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Sep 22, 2016

My Marimekko Pants Project


Last December I bought this intriguing Marimekko panel print at the Chelsea flea market.

I did a little online research, and it turns out it was designed in 1988 by Fujiwo Ishimoto.  You can read a little more about the design, called "Lainehtiva," here.  I think the image is a field of wheat.  Cool, no?



I wasn't sure what to do with it until today, when I decided to use it to test out the next men's pattern I'm trying from the Japanese pattern book, "Men's Clothes For All Seasons."  I'm making these cropped trousers.

Just like I did with the chore jacket I made, I traced the size Medium and added seam allowances.


These pants are much easier to put together than the jacket, since I'm already very familiar with how to make casual pants.  These have two back patch pockets and two front slant pockets.  Since the fabric is relatively thin for pants, I used the same Marimekko print for the pocket bags.  I decided to cut the pattern with the lightest part up top, gradually darkening toward the bottom.  

These are the back pieces (just pinned, below).  The patch pockets are there but nearly impossible to make out.  For topstitching, white thread looked too white and black too black, so I went with gray.



Here's the front.  My pockets are done; I just have to sew the side seams together, add a waistband, and hem.  Not sure whether I'll add belt loops or not.


I guess this will be what's called a wearable muslin, if it's wearable.  Judging from my measurements of the paper pattern, it should fit.  I hope so.

And that's it.  Anybody have any experience sewing with Marimekko fabric?  This fabric has a weight similar to heavy quilting cotton, not quite canvas, so the pants are going to be on the light side.  But if they fit, I'll definitely wear them.

Have a great day, everybody!

26 comments:

  1. I love Marimekko fabric!!! I was lucky enough to have an "in" for a while and bought entire bolts at a great discount. I've used it to make tops, dresses, skirts, pants, stuffed animals, napkins, and probably more things that I can't remember. I love the weight and sturdiness of it. Your pants are killer!

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  2. Those pants are going to be soon cool!

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  3. Cool print, I think it will look great on you. I have no experience in sewing with Marimekko fabrics, but this ons looks good.

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  4. Good beach trousers for next summer. Unless it is still 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit every day where you live, as it is where I live. Glad you and Michael are still puttering away up in Chelsea, my electronic friends.

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  5. Just found you! Such cool pants. I occasionally sew for the "hubster" (when he lets me-crazy, right?) so I'm looking forward to keeping an eye "this space".

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  6. So you didn't make a muslin first? Just cut into that gorgeous fabric based on the measurements? I look forward to the results.

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  7. I love them. Of course they are my favorite non color colors. I like the way you laid out the pattern.

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  8. I keep hoping a bolt of Marimekko will fall into my lap for a Clare coat (my goal since I tested the pattern last year) but so far only small bits for bags. That print is very handsome indeed. It's a heavier weight stable cotton. Fraying?

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  9. Very clever and effective use of a panel print. I have read that men's pants and trousers are "never underlined". Why?

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    1. good trousers are often lined at the knee from a lining or non-stretch fabric to prevent bagging there. it starts about 6" up and ends about 6" below. it's a good trick for any pants.

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    2. I've never lined pants but that might be a good idea with these. I wonder if they'd still have enough give at the knee so I could sit comfortably without the lining ripping out of the seams...

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    3. with suit pants, when you sit you pinch and pull upward just above the knee until after you sit. when you let go, the ease around your thigh is more comfortable. but after a while, the knees bag out. by knee-lining, you can stop the bagging, especially in cottons, less-firm wools and corduroys. mark the exact place on your pants leg where your knee is centered. place a liner fabric (that has been pinked on all sides) so that it's centered on the mark and sew the lining right into the side seam, as an interlining. it actually serves the same purpose, although i never heard it referred to as that.

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  10. I love the pants in this fabric !!! Whenever I make a garment of a "precious" or very interesting fabric, I cut a strip of the selvedge and sometimes the color strikes about one inch wide and pink the edges. I then sew this strip into a side seam, for example, to preserve the history of the fabric and garment.

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  11. undulating. The pattern name means undulating and I love the pants.

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  12. I love the pants!
    I am very fortunate to live right near a great flea market (Alameda Point in in Alameda, CA) and I have gotten some nice vintage Marimekko fabric there. I usually just hoard it, but I did use one piece to make a shift dress (you can see it here if you want: http://clothscissorsneedle.blogspot.com/2014/08/marimekko-shift-dress.html)- it was the same "heavy cotton but not quite canvas" weight and was nice to work with. The dress is one of my favorite pieces even though it was one of the first few garments that I ever made and I had no idea what I was doing, so the techniques used were a bit sketchy! If I were making it now I would underline the fabric to give it a little more structure, but that is probably just me overthinking it.

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  13. Kristin,
    That dress is stunning. In 1966 semi-fitted was the style. I think the fabric is happy to have waited some 45 years to be sewn, and it is still a perfect dress in 2016, at age 50. Gotta love Marimeko.

    Claire

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  14. Is 'fab' a word? Great pants. The print looks like a photo negative and it's very eye-catching.

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  15. Those are fantastic! Normally I hate clever prints on pants but this is an amazing use of the fabric. And for a print that's an irregular wheatfield, these look extremely versatile - you could wear them with all kinds of solids, micro stripes or tiny dots, or you could wear them with big dramatic stripes and prints.

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  16. such wonderful pants and what a great way to use panels! i would never have thought of trousers for panels but you're very creative. make me a pair. the last marimekko fabric i had was on a shelf in my light, bright sewing room and faded terribly. so keep them in in a closet or keep your pants on! have you seen any others around the city yet? they've become a very hot item.

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  17. I'm sewing with Marimekko linen right now! The "Villisika" print. I love it. It frays if I handle it too much with raw edges (it frays a LOT), but that's my fault. It's smooth and beautiful.

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