I bought this Japanese cotton/linen lightweight canvas back in April from Stonemountain (now sadly sold out) and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to make with it. A simple sheath dress seemed like the obvious choice, but I felt like this amazing print had more potential. I played around with the idea of a two-piece setacular with a mini skirt and crop top, but again it didn’t feel quite right to me. Then one day I was going through my stash and I held up the panel to evaluate it again and it hit me: pants! I posted about my revelation on Instagram and got some well-meaning replies that maybe I should make a sheath dress, but I was determined to make some crazy pants. And then a couple months later (my sewing queue is long and slow-moving), True Bias released the Lander Pant and it was like the stars aligned.
My Refashioners 2017 project was my first run with this pattern and of course I used a fabric that Kelli probably did not intend for the Landers to be made in (silk!). This Kokka fabric is closer to what the pattern recommends, though it’s still slightly lightweight. I was super fussy about my cutting in order to a) try to get things lined up across seams and b) not have a big red cloud right on my ass. It was tricky and I ended up having to piece the waistband, but that’s no big deal.
You may have noticed that I didn’t include the patch pockets on the front. This is partially because trying to pattern match those would have been a pain, and also because I wanted a sleeker look in the front. I created these little (actually a bit too little) pockets in the waistband seam. Can I call them welt pockets? All I know is that I wanted them to resemble Kamm pants a bit and I think I accomplished that! (At least with the pockets, ha.) I also left off the belt loops to keep with that sleeker look.
Kelli is an amazing pattern drafter and the proportions of the Lander Pant are absolutely spot on. I graded from a 6 in the waist to a 10 in the hips and kept the length as drafted for the cropped pant. I was worried about the back pockets being too big and square, but I think they look pretty great actually. The only issue I have is that the waistband is totally straight, so I have some gaping in the back and sides. I should have caught this before cutting and next time I’ll draft a curved waistband.
Other things to note: I used a dark green thread for topstitching and the jeans buttons came from Stonemountain (they’re the brass ones here). For construction seams I used light grey thread, which seems to work for most of the colors in the print.
Let’s talk about this print for a second, because it’s kind of the star of the show. It’s called “Cinema,” which I don’t really get because there’s nothing movie-related in it. There’s an airport, a beach, and a carnival, but no movie theater. Go figure. I love the colors in this fabric, from the dark green night sky to the pale pink sand. There are actually daytime and greyscale versions as well, but I prefer this one. I find the illustration style so playful and charming, and I usually don’t like any prints with human figures.
In looking up this fabric just now I learned that the original art was created through Chigiri-e, which is a Japanese papercraft that traditionally used hand-dyed washi paper. Wow!
I think these Lander Pants might be my favorite make this year. Though I’ve never made or worn anything like this before, they feel completely me. I feel like sewing has really expanded my capacity to wear bright colors and prints. I actually don’t remember the last time I made something solid black (my Kochi Kimono doesn’t count because it’s two-toned) and this is the most fun my closet has ever been. I fully encourage everyone to try making a pair of wild pants, whether they’re fancy (velvet?!) or just kind of silly (grass pants!). Go for it!
I have plans for at least one more pair of Lander Pants in the nearish future and probably also some pattern hacking/mashing with the Lander as a base. It’s just an excellent, excellent pattern with tons of potential.