… or trousers, depending on who you are 😉
So far this year my making has primarily consisted of something I’ve previously more or less untried in: pants! 🙂 I am LOVING making pants!!! I’m really behind in my blogging so I’m catching up today by showing you three pairs, which I made between November of last year, and February of this year.
Pants are what I wear most often to work (and play) 3 seasons of the year and one of the things I despise shopping for most, because it’s super hard for me to find a good fit in a style I like, in fabric that’s quality, or even partially natural fibers. I end up spending WAY too much money on one semi-decent fitting pair that I subsequently wear to absolute shreds, and this is where I’ve been stuck for some time.
SO! Sewing & fitting skills to work!
The one futile attempt I made previously (a couple years ago) met with sad failure due to my lack of experience and understanding, but this time, I was determined to make a decent fitting pair of trousers.
I decided on a Burda pattern based on Anne’s glowing reviews and numerous wonderful pairs, and with some tweaking and fiddling (and a LOT of head scratching at those instructions!) I managed to eke out a couple muslins, the last of which produced a fit I was really happy with.
I then took that tweaked pattern and some trouser weight wool I had in my stash and went to work. End result? Slightly askew waistband & messy welts aside, I have a pair of black wool dress trousers I absolutely love – the fit is awesome and I am truly proud of my fly insertion 🙂 As my mum (wisely) said, if the fit is good, the rest will come in time 🙂 (practice DOES make perfect after all!)
So I was hooked!! Next came my Holly jumpsuit. Armed with my new knowledge, I had little trouble fitting this one, and was pleased with the outcome. So much so I decided to make a pair of trousers from the pattern. However, I prefer my trousers to sit lower on my waist/hip so I slashed off 4.5″ from the top of each pants piece, then drafted a 1.5″ 2-piece waistband based on the top part (folding out the darts and adding seam allowance, and an overlap of course)
I did not use instructions for this one as most of it was invented by me anyway – instead I constructed them how it made sense to me, and when it came to the zipper I used a regular zip with a lapped installation, placing the lap from front to back as I thought it would be more flattering. Waistband and zipper turned out great, and the dropped waist was exactly what I was aiming for! Second win!! 🙂
I was getting pretty excited by this point – I mean never in my life have I had pants that fit this well – and in lovely wool no less – I was in heaven!
So it was time to test my mettle on a new animal – the skinny jean.
Friends, I’ll be honest – I am a boot cut gal through & through but I’ve been informed that’s not “cool” anymore lol (not that that’ll stop me) but if I was gonna go there, there was NO WAY I was going to attempt squeezing into a pair of skinny jeans in a public changing room; the only way it was happening was on MY terms!
Enter the Named Jamie jeans!! (already blogged here but forgot to add some construction/process details so I’ll g on a little more LOL) What a fun project! I was tempted by all the fun jeans threads but since my chosen denim was a soft, sleek black, I opted for a charcoal topstitching thread instead, for a subtler look. Also the only 4″ zipper had an ugly pull so I bought the next size up & resolved to find a way to shorten it. (yes, I’m particular lol)
I executed the exact same flat pattern adjustments I made on the previous 2 pairs, and made a quick muslin of the top part from a test stretch fabric before proceeding.
Putting both my machines to work made the construction process a cinch – the body of the jeans were done in one afternoon, as I used one machine for construction and the other for topstitching.
A quick try-on prior to fly installation revealed that the legs of these were VERY tight – luckily my denim was pretty forgiving – should have realized I would need to adjust for my massive muscular calves haha. Will definitely adjust next time lol and as Mrs M has pointed out, I may also need a thigh adjustment as well 🙂
Cons: Slightly wonky waistband – totally my fault (seriously, what is my problem with waistbands, anyway?) and an evil buttonhole; my machine was NOT cooperating with the buttonhole on the stretch fabric!
Pros: I made JEANS!!! Of the skinny variety! And they fit, are comfy and I love them!!
Next up on the roster was a pattern I’ve been itching to try out for some time: Vogue 1051. I love all the details of this pattern: the lower rise and wide waistband, the welt seam pocket in front and the welt with button closure in back. After making the (now) usual pattern adjustments I squawked out a quick shorts muslin & bravely (arrogantly?) proceeded to move on to the real deal. I say bravely because for these I had a special piece of fabric in mind: a lovely red Italian wool gifted to me by Andrea of Stitch Parade for the Christmas swap a couple (few?) years ago. I’ve been saving it until my skills were a bit better and I’m glad I did; I love these trousers, and I even eked out just enough for a bonus skirt!! (coming soon! LOL)
The construction was a bit more challenging than my previous pairs but I think I am getting better each time 🙂 I did have to unpick a couple times on the back pockets because I did a few upside down things lol, and ONCE AGAIN the waistband was a problem but not as bad as the black ones & I think I figured out why 🙂
And yet more trousers in the works but before that, a few more finished objects yet unblogged and coming soon, a HUGE project I’m finishing up now; my DREAM JACKET (or one of them… I love jackets!) and then (jumping on the most recent bandwagon) LINGERIE!