If you're like me, you were bombarded with ads on Facebook a few years ago for yoga pants that look like work pants. It's an ingenious idea, and after the pandemic, where "hard pants" (aka pants with woven fitted waistbands) became the enemy, I think it's about time we sew our own versions.
To make soft pants that look like hard pants, you need the perfect knit. And that happens to be ponte. An interlock knit, the fabric is tightly woven with a stable hand, amazing recovery, and soft feel. It often can be sewn just like a woven, and that's the quality we're embracing here. With similar elasticity to stretch twills and chinos, this fabric mimics trouser fabric while feeling like pajamas. Basically, it keeps you incredibly comfortable while still work (or work from home) appropriate.
Unlike other months, all the fabrics this month are nearly the same substrate. So it's all about the color and pattern here. We're doing fall ready hues that, in case you're wondering, will all pair nicely with last month's City Jackets. How cool is that?
So, without further ado, let's dig in!
Sew Essential Box: Ruri Sweatpants from Named Clothing
One of Named Clothing's older patterns, I feel like we all slept on this one when it came out. These pants are a cross between your favorite joggers and a cigarette pant, and, in my opinion, has the best of both.
The slim fit leg is sleek and stylish, with a snap closure for an added luxe detail. A faux fly front creates the illusion of dress pants while a back elastic waist adds incredible comfort and ease. Slightly cropped, they are perfect for fall boot weather, and we can see them dressed up in heels or tucked into wellies on rainy days. I'm pretty sure you'll want to live in these!
For fabric, this is the one box where we're veering from the ponte theme and adding a fleece option for an extra toasty feel. The other two pontes are dressier, with suiting-like textures and colors. So here they are!
- Spruce Green Cotton Fleece - What's a fleece doing in a theme about ponte pants, you ask? The Ruri Sweatpants are suited for sweatshirting, so we thought we'd include an option in case you wanted a more loungewear feel. And it's one of our favorite fleeces - soft and brushed, but nicely thin and easy to sew. The color is a deep pine green and will look stylish whether you're sitting on the couch or popping on some booties for a fall day out.
- Navy Micro Houndstooth Ponte - This yarn-dyed jacquard weave has a tiny houndstooth print that makes it look like wool suiting and a deep navy that adds a subtle burst of color. To be honest, it doesn't look at all like a knit, and that's the point. A pair of pants in this sophisticated fabric will look exactly like dressy "hard" pants, while feeling like your favorite loungewear. Suitable for work or play, this fabric is a stunner!
- Black Ponte de Roma - There's nothing better than a go-with-everything, wear-every day pair of black pants. And that's especially true when it's made out of a soft and supple ponte knit that looks almost exactly like dressier crepe or twill. We promise, you'll want a week's worth of these pants to wear every day! Perfect for the office or work from home, these will become an absolute wardrobe staple.
Sew Select Box: Rosslyn Trousers from Hey June Handmade
We always find ourselves gravitating towards Hey June Handmade for knit projects; she just has so many fantastic patterns for cozy looks! The Rosslyn Trousers are no exception, and we love them.
With all the characteristics of classic trousers, from quarter-cut front pockets, welt back pockets, belt loops, and three leg options, these pants are a trompe l'oeil in knit form. Honestly, you'll be hard pressed to tell they are knit without actually feeling the fabric. And that means you can wear them anywhere you'd wear dress pants, from the office or dinner or out on the town. You'll want so many pairs of these in your wardrobe, it's a shame we can only send you one!
Because there are three different looks for this pattern, we have fabrics that will shine depending on your needs. A suiting print paired with a straight leg is perfect for work, while a matte burgundy is ideal for slim fit faux jeans. And a bright green is just fun. So let's take a look!
- Black/Gray Houndstooth Jacquard Knit - A bolder houndstooth than in our Sew Essential Box, this fabric combines black and gray for a fantastic suiting effect. While not a traditional ponte, this jacquard knit has the same interlock knit and smooth, stable hand. With this pattern, the fabric will transform into an amazing pair of workwear pants, with subtle pattern and casual elegance. A gorgeous knit!
- Burgundy Heavyweight Ponte - This ponte is all about the color - a deep wine red that makes you yearn for fall colors and a cozy glass by the fire. Add to that the wonderful breathability of the high viscose content and a soft, matte hand, and you have a wunder-fabric! When turned into your very own pair of "secret-pajama" pants, this fabric is sure to become your new favorite. Embrace the fall mood with this fantastic choice!
- Deep Teal Ponte de Roma - If you want a pop of color for your pants, this is the one for you. A deep, jewel-toned teal is perfect for the upcoming season, and is an unexpected color for a pair of pants (though it's pretty close to one of the sample photos). The fabric itself is medium weight with a silky, matte face and amazing recovery. It's a match made in heaven, and we're here for it!
Sew Indulgent Box: Sasha Trousers from Closet Core Patterns
While not originally designed for knit fabrics, a quick scroll through the hashtag on Instagram will tell you that these trousers make amazing ponte pants. The stretch percentage required for the wovens is nearly equivalent to that of the pontes we've chosen, and they will fit in nearly the same way, but more comfortably (if you ask us)
Like most Closet Core Patterns, the beauty of the pattern lies in its simplicity. Clean lines, interesting details, and a gorgeous final look. Here, welt pockets, a slim fit, and an option for a cropped length evoke classic chinos, while making them in ponte will have them feel like yoga pants. You'll be both chic and cozy when you sew up these fabulous pants!
Because we're swapping ponte for wovens, we chose very stable options, with lower stretch than other pontes. We also threw in a faux leather look if you're feeling adventurous. So let's break them down!
- Merlot Ecovero Viscose Ponte - Most pontes are a combination of polyester, rayon, and spandex, but this luxury knit uses the sustainable Ecovero viscose and nylon for the same effect. The bonus of the ecovero is that it takes dyes extremely well, so you can get deeply saturated colors like this merlot red. A silky smooth hand combines with a slight sheen and lovely stretch for a ponte that feels as amazing as it sews. Thin yet study, the fabric will transform into your new favorite pair of soft pants masquerading as hard pants. It's a win-win!
- Navy Heavyweight Ponte - In the spectrum of pontes, some can feel like heavier jerseys while others sew practically like sturdy cotton. This navy ponte falls into that latter category and we love it for that. A nearly 500 gsm, it feels practically like a woven, and will wear like one as well. A smooth matte face works beautifully for this pattern and a strong stretch recovery will keep your pants wearable through lots and lots of use. The navy color is classic and versatile so you can dress these up or down to your heart's desire. We love it!
- Dixie Black Foil Coated Ponte - We couldn't resist throwing in a wild choice this month, especially after we saw this gorgeous knit. A ponte base, it's been coated with a metallic foil that resembles distressed leather (without any of the upkeep). With a notable sheen, textured face, and smooth back, this fabric is both wearable and wonderfully bold. Combined with the fitted style of the Sashas, you can make a pair of faux leather pants that feel like pajamas. How amazing is that??
While we usually have our Tried and True Boxes be notably different from our New boxes, there's something about October that makes me think of trousers. So we're reviving our Wide Leg Trouser boxes from last year. These are woven pants in case you don't want to sew knits, but like our New boxes, they can be styled with our City Jackets for some amazing fall outfits. So no matter which box you choose, you're ready for the upcoming season!
Until next time. . .