Short History On Pants
I love sewing pants. I love wearing them almost as much as I love sewing them. Did you know that we’ve been wearing pants for several thousand years? Evolutionary biologist Peter Turchin found that pant wearing came into vogue when Chinese soldiers grew tired (and probably more than a little chaffed) wearing robes while horseback riding. He found that warring states that did not adopt pants in their cavalry unit lost battles more often then cavalry that adopted pants as their uniform. Comfort over style, especially important when you’re a in a war.
In the ancient world, (Rome, Greece, Egypt, parts of Asia) both men and women wore pants for warmth and comfort. There is even evidence that Amazon warrior women wore pants. In Europe during the Middle Ages women could only wear dresses if she valued her life. If a woman was seen wearing pants during the Middle Ages this was considered highly unnatural and it could put the woman at great risk of being burned at the stake. Remember Joan of Arc?
In the Victorian period you’ll see women wearing the lovely bifurcated skirt, aka the culotte or wide-leg pant during outdoor activities but, rarely as part of a daytime outfit.
As a mainstream wardrobe staple pants didn’t enter our closets until the 20th century.However there are many women in history that wore pants before then off course. Take for example George Eliot, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn and my grandma (although very rarely).
Pant wearing for American women really hit a stride in the 1950s and reached an apex in the 1960s and ’70s. Liberated women drove the popularity of pants.
My grandma would sew pants for myself and my sisters every summer. I remember a red pair with white cherries and a matching blouse. Loved those pants; I probably grew out of them by fall.
Flash forward to the present and I’m crazy about sewing pants. You can see a few pairs of pants that I’ve sewn just last year. I will admit it took me a long time in getting the fit just right. But, that was largely due to me doing it all on my own.
There are so many great classes, books, videos and online sources that can help you sew the pants of your dreams. If sewing pants is on your list to do this year, do it,do it, do it. You’ll be amazed at how it can easy and fun it is once you learn about fit.
Do you like sewing pants? What’s your biggest fitting issue when it comes to sewing pants. Let me know on the comments section on the blog.