I used to struggle with choosing pants I go to work with. In Silicon Valley, the dress code is business casual. If you come for an interview for a tech job, the recruiter would repeat three times — don’t wear a suit. The RIVA linen pants are the perfect middle-ground between suit pants and jeans, while still being perfect for getting some boba or cold brew with friends after work.
RIVA pants have all the delicate features of suit pants — double welts back pockets, side pockets, covered zipper, waist band. But the double pleats alongside the pockets release all the tension from a pair of formal suit pants into a generously flowing garment. I love the feeling of freedom and relaxation being in wide leg pants. The waistband is definitely the highlight of RIVA pants, the curve and small geometric shapes at the center back give a feel of focus and independence.
RIVA pattern is the most beautifully made pattern I have ever seen. It felt like Christmas when it was delivered. It came with a delicate cylinder box that includes hangers for already cut patterns. Both pattern and instructions are printed with premium quality paper. It was a difficult moment to start cutting on such nice paper.
I used FS Gray Cashmere midweight linen to make RIVA pants. I love the way fabrics-store names their colors as much as I love the fabric itself. This soft gray cannot be better described than ‘cashmere’, it is gentle and modest.
RIVA pants are a labor of love. There are many techniques you can learn from this pattern. The pattern does a good job breaking down big procedures into small steps. The fit is perfect for me, it is true to size. The welt pockets cutting through the back darts is the most satisfying part of the look of the pants. I practiced sewing the double welt pockets on muslin fabric before I sewed on the official one. I played with the size and opening of the welt, and sewed 2 different types of double welts on each side. I also oversized the back pockets to fit in my large phone. I would prefer the side pockets to be larger too, so my hands can easily rest in the pockets. There is a nice detail in the pattern, to overlock stitch the seam of the pockets. It makes the pocket really sturdy, no stress of breaking the pockets.
These pants are all about details, every iron after every seam pays off. The instructions are very consice. They specify where iron needs to come in, and which direction the seam should be ironed towards. I actually bought a mini iron in the middle of sewing RIVA pants, it is very handy and makes the finish much nicer. I had to re-do the waist band because I didn’t follow each iron step. Linen is a fairly easy type of fabric to work with, but it can distort a lot. Ironing the fabric before cutting it will save you a lot of time and headache. The pattern instructs to serge most of the interior seams. If you don’t have a serger, you can try French seams or zigzag stitch to lock the raw edges. Linen does fray a lot.
To style RIVA pants requires no effort. I thrifted an oversized turtleneck sweater and removed the sleeves. The loose fit at the arm hole and neck go well with the flowingness of the pants. Also this outfit is warm enough for the cold AC in the office.