It was extremely difficult to ignore the Persephone Pants when they first popped up on Instagram earlier this year. I think they look good on EVERYONE. Probably because you’ve got to have a lot of confidence to wear ultra high-waisted pants, and the sewing community is nothing if not full of confident folks. (It’s the best.) Also, no side seam. It’s magic! Lots of comparisons have been made to the $395 Sailor Pants by Jesse Kamm but how would we know how they look on someone that isn’t a slender model and posing… super awkwardly? To be fair to the model it is kind of hard to show off the silhouette of the pants if you aren’t doing something weird. Like this:
Okay, here’s a better view:
Per the suggestions I saw on Instagram, I sized down from my usual 8 to a 6 for my first pair, which I made up in duck canvas that I got at Joann’s. Canvas is pretty cheap (especially if you have a 20% or 40% off coupon) so it worked great as a wearable muslin fabric, and Anna Allen suggests sewing the pants in a heavier weight fabric like canvas anyway. I thought for sure that it would be too stiff to be comfortable but after washing and drying it, the canvas felt much more like apparel fabric and not upholstery fabric.
There are some cute hidden pockets on the pant front that I lined with some fun vintage fabric in my stash. My mom gave me a remnant of a cotton print that came from Graff Californiawear, where my grandpa worked for a time, and little pockets seemed like a great use for the fabric. I made a matching headscarf with the rest of the remnant.
I made a second pair later in the summer made up of white bull denim (also pretty affordable!) to fill the white pants gap in my wardrobe. The weight of these is lighter than the canvas which makes them easier to wear in warmer weather, but I like the security (haha) that the canvas pair gives me. They seriously feel like a hug. A hug that keeps my mom pooch close to my body. (I really don’t mind my pooch but you’ve got to be real confident about it if you want to rock these pants.) I made a couple of slight alterations on this pair by cropping them about 1.5″ and putting the pockets on the pant front rather than keep them hidden. The pockets add some visual interest to the front, which is nice because there is just a lot of… front.
The Persephones are my second structured pants pattern that I’ve ever sewn (the first being the stylistically similar and delightful Lander Pants by True Bias, which deserves a post from me… soon!). I spent a lot of time agonizing over crotch curves and other potential curve balls when I sewed up the Landers and didn’t end up making any adjustments, so I just kinda went for it with the Persephones and hoped that they fit—and it worked out! Pants are a big commitment fabric-wise and there are a lot of pattern pieces, and buttons, and buttonholes… but look for a good sale on bottomweight fabric and just put one presser foot in front of the other, and I have confidence that you can make pants too!
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P A T T E R N : Persephone Pants by Anna Allen
M O D I F I C A T I O N S : Added pockets to pant front and cropped 1.5″ on the denim version; otherwise no alterations
O V E R A L L : Well-written instructions and well-drafted pattern; an approachable challenge for someone who hasn’t sewn pants before