Style Arc's Ethel pants are my new favorite pants

Pants should be artsy and huge. I’ve been looking for the right pant pattern for awhile, and here it is: the Ethel Designer Pant. It comes in a gazillion sizes, just go to the main Style Arc shop page and type in “Ethel” in the search, and you’ll see them all.


I made a muslin first, a pair in quilting cotton with a house print all over it. They came out baggy and wonderful, probably too baggy for 79% of anyone who bothers to concern themselves with whether their sewing pattern is “on trend” or not, but I don’t know if I’d use quilting cotton again. It’s a little stiff. That’s okay, because they were just practice, a proof of concept. I didn’t get a photo of those pants, because that would require me to go change out of the pants I’m wearing now, and hello, all those of you with chronic illness know how much pain it can literally take to get in and out of your clothes. So instead I insert a swatch:


I call them my “house pants”. HAHAHA. I’ll be here all week.

I used my stash of red linen to make my “real” pair. I’m not going to say that the night was without drama. I opted for patch pockets instead of side pockets, and used this gorgeous Guatemalan stuff. I sewed them on, and then realized that I’d sewn them to the rear instead of the front. Cursing my brain fog, I went downstairs and chatted with Greg while I laboriously seam-rippered them off. Then I went back upstairs and realized that I had just ripped off pockets that had, in fact, been sewn on the correct side of the pants all along. More cursing. I am a sailor, after all.

Sewing with fibromyalgia can be interesting. Let’s use that word. INTERESTING.

At any rate, they finally got done, and I love them.


This is me standing in our kitchen. You have to pardon my hair because I was, five minutes before this, rolling on the floor with the dogs.

Those socks? I knit those! I’m so proud of those socks. They’re Personal Footprint socks from Cat Bordhi, and they’re the only socks I’ve ever knitted that I actually wear on a regular basis. Mostly because they’re the only socks I’ve ever knitted that are actually shaped like a human foot.

The pants aren’t cuffed at the moment, but they look very cute when cuffed. The pattern is pretty easy, although I didn’t fully understand how to do the pleats. I just did what looked right, and I like how it came out. Eventually, I’d like to watch a more experienced sewist make a nice pair of pants and learn some of these little tricks. Or just watch one of the many Craftsy videos I bought during their big Thanksgiving sale. I must have a dozen.

This pair is perhaps one size too big for me. In a plus-sized person especially, a whole size off can often look a bit dramatic. I don’t care too much at this point, because I figure the more I wash them the smaller they’ll get. Not by inches, but I bet a little bit of shrinkage will just happen over time.

All that bagginess is useful for a yoga teacher. Want to see? WANT TO SEE ME DO YOGA?


This is not yoga.

Finnegan’s like, “She’s doing Karate Kid again, isn’t she?”

The point is, were I able to do all the asanas there are, I could probably do them all in these pants. I like living with the knowledge that if – without warning – I had to scale a wall or take a gymnastics class or stuff an entire watermelon in my pants to prove some kind of critical point, these pants would be up to the challenge.


  1. Caity O'Connor says:

    I love your post! I also attempt to sew with fibromyalgia (helllllloooo brain fog!) and those pants look awesome! Yay for sewing curvy and comfy!

    • A fellow fibromyalgia person! I haven’t found a good term for that. Fibroids? No. “Fibroid sufferer” sounds so dark and gloomy. Sewing with brain fog should definitely get us extra points. 🙂

  2. Elaine Bradtke says:

    Your comment about stuffing a watermelon down your pants made me laugh. One evening we were in a supermarket in Barcelona, buying treats to bring home to friends and there was a bit of a kerfuffle at the cash register. There was a guy in very baggy pants, and the clerk kept saying (in Spanish) the equivalent of OK I know you’ve got more stuff stashed in there, don’t make me search you. We were amazed at how much merchandise he’d managed to stuff into his clothes. Not sure how he was going to walk out of there without clunking. But if you ever wanted a career as a shoplifter, sew the pockets on the inside. . .

  3. Siobhan S says:

    Sewing pants AND knitting socks – you’re on fire! These pants seem totally your style, too. I’ve unpicked and resewn many-a-correct seam. I feel like attempting X activity with chronic illness is always some sort of huge, comitragic risk. Will I do the thing? Will I ruin it? Pass out halfway through?! Tune in next time to find out.

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