Over the years I have discovered that as much as I love flicking through sewing pattern books, I rarely actually sew any of the garments they contain. Yes, they’re great value – so many patterns for the price! – but they also require tracing of pattern pieces, often from large sheets with multiple overlapping lines. Over the years I have also discovered that I am fairly lazy when it comes to tracing patterns. I just don’t do it. I have good intentions (Burda and Ottobre magazines, I’m looking at you!) but I very very rarely actually get around to tracing. And as most of you know, I’m firmly in the cut out the printed pattern camp, even with vintage patterns. Because I’d made that discovery, I’ve drastically reduced the number of pattern books that I buy. I am happy to buy books on sewing techniques, but rarely buy one for the patterns. However, I saw Anna‘s Kinder cardigan and Longshaw skirt, and promptly bought a copy of Wendy Ward‘s book A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics.
However, the first garment that I sewed from the book wasn’t either the Kinder cardigan or Longshaw skirt – it was the Derwent trouser! There was a sewn up sample at The Cloth Shop, (they always have the BEST garment samples) and that was the clincher for me. Take two pattern pieces, some beautiful medium weight dark green marle viscose ponte, some wide elastic, and voila, a fabulous pair of winter trousers in approximately an hour!
I chose pattern size based on my hip measurement, traced the pattern pieces, adding length after checking how long my current trousers are, then did a full belly alteration to the front pattern piece. This was a straightforward slash and spread, making a cut from the waistline down about six or seven inches then spreading it an inch at the waistline. That added another couple of inches to the front waist and belly area without affecting the bum and hips.
The waist is finished with a wide elastic facing, sewn to the top of the waistline then turned to the inside and secured with stitches through the seamlines. The deep hem was secured with a machine blindstitch. I prefer deep hems on wide leg pants.
In this photo it really looks as though I have a major wedgie, but these have been worn quite a few times and certainly don’t feel that way! I might check the back crotch curve of this pattern against the back crotch curve of my Fifi pants, and compare them. Honestly, if I hadn’t seen this photo I wouldn’t have had any idea.
The top I’m wearing is the Style Arc Kylie top, blogged here. It’s a favourite! However, I want to point out the colour-blocked boiled wool scarf. I sewed it following directions in this tutorial. The boiled wool is from The Cloth Shop. It’s lots of fun choosing colour combinations, and it’s a straightforward sew and very warm to wear. I’ve also sewed a wedgewood blue and grey version that I gave to my sister-in-law for her 60th.
This outfit feels very ‘me’. I find it a bit difficult to choose the right tops to go with wide-legged pants, but this one seems to work. As always, it’s about getting the proportions right for your body – and feeling comfortable and yourself in the total outfit.