The Piped trousers

I managed to complete my navy linen trousers yesterday morning (well save the little hook & bar fastener).  In fact after a bit of a photo session I still have them on (without hook & bar) whilst I type & attest to their comfort.

Remember my objectives?  1st was to complete the trousers to wear in March (fail!), 2nd was to learn a new technique – piping.  So I chose a Built by Wendy design from Sew U- the basic trousers & stole inspiration from the book with respect to the piping, then added my own.  The design was a kind of homage to the sailor trousers, however, I didn’t add width to the trousers being interested in what the basic trousers came out like.

Built by Wendy Trousers design



Just in the street the other week I’d seen someone wearing a top or jacket made out of denim with bows like pocket tops sewn on.  I wanted to do this too.  Added to that, I saw this piping & loved it.  “Why, I can do that”, thought I, “but how can I combine that with a cute bow detail, a kind of faux pocket top?”.  So I needed some serious designing & playing around with this.   (No way was this going to be a speedy speedster make- who was I kidding?)  So with all my attention focused on the piping & bows, the trouser pattern could be made with as little alteration as possible.

Piped pocket flaps

Faux pocket flaps with piping



I had the linen already, before I even got sewing I struggled with piping choice, deciding to make my own (foolish, I know- clearly I decided to load myself with challenge).  What colour me made bias binding should I make out of fabrics already in my stash?  You can see I opted for lime green silk/cotton mix left over from Cinnamon slip.  Looking back on this I think I must have been in some kind of parallel universe- me, opting to make my own bias + piping= crazy.  But making bias + piping out of slippery fabric= super stupid.  It didn’t get my confidence soaring I can tell you.  Stitching the cord into the bias took numerous skidding & stretching lines of stitching.  Luckily I still had matching thread left over, & I thought I could always unpick it once in situ should it show.

Once I had my piping snaking across the table I tacked it onto the right side of each piece it was to be attached to, before adding the facing & using my tacking lines as sewing guides for getting nice & close to the piping with my zip foot.  I think tacking it as opposed to just pinning was useful as I was able to stretch the piping around corners better.  So pocket flaps, belt loops & waistband pieces all piped I had to see if the bow idea was going to work. Not only was I trying to design the bow, but to work out how to add piping to best & practical effect as well, thinking that it would look odd without piping.

So my bows are a wide piece of fabric folded over & stitched with the seam at the back then knotted in the middle.  Now, when you see the whole effect, piped bow plus all the other piping, you may think it’s a bit much- I am still not sure myself- but can always unpick them.  I’m trialling them at the moment.

I found the instructions brilliant to follow – the fly was the first thing attempted & it was all completed in less than an hour on the day for which my destiny for completing these trousers was not fulfilled.  The only query really is that I followed the design to the letter, buying a 7″ zip – but look – it sticks out the end.

(Oh yes – check out the beautiful overlocked edges:-))

So I really like this pattern – the fit was perfect first time – no adjustment needed.


They would work really well widened & whilst I have the legs of a struggling amateur long distance runner I would not describe my quads as rippling  & these trousers make up slim at the thigh.   They are very snug around the behind- but not uncomfortably so.  Arguably this is how the rest of my trousers should fit!  I also liked the back yoke, but chose not to topstitch at all- piping was enough I felt.

I struggled to find a top to wear to show off the frontage in all its piped glory.  What that tells me is that I won’t often be showing it all off (unless I make more tops especially!)  So if I have concerns about the luridness of all of the piping, perhaps it won’t be on display that much anyway.

And in case you hadn’t worked out – the buttons are self covered in the same lime fabric.

Onto length.  I’d be interested to know how you other ladies make the decision – heels or flats?  I hate wearing trousers that are too short, but don’t want them dragging on the ground.  I like a bit of draping over the front of my foot.  How do you get a pair of trousers the right length to give multiple wearing options?  I wear heels for work (sometimes) but not really for weekends & not really for going out.   I made the call that these will get worn more with flats or little heel but that means I’m ruling out wearing them with certain shoes when I may want to feel more glamorous or grown up.   Have I missed a trick somewhere?  Any secrets anyone would like to impart??



20 thoughts on “The Piped trousers

  1. Roobeedoo

    Oh me oh my – you have really pushed the boat out this time! Home -made piping?! WOW! I really like the bows – they balance the back pockets and are such an unusual detail – everyone will be asking you where you bought them!
    This may show my age – but you could always tuck your tops in? How does your white cowl neck top look for example?
    I have no wisdom to offer re length. I always decide which shoes I will wear with them before I hem a pair of trousers. But having said that, I have found that I can wear my Bellas with my Fly wedges OR flats, which shouldn’t be possible. Maybe it’s because the wedges aren’t actually changing my posture like “high heels”, so my legs stay the same basic length…? Dunno.

    Anyway – these are totally fab! 😉

    1. scruffybadgertime

      Hi Roobeedoo – thank you for the positive feedback on the bows & I chuckle thinking about top tucking in. Yes, I may try that look as I don’t see it necessarily to do with age- more like the ability for tops to be tucked & stay tucked in, & for bottom + top halves to look OK like this 🙂
      Great that you have a pair of trousers that look good with wedges & flats – I know what you mean about high heeled posture. Hmm – food for thought. Your Bellas are wide legs too – I wonder how relevant that factoid is? Dunno also!!!

  2. Tanit-Isis

    Wow, these are awesome! I love the piping, and that is an awesome, awesome fit. Now I want piped trousers. (And I was just congratulating myself on not needing any more trousers, too…)

    I especially love the piped bows.
    And I would’ve piped the yoke, too, but then I’ve been known to go a wee bit over-the-top… 😉

    1. scruffybadgertime

      Hi tanit Isis- I’ve been an admirer of your brilliant creations and skill from afar so a big thank you 🙂
      Now, I love that we can be inspired and learn from each other thanks to the www. Now if I could even get close to what you achieve with drafting and fit …

  3. debbie

    They are too good, I am jealous! Seriously, I love the piping and they look like a great fit. The piped bows are great – you can always wear a longer shirt on days you don’t want to have bows. Have a great week.
    PS I am half way through tracing the Nora pattern for you. Sorry I am slow.x

    1. scruffybadgertime

      Glad you like them – I remember you made Sew U trousers & they look like a good fit. Please don’t apologise for tracing the pattern! I’ll be grateful whenever it arrives – you are so kind 🙂 xx

  4. Janey Beasley

    I think these are fantabulous, the piping sets them off beautifully and a fantastic fit, especially as you say it was first time make of this pattern. I have the same struggles with length of trouser and like Roobeedoo, I often find that I can wear flatish and wedges with the same trousers, although I only wear real heels with trousers when they are bought and therefore too long (I’m a real shortarse!) and I’m too lazy to take them up!!
    If you need more tops to show these beauties off then I vote you make that your next sewing project, cos they are too great to linger in the cupboard waiting for an outing.

    1. scruffybadgertime

      Aww, thank you Janey. I will take serious thought about what tops to wear with them. I obviously also need to experiment with the shoes I have – perhaps I need to buy some new shoes to go with them as well?? 😉

      I find the same thing with shop bought trousers- embarrassingly the ones I take up usually end up with my hem coming down – don’t know what happens there!

  5. Alexandra Mason

    These look wonderful! I love the piping and the fit is great…you have inspired me to try this pattern, i have thought about it a few times and changed my mind, definitely going on the ‘to make’ pile now. Have a lovely week.

  6. Jane

    Wow, they’re seriously professional looking trousers. Fantastic fit and I LOVE the piping. I really like the bluey-grey colour of the linen too, may have to shamelessly copy you for my next pair of strides! Great job. x

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hi Irina
      Sorry I’ve taken so long to reply …. but thank you so much for linking to me – I like your post – lots of ideas for further inspiration (it’s addictive I think!)

  7. Zoe

    Lovely lady, I don’t know how I missed these trousers before, but let it be known that they are INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!! They are the nicest trousers I’ve seen in real life or on the internets in a very long time. Your dad is right, you are a style queen! The fit is awesome. I think I’ll give that trouser pattern a go too now. xxx

  8. Pingback: Me Made May 12Scruffy Badger Time

  9. Pingback: I made red trousersScruffy Badger Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *