Today I will show you a project that has been finished for a few weeks, but has proven very difficult to photograph: My new trousers copied from a pair of RTW cashmere trousers.
In need of favourite trousers..
I have long been in need of a new pair of trousers (or actually several, but you got to start somewhere), that I can use for work and on formal occasions. This has been a gap in my wardrobe for over a year now, but I finally got around to start making a new TNT trouser pattern this Autumn. Since starting in a new job last summer I’ve gained some weight, and none of my trousers fit me any more. -I simply can’t button a single button on them.
I used to have a beautiful shop bought pair of trousers in cashmere, that I got in London close to 8 years ago. These have been my favourite pair of “dressed up” trousers ever since. They finally died after my little girl got chewing gum stuck to them two years back and they became unwearable. Still, I didn’t throw them away, most of the fabric was still good, and it seemed such a waste to just get rid of them. The trouser leg that wasn’t ruined became a newsboy cap for my husband this spring (blogged here), and the rest I saved with some vague notion that it might come in handy somehow.
Last month I finally decided to take apart what was left of the trousers and use it as a base for a new pattern. The thought was that as I had liked the RTW version so much, there was no reason that using them as a base for a sewing pattern wouldn’t be even better. After all, I have learned a lot about fit since I started sewing. I took apart all the pieces and studied how the trouser had been assembled as I did so. It was quite an expensive pair of trousers after all, and were well made.
After putting together the rough pattern I made a muslin and tried it on for fit. I did some minor adjustments (if you can call adding 5 cm around the waist minor), and started in on my real fabric. The fabric I used this time is one I got in a fabric store called Syspirasjon in Sandvika (about 30 min. drive from Oslo), and I think it’s a mix between rayon and cotton or something similar. It has a beautiful drape, but not too heavy. Also, I discovered that the fabric is iron-free after washing and hanging it to dry. Not a crease to be seen anywhere. And I must say I love the twill look with grey and dark blue threads in the weaving.
(of course that no crease state don’t apply after wearing them for a few days, which I had at the point of taking these photos.)
Learning through mistakes
I did one elementary mistake when I put the waistband together- and the waistband ended up being too stiff, and to small. So after finishing the trouser (with buttons and button holes and all) I had to rip out the waistband and make a new one. Because of that I didn’t have enough lining fabric for the waistband, and used a yellow and green flowery quilting cotton instead. It turned out OK, and it fits now, but I’m not sure I like how the fabric peeks out at the front. If you look close you can also see that I didn’t do a particularly good job with the zipper, and it sort of shows. Another, and far worse thing, is that I haven’t gotten the grain straight- at least not in front, which affects the fit and look of the whole thing.
The final result
The finished trousers have wide legs and a high waistband, two slanted front pockets that are quite deep, one pleat at each side of the front, two back darts, and two single welt pocket vents also at the back. Due to lack of lining fabric these are just fake pockets (You don’t really need back pockets in this kind of garment anyway).
I think this pair of trousers are an OK starting point, and I will wear them, but I think there is a lot of room for improvements. No. 1 priority is to correct the grainline on the pattern to a more true position. I also want to tilt the waist a bit, to make it a little higher in the front. I have forward tilted hips, making the waistline dip in front when I don’t do this. I don’t think I need it much higher, but maybe about 2-2,5 cm. You can see what I mean in the photo below.
I have already washed and shrinked the wool fabric I want to use for “favourite trouser 2.0” but first I need to make a new muslin, which is were it stands at the moment..