Hi 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…
The 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.
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!)
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!
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?