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.
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.
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??