Monday, 17 April 2017

Checked Kecks

Hi everyone,

Hope you've all had a lovely bank holiday weekend? I've taken mine quite easy, caught up with family and friends and have managed to finish off a couple of things.

I have always wanted a pair of tartan trousers. I remember going to Camden Market as a teenager and trying on the classic red punk pairs there but them never looking quite right on me. A few weeks ago my manager was doing a clearout of the house she grew up in and very kindly gifted me a whole swathe of fabrics that her late mother had in her stash (more of this lovely stuff to appear as I sew it up!). As soon as I saw this fabulous blue and green tartan I knew that I had to make it into some trousers, especially after the success of my first Sew Over It Cigarette pants. The fabric is a firmer weave and I think a woollen, but I used the pattern with the adjustments I'd made for the crepe pair I made in class and hoped for the best. If you're wondering why there are so many rear-view pictures in this post, it's because that's where I did most of the adjustments on the pattern to get a decent fit- adding room for my bum, and also taking out some width at the back of the thigh underneath. 

I think they came out pretty well. This is the second full day of wear shown in the pictures and I think they have relaxed in fit a little. I think it also shows a bit more in contrast to my skintight polo neck (inherited from my aunt along with some other '80s punk gear).

I did my best at pattern matching and other than the centre back waistband it was a success. Sew Over It patterns instruct you to overlock all your pieces before sewing together, so was very careful about print matching my side-seams and hoping it would work out fit-wise as my notches had been trimmed off! If making these another time I think I would overlock after sewing the seams rather than beforehand, as you don't gain anything by doing this and I'd rather not lose my notches again.

I made everything up the same as my first pair apart from some minor details. I decided to use stay tape to stabilise the slant pockets, but I'm not sure I applied it correctly as they do still stretch out a little. I also did a double-turned hem and made the legs a little more cropped in length by turning them up more. 

My first pair were hemmed as per the instructions – just overlocked, turned once and handstitched into place, but I find when I want to cuff these I'm not keen on the line of overlocking showing, so I made sure it was hidden on this pair (not that I'd be likely to turn these up any more). One thing to try in future is adding belt loops, which I wish I had in hindsight with this pair to cope with the fit relaxing over the course of the day.

Another small thing is that I followed the fly front instructions as given on the pattern, and I don't think the result is very neat. For some reason the zip teeth are very close to the opening, even though the fly facings are pretty deep, but I checked back through and I followed everything as written as far as I can tell. My fly front came out better in class, but I think the teacher might have used her expertise rather than slavishly following the instructions to ensure a better finish. To be honest I might just follow the Ginger Jeans fly front method of construction next time (minus all the extra jeans topstitching) as I've never had a problem with that and it always turns up a neat result. You can see the pocket bags and stay for these are made with scraps from my first Melilot shirt

I'm very happy to finally have a pair of tartan trousers, now I just need to try and make sure I have enough neutral tops to pair them with! So far I've worn them with a white shirt to the office (I don't think I could get away with the skin-tight polo neck there, especially with the 'Sex, Lies, Religion' slogan) and I think they would look great with a plain white t-shirt with short cuffed sleeves, or a plain white boatneck t-shirt with ¾ length sleeves.

Have you ever sewn something to complete a previously unfulfilled fashion vision? 

Happy making!

NorseOtter xx

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