Sewing trousers – fit issues ahem … behind

OK here is the first installment, the grizzles, the trousers -sewing and fitting issues …. they are however nearing completion, just as the weather calls “wear me, wear me” & the need to wear red, white & blue approaches for the Jubilee weekend… I shall begin …

When I first cut out my red trousers, there was real need to wear them- I mean that start of May was chilly dank & miserable.  What could be more cheerful than a pair of bright (warm) legs to ease myself into Spring?  It fitted with my concept of a nautical wardrobe too…. Plus I had seen this image from ShannonEileen blog via a Google search  that really inspired me.

My muse …too cute for words….

Discarding thoughts of a pair of Clovers, after my latest cruel fail, I fell back to my tried & tested Built by Wendy trousers

from Sew U …

This time– opting to narrow the legs below the knee following the “skinny cords” shape, no front pockets but back pockets, because I feel they make your bum look less of an “expanse”.  I have to warn you at this stage that this post will have rather too much focus on derrieres, or mine to be more precise.  You may want to stop eating and cover the eyes of any small children or sensitive pets …

I had a metre of a fairly light weight cotton with some stretch in it in the most awesome red.  Would you believe that there was not enough to cut out back pockets?  Almost immediately I had to free-wheel, leave the safety of the pattern & create my own patchwork (no way was my bum going to be delivered as a bright red beef tomato…)…so the pockets were made from scraps ….as you’ll soon see…

What can I say about the trousers except that with the onset of the “summer” plus having to focus on some gift sewing, they have remained over the back of the chair awaiting hems & buttons.  But now it cools & oh look, back to being top of the sewing pile again!   They are nearly there.  When they are complete I will show you the details, such as a nice zippered fly.  The pockets sort of turned out OK considering they were scraps ….

But ooo, look at the detail– it’s only got an anchor – my homage to nautical & courtesy of the amazing Ginger from Gingermakes.  This crazy gal only sent me a bundle of elephant loving nautical notion goodies “just because”.  I will show you the extent of her kindness in a later post, but that girl is a honey and a half who sure knows the way to the heart of a Badger….thank you muchly.  Anyway, I kind of digress, putting off the inevitable focus on my lard.  I haven’t got pictures of the front as that  fits just about OK.

Deep yogic breaths.  I wish I could say I used a stunt double, but that would be a lie.  Take one.  Peep from behind a cushion if you are scared ….I know I am ….I’m almost hiding behind the sofa ….

What is it about stretch fabric & rear ends?  What is happening to all that butt shaping?  It is being sucked from the back  towards the front & there is a visible horizontal crease line under my buns.   :-o

Dear learned ones I don’t understand.  I used the same pattern as this more than successful (if that is even a concept) pair of trousers, worn & photographed recently to compare fit.

Yep.  Still OK.  Quite a good fit actually, even despite 8 months hibernation/ potential body changes.  I made the red pair out of the same pattern, the only changes were made below the knee.  I looked up what fitting guidance I could find (not much tbh) & all I could conclude was that there needed to be more room “out back”.   So I re sewed the inner leg seam to release some of the seam allowance from the back pieces  (kind of blending from above the knee ), but it only amounted to a whisper of a difference.

This is the result, take 2

There is nothing I can do to these trousers, not having any leeway with spare fabric.  They “will do”.  But, if anyone has any advice to offer on “why the horizontal under buns crease “ I am all attention.  All I can blame is the fabric.  Darn you fabric!!!  Why did you do this to my trousers?!

In the meantime I will get back to finishing them & wishing I could be as cute as my inspiration!  Thank you in advance if anyone can offer pearls of wisdom (or reassures me that you are not traumatized by my discombobulated bottom ….)


35 thoughts on “Sewing trousers – fit issues ahem … behind

  1. Amy

    Sadly I can’t offer any wise words regarding fitting but to be honest, I don’t think you need any. They look fine to me! More than fine,they look awesome! I say stop worrying about them and try the ‘wear them for a day’ test. If you spend all day worrying about your bum,then maybe they need fixing. If that’s the case then wearing them for a day will probably help you pinpoint exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. On the the hand,wearing them for a day may give you some perspective and make you realise that you’re worrying over nothing. Sometimes when you’re making something its easy to become fixated over minor details that no one else would notice. Whichever you eventually decide upon,wearing them will hopefully help you make that decision!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      You know those are very wise words, thank you. I usually take the view that if I can’t see it I can be in ignorant Bliss. Maybe there’s too much searching for perfection, when actually It’s not a big thing to have some craftsmen like flaws…thanks Amy

  2. Jo

    I am far from an expert, but I suspect it could be the fabric??
    I also think that you don’t have much to worry about in the bottom department – I have seen much worse.
    I am also pleased that I’m not the only one who has failed Clover making. Am up to 3rd attempt, but not imaging I’ll have any more success….

  3. liza jane

    You know, when I made my pink pants I obsessed over every little line and wrinkle. Then I started paying attention to my favorite pair of rtw pants and they have the same lines and wrinkles. I think we are harder on our own makes than we are on what we buy. I think the fit looks fine– great, in fact. And you should have no shame over your teeny bum (that’s a weird sentence to write…)! Wear them with pride!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I think you are right, knowing that it “is possible” to sew your own perfectly fitting pair of trews makes it something we strive for, but I should be happy aiming a little lower, as you say, they have to be better than rtw!

  4. Rachel

    I don’t have any advice to offer, or words that are wiser than Amy’s; but I just wanted to add that I think these look great and much like what purchased trousers look like on people…
    It almost seems like there is too much fabric in some places [i.e. under the cheeks (oh my goodness, that sounds so odd sorry!)] compared with others (i.e. upper thigh)? But then that doesn’t make any sense given that the let out version has less pooling than the original. I’m stumped! Does this fabric have more/less stretch in it than the blue?

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ha ha! You said cheeks!
      I will have to wear them in & see how they feel, but there was something of a “cheek truss” look (& cant remember if it was feel too) about them ….

  5. stef

    Absolutely nothing wrong with your discombobulated bottom!
    (I love typing that word just to see if I remember how to spell it!). I guess different fabrics work in different ways.

    I just wanted to say, I hear you about the weather! Can’t think of a worse place to teach myself to sew than the UK – before I am even done cutting something the weather’s changed and I fancy / need to make something else! It’s not fair… :D

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you Ginger :-) There might be a case for purchase of Pants for Real People I feel …. I wish I understood …it’s just so hard … but at the end of the day everyone’s telling me to go wear them & see how they perform. Funny enough I catch myself looking at others’ ahem rears, to see how they fit & stretch jeans do not have that crease/ butt sling effect going on

  6. LinB

    Don’t edit the excess fabric out entirely when you make up a pair of trews. You’ll need some extry in there for when you are sitting down. Were I to see you walking ahead of me down the street, I would not for one instant think that these trousers were anything but well-fitting. You need some ease for normal movement, even with a stretch fabric. You may find that, with wear, this garment settles itself around your body to better satisfaction. And your pocket “rescue” looks more like a high-end (hahah, butt pun) design element — more pieces + more labor = more expensive. My own red trousers are of a cotton twill, and the side seams have twisted themselves forward around my leg from hip to ankle. They still fit and feel fine, but look wonky. When I ran out of scraps for a fly closure, I chose to use a massive brass zipper. My husband constantly tells me that my zip is down. It is not. Even with their faults, I don’t care. They are red, and they are comfortable, and they make me happy. Wear yours with pride, Scruffy B. Happy Jubilee weekend!

  7. Roobeedoo

    Cheese, Louise, I don’t see anything to complain about that in those trews! They fit like jeans. They fit WELL. The critical questions are – are they comfy? Do they sag out after a day’s wear? Have you locked your wardrobe door in case someone (me) comes and steals them when you are asleep?
    And that is a truly gorgeous shade of red!

  8. Susan

    I like the trousers, seriously you got them out of 1metre? The pockets look great.
    Have you ever tried Debbie Cook’s fisheye dart for getting rid of fabric under the bum?

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Yep, just 1m, but it was probably 150cm wide – looking at the length, I bet I could have cut pockets out of the extra I shall be cutting off!! I shall go look up Debbie Cook’s fisheye dart, sounds interesting! Thank you :-)

  9. Tanit-Isis

    They look pretty darn fine as far as I’m concerned, I agree with the others. In a future pair, if desiered, you could mess about with the length of the bit of back crotch going around your legs (is that length or depth? I always forget) but this pair looks perfectly wearable to me—and as others have said, stretch fabric is always going to be a bit unpredictable.

    I love your patchwork pockets, too. Totally going to steal that. :)

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks for the steer Tanit-Isis. Back crotch investigations there will be! (next time). It’s so useful having views of others who know ….
      Go steal the patchwork – I remember it being a “thing” in the 70s – you could even mix in other fabrics. (Maybe I’ll do that when I make up some denim ones:-) )

    2. quietandsmall

      also, tanit-isis always errs on making things tighter to fix fitting problems, a piece of advice i intend to rely heavily on when i finally cut out and stitch up my skinnies….. so maybe the problem is too much fabric and that’s why it was making a bum ling in version 1? frankly i think version 2 looks fantastic and i absolutely adore the anchor patch!!

  10. Sølvi

    I love the redness of these, I love the tiny anchor, I love the pockets, and I love the overall fit! As others have said, there´s nothing wrong withe neither the trousers or your behind, so go out and wear ´em with pride! ;-)

  11. Magpie Mimi

    I think they look fab now you’ve done the seams again, and I think if you look carefully at the blue ones, the red ones are the same it’s just wrinkles/anything really is more noticeable on red, it’s why if you want people to pay attention to anything it’s done in red. So really it’s your eyes playing tricks on you! An optical delusion if you will!

    Like someone else said above, go forth and rock them! Love the anchor by the way.

  12. MrsC

    I think they are hot tamales, and you are hot tamales in them!! And the answer to the why they are so different to the others is that the fabric is lighter. Heavier fabric has enough body and gravitas to counteract horizontal tension. And they look just fine, and as previously discussed and acknowledged, one is overthinking it :) xo

  13. Allison

    Coming late to the party — but they’re fine just the way they are. You need that ease to be able to sit down. I had the same problem with a pair of jeans, wrinkles below my butt and it was driving me up the wall. I ended up taking little triangle wedges out so it would lay flat when I stood up — but they ended up pulling elsewhere and stretching oddly because that area moves quite a lot.

    I think this is a case of focusing too much. I’m guilty of the same thing myself. My usual solution is to hide the offending garment in my closet so that I’ll find it again a month or so later. By that time I’ve forgotten what was bothering me and am generally quite pleased to have it. (From time to time this fails, and I am still bothered by whatever it is, in which case it gets made over somehow, but most of the time a quick trip to the future solves everything :) )

  14. Joy

    Piecing the back pockets was a great idea! I’m sure most great ideas are born of inconvenient circumstances.
    My opinion is that stretch fabric is supposed to look like that (because it always does unless it’s really skin tight.) Anyway, the general fit is VERY good.

  15. Amy

    They fit well, so you should wear them with pride. I think the difference between the two pairs is the drape of the fabric. If you wanted to remove the excess under the rump, my advice would be to figure out how much excess is there and then fold out that much just under the crotch. You’ll then need to lengthen the hem to match. I did the same for my jeans, and it worked perfectly.

  16. sigrid

    I love that color red and agree with the rest, wear them with pride. They really fit quite well and unless you never plan on sitting or bending, there does need to be extra fabric in back to move. The complexities of making trousers seem so mysterious and every little tweak seems to introduce a new problem–I think correct trouser fitting falls within the occult rather than a measurement based system. As for the Debbie Cook fish-eye dart, if you read through her blog, she later recanted and did something else (altered for the lower leg, I think?) I wonder if your muscular runner’s calves might somehow affect the way fabric doesn’t want to hang straight down your legs?

    As always, your wardrobe leaves me in awe!

  17. Alessa

    The fit looks pretty well to me an the colour is awesome! And the patchwork pockets and anchor patch! Yay!
    Actually, I’d hesitate taking too much fabric away from under your bum, because you might need the extra for sitting down?

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