If I can get the right fit around the waist/ hips this first time out, I think I'll be in good shape to modify the pattern later for various style changes. The waist & hip are the areas where my store-bought pants don't fit and end up looking kind of dumpy. So here are the contenders:
Option 1 -- Vogue 1051 Alice + Olivia
I think the legs flare a bit much for me, and the waist is a couple inches lower than I would like.
Option 2 -- Vogue 1059 Alice + Olivia
The waistline looks like it's in the right spot, but the legs are so wide and I'm so short they could look very unflattering. On the flip side, I understand that slimming down the legs is pretty simple to do compared to all the pant alterations that could be done.
Option 3 -- BurdaStyle Nichola 9175
I like the shape of this pant -- legs are not skinny and not wide. The pants come in a size 34 so this ought to fit right off the bat, no tricky copier reductions required. Not sure if it's the model/ pant fit as opposed to a bad pattern... I don't like the pulling at the crotch. And the waist is just a touch low for me.
Option 4 -- BurdaStyle Ellen 9305
Unfortunately, I can't find a line drawing for this pattern. It looks like a great pant, maybe perfect for this next pant attempt, but couldn't that be because the model has legs 8 feet long? Leg looks kinda skinny for my tastes.
OK, thanks again for your thoughts -- I look forward to reading your take and learning from your expertise on this. Also, to up the ante on making sure I persist through any fitting woes, I've agreed to a pants sew-along with Diana from A Little Home Sewn and Mary Nanna from Miss Smith at Home. I've never taken part in a sew-along before and don't even know if I've suggested the right things, but we plan to sew our new pants in March, from selecting/ drafting the pattern March 1 to finished pants on March 31, with milestones and encouragement to blog progress along the way. If you want to join in the fun, let me know and I'll be sure to send you the schedule!