It was Me Made May this year which made me realise I was lacking in a couple of handmade wardrobe areas. In particular trousers.
I picked up the Sew Over It Ultimate Trouser pattern earlier this year and did get around to making a pair up in May but they definitely weren't nice enough to be worn outside.....among other people......who have eyes.
Baggy bum, baggy front, too short and wonky facing....nice hey?
I didn't feel that I needed to take any photos of this disaster. I did wear them out once, mostly hidden under a coat, but the fabric had way too much stretch and they we're even more baggy by the time I got home. To be fair they were ok for a first trouser make, I made them up without any alterations and used a fabric from my stash so a wearable toile was as much as I should have hoped to get.
Last week I decided to drag them out and see if I could get a better result second time around. After a fair bit of reading up on alterations I went with these...
- Take in the back darts an extra 2 inches
- Add and inch to the back rise
- Take in the front darts and extra inch
- Take an inch out of the front crotch depth, tapering out in the side back pieces
- Take 1/4 inch out of the front crotch curve
- Take in the leg width from mid thigh down to the ankles for a slimmer fit
- Add 3 inches to the leg length
- Adjust the waistband facing to fit
This took a while and involved a lot of trying on, pinning, adjusting and trying back on.
One of the most useful things I found on Pinterest to help out was this illustration which shows a lot of different alterations that you might need...
So once I transferred all of these changes over to the pattern pieces I felt confident enough to actually cut out some nice fabric to make an actual real pair of wearable trousers. I bought some dark denim from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton which has 3% stretch, hopefully just enough to be wearable and not stretch out after each wear. I should note that this pattern actually calls to be made up in woven fabrics but I don't think I would ever get wear out of trousers with no stretch at all, not comfy and not practical for me any way.
The SOI pattern instructions have you finish your seam edges before you start sewing it all together. I've never done this before but found this a little bit of a revelation. I bound all of my edges with some blue satin bias binding which was satisfyingly neat.
Initially I thought I would use flat felled seams to add strength but I actually ended up just doing everything as simply as possible for this go, just to make sure I had all of the alterations right before putting a really huge amount of effort into other areas.
So to strengthen the seams I added an additional line of stitching just next to the original instead.
Lovely neat seams....
I was surprised how quickly these trousers came together. I think I had them all sewed up in a couple of hours.
I really like how my little turn ups look with the bound edges...
I used a metal zip for the side opening and added it with a lap rather than an invisible zip. I put this on the wrong side of my first pair but actually got used to feeling it that side so kept it on the right for this pair too.
The facing needed adjusting to fit the new shape. I toyed with using it as a waistband but again stuck with keeping it simple this time. I always find that facings flip around a bit so I did tack it down in a few places, next time I make a pair of these I would like to add a waistband instead though.
I put these on straight away for a windy walk on the prom...
It feels so nice to wear trousers that fit perfectly. No baggy waistband, no baggy crotch (always a bonus)
I mean just look how happy I am about my fitted bum!
So after the nightmare first pair I'm really pleased I went to all of the alteration effort as these are going to be a well worn part of my wardrobe. I'd like a plain black pair and also possibly a spotty pair too. I really love all of the floral trousers out there but I think I might not be able to pull those off, I imagine looking a bit like I've got out in my pyjamas.....we'll see.