabric: Tencel denim, Spotlight Australia. This one doesn’t seem to crush as much as tencel denim usually does!
Also See: Megan Nielson Tester Round-up | Bimble & Pimble
In case you have been missing the little chap… Banjo returns
Other news… running
I’m still running… yes, surprised even me – which explains the MASSIVE Garmin watch I’m sporting in these photos, it keeps me motivated so I wear it like an exercise newbie/nerd. I feel so much better, physically and mentally. Maybe it’s the ‘time out’ it provides me and the post exercise buzz.
I find myself loving Park Run (maybe not so much at the time) and in a supportive local running group called The Plodders. I don’t feel like a ‘runner’ but I feel the urge to run and the desire to ‘do better’ whether it’s pace or distance.I never ran much as a child/teen. I was not disgraceful considering my ‘zero’ training, I’d just go out and run when I had to. Sometimes ending up at zone for cross country or on the school relay team for sprints – I wasn’t considered athletic so I never trained, I was ‘academic’ ‘musical’ and definitely not a ‘sporty girl’. Then at boarding school, one of my teachers entered me into a 10km race. I was 16. I’d never run that far and I was outraged about having to run 10km in a ‘race’ in the middle of the day. The heat nearly finished me, I was dry retching at the end (charming) but came second in my age group… it put me off for a long time. He told me at the time “I think you’re ‘a runner’. You don’t see it in yourself. One day you will.” Time will tell.
My Park Run record is now 27.02 minutes (my first ‘running’ Park Run was 32.23 on 4 February 2017). I volunteered at this week’s Park Run so I set out to achieve a PB in the afternoon and knocked out a 25.27 5km much to my surprise (and pride). I’ve entered a 10km event in June (South West Rocks), July (Gold Coast), September (Forster)… and will also do the Sydney City to Surf. Why not?
Running has given me back my ‘mojo’, confidence or whatever it is. I feel energised, inspired and more myself than I have in a long time. Not just for running, but sewing, work and more. Sometimes you can’t change things, you simply need to change your attitude.
Great pants! That fabric is beautiful and I love that it’s very eco friendly too😊. Megan made a pair for herself by her waist and not hip size and said there’s quite a bit of ease in the hips, so perhaps the small would give you high waisted pants with a straight waistband…. I’ve made a couple of pairs this length inspired by Elizabeth suzann and am in love. At first they felt strange but the comfort of not stepping on the back hem going up stairs won me over.
Practical wins every day! I perhaps should have made the smaller size but there’s nothing worse than sewing a size too small and there’s no fixing pants with no room in the hips. They are such a quick project it’s not a drama to make them again.
Congratulations on the running! Sounds deeply beneficial, though I’m the kind who prefers outings with a possessed soggy noodle.
Nice pants! Cropped pants are so much better than full length for daily wear and on the beach. A worthy, comfortable garment, nicely executed, in great fabric.
Perhaps the ambivalence you feel has to do with cropped wide pants in general. If so, you’re in good company. The trick is in not whether to wear them but how.
The eternal cropped length problem is that they can make our legs look shorter. Ordinary-leggy girls have two effective solutions to this:
1) Wear a similarly toned (here, dark) top, to create a long silhouette
2) Consider a cropped bolero/vest over a slim cut tee, which would emphasize your slim waist and interesting pant waist details
3) When dressing for town, wear them with stilettos.
Good advice! I do love to wear a cropped/fitted denim vest with my maxi skirts and dresses – should consider wearing that type of thing more often.
It’s autumn here, heading into winter. I’m rather lucky as it’s still very mild… my kids were swimming yesterday, the water is actually warmer in autumn than summer.
Love them and think they look fab on you, most definitely!
Thank you 😊
The pants look great and comfortable, good to know they can work for us 5’4″ types! Running is my motivation and meditation too! I run with a group “LaGrange (the town I live in) moms run this town” three times a week.
What a great name for a running group!
Oh heck yes – I hear you about the indecision about the length of cropped pants. I think you have chosen wisely. I am still a little on the fence about the Flints I have a few similar style patterns already so I don’t think the Flints will make the ‘to purchase’ list. It’s really great to hear that you are feeling energised and motivated by running – achieving under 30min 5km runs is no easy feat. Well done!!
I didn’t see the appeal of regular runs until I started doing it. Park Run was a huge motivation as I finished my first & thought ‘you can do so much better than that!’.
Now I just have to juggle the little spare time I have between my sewing and running. Fortunately running is often quite early.
Love the pants & well done with all the running. I’ve totally lost my love for running at mo but hopefully seeing others enjoy will encourage me to start again
I’m reading a book called ‘Running Like A Girl’ by Alexandra Heminsley. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good story & a little motivation.
Thanks, will take a look😃
These look right at home on your beach, with your fur friends ;o) Here’s to A0 printing and happy bloggiversary!
I’m so happy to see more A0 patterns available… although makes purchasing harder to resist as now I don’t buy A4 patterns. I just can’t bear them!
Congratulations on five years of blogging! Lovely trousers. I’d be inclined to hem them even shorter myself, but I know how personal trouser length is 🙂 I love the shape.
Thanks so much – you were one of the first bloggers I discovered and I still love your posts. I might try a short length in a less billowy shape.
Your pants look great. Well done on going back and fixing a problem. It is hard to go backwards on a project, even when you know you should. The temptation to just push on and move forward is huge. I used the exact same fabric for a Xerea dress for my daughter Mia and I liked working with it. I think i might get some more (probably a different pattern as Mia wont want me to be matchy-matchy with her) and make these pants. You are also inspiring me to run again so thank you! I havent run since my son (third child) was a baby and he is 9 now! I wish I had such a great view to run to. I used to live in Bondi (pre-kids) and that Bondi-Bronte run always made me want to pull on my sneakers and get out of the house.
I’ve just read a great book called Running Like A Girl – an inspiring read and lots of simple non-preachy practical advice.
I think the hardest thing to do with running is the start and sticking with it until you’ve developed a new habit & enough fitness to not want to die. Park Run is also a really friendly event, perfect for all ages/stages/abilities and they are everywhere. I’m planning my next weekend trip to Sydney and trying to decide which one to go to!
I was tempted to leave the pants ‘as is’ but it would have irritated me beyond belief and I’m glad I re-did the waistband and taught myself a simple new skill in the process.
Your pants are fabulous, I would keep that length through winter, then come spring, if you decide you prefer them shorter, do it then.
So glad that the running has re-energised all aspects of your life, it feels good to get your mojo back again.
I bought this pants pattern as soon as it was released and have sat on it ever since. See, I’m at the other end of the height scale to you. Cropped pants bring back memories of not being able to find pants long enough and growing so quickly that it was like my pants shrank every time they went in the wash! I keep thinking that people won’t realise that they’re deliberately cropped, they’ll just think I can’t get pants that fit properly. They do look great though so maybe I’ll just have to give it a go…
Sometimes you just need to jump in and try something new. The good news is that they are quite a straight forward & easy sew – so it’s an easy experiment. You could easily lengthen them as well. I was tempted to leave them long but decided to prefer a more fitted, high waisted style with wide legs (no pleats) so decided to try the cropped option. And regardless of our bare ankles… they are easy and very comfortable to wear!
Wow, well done with your increased speed, 25 mins is amazing! I ran my first 30 min parkrun on Saturday and was overjoyed. I love parkrun, it spurs me on each week to try and shave a little bit more off my time, but if I’m not in the mood, it’s also a great way to run 5k. Running has really helped me deal with the various demands of family life, I get so much out of it and it’s great to see it’s having the same effect on you. PS. I LOVED “Running Like a Girl” PPS. Your trousers look fab! xx
Parkrun provides fabulous, yet fun, motivation. Cracking through that 30 min mark is such a big achievement. I used to hang out for the post-event email desperate to know…. so I bought a Garmin watch LOL.
Running is the strangest thing. The hardest thing is putting those shoes on & leaving the house. Then probably next is to keep on running when you think you can’t. Lots of simple life lessons there 😊 I’ve entered several 10km events now… I was slightly terrified of the 10km mark as I’d had a bad race experience as a teenager and it put me off running in events for a LONG time. This Sunday I bet that 10km demon, it felt huge… and oh so good!
I dream of a 30 minute Parkrun! I’m a plodder who just keeps going at pretty much the same speed whatever the distance but it has cleared my mind beautifully. I’m so glad you have found and are enjoying Parkrun.
Your Flint pants look good and I agree that it would be worth leaving the uncertain length for a while to ‘let it settle’. The doggies are looking almost as good as you 🙂
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Thank you for posting about turning the waistband into a curved one. I was incredibly frustrated at how the straight waist band gapped (all this work for it to look ill fitting 😒 and none of the other dozen blog reviews of the Flint made any mention of this issue. Are we the only 2 people with curves at our waist?! I looked up your sources and ripped out the waistband and started again. And now I have Flint shorts I want to wear!
I’m glad it was helpful. I do try to be as honest as I can – as I know I rely on others.
I suspect some people fall in love with their project immediately & blog quickly – it’s harder to see flaws at that point. I can be very picky about small details. Sometimes it’s a strength & other times a weakness!