Thursday, January 28, 2010

Navy Trousers

How can I stop wearing jeans every single day? Hmmm... Maybe if I had a pair of neutral trousers? The ones pictured on Simplicity 3688 seem cute and relatively simple. Question is, will I actually wear them?

I chose a sueded navy twill from the stash. It is a really effective cat hair magnet and once it gets the hair, it doesn't want to let it go. I could use up an entire roll of lint tape, I think, without getting all the hair off. Its probably safe to say that a dark colored sueded twill is not an appropriate fabric for someone with a light grey cat.

The trousers were really easy to put together. However, I essentially ended up making them twice because I didn't bother to check the fit before I started stitching. I was surprised to discover that there is no wearing ease at all in this pattern. I found this odd considering how most modern or modern-repro patterns have way too much ease.

I cut out the 14, as usual, and just plunged ahead using my ordinary crappy technique for making a modern patterns fit: I made 1 inch giant seam allowances all around to make up for the extra ease. When I tried them on I discovered that they were binding in the thighs, the zipper slit would barely close and they were riding up something fierce.

I had to take them apart and start all over again this time narrowing my allowances to 1/2 an inch or so.

The crotch rise is simply way too short, so I made that allowance less than 1/4 inch. I finished the seam with a tight zig-zag against the straight stitch so hopefully that will add some stability.

I'm pretty happy with them. Photographing them was difficult because they are so dark. The darts don't quite look right in the back, but I can live with it

I'm thinking about putting big decorative buttons on the front, to give them a nautical feel. What do you think?


  1. For real - I just finished a muslin for these pants!! And I have to say, it makes me feel so much better to know you had exactly the same fitting issues that I did. I about cried about how tight they fit through the thigh! Was giving me horrible flashbacks of trying to buy RTW pants.
    Yours turned out really cute though, so I'm feeling a bit more confident about my own project now :)
    I'm throwing in a vote for yes on the buttons. But I'm a total sucker for the vintage sailor look!

  2. Hey!! HONESTY I was just going to buy that pattern at as a dowloadable pattern, so, this pattern has not enough ease? is what I understood, am I right?
    About the buttons, I agree!!! do it!!

  3. Okay! I will be adding buttons. :)

    @ Moxie: Nope, its not your thighs that are the problem, it's the pattern. Glad I could help you with this project. I can't wait to see how yours come out!

    @ Lizzy: I wonder if going up a full size would help? I fixed mine by making narrower seam allowances. The seam in the crotch had to be TINY and I'm just praying that it doesn't pop open. But if I could start over from scratch, I'd cut out one size larger. Although...I suppose the problem could just be with the size 14...? It looks like there are several reviews for these over at You might check there before deciding what size to try...

  4. Hi, I love your blog! You are really talented at making vintage creations. I just started getting back into sewing, and I think your beautiful photos have inspired me :)


  5. So cute on you. I love following your blog. Sort of keeps me in touch.

    I'm sending you a small box of fabric that I've had in my stash for years. Hope you can use it. If not maybe trade...

    Keep up the great work.

    Love, Aunt Mary

  6. Wow! Maria I approved your comment and that same day your box of fabric arrived. All of it is gorgeous and I am sure I can put it to good use. Thank you SO very much. :)