I’ve heard that the new Deer&Doe collection is coming out very soon… and I still haven’t finished showing you what I made from the patterns from the previous one! In addition to my two Neige sweatshirts I’ve also made a pair of Acajou pants, which will be the subject of today’s blog post.
The Acajou pants are high-waisted pants with a slight cocoon shape, meaning that the silhouette is exaggerated right below the hips and then tapers in. These pants are the typical example of a pattern with which I am extremely happy on a professional level, but that I find difficult to wear nevertheless. In all modesty (or not), the patternmaking is great and the final garment looks exactly like what we had in mind in terms of silhouette and proportions. The instructions are our most detailed yet for a pants pattern, and I’m especially proud of the fly instructions that are now my go-to for fly-front pants. I love the look of version B with its elasticated cuffs and cargo pockets; sportswear may not be my jam, but I think they look awesome on Eléonore.
And yet… the silhouette is out of my comfort zone and I just can’t get used to it! For someone who works in clothes design, when it comes to my own wardrobe I am surprisingly not big on experimentation. On the bottom, especially after going up a few sizes during the pandemic, I either wear skinny jeans or a flared skirt, and that’s it! So this pair of Acajou pants, though I love how it looks on the pictures, I really haven’t worn much.
Another factor that plays a big role here is the fabric. I had never made pants out of rayon before, and after seeing Parikha’s Tencel twill version, I remembered that I had a similar fabric in my stash (a 6 oz. Tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics) which was just heavy enough. Unfortunately that was not the winning combination for several reasons. First of all, 6 oz. (200 g / m²) is the lower bound for medium weight, and it turned out to be not quite enough. Second, Tencel (and rayon in general) wrinkles a lot, and therefore was not necessarily the best choice for fitted pants. Likewise, it shrinks a ton: I had prewashed it carefully but I should have done it a couple extra times because the pants still shrunk a bit after the first wash. Finally, this particular fabric did not like being washed, and it came out of the washer with white marks that never came out. But setting aside those wrinkles and lines, the color is great and the pants are very comfortable, so they could still work out, right?
Since I didn’t have a single button that matched this lovely plum color, I used a fabric-covered button, which I think makes the pants look a bit dressier. Maybe that’s also what bugs me? Spoiler alert: I sewed another version of this pattern for the Deer & Doe photoshoot, in linen this time, and I find that the pants look much better that way. Of course, they still wrinkle and crease, but with the more rustic aspect of linen it looks much less weird compared to this shiny fancy viscose.
I’m wearing it here with a mockneck from the Dressed book. It is a bit too tight at the bust now (I gained a couple sizes at the hips, so makes sense my bust went up as well) so if I had to make another one I think I would go up from a size 38 to a 40. The fabric is a rayon-elastane jersey knit and I think it’s perfect for this pattern because it feels cool to the touch (I don’t like being too hot in a high-neck shirt!).
With all that I know it sounds like I gave up on this pattern, but I love it anyway! Its elasticated back that is so comfortable (just like the one on the Fumeterre skirt), its very deep pockets, all these details that make all the difference… But I have to face the facts, there are a lot of Deer&Doe patterns now, and even though they’re are all my darling children, I don’t have to wear them all!