Miss Ellie: style icon

Time to face the music & admit to a less than successful pair of trews.  I’m talking about the Lisette Portfolio trousers I made in chambray.  I’ve worn them a couple of times now & have made my judgement.

In terms of the pattern & instructions, they are fine.  All the way along sewing them I was feeling good about them, having made quite a neat job of them, in my opinion.  The side zip went in spot on, the fit seemed pretty good at first.

Well, the fit was the first thing to niggle me.  I tried them on before fitting the yoke waistband & they were great.  Snug enough, but not bursting at the seams tight.   Then I added the yoke – it went on very tidily, I was smug.  I even found some accidentally matching buttons that looked right for the front tabs.

When I came to  try them on again, the blimmin waistband was too large & gaped a bit – unless I let them slink down a bit closer to my hips.  But then they were possibly too deep in the #shhh# crotch area.   (In the pic below, the right hand side’s leg lengths I think are different because I’m holding in the excess in the waist)

Grin & bear them as they are?

I was lazy loathe to unpick all my neat sewing, so I made a deal with myself to “see how they go”, letting myself off the hook.  (Does anyone ever take pleasure in altering a finished garment?  Oh, is that why I’m unimaginative when refashioning?  Check out Suzy’s giveaway here if you want to be inspired)  Here below are some shots of how they could be if altered…

Mess around adjusting them?

I wasn’t sure about the length and as they are designed with turn ups I went with the pattern’s standard hem allowance.  Not sure that was the right thing to do.  I am 5’3″ – perhaps I should have shortened them.  But still, I wasn’t sure so continued to the end resolving to wear them a few times.

But, dagnabbit, they are slacks!  It’s not the fit that’s only wrong, it’s the style on my body shape.  They are just not flattering.  I feel like I am stuck in the 1980s, with the image of Miss Ellie Ewing always at the front of my mind.  When she wasn’t dressed in classy sequined dresses for dinner (not necessarily sporting shoulder pads), she wore slacks, along with grandad shirts & jumper sleeves wrapped around her shoulders (see below).  And on her they looked great at the time.  And it was how many decades ago?

Image source: patrickduffy1.voila.net - click on image to visit

I couldn’t find a picture of her in her slack glory – could you believe it?  But there were lots of memory tickling pictures and tribute websites.  Look at this scene, she might be wearing those “unstylish on me but super on her in the 80s” trousers whilst sipping iced tea & check out the “mobile” phone!

Image source: Ultimate Dallas.com (click on photo to visit)

So, to round off, I am not sure about my trousers.  There is a time & a place for slacks, let’s keep them in the 80s, not on me.  I should have stuck with my initial intention which was to make a pair of girly combats using the Built By Wendy pattern (as it worked so well before).  They are probably summer trousers, so I have absolutely zero incentive to alter them now…. they could be improved by shortening them, or even becoming shorts!  And as for the waistband ….will I really bother?  Let’s wait until next Spring shall we?  Unless anyone has any similar stories to motivate and inspire?  What’s the most unintended style icon you have ever modeled?

17 thoughts on “Miss Ellie: style icon

  1. Andrea

    Oh no! I’m sorry to hear these didn’t go too well. It’s a bummer when you are so pumped about a project and then it lets you down “in action”. I feel that way about my Ginger skirt. The waistband sits too high for my body type and it also gapes but I know I’ll never fix it. I’d say place these in the mending pile and revisit the refashion into shorts idea next spring. You never know, Miss Ellie’s look may make a come back between now and then!

  2. didyoumakethat

    If it’s any consolation, I fear I am currently working on a BFF (Big Fat Failure). They don’t look so bad to me, other than being a bit roomy. But thank you for sharing images from Dallas. My god, my sister and I loved that programme. We would tune in religiously. Memories!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh I know! I was a huge fan too – searching for images brought back the series of reincarnations, Southfork barbeques & marriages plus the memory of my Dad laughing as he relished the wily underhand dealings and character flaws.
      You too suffering from BFFitis? I guess it’s going around then!

  3. Tamsin W-P

    Sorry to hear they are not a success. I have been thinking about making some since I finished my tunic, but am not entirely convinced on the style. I think yours look great, but could maybe do with being a bit shorter? Great work though and lovely buttons!

  4. Sigrid

    It seems to be a problematic style didn’t (Minnado have problems with this too?), and pants are so hard to alter once the waistband is on and the zipper in. I think one disadvantage of getting older is that we have a respository of unfashionable fashion icons in our minds that are apt to jump out and attack our self-esteem when we catch an odd look at ourselves. Pants with a whiff of the 80′s could be the worst offenders.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Sigrid, I guess our style memory banks are too big as we get older. Never thought of it that way. But at least it’s a source of rationalising why we think things are a failure? And I always like to laugh at (I’d like to say “my”) failures too (but actually as long as others are openly OK with their failures, then that’s funny too), what better way than to bring back old associations ….

  5. Debbie

    How funny to see Miss Ellie, I remember being allowed to stay up and watch Dallas, fighting over who got the best seat on the sofa. I like my portfolio trousers but only because I butchered them so much that they don’t resemble the original pattern much at all. I really really wanted to like the pattern but I know what you mean about the slacks look, and I can’t see how it is flattering. I do see twenty year olds wearing this style of trousers so maybe I just have to accept I am too old for them? Mind you, I don’t think the Sew Lisette target market would be 20 year olds, do you?? I have to stop now as I can feel a diatribe coming over me.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Debbie I did remember that you also had your issues. And you rescued them I agree with you, I don’t think lisette are aimed at 20 year olds either! I think my fabric choice was also unfortunate- the classic cloth for slacks! Good ol built by Wendy!

  6. Jane

    When I saw your trousers labelled as Miss Ellie I did wonder if that was a good or bad thing, clearly bad! What a shame. My sleeveless Pendrell was a bit of a mistake, it seemed OK on the pics but when I wore it out I felt like a complete Grandma, in fact it wouldn’t have looked out of place modelled by Miss Ellie, just so, so frumpy. BUT, all was not lost, I added sleeves and it seems to have solved the problem, it’s amazing how adding a gathered sleeve immediately infuses youth into a garment! Thanks for the Dallas flashback, needless to say I LOVED Dallas and even sported an ‘I Shot JR’ T-shirt! xx

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Too right alessa and Jane. There is hope in refashioning!! Maybe I’ll have the desire when I’m looking forward to spring. I love that you had an “I shot jr ” t shirt by the way!! Wasn’t that a cliffhanger and a half!!

  7. Alessa

    Too bad they turned out not to fit well, I totally love the button tabs! When in doubt, I’d say throw them on the refashion pile and turn them into capris or shorts next spring?

  8. Roobeedoo

    Put them away for the season and have another look in spring… you never know, you might have put on 3 stone in weight and they’ll fit perfectly! :D
    Isn’t it odd how things seem to change size when the waistband goes on? And by then it feels too late. Ugh.
    But having said all that… they don’t look at all bad to me. Is a dropped crotch such a bad thing? At least it’s comfortable!

  9. Joy

    Too bad about the fit since I think the chambray, style, and buttons are a cute combination. Maybe if you put them away for a while, you’ll feel inspired to re-fit them. I hate adjusting an already sewn garment, but rarely regret actually doing it!

  10. LinB

    The older I get, the more I dress like Miss Ellie. If only I had as lovely a face, and even a tenth as much moola as the matriarch of the Ewing clan … I find that overblouses hide a multitude of sins, including the dreaded elasticated waistband. Long sleeves and high necklines hide crepy skin and age spots. You are not there yet, Scruffy B! Soldier on (or sailor? Those slacks look vaguely nautical to me). Throw a dart in the back waistline, to cinch them in. Or plunk on a waistband that is tight enough, and ease or dart to fit the waistband. Don’t worry about nicety of finish, unless you regularly take off your slacks in public to display finishing details to strangers. Anyone THAT interested in your garment construction is someone to steer clear of.

  11. Christine

    Well I’d say You win some and you lose some. It doesn’t matter how many hours I’ve spent making something, I’ve finally given myself permission to ditch / recycle it if it doesn’t make me completely happy.

    Your invitation to think about style icons has baffled me. My daughter often says I look like Mary Poppins, but I don’t think she was a style icon? I wouldn’t mind looking like the Disney version anyhow!


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