Ultimate trousers for my ultimate challenge!

Ultimate TrousersHi there – I have been quiet for the last few weeks as I finally decided it was time to face up to a big challenge – trousers! Several duvet covers have been sacrificed for the fitting process over the past two weeks and I have become intimate with books and articles about fitting.

After Me-Made-May last year I identified trousers as a key item that was missing from my hand-made wardrobe and when I made shorts last summer I promised I would be trying out the trousers version really soon. With May coming round again quickly I finally decided to take the plunge…

Ultimate trousersThe pattern I used is the Sewoverit Ultimate Trousers. So many people have tried them and been happy with the results – in the past month or two alone Karen at Did you make that, Charlie at This Blog is not for you and Rachel at Sew South London have all made really well-fitting versions.

I knew my main challenge was going to be fitting because I have a big differential between waist and hip measurements and I have always struggled to find RTW trousers that fit properly.

I started from my adjusted shorts pattern I worked on last summer, with a 12 at the waist, grading out to a 16 at the hip. I made a full muslin to start with and found that overall the fit wasn’t bad. The test version was slightly tight across the hips and I needed to increase the rise at the back to give myself a bit more room and stop the waist pulling when I sat down. I also found there was some excess fabric at the front crotch. I used Colette’s charmingly named Full butt adjustment to add some width and increase the back rise. To remove the excess at the front I removed a small amount from the front crotch curve – referring to this helpful post from Lauren at Lladybird about trouser fit.

Ultimate Trousers
The final pattern piece for the back after all my adjustments

This worked well around the hip area but I now had too much fabric immediately below this level. I used this narrow leg adjustment from Threads to narrow the leg – taking out the excess in two adjustments that slightly increased the width of the darts at the waist.

Working through this process and making changes took the best part of two weeks in fits and starts, but finally this weekend I was ready to go ahead and make some wearable trousers. My fabric is a blue linen/cotton mix fabric from Minerva Crafts – I bought this at their meetup last year intending to make trousers so I am pleased to finally tick this off my to do list! Because the linen is quite soft I used a firm cotton for the waist facing, to hold everything in place and prevent it bagging out while wearing. Finally I reduced the length of the leg by about four inches to make them more cropped (because I do believe summer is coming!)

The dreaded rear view!
The dreaded rear view!

Actually sewing these up once the fitting is done is really straightforward – there is no fly front to worry about and I did most of the sewing in a day. I overlocked the seam allowances together for strength as the fabric frays easily. I put in a centred zipper as I didn’t have an invisible zipper to hand – it isn’t my finest work but I am so pleased to have wearable trousers that I don’t even care that much!

Ultimate trousersI have already cut out a second pair in a green stretch cotton velvet and I have some blue cotton sateen on the way for a third pair!

I can’t even begin to tell you how pleased I am with how these turned out – my body is far from perfect and these trousers actually fit round it pretty well. I genuinely can’t buy trousers that fit at both the waist and the hip and aren’t either stupidly tight on the thighs or too baggy. My most wearable RTW capris fell apart last summer and being able to replace them has been a goal for ages and I am so pleased that I have finally achieved this.

Anyone else feel as if they have mastered a big challenge in sewing recently?

 

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Abigail says:

    Good for you! I mastered pajama pants a little bit ago–I’m proud of myself! I have yet to try sewing jeans-the whole zipper thing worries me.

    http://www.freckledfashinista.wordpress.com

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I have been putting off giving this a go but I am really pleased with how they (eventually!) turned out!
      louise

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  2. Very nice! I finally took the plunge and made jeans recently. It feels good to overcome the challenges, doesn’t it 🙂

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I know – I have been putting off making trousers for so long and although working out the fit took a while I am really pleased with how they turned out!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The best thing about sewing is making what ever you want and making it fit. You put in a lot of work and were rewarded with something that fits! I am still working on my pants fitting. I like alternating it with a few quick garments in order to keep my interest up.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! Yes – i might have to make a few tshirts now before I attempt to work only shoulder fit again!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. stitchedupsam says:

    You’ve got a great fit on these. Like you, I can never get RTW trousers to fit properly – small waist in comparison to hips – and although I have made trousers I’ve struggled with fit. I’ve been eyeing up this pattern for a while and think I might give it a go… and give myself time to make several muslins if necessary.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – so many people have made these and had a good result and even the first version wasn’t too bad so I definitely recommend – you can sew up a knee length test version really quickly!

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  5. Lynne says:

    Your trousers are amazing! And wowsers to sticking with it after all those adjustments; making toiles is never fun. Fitting is, without doubt, the worst bit of sewing. I did battle, and lost, with fitting a collar at the weekend. It’s currently having a think about what it’s done… Good luck with all your other pairs.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! It was a long process over two weeks of making a new version, trying to see the back view in a mirror, letting out seams and pinning bits out then starting again – time for an easier project!

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  6. Thanks for the mention. All the time spent on fitting your trousers was worth it – you’ve ended up with a lovely fitting pair of trousers. I’ve still had to tweak mine once I started wearing them and the fabric loosened up a bit. Trousers, eh? the fitting never ends!!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      I know! – I.am pleased with how they turned out but I suspect the linen will get looser as I wear it! My next pair are in a stretch fabric so I will make them a bit tighter and see how that works. At least I know I can do it now (not quite ready to try jeans though!)

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      1. My stretch ones get taken in at the sides after almost every wear!

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      2. notsewsimple says:

        Good to know – I will err on the side of caution!

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  7. Nicola says:

    Bravo! Well done for persevering. I have just finished the muslin stage, almost done and am very excited to make my first pair of fitting trousers any time soon. This will be a big help to my badly fitting trouser section of the wardrobe! I also have had my eye on this pattern; it’s great to see your success. They look great on you.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! It was definitely worth sticking with it – I had worn out all my old rtw trousers and it seemed better to try to make some rather than buy more badly fitting ones! Hope yours turn out well!
      Louise

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  8. You’ve made such a good job with fitting your trousers, although it was a lot of work it’s great that you now have a pattern which you can just make up and know it will fit. Me made May has highlighted a trouser shaped gap in my wardrobe, I’m fed up of wearing jeans, it would be nice to have a pair or two of good fitting Capri’s, I’ll have to bump them up to the top of the list!

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