New Look 6190: Trousers are being worn

Finally, a chance to talk trousers (not pants, I think I’ve exhausted all my current thoughts on underwear for a while)

The mission: make some trousers that fit, like much better than before.  Like trousers suitable for work.  Not necessarily wide legged trews, just some basics to work on the fit.  I’ve changed shape over the last few months, & add that to the “poorly fitting anyway ” recipe, of which another ingredient was “never really knew what well-fitting trousers felt like” & this is where I started:

Yes, too right I was sullen.  I could swim in these, but walk out in public?! (Did I lose a few inches off my height as well? )

These originate from New Look 6190

I made them a few years ago, and I like the pattern, having had a previous success with it.  Whilst I could have made another pair from my Built By Wendy pattern I opted to see how better fitting this one would fare.  Armed with “Pants for Real People” I followed Marta Alto and Pati Palmer’s advice & tissue fitted my pattern.  It was a while ago now & I am struggling to remember what it threw up.   I do remember the weirdness of wearing one tissue trouser leg!   It did help though, as I was able to diagnose what to do with a whole load of excess fabric across the back width (it was pooling underneath my whoopie pies – can you tell from the first photo above?) .  This is what was required, taking quite a large vertical pleat out of the whole back leg.

Tissue fitting also helped me to see that I needed to shape the very top of the pattern differently so that it sat better over the line of my hips.  I also tissue fitted the yoke to get some kind of idea before I sewed it whether there were any obvious adjustments needed & that helped too. Just because I thought it might be easier, I made them with a centre back zip – is that wrong?  I’ve had culottes with centre back zip, what’s the thing with trousers?  Is it OK to have a zip up the back & not the side or front?

So this is them almost finished.  I used some rather nice navy blend (of something? with lycra!) that has an unexpected drape bonus & a herringbone weave.   I faced the yoke with polka dots, added belt loops with sailor buttons for some class:

But why were they almost finished?  I wore them to work at least three of four times.

No, it was nothing to do with not having the right underwear (oh gosh, am I becoming fixated?!)  No, actually they were still too big & everytime I wore them I would catch myself standing at the printer grasping inches at the back of my waist.  It was no good, I had to get them fitting better, the zip had to be reset, the yoke unpicked & resewn again.  Eventually I got around to it.  (And this is the truth behind why it has taken me so long to blog about them, y’see)

Nipped in about an extra inch or so they feel like they hang in the right place now (apols about the post-work creasing).  Trouble is the back is not “perfect”, it can be semi-remedied by a hook & eye (not yet added)

But hands up, I was rather lazy….I just took the wedge out of the top of the centre back & the line of the yoke isn’t as neat as it should be (V.P.L photo looks a whole lot better if you can get past the screaming knicker line).  But.  It’s behind me.  They were a “wearable muslin”.  I am now making a Thurlow shorts muslin….& the fit on them is looking very promising…..& this pattern should fit me next time, & add a bit to the width & I’ve some cool wide-legged trousers!  So maybe I’ll be wearing trousers a lot more in the future….

Have you tried tissue fitting?  How did you find it?  And are you joining in the Thurlow sewalong  with LLadybird?

30 thoughts on “New Look 6190: Trousers are being worn

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you Meg! I think my mindset helped this time – I was armed with the book & the advise therein – I felt determined to perform better than I had before!! There is so much help on the internet too….I felt sure I would be able to diagnose problems & take the time to fix them. The amount you sew, I’m sure you would come from a confident starting place!

      Reply
  1. Ginger

    Oh, you’ve really got these sorted out nicely! They look great! That poor first pair is comically oversized… any chance you can hack at them and remake them with your new fitting knowledge? The color is really nice!

    I’ll be eagerly watching all the Thurlow-along-ers! Wide-legged trousers don’t really suit me– I feel like I look like I’ve dressed up in mommy’s clothes when I wear them– but I’m excited to see everyone else’s!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Ginger, I might hack up the old pair – they are linen, so it wont be this side of Christmas. Equally they may join a pile for refashioning somehow!
      I know what you mean about mommy’s clothes! But I hopeI can grow up & find them comfy & stylish… The top pair of trousers made me feel like they were Daddy’s trousers!!

      Reply
  2. Andrea

    Looks like you figured out the fit on these pretty well. One question: what is v.p.l.? I’ve never tissue fitted and after a totally failed attempt at trousers last year I have joined Lladybird’s sew-along. Your perseverance with these trousers, and the great fit you’ve achieved, gives me hope that I may have some wearable me-made trousers by year end…

    Reply
      1. LinB

        Oh, Andrea, you are so young! We who are now considered Women of a Certain Age have been harangued by dictators of fashion to fight against VPL since at least the 1960s. VPL avoidance was a major reason for the development of pantyhose. Easiest way to avoid “VPL” is to avoid wearing “P.” (Personally, I’d rather see evidence that someone is wearing underwear than otherwise, but that may just be me.) Next easiest way to avoid VPL is to wear loose clothing — not always the most flattering look. Thus endeth the lesson.

        Reply
        1. scruffybadgertime Post author

          Thank you ladies for helping Andrea out & what great comic replies! I can remember the “vpl” adverts in the 80s to try to get women to buy some kind of underwear (probably to match their Playtex cross your heart bras)

          Reply
          1. Andrea

            Wow – I can honestly say that in my almost forty years of age, more than twenty of which I’ve lived in North America, I had never heard the term “v.p.l.”! Quite likely because I live under a rock. Thanks so much for enlightening me on the topic :)

  3. Sam

    Trousers are something I’m really scared of making, but I’d love to have a go because I find it VERY hard to buy well fitting trousers. Yours look great, and show what good results putting a bit of time and effort in can have.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Sam – I am also persuaded myself! It shows what a bit f time & patience can bring. Now making a pair that areacceptable for winter casual wear is another thing….I’m quite choosy….& really dont want to make jeans ….

      Reply
  4. Roobeedoo

    The thing about that pattern is it is incredibly straight-up-and-down and I think at the time we were all in that 1990′s place where it was super-cool to wear low-slung straight trousers, or even (gasp) cargo pants and we all pretended to be members of All Saints (the singing group, not the trendy clothes shop). Or was that just me?
    But what I am trying to say is: that pattern was then, and this is now. And I look forward to seeing your Thurlows! :)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      All Saints! Wow yes, I remember them, but funnily enough would never have thought of this pattern & that style, but it makes sense the way you tell it!!
      I used to love cargo pants too, since when did they slip out of our consciousness? But low slung in those days involved too much muffin top for me if I remember rightly. Point well made on moving into the current style era. Thurlows here we come!

      Reply
  5. starryfishathome

    Tissue fitting is something I’ve tried and doesn’t work for me. The tissue doesn’t hang on me the way fabric does. Also none of the examples in PFRP resemble my fitting issues in the slightest. I’ve used the book more for constructions hints than anything else.
    At the moment I’m working with StephC of 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World on a pair of narrow trousers as I can’t solve my back thigh wrinkles by myself.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Tissue fitting is odd, isn’t it? I wasn’t sure how much additional alteration I was going to have to do. I think I was lucky, but then still have a massive chunk to remove later down the line.
      Interesting that you are also getting a custom trousers block made for you – how wonderful!! You will be making trousers here there and everywhere!

      Reply
  6. LinB

    Zipping up the back of one’s pants/trousers/slacks is a legitimate solution to closing a garment. It might make for struggles in the washroom, when re-clothing oneself, but it allows for a smooth fit at the front. I usually add a tab-and-button at the top of a back zip, to help it stay closed — there’s sometimes a lot of strain against that lone zipper tab! — and to disguise the inevitable-in-my-sewing top-of-zipper mismatch. I just cannot get both sides to end up the same length, heavy sigh. So, I choose to “make a design decision” rather than “hide the mistake.”

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Great tip, a tab & button! It can be a multi-taking “design” feature….bringing the top into line, covering up any tweaks that need to be made. And yes, taking the strain! Better than a hook & eye anyday…

      Reply
  7. Lynne

    Your fitted trousers look great! I would be interested to know what you think of Pants For Real People. I’ve been thinking of adding it to my Christmas list, and Fits For Real People was a revelation for me!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Lynn. I found PFRP really interesting actually – reading it made me feel like I understood the concept better about what goes wrong & how to fix it. I think it’s a great starting point for learning about what wrinkles mean. I also like that it gives you confidence to take tucks out here & there – changing the 2 dimensional pattern to fit my quirky 3d bod.

      Reply
  8. Alessa

    Yay, looks like you got a really good fit there by the end! And double yay that it even turned out to be a wearable muslin! :D
    You don’t think you could send some trouser fitting competence my way? I have some black twill that has been wanting to be a pair *forever*…

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Wow, Alessa, that sounds great, “trouser fitting competence”, but not sure I can live up to it! The thing is I am not yet confident that my next pair will work…..maybe I’ve had too many diappointments, but if there is anything I can send you through the ether, good wishes & all that, consider it done!

      Reply
  9. Debbie

    The trousers look like a great fit now. i am impressed you put in a lot of effort to get them to fit – I am so slapdash that I can’t manage anything like that. I am interested to watch the thurlow sewalong but am just concentrating on completing my own ufo’s and small sewing planms. That’s all i can manage these days! xx

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I am usually slapdash Debbie, so it is a novel experience to put a bit more effort in! I should channel my Mum more, she is my paragon of perfectionism. And yes, you have your hands full at the moment!! I marvel at anything you manage to find time for with so many demands on your time :-)

      Reply
  10. Amanda

    Hey cool! I’m making wide legged trousers now too! I had a lot of extra room on my first fitting as well and it being my first attempt at the ol’ pants, I wasn’t quite sure what to do ^_^

    I ended up making the crotch depth deeper, and taking in the sides. It’s not perfect but the fact I made trousers was pretty thrilling! lol Yours look great! Yay for making pants! ^_^

    I can’t tissue fit – I’m too klutzy lol.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Isn’t it fascinating how changing these measurements/ seam depths & widths has such an impact, don’t you think? I have been playing around with the two seams you mention too & even small adjustments can make a big difference- glad yours sound like they are going well. better to start off too big i say – at least you have room to manoeuvre in your existing fabric pieces.

      Reply
  11. Becky

    I, for one, don’t worry about VPL anymore. It is yet another one of those things that marketing people dreamed up to try and sell us pantyhose, thongs, and miscellaneous other extraordinarily uncomfortable items of clothing we don’t need! If I don’t want any VPL, then I go commando. Your pants look great! Your VPL just accentuates your small and shapely backside!

    Reply
  12. MariaDenmark

    I always tissuefit now – especially trousers.My shape has changed a lot recently (gained weight, lost weight) so I’ve been working from scratch tissuefitting some new trousers I’ve drafted. Basicly I still need the same alterations (the vertical tuck and the fish eye dart and more width at lower waist) but my dart points have shifted a bit erhm.. southwards (there’s no escaping gravity, as they say)…

    Reply
  13. Pingback: Me Made May 2013, update #4

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