Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Completed: Ultimate (Short) Trousers

Hi folks!

Hope you all had nice weekends. I finally finished my shorts from the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers pattern! These were actually finished off earlier in the week, but like a geek I wanted to style them to emulate the pattern sleeve artwork so needed to find the time to trim my fringe and get a nice sunny(ish) moment to shoot.

See what I was going for there? I think this is probably going to be their only moment in the sun, as unfortunately I rushed through the fitting and as you can tell they're really quite small, especially on the legs. Not the best look! Not that it's put me off the pattern as I can see it would be really cute and very wearable, if I'd made the right size. Although it doesn't seem to be quite as high-waisted as the artwork suggests.

Many more experienced sewists wouldn't bother to blog something like this, but I'm just proud to have followed it through and made it to the end. Now that I've got my head around how it works I can make a much better pair for next time! I've also noticed that a blogger I follow, the fabulous vintage-inspired Lucky Lucille, has also been posting about 'Pants Fitting Issues' (with a different pattern) and has included some links to useful resources that I will be checking out.

I won this pattern from Dolly Clackett's blog and in my winning comment I promised to make it up in a fabulous print in her honour. These are obviously not the promised shorts! I do have some rather wonderful sky blue fabric in what I like to think of as a 'cravat print' from Mermaid Fabrics in Hackney, but it seems like the moment has passed for that now as the colours are a bit too summery. They also have a navy colourway that I might be tempted to buy instead for my 'proper pair'- I think making up the full trousers with a matching Brigitte scarf and a white shirt would look perfect!

 It has taken me a long time to finish these and they were done in small rushed steps with big chunks of time in between while I got my sewing machine fixed and made my friend's dress, so no wonder the finished result isn't great. This little side view is showing all the strain on the zips and side seam. Definitely need a bit more room there!

 And this front view shows there's a bit of gape at the waist, and in the back view below there's a bit more room at the base of the back.

And you can see how tight they are over the rump! Apologies for the extended run of unflattering shots. I made this up in a straight size 12 in some fabric I had left over from a beginner project I did a while ago- a lovely vintage pencil skirt which was a cute design but the fabric was totally inappropriate. With the level of stretch the fabric just wouldn't press and the kick pleat at the back never managed to lay flat. So I used up the last scraps and cannibalised the zip from the old skirt (which I guess will now go to fabric recycling, really don't like the stuff and only bought it because it was cheap).  As I should have known, the fabric was totally unsuitable! I really regret using it as this pair can't serve as a muslin for future fitting as I plan to make this pattern up again in the proper recommended wovens with little or no stretch. Once I've got the fitting nailed a tartan pair is definitely on the agenda!

I was thinking that, even though there are fitting issues that mean they won't get worn for any outfits, I might keep this pair as 'modesty bloomers' to wear under skirts when I'm cycling, but as you can see here they cut into my thigh a bit too much to do that comfortably! I did get a couple of friends to try them on too, but even though they're both slimmer ladies than me they found the leg turn-ups too tight- I think I went awry in the construction there by rushing through the handstitching on the first turn (it was nearly dinner time and I wanted to be at a point where I could happily put them down!). It did wrinkle a bit but the cuff hides it, but I think this is contributing to the tightness.

So, a cute pattern manhandled by me, my impatience and my poor fabric choice unfortunately. But I'm not downhearted! Once I've cleared off a few makes from my list and got through a bit of my fabric stash that's earmarked for certain patterns I will return to the Ultimate Trousers and try to do them justice. Getting the fitting right is going to take a bit of patience but I think it will be worth it, as actually I cycle almost every day and trousers in my wardrobe get worn through regularly!

Have you attempted trouser-making? Any advice or fitting tips?

NorseOtter xxx

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