Oh the vexed matter of making one’s own trousers (or pants. tee hee.)
Although I had wanted to sew clothes for a while, Sewaholic’s Thurlow trousers is what inspired me to properly commit to garment sewing. I very much have a uniform: trousers and a shirt. If it’s a workday, a button-up shirt; if it’s non-work, a t-shirt, and the trousers are more likely to be jeans. I even have a particular style of trousers and jeans that I’ve worn since becoming an adult and which the vagaries of fashion have not moved me from. Roughly straight legged, mid-rise, slash pockets. There was a time in the late 90s, when trousers were cut exactly as I liked them. Alas, that time is past. I of course wear leggings for legging-relevant activities, and trackie-daks for trackie-dak related activities (like going to the shops in the middle of the night for ice-cream). But even my preferred hiking trousers fit exactly this mold.
I have occasionally tried to branch out and wear other styles of trousers: higher-waisted, wider legged, harem (lordy, what was I thinking?) and fisherman (dear god why?). Those trousers invariably hung in my wardrobe watching their straight legged, mid-rise counterparts get worn to such an extent that they become threadbare and the knees permanently bag out.
The Thurlows look exactly like the trouser I have always worn.
I made Thurlow shorts a long, long time ago. I did a bunch of things wrong, but they were my practise pair, and I thought the fit was alright. I recently (ish) made a muslin (!!) of the Thurlow trousers and they are huge on me. Huge all round and especially huge in the derriere department (please read that with a terrible Pepe le Pew faux French accent). I pinned out excess fabric and thought long and hard and researched longer and harder about the changes I would need to make to the pattern. I had neglected to consider one key factor: Sewaholic does not design for me. Tasia designs for the pear-shaped woman, and I am very happy she does. particularly as you with booty who have sewn her patterns appear to think that she does a sterling job. I love the Alma. The Cambie is also very sweet. I am not a pear-shaped woman (mouthy stick with shoulders, remember?) and I decided maybe I needed to find another pattern.
There is no one, that I’m aware of, designing for a mouthy stick with shoulders, but that’s okay. I’ll just try me some other patterns until something works. I thought it might be easier to modify a different pattern, rather than work on the Thurlows. But I do rather like the Thurlows so maybe one day I will return to it when I have more fitting expertise. My unfinished projects are never discarded. They visit a lovely resting place until I’m ready for them again.
I put my Thurlow muslin on to take photos for the blogpost, and lo and behold: it is not as bad as I remember. I can only think magic sewing elves fixed it for me while it hung on my WIP rack.
There is someone designing for the petite woman, and she has designed a pair of trousers that look about right, but I have two issues: (1) I really don’t like the brand name and (2) though I’m short, I’m not sure I actually qualify as petite. Petite is 5’4″ and under. I’m just on that, but I’ve never really found RTW petite clothing fits me, so maybe I am proportioned averagely rather than petite-ly? I’ll keep an eye on the patterns, but I just don’t feel persuaded enough to overcome my dislike of the brand name to purchase a pattern.
Style Arc has a bunch of patterns that I’ve “pinned” (which being also a sewing term is practically like making them, right?) and I even bought the Audrey trousers, which came with a pair of free Lola trousers. I’ve made the Lola but I did not like it. Because it was not a pair of mid-rise, straight-legged trousers! (I’m really an idiot, sometimes.) And actually, the Lola trouser is a woven version of True Bias’ Hudson Pants (tee hee), which I have made three times and liked *a lot* but the Hudsons make no pretense of being anything other than fancy trackie-daks. Woven trackie-daks? Not for me. I just cannot think of any occasion when I would wear them. If it’s casual, I may as well wear trackie-daks. If I want to look nice, well, I would not be wearing trackie-daks. See?
I’ve settled on my next trouser pattern: the Sew Loft Emma pants (tee hee. Oh, you northern Americans.) They’re like a skinnified Thurlow.
Muslin sewing is fast, though muslin photos are always terrible. The Emma pants are pretty good! I was right (how gratifying).
Sew Loft is a new to me pattern company, and I’m keen on these trousers and the Harper blouse, although I feel like a stranger to myself when I want to wear a sleeveless top. The PDFs are well designed and not at all wasteful of paper or annoying to piece together. I haven’t sewn anything yet, so I cannot say (nor am I particularly knowledgeable on the matter) whether the patterns are well drafted.
Finally, in my Epic Trouser Saga, I’ve signed on for a sewing class with Thread Den, here in Melbourne. The class is called “Perfect Pants Pattern” (please interject tee hee in the correct place if you too are juvenile). That’s a big call, no? We shall see, we shall see. I’m fairly confident of my sewing (and unpicking and sewing again) skills, but I just feel all flummoxed when it comes to fitting. I haven’t had any major issues so far: take in a bit here; let out a bit there, lengthen, or shorten and we’re done. And usually it is only one issue on a pattern. But trousers have a whole lot of cascading issues and I think I need someone to hold my hand, and provide me lots of fortifying chocolate.
Wish me luck, and keep a beady eye on your feed readers for the next installment of Oanh’s Trouser Saga! Coming probably not very soon to an internet near you!