Monday, 15 November 2010

Trousers drama conclusion

You might be aware of my recent attempt to make a nice pair of sailor trousers with Burda 8488. That didn't go very well. One of the legs was twisting backwards and the inner seam laid almost on the front of the trousers. I decided to pop along The Thrifty Stitcher SOS sewing surgery  in London to try and figure out what was wrong with them and find out if I could save them. The afternoon was wonderful. CL was an absolute star in helping me, not only with trousers but with other things too. I highly recommend The Thrifty Stitcher for sewing classes and drop ins, it was my second visit and I know I'll be back. Back to the trousers then. Even before I went down to London the wonderful Bea from Butterflies and Hurricanes suggested that the fabric might have been off grain but I thought that would not be possible as I had cut both leg pieces together and only one leg was twisting. I was wrong and she was right. CL explained to me that probably because I've done all my cutting in the (carpet) floor, the lower layer probably shifted slightly as I've cut it. We set to work (CL teaching and me listening and trying to absorb) on altering the pattern to a slimmer fit (I originally wanted this as the legs are way too wide) and trying to ensure the pieces could be re-cut on a straighter grain.
Back home I left it for a while  as I was a bit anxious it wouldn't work but it did. I managed to re-cut on  a straighter grain and actually have wearable trousers...but... I don't like how they look on me. They're still too wide and worst of all too big on me. I decided to not use the original bib design and put some belt loops to help secure them to my hips with a bit more shape but that failed as well. I have photo evidence so you can see for yourself.

With my Lady Grey coat on they don't look so bad:

But without a coat on top it's a bit of a disaster:

Apologies for the quality of photos. Winter evenings are not great for natural lighting photography. Also excuse my bare face. I receive some news from home that my grandmother is unwell so decided to avoid makeup today.


  1. First of all HUGE CONGRATS for making a wearable pair of trousers - thats a real achievement. I'm sure now you've made one pair there'll be no stopping you. Well done for 'making it work' as Tim Gunn would say, rather than chucking the whole project.

    You're elegant and slim enough to carry off the wide leg - they look great on you, and quite unusual.

    I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. I hope you can get to see her soon.

  2. No doubt we have all somehow started and the mistakes we learn a lot, I look good on you the pants, maybe a size less next time, but you think that although the pattern is perfect, a different fabric means a different reaction, and every time we use a pattern with a different fabric, we find different "errors".

    Encourage and enjoy sewing!
    > I hope that your grandmother is right.

  3. I think they look pretty good- maybe just a tad big. You should see the first pair of pants I made. They didn't even make it to the "take a photo" stage. I know I've said it before, but your Lady Grey is really fabulous.

  4. I think they are great, and they do look good on you, but if you are a bit like me, when we are not happy or comforetable with something nothing is going to change that.
    The good thing is that you have learnt a lot making those trousers, I have never attempt sewing a pair, so well done for you!

  5. Hi Suzy I have nominated you for a blog award on my latest post xx

  6. Thank you ladies! I definitely learned a good lesson doing these and it hasn't put me off doing trousers, though I confess I might wait a while to have another go.

    Lady Cherry: Thank you so much, how exciting!! My first blog award! Will choose my nominations carefully and blog tomorrow! xx

  7. Well, I think they look nice, and besides I also think to sew a pair of trousers are kind of difficult and more for a new sewer, I have never done them, I am also a novice sewing, in fact in my sewing classes that's what we are making right now...and I don't like how they look also without a coat or a long shirt.

  8. Hooray for finished trousers!! I love the colour (great on red I want some ;-) ). What fabric did you use?
    I thought the legs were VERY wide, even for wide legged trousers and cut them slimmer on the second pair. I prefer them to the 1st pair I made. Just left you a message on the post above and then read ignore the trouser related bit. Are you going to attempt another pair?

  9. Bea, I love the colour too!! The fabric is a wool blend with a big percentage of polyester. Will probably try another pair but with a different fabric and in a few months. Definitely want to use the bib piece as it's so cute.

  10. It is so nice to have a few experts around to help, isn't it? Thanks for the tip on laying out the fabric!



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