If this were a fashion blogger's outfit post, it'd be considered pretty boring: neutral-colored slim-fit trousers, countered with a more intense color near the face and a lace collar for interest. But I'm not a fashion blogger, and this standard work outfit is exciting because it's entirely me-made! Okay, I didn't crochet the lace collar, but still, it's exciting to have made some very sensible basics.
|I need to make some new underthings that don't leave lines under my clothes!|
Despite having made successful slim-fit pants before, it's been long enough that I've re-built up all my previous anxiety about fitting my bottom half. My orange trousers were wide-legged enough that I wasn't super concerned, and besides, there was no fly-front. Somehow, the combination of an unmodifiable center front seam and my weirdly shaped legs makes me lose all confidence. Oh, and let's throw in an untested pattern for good measure! Better yet, let's make it a pattern that's notorious for funky fit and requiring multiple muslins, the Colette Clovers. And the icing on the cake, of course, is messing with the pattern by throwing in a fly front.
|Not that you can really tell it's a fly front, even close-up -- I did that good a job on thread-matching for the topstitching.|
I've only ever made one Colette pattern before, and that was the free Sorbetto tank; that simple top required so many changes that I pretty much gave up on Colette patterns as being drafted for an entirely different body type, hence my refusal to buy the Laurel (plus I already had a shift dress pattern in the stash). Still, I figured pants might not be as bad, plus the pattern was free (generously gifted to me by Ms. McCall of Brown Paper Pattern)! In the end, I ended up not making as many changes as I was afraid I would need to. These pants aren't perfect, but they're not bad for a wearable muslin. Here's my list of alterations:
- I made them fly-front instead of side zipper pants, using pattern pieces and directions from McCall's 6610.
- Knowing how bubbly the darts would be in this unpressable mystery fabric, I omitted them and took out the difference from the center back seam instead. I think it worked pretty well, and I'm now pretty convinced that I don't ever need darts again.
- I majorly smoothed out the hip curve, as they were slightly ridiculous. It was like bloomers or jodhpurs or something similar.
- I also took out a bunch of width from the inseams, up to 1.5 inches on both the front and the back, tapering to nothing at the knee.
- I took in the back side seams by about 1.5 inches at the mid thigh, tapering to nothing at the knees. Essentially, my back side seam is just a straight line down from the waist to the knee.
- The curve of the waistband just didn't look right to me, plus it was made for the side zipper, so I subbed in the Sewaholic Thurlow trouser waistband. I felt slightly wrong, mixing my indie pattern company pieces, but the Thurlow waistband worked just beautifully. I faced it with a little bit of this nautical print Japanese cotton that I got in Birmingham on my UK trip a couple years ago, because it matched the seam binding so nicely.
I still think the back fit needs work, since there are all these wrinkles (fish-eye dart adjustment, maybe?), and the grainline is off on the front because of all my adjustments. The front under-crotch is slightly baggy too, but all in all it's not worse than any of my RTW pants. Hah! now there's a dubious compliment if there ever was one! I thought the whole point of sewing was to get better than RTW fit. Oh well. I guess the trick is to psych myself up for another pair before too much time goes by, that way I can really work on the fit while things are fresh in my mind.
|Sometimes the back looks okay, depending on how I'm standing...|
|...and sometimes it's drag line city. Yikes.|
|At least the back waistband actually fits! No plumber's crack or gaping when I bend over.|
As for the top, it's made from sweater knit rescued from my first failed Drape Drape top, simply re-cut into a cap-sleeve fitted top using my knit tee block. Since the sweater knit was so sproingy and unpressable, I decided against my standard knit neckband and instead finished it with some leftover rayon bias tape. It was looking pretty boring, though, so I added the lace collar at Mr. Cation's recommendation. I'm finally getting with the trend of collared everything!
|I just now realized while looking at this picture that the cutouts on the collar are little stars!|
|Rayon bias tape made from the remnants of this dress' fabric, cotton crochet lace collar whipstitched on by hand.|
Fabric: The remaining 1.5 yards of this stretchy gray-brown plaid I had left after making my Mad Men dress. They work beautifully for these pants since they've got excellent stretch and recovery, while still being quite stable. I used As a result, these pants are uber comfortable. The sweater knit is probably acrylic, about a yard.
Notions: 3.5" metal jeans zipper, hooks and eyes and a metal snap for the fly front closure, lots of seam binding. The lace collar is from Wholeport.com. They don't seem to have this style anymore, but there are some other cute ones!
Hours: The top took about an hour, the pants were more like 10+. I lose track when things take more than a few days to make.
Will you make it again? I theoretically want to, in order to fix the fit! There's so much potential here, but after a certain point you can't change the wearable muslin anymore because you've run out of seam allowance and/or patience. And the knit tee block I've already used a gazillion times, so that's a for sure.
Total cost: The whole outfit was less than ten dollars ($2 for the collar, $2 for the sweater knit, $5 for the pants, and miscellaneous other notions)
Final thoughts: I can't think of anything else to say that I haven't already, but generally I like it? These are the kind of separates that are so basic that it's hard to drum up too much excitement. I'm pretty pleased to use up more stash fabric, though...the pants are even stretchy, so while they may not be knit, per se, they're still kind of in the vein of the month's challenge??
|I have to remind myself that most people don't look at me and think about the crotch curve adjustments I should have made. Nope, that's just me, sneakily staring at people's nether regions while trying to figure out how their pants fit.|
I think it's funny that these pants are called Clovers, since three-leafed versions abound (pretty good fit, definitely acceptable), but the four-leafed version (looks absolutely amazing and as drag-line free as the the modeled photos on the site) is pretty rare. Okay, that's a pretty belabored and cheesy metaphor. The question now is, do I keep working on this pattern, or try tracing my own from pants that already fit me? When I compared the crotch curve on the Clovers to my favorite RTW pants, they were pretty drastically different. The Clovers look more like the "official" crotch curve pictures in all the sewing books I own (less pronounced J in front, almost an L in the back), but I like the less-curved crotch curve fit of my RTW pants. Maybe I just don't know how pants should fit? Anyway, I bought myself the Craftsy Jeanius course to copy my favorite jeans since it was on sale last weekend, but I know myself and I don't think I have the patience/stamina/meticulousness required for Kenneth King's couturier directions. I think I'll give the haphazard pinpricking method a try first...