Sunday, April 11, 2021

Is All That Top Stitching Worth It?- V9304

Is all that top stitching worth it?  Of course it is.   There are so many functional and decorative reasons to add topstitching to a garment.  For this particular pair of pants, it is mostly used as a decorative design element.   Just looking at the pattern envelope, the eye is drawn to two things:  The topstitching and the pockets.  In this case, it is a beautiful way to showcase the design lines of this "cargo" pants.

For sewists, we know that topstitching has many functional benefits too.  It helps keep edges flat creating a crisp edge around the pockets, necklines, cuffs and other areas of a garment.  Topstitching also makes seams strong and holds fabric layers together.  Quite a bit of all of these benefits are in these pants due to the enormous amount of topstitching.

There are two things needed in doing all of this topstitching:  time and patience.  It probably took me three times as long to make these pants because of it.  Every seam has one or two rows of topstitching.  

Making good stitching for me is a matter of taking my time and patience.  I have at least two sewing machine feet designed to help make the stitches.  But I never use them.  I rely on the edge of the Satin foot and the placement of the needle position, I guess I could start using the other feet more, but it's easy for me to use the same ole method I've used for decades.  So in the end, I just take my time and guide the fabric with the same amount of pressure to produce nice, even stitching. It is a nice design element.  

That being said, here is more on the review of the pattern, Vogue V9304, designed by Kathryn Brenne.

The pattern description is:  Misses pants semi-fitted, pull-on pants have elasticized waist, drawstring, yokes, and pocket variations.  Fabric to be used should be two-way stretch knits (50% cross grain) like double knits, ponte.

The pattern is available in sizes 6 to 22.  I used 16 with a few modifications.

My pants look like the drawing and photos of the pants. I made view A.  I wanted to really test making them before I tried the back pockets and the little stitched slashes at the back of the knee.  Pockets are one of the design elements that I am focusing on this year.   

Often I stray away from following instructions to the letter.  But for these pants, I did.  Particularly the instructions for the pockets.  I wanted to make sure they turned out right.  The instructions seemed a little weird.  It was like making the pockets wrong side out. literally.  The finished pockets do show raw edges on the outside of the pants.  

My likes:
  • All of that time and patience to topstitch.  The nerd in me thinks this is so fun. 
  • The seaming of the pants.
  • The method for forming the pockets.
  • The yoke and elastic casing.
  • Really, my dislike is on me.  I needed to adjust the crotch seam.  The front is a little too long (1") and the back crotch seam a little too short (1.5").  I was so busy thinking and working on all the rest, I fail to make these small adjustments.  They are not a deal breaker for the pants.  These adjustments would provide slightly better look and comfort.

The fabric that I used is a ponte knit from So Sew Fabrics.  It's of the same quality as the ponte knit that I've purchased from Mood.  So both are good sources for ponte knit.

My two little adjustments are:  lengthen the pant legs and use a slightly deeper seam allowance at the center front seam below the yoke.

I like how these pants turned out.  I will make at least one more pair, view B.  I do recommend this pattern to other sewists.  I was surprised to see not many people tried this pattern yet. The copyright is 2018.  Maybe is because of all that top stitching or the construction of the pockets.  All you need is a little time and patience,  And it's done.

Anyway, I do recommend the pattern.  You'll have a unique pair of pants that are comfortable and stylish,

Happy Sewing!


  1. I have never noticed those before in the catalogue. They look great. Thanks for this review. They would be something to make in ponte, which I've never worked with before. And yeas to all the top stitching that one has patience to do!

  2. The pants are so fly! I love all the details and topstitching you did--I agree it is worth it!

  3. Nice looking pants. I may have to buy this pattern now.

  4. I am struggling with the pockets on this pants pattern; it’s been sitting in my ufo pile for over a year. Your pocket pics are inspiring me to pull them out and finish

    1. I totally understand. Thedesign and technique for constructing them is unusual. Try me, though, follow the instructions. Devote quiet time to do them, no distractions. Take your time. Good luck, you got this. Thanks, C



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