Sunday, 17 April 2016

I Made Trousers (Again!)

Soooooo, after my disastrous attempt at making trousers last summer, I finally recovered enough to try again.  This time I decided to go for a different silhouette and tried out the cigarette pants from Gertie's Vintage Casual book.  I decided I needed something suitable for summer when I can't be bothered to shave my legs . . . lazy Holly!

Now, I traced this pattern out last year, when I was a little chubbier and much more stressed.  I think I traced a 16 at the waist, grading to a 14 at the hips (I think!).  I had some cheap cotton that I thought I could make a wearable muslin from before cutting into some lovely stretch cotton I bought a few weeks ago at The Shuttle in Shipley, which was originally going to be a work dress, then these trousers, then a work dress, then these trousers  . . . you get the idea . . . and I'm still unsure.

Anyway, I cut these out in an evening, shortening the length, as I realised that I had traced them at full length and that is never going to wash with my little tree-stump legs, although somebody told me the other day that I had long legs - I told him to go get his glasses checked.  At 5 foot 4 with a 26 inch inside leg, long legs is definitely not something I have.  Wide legs, yes, long, no.

Anyway, construction of these pants, once cut was scarily easy.  the only real change I made was to move the back zipper to the side.   For some reason, I cannot get my head around a back zipper in pants.  I asked around amongst my friends, I looked in ready to wear (gran loved being dragged round Next looking at every pair of trousers I'm telling you!), and the conclusion was that trousers have side zippers.  Unless it is different in the US?  Anyway, moving the zip was no biggy, just insert in a side seam rather than the back seam.  I was tres impressed with my zip insertion - I'm getting good, if I do say so myself. 

I also had a little head scratching moment with the pockets but that was brief and remedied once I put the pattern piece the correct way up! (daft Holly) 

Ayvay, trousers construction complete, it was time to try on, and do you know what I discovered (other than I have lost weight since last Summer, which I already knew) - I have one leg fatter than the other.  I went back and check my sewing and cutting, and all was matching and in order - my right leg is genuinely fatter than the left.  I say fatter, when in actual fact it is more muscle I think.  Could this be a dominant leg thing?  I know that my right bicep is bigger than my left, and this is due to many years of pulling pints.   I'm not sure how my right thigh and calf got bugger - maybe I use them more when dancing and cycling, and the left leg is just lazier - who knows.  

Anyway, the right leg was a little tighter, but not uncomfortably so, but I decided to take the seam out a little anyway.  This is after I had taken both in as they were quite a bit bigger than I wanted them  to be.  I'm thinking these trousers are drafted to be a lot baggier than they look in the photos, but I am not looking for baggy pants, I want 50s chic cigarette pants.

So after taking in, I decided no more faffing.  The pants are still too big on the hip, but I think I can live with that.  I'm going to re-trace them as a size 14 grading to a size 12 at the hips and lower and make up another muslin, when I find some cheapish fabric I like.  I might have to go raid Leeds market soon for their £4.50/m cottons.  

My only other qualm about these was that they were too garish even for me, but after discussing with the little sis (who is in fact 28 and taller than me), we decided that they were just the right amount of garish for me - I am not known for my sober clothes, by anyone, in fact it was commented at work last week that they knew when it was something made by me because it was always that little bit "different" (read: weird).  I don't care if my clothes are strange though, at least I'm not going to have the same as someone else, and at least I'm not scared of showing my personality.  Small rant over.

So, I'm now hoping to make a plain black top to wear with these trousers.  I'm currently catching up on Indian Summers and loving Alice's wardrobe, so I'm thinking classic split collar button down blouse.  I have some black silky fabric in my stash which will be perfect.  I have even found a pattern (from the Gertie Vintage Chic book again) so I just need to trace and make my first muslin and see what happens.

Anyway, that is it, I'm off out on my bicycle for the first time this year this afternoon (I'm writing this in advance if the weather is iffy on the day you read it) and I'm excited as I've not been cycling all winter after losing my confidence, so the hubby has offered to go out with slow little me for an hour this afternoon so I can get used to being on the roads again.  You never know, some more of that weight might decide to go if I keep it up this summer, especially now I am back at dancing too.  Some exercise and fresh air might also finally shift this cold I've had for weeks too . . . here's hoping.

Anyway, over and out . . .

Happy Crafting!



  1. Holly just read your posting about your 50's trousers, in those 50's cigarette or pencil leg trousers the zippers were always in the back of the in the 1950's I remember seeing my sister in photo's with a pair on. Sorry she's 18 years older than me as I wasn't around in the 50's. Then the zips moved to the side, and then came the zippers in the front of your trousers, I guess when jeans became fashionable. A little bit of history for you.

    1. Thanks Kathie. Maybe I need to do some more vintage fashion research. I am thinking a back zip would be easier, but I'm still not sure, but then again I wear skirts with back zips all the time so it can't be much different. Maybe on my next pair I will try it.

      Holly xx

  2. Hi Holly
    Loving the trousers! I've made some flowery ones too, and have seen quite a few about in the shops so maybe we're setting the trend! Well done on loosing the weight! Maybe if you do go with the weird back zip then you could take them in a bit on the side? :-)

    1. I do love to be a trend setter . . . .

      I'm sizing down for my next pair and will go with the back zip I think, just to try it and see what happens.



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