Thursday, 14 May 2015

Many Pairs of Trousers

Those who follow on instagram will know that over the last few weeks I have become  mildly obsessed with making trousers. Not all bad since my trouser collection a few weeks ago consisted of one pair of red M&S trousers that stretch out of shape in about 30mins.

It all started with this attempt at cropped trousers.

I have worn them a few times but they annoy me and are just not right so I bought the Jocole skinny pant pattern as it has a thinner leg:

Ladies Skinny Pants, Capris & Shorts -XS-XXXL - sewing pattern

This pattern has a secret though - a jersey waistband! I thought this would be perfect, comfy but smart.

The pattern says to choose a size by hip measurement so I cut a 12 and made up a muslin. I couldn't get them over my calves... I ripped them apart and sewed them with a smaller seam allowance and they were marginally better but the legs were still tight in funny places and there was masses of extra fabric under the bum.

This got me on google and, after a few false starts, came across this post by Cation Designs. Every possible trouser alteration is here!

Then the pattern hacking began. I decided I needed a full bottom adjustment, knock knees adjustment, large calf adjustment and a reduction in the curve of the front crotch. Phew.

I measured the pattern and compared to my actual measurements then altered it accordingly, it's a wee bit messy now...

I then took the shape of the leg and drafted a proper waist with darts and a side zip so I  now have my very own trouser block. Stupidly excited by this...

When I made the first muslin with the alterations I actually danced around the house - it worked and they fitted really well.

Jersey waist
Normal waist before being taken in just a wee bit more in the inner thigh.
So far I have made one pair with a jersey waist and one with a normal waist in stretchy fabric and one with a normal waist in non stretchy.

Jersey waist with hip rumpfle that has now been taken in
normal waist, stretchy fabric

Normal waist non stretchy fabric.

The spotty fabric is stretchy so I have had to take it in considerably and now have another pattern block for stretchy fabric.

I bought a denim and floral fabric to make another two stretchy pairs, I might attempt to put pockets on the denim pair to make them more like jeans. In fact I might get carried away and make a jeans block with front fly but that might be going too far...

Anyway, I have always wanted to be able to wear trousers that are comfy and fit properly but, as I now realise, my trousers have to be a very odd shape to fit when on....

 I didn't realise I was such an odd shape until I started this mission... I just hope mu knock knees aren't this pronounced in real life :)


  1. All 3 pairs are amazing!! I have only made two pairs of trousers and both are not great, i have found it vevery frustrating! What type of fabric is your stretchy fabric and what tyoe us your non stretchy fabric? I think my poor fabric choices haven't helped!

    1. The stretchy is a cotton drill (??) from ebay, the non stretchy is a drapey cotton, thinner than quilting cotton and the blue ones are a very light weight wool mix. I have found that each fabric means different tweaks, the patterns for each look so different!

  2. I think this is utterly amazing and I am so impressed. They might look odd on the hanger, but they look brilliant on you. I thought I had managed the fit ok with my trouser muslin, but I'm just not happy with the crotch. The problem is that I can't diagnose the issue (too deep a curve, or too shallow?). I need to go back to them though, as I feel like I'm nearly there. Although I have cut out my main fabric (polka dots too), so whatever it needs, I just hope it's not more fabric!!! :(

  3. You have worked so hard four muslins! That is dedication. But so worth it, these trousers are great. The dotty ones are my favourite but they are all excellent. Can't wait to see the next versions. The trousers on the hanger made me laugh!

  4. I love them! Well done :) Especially the floraly ones :)