Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vacation pants!

This weekend, my husband and I popped down to Death Valley for a little vacation. We stayed at the lovely, and delightfully retro, Furnace Creek Inn.

Built in the 20's, after the decline in the mining boom, it was opened to draw a new kind of people to Death Valley: the tourist. There are loads of great old photos of tourists from the 30's enjoying the spring-fed pool and visiting the mining-era relics. Walking alone in the hotel, you feel like you could be time traveling. Then you see people and pouf, you're back in 2014.

Wearing History's Smooth Sailing Trousers,
worn at the Furnace Creek Inn.

Well, since I had a couple days before the trip, and I had finished up my Sew for Victory blouse, I thought I should make up the pants from the pattern to wear on our trip. I used Wearing History's Smooth Sailing pattern and some soft navy linen I had. They went together in a snap. I had actually traced out a vintage trouser pattern I had (Simplicity Primer 3322), and for kicks, I compared it to the Wearing History Pattern. They were so similar, I decided to use the modern pattern. I'm glad I did because they were so easy and fit great!

A look at the back, and a glimpse
of the Date Garden.

I felt very snazzy in them and they were so comfy! So cool because of the linen and the wide leg. I thought they looked very stylish. I doubt anyone knew they were retro. But I did! And I felt very much the 1930's tourist, admiring the vistas and the old days of the prospectors, the railroad and the mining towns, which my husband and I are very interested in.

Cozying up on a bench that once sat at a
Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad Station. It now
sits at the Borax Museum at the Furnace Creek Ranch.

Well, as I said, they went together easy and fast. There's two pattern pieces and a waistband. I graded two sizes together, while tracing, and didn't make any other adjustments of allowances. Next time, the only change I will make, will be to adjust the back waist area of the trousers to allow for a sway back. They would be totally perfect if they didn't make that slight wrinkle at the back waist.

Below, the guts. The linen was a bit prone to unravel. Since I was on a deadline, I picked the fasted seam treatment I knew: I zig zagged the seam allowances. I chose to machine stitch the buttonhole, and note to self, when machine stitching, choose interfacing that matches the exterior, so when the buttonhole is sliced, the other color doesn't peek through. I actually ended up coloring in the bits poking through the buttonhole with a marker, as I had interfaced the waistband with white cotton.

I went with a metal zipper. It took a bit of getting used to, seeing the zipper, but I quite like it now. I was just so used to seeing modern, invisible zippers. I chose to set it in by hand, which I quite like.

The day I wore these pants, we popped up to tour Scotty's castle, which is a beautiful spanish style mansion built in the 20's. They let you take photo's inside, so soon up I will post and share and we can all visit the castle!

Death Valley Ranch, also known as Scotty's Castle, in Grapevine Canyon.

Hope all the mothers out there had a lovely Mother's Day!


  1. So cute! They look super comfy. Now I want a pair... (but my sewing list is already so full!) Coloring the button hole interfacing is a totally reasonable and oft-used trick. ;)


    1. Aha interesting! Good to know.

      They go together super fast - maybe you can squeeze a pair in soon!

  2. Those pants are great! Your outfit looks comfortable, yet chic! Kind of Jackie O!