To complete my Capsule Wardrobe I needed some bottoms to go with my new top. I’ve been wanting to make some trousers for a long time. But other than two versions of Colette’s clover trousers (as both capris and full-length),which are so simple, it’s hard to count them as ‘proper’ trousers, I’ve never made any. A few months back I stumbled across Simplicity’s Amazing Fit Trousers and they immediately went on my Autumn/Winter Wardrobe wish list.
But I wasn’t sure about fabric choice. I hummed and hawed but this week finally got round to ordering a swatch from Truro fabrics. It’s pretty hard to choose fabric you’re unfamiliar with online and black fabric in particular I find challenge as its difficult to gauge the photographs. But when my swatch arrived on Wednesday I knew it would be just right. Its Polyester Blend Suiting fabric – 62% poly, 32% viscose & 6% spandex. Not the type of fabric I’d normally gravitate towards, but I hoped just right for making myself some nice work trousers.
On Saturday I got starting choosing my size and cutting everything out. The pattern is interesting in that you also choose your fit – slim, average or curvy – based on your crotch measurement. Which I have to say I’ve never even thought about measuring. After measuring myself several times I’ve cut out a size 14 average fit.
But it was slow going. Being totally unfamiliar with the pattern pieces, how they fit together, and what it should look like. Every step I poured over, trying to envision what exact piece of the puzzle it was and how it would come together. This was particularly so for things like the pocket lining and the zipper. I couldn’t imagine how the final pocket was supposed to look like, so I wasn’t confident as I followed the instructions -but I got there in the end. The same goes for the zipper. I’ve only ever done one zipper fly before – on my Maritime shorts – but it worked out perfectly!
After these two hurdles, I progressed nicely: my welts looked good, I attached my carriers and waistband facings with little difficulty, and I even managed to felt my inside leg seams, and basted the outside legs. All good so far.
Then I checked the fit and looked in the mirror. Mmmm. No. That was not the fit I was expected. The lower leg was wider than expected – but that is easy to rectify. The main problem was the gaping under the the bum and the upper thighs. I hummed and hawed. I pined and repined (have you ever tried to pin the crotch of trousers and try them on? I don’t recommend it), so I basted and re-basted. I realised that I needed to take in both the inner leg seam and the centre front and back seams. The exact seams I had done such a lovely job of finishing with felted seams. Grrrr – that is a lot of un picking.
But the unpicking proved impossible – black stitches on black fabric (with three rows of stitch to be undone). And I ended up taking the risk and actually cutting the centre back seam open before taking in the inner leg seam and redoing the centre front and back. It worked out ok – the insides are an absolute mess though!
I got there in the end but I didn’t finish the garment gracefully – I broke two needles sewing the belt loops, and then kind a just got irritated, so didn’t take care with the front hook closure and my hems aren’t terribly nice either. I guess I’ll probably wear them (and they are fairly comfortable) so it wasn’t a complete waste of fabric and I learned a lot for next time. For one, given how much I took in on all the seams I’ll probably make a size 12 slim fit.