I am finally making progress with my FESA sewing this week – I know it wraps up today but I am hoping to finish one more project this weekend so I can say that I achieved a respectable amount!
Apologies first for the pictures which were taken on a grey day – despite some attempts to adjust the colour you can’t really see which are the blue and which are the black trousers. Added to this Mr Notsewsimple takes the photos and managed to take very few which included all of the trousers…
After the shirt that took forever and then starting Halloween costume making, I really wanted a straightforward project that wouldn’t take too long. Trousers wouldn’t usually be the obvious solution to this problem, but after epic work on this pattern earlier in the year I was confident that I could sew them up without too much effort.
The Sewoverit Ultimate Trousers are a great way into trouser making. They have a side zip and a waistband facing – no fly front or pockets – so once you have got the fit worked out the actual sewing is completely straightforward.
I sewed three different cropped versions of Ultimates in the Spring – see here and here – and although all of them were worn regularly, my absolute favourite were the dark blue pair. The fabric had a small amount of stretch to give a good fit, but not so much that they bagged out of shape over a day.
For autumn I knew I wanted (at least) a couple of full length pairs. For the blue pair I bought more of the midnight blue cotton sateen from Clothspot – sadly out of stock now, but they do have a navy blue fabric which looks similar. I used their linen textured black drill for the black pair which has a slightly slubbed texture and is heavier (and stretchier) than the sateen.
The main thing that I learned in the spring when making these is that every fabric fits differently. I found it safest to machine baste the main seams, try on and adjust each time. Although both fabrics have the same spandex content, the black fabric is stretchier than the blue (about 20% stretch v 10%), so I ended up taking quite a lot off the side seams for the black and virtually nothing on the blue. I also took in the centre front seam on the black to remove excess fabric at the crotch.
I used non-stretch woven fabric for the waist facings for each to provide some stability, but the black pair definitely relax a bit across the waist over the course of a day (handy if you want to eat a big lunch?)
Blue trousers – only shot of full length!
I do have a couple of slight reservations that I will have to address when I make another pair
- I have some pulling and folds around the knee which need some kind of adjustment. I think that my very altered pattern pieces may need to be checked to make sure I still have the grain line in the right place at the very least. Other lines are, I think, just telling me that I need to lose some weight – no surprise there.
- I need to work on the front crotch curve – I find when using stretchier fabrics that I end up with some excess fabric there and it isn’t entirely solved by taking in the front seam.
- I would like to try adding a waistband next time to combat the waist stretching out – Sewoverit posted a tutorial here to raise the waistline and replace the facing with a waistband.
- Finally – these pairs are both slightly shorter than I intended and I would prefer slightly longer next time – I could let down the hem and give myself an extra half-inch but realistically that isn’t going to happen!
Overall I am really pleased with both pairs – I wore the black pair to #Sewbrum and saw a few other pairs of Ultimates there so this is clearly a pattern that works for many people. Despite my niggles above I suspect I will wear both pairs regularly until spring comes and then wear the cropped ones again!
Hope everyone else managed to do as much as they planned on their autumn sewing lists?