Ooh, my first ever attempt at trousers, and it didn’t turn out so bad! Well, actually, this is my second or third attempt, but this is the first one that’s turned out okay with very little fuss. I’ve always struggled with getting the crotch seam right, and I was pretty intimidated by trying again, but I had it in my head to have another go as a recent growth spurt had left us trouserless!
I’m using another Schwin Designs pattern, to make a lovely pair of unisex cord trousers… it’s actually a boy’s pattern, but you really can’t tell the difference.
Ever since I posted about my mum’s old sewing book, I couldn’t get the idea of little green pants out of my head, but I felt that an elasticated waistband all the way round would make it too bulky, so I opted for this pattern which has a flat front and elasticated back.
I scored some dark green cord from the Little Fabric Bazaar, it’s not really the same colour as the original photo, which is a bright yellowy green – mine’s much darker and a bluey bottle green, but it’s close enough for what I want! Besides, it’s a little bit more girly. It’s also needlecord, which is a very fine version of cord, sometimes called babycord, so it’s soft and flexible.
Cord fabrics are measured by the amount of ridges they have per inch (often called ‘wales’), the more ridges, the finer and softer the fabric. Needlecord has at least 14 wales per inch, and the one I’m using has 16, and normal cord will be around 8-10. The fabric I’m using is really soft, but also hardwearing, so it should be fine for all those times she falls on her knees (at least 10 times a day).
The fabric has a nap, which means that it feels soft if you stroke it one way, but rough the other way, so when you’re laying out your pattern it is important to make sure that your pieces are placed with the nap in the same direction, the same way as you would for a strong directional patter. Fortunately, the pattern has the grainline direction marked on it, so it was super easy to do this.
I’m using a slightly fatter needle (90/100) for this project, but the fabric is still quite soft and flexible, so you don’t need to use a jeans weight fabric.
As the colour is kinda dark, I added some hot pink stitching to liven it up and make it a little bit more fun and funky! I have used double stitching all the way through to give it a little bit more colour, and more of a jeans feel. It also helps to secure and strengthen the seams, and gives the look of flat-fell seams (although I haven’t used these). It’s so difficult to get a picture of the exact colour, sometimes it looks blue, sometimes green, but I hope you get the idea!
You can see the effect on the side seam here. My stitching is a bit wobbly and not the same distance apart in each place, but you get the idea!
But… if you sew your lines so they are measured against each other (instead of the edge of the fabric), using the presser foot as your guide, you’ll end up with two lines that are parallel to each other, even if they aren’t entirely straight. This’ll make it look a lot neater overall!
I went for the option with the back yoke, which gives the trousers a little bit more detail in the back – the legs are the same length! They’re bunched up in the photo. I like the pockets on the back too, they help to make the trousers a little more grown up, and a little more impressive?
I was going to do the faux fly option, but I forgot to add a bit of extra fabric when I was cutting it, so never mind! You can see that the front is flat, and the back is elasticated, which helps them to stay up over her nappy, and gives some room for growth. .
The tutorial was fab, really helpful, especially with the tricky final crotch sewing!! I’ve never managed it before, but this pattern told me to sew one leg inside out along the crotch line, which sounds complicated, but it really did work!
It all went pretty smoothly, but there was a casualty – my sewing gauge got ironed and melted, so maybe I was better off using my cardboard seam measurement after all. Ah well.
We went to the park to model her new trousers. She insisted on wearing her pixie/Peter Pan hat all day!
Here you can see the overall look of the trousers, the fit is really nice, and they have a great relaxed feel, and slightly retro too.
A little close-up of the fit at the back
I’m thinking about sewing with denim next, although I’ll admit I’m pretty intimidated by using it…. though I was really interested to read Zoe from Tadpeg’s advice on stitching jeans, which makes it sound easy!
Watch this space!