Ralph goes Charro

Some of you might think that living in a rural village in the Pacific Northwest is pretty dull and it involves endless days of denim interspersed with bridal gowns. Some weeks can get monotonous except for a few of the inhabitants that venture out into the big cities. One client likes to shop at the Ralph Lauren store in San Francisco and she brought me 4 pair of pants recently. All four were black and needed either hemming or waistband tightening/moving the buttons over 1/2 inch but one was very different.

This particular pair were plush denim, black on the outside and brown on the inside with grommets up the outer leg from ankle to knee. These grommets were threaded with black braid and were piped with brown leather. Fantastic you say? Well, here’s the challenge…with piping running down the leg and leather binding across the hem how does one shorten them?

I guess Ralph Lauren/Ralph Rueben Lifshitz thought of that when he whipped them up. There was a horizontal seam in the front leg and the back leg that could be taken in/up a little. Here is what I pinned out and basted:1-back-knee-seam2-front-knee-seam I was able to pin out a “fish eye” dart of 1/4 inch in front and a 1/2 inch one in the back.

3-leather-piping Once the outer side seam was opened you can see the leather piping was stitched on with white thread…Really? So that seam cannot be shortened but the inseam can be shortened by 3/8 to 1/2 inch..lucky me!

4-embroidered-leg Here is the beautiful outside of the Charro based pants with leather binding.

5-right-side-basted Here are the 2 horizontal seams hand basted. The leather piping cannot be shortened. Oh, did I forget to mention that each of the horizontal seams were topstitched on both sides about 1/4 inch away from those seams and the stitch length must have been less than 2.o mm? Holy crosseyed! Digging into those tiny stitches to remove each one whether from the right or wrong side was a struggle/absolute bitch and very time consuming…needless to say I will NOT be re-stitching those lines back this time. Meanwhile let’s check out the other features that make these pants fabulous. Ralph loves leather piping and binding so he used them all over these pants and then threw in a couple more features which possibly/most certainly could add to the value/price tag. How about a tiny useless side seam pocket? What does a sophisticated woman shove in there? A condom?


7-center-back-ties  How about a center back grommet and tie feature?9-behind-the-ties Here is the back of that decorative tie. And one more feature that is confusing/frivolous is this inside waistband pocket:8-right-inside-pocket It is too small for keys or a thumb drive or tampon so it is anyone’s guess as to what you would hide in there. Have you noticed all the buttons sewn inside the waistband? Guess they were meant for suspenders/braces?

I tried to find a shot of these pants on the internet but I think they must have been last season and now all the Ralph websites are full of Spring colors. Here is one site with some inspiration for decorated pants.

More crocus are up this week in the garden and my orthopedist was happy with my knee so things are moving along nicely. One sour note was a bride who came with a very high end ($2000) sample wedding dress by Claire Pettibone…she bought it online without ever trying it on…she is a size 2, the dress is a 10. I pinned out every seam in the dress (side seams, center back seams, front yokes, shoulder seams), basted them, removed then basted the side seam zipper, basted up the hems by 3 inches and then she calls to say she has changed her mind and will list the dress for sale so she can get something else for her June wedding. So, everything I basted has to be put back to the original seamlines so she can sell it. It’s hard working with such a scatter-brained bride…I may choose to “release her”…we will see.

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19 Responses to Ralph goes Charro

  1. Gayle says:

    Those pants are truly something fabulous, even if they are a seamstress’s worst nightmare (well, maybe not worst, I went through your entire archives the other day >.<). But beautiful nonetheless. Reading about your bride, however, I just don't know how you do it.

    • mrsmole says:

      Well Gayle, if you have read through all my other weird posts, you will find worse scenarios for sure but this client brings me little goodies like this that I can share and learn from…how many of us know the secret of Charro pants? Flaky brides are another story…especially when they have parents who live in other states and need to get their approval…but failing that…as in this case, force the bride to sell her dream dress. Thanks for dropping by and have you seen the new show “Something Borrowed, Something New”? on TLC network:

  2. prttynpnk says:

    Those pants make me uncomfortable- like some sort of hybrid leider-slutten-hosen…..but the detail is amazing!

  3. mrsmole says:

    She didn’t have a manservant but used to model for Ralph so she is tall and beautiful, I never know what the rest of the outfit is like, being on the floor I see hems and shoes and unless they bring along a blouse or jacket for altering I will never know.

    • Monique says:

      That is sooo funny!
      Glad to read you are healing well and that Spring is appearing. We’re headed for some more frost, but there are buds everywhere and the sun feels stronger.

  4. Gjeometry says:

    Wow, these pants are super intricate and so pretty! I have to say I even like the useless tiny sideseam pocket. Why not? Not everything has to function practically, right?

  5. symondezyn says:

    Those Charro pants are amazing!!! I say release that bride!! lol

    • mrsmole says:

      For those with embroidery machines, you can recreate this look if you want to go to the trouble of binding the inside edges or hey, make it simple, flip the raw edge to the back and topstitch…add some spaced grommets and voila’ – designer jeans!

  6. That back of the grommet tie is quite surprisingly simple isn’t it? “Oh let’s just stitch a patch on top if it, who cares!” lol

  7. mrsmole says:

    That’s right, Lena…feel free to borrow that “slap it on” technique…ha ha. There is nothing behind the leg grommets.

  8. theresa says:

    Busy,busy,busy! Both you and those pants. Seems to me I use to see that type of work in the early 70’s then again maybe in the early 90’s. What’s old is new again in fashion! At least they weren’t bell bottoms! As Charro would utter…RRRRRRRRRRRRR! So glad to hear the knee is progressing nicely! Good for you. As to the bride, cut her loose I say.

  9. I have nothing new to say – I still don’t know how you do it. I would have to kill someone – probably a bride 🙂

  10. Great that you’re knee is healing nicely. It doesn’t sound like you are the type of person who would do well off her feet for long. Nice work on that fancy pants. As for your tiny bride–she may need some assistance choosing a more correctly fitting dress.

  11. anne k says:

    You have the patience of a saint – St Mrs. Mole. Holy moley!

  12. Bunny says:

    Those are gorgeous pants and definitely say RL. I am so impressed with how you fixed them. What a challenge! Watch that knee and don’t do too much too soon.

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