Completed: More Thurlows, With A Side Of Skinny

28 Jan

Fair warning #1: I almost resorted to calling these the Thinlows, but I refrained. You guys are welcome.
Fair warning #2: These pictures are really really terrible and I am sorry for that. I was saving to buy a new camera because mine sucks, and then I accidentally spent the money on something else that I decided I wanted more. Actually, I’m not sorry about that part.

Skinny Thurlows
Check out my new Thurlows! We are up to six pair at this point, so I understand if you are sick of this pattern now, but y’all gotta understand that I am just in love and we’re still honeymoonin’ strong over here. My TNT! My one true love! The Thurlow!

Skinny Thurlows
You’ll notice these are a bit different, in fact they went on a bit of a diet! As much as I loved those nice flared legs in the original pattern – I’m a skinny girl at heart, at least as far as my pants are concerned ;) I’ve hemmed and hawwed for a few months now on how to properly execute the slim-down. I probably should have hemmed and hawwed just a little bit more because honestly, these aren’t exactly my best attempt! Blame it on a combination of bad pattern, er, combinations (which I’ll get to in just a second, so put your hands down!), as well as a tricky fabric choice. It was a learning curve, that’s for sure!

Skinny Thurlows
To get the legs skinny, I ended up merging the top of the Thurlow pattern with the legs of the Clover pattern. One issue I noticed right away with my tracing – and you probably notice this right away in these pictures – was that the grainlines for each pattern were TOTALLY different. Just skewing in completely different directions. So which grainline was I supposed to choose? I took a wild guess and stuck with the Thurlow grainline. Also, SPOILER: I picked wrong; look at those crazy wrinkles and folds and off-grain madness going on – the side seams are trying to so hard to wrap around my legs! WAH! First lesson learned here: pay attention to those grainlines. They need to go straight up and down the middle of the legs, which is why each pattern was so different.

Skinny Thurlows
Mistake #2 came from my fabric choice. I really like this fabric – it’s a very soft, wool-blend felt that I picked up at the Vogue store while I was in Chicago last year. It was super cheap, feels great against the skin, and I love the color/fuzzy soft texture. However, it has waaaaay too much stretch for this pattern. I don’t know if that saved the grainline fiasco or made it worse than ever, but the massive amounts of stretch definitely contribute to how these pants hang off my legs. Also, the sizing was horribly off, due to the stretch. I kept basting and taking in the sides – I took over 1″ off each side seam. The welt pockets are now too close together as a result; and the pants are still a little loose. Didn’t think that one through, I’m afraid! Second lesson learned: no stretch on these pants, at least not without sizing down first.

Skinny Thurlows
Here’s a better picture of my fails. Wrinkles all up and down the backs of the legs, and the welt pockets are sitting in a weird spot. Oh well!

Skinny Thurlows
I don’t think they’re all bad, though. They’re quite comfortable, thanks to the stretch and how soft the fabric is. And honestly – is the fit that much worse than RTW? I dunno.

Skinny Thurlows
NOPE, NEVERMIND, THAT’S PRETTY BAD. HAHAHA!

Skinny Thurlows

Skinny Thurlows

Skinny Thurlows

I plan on revisiting these again, as I have not yet satisfied my need for skinny pants. I think I’ve got a better grasp on the grainline issue, but if anyone has words of wisdom they’d like to share – let’s hear it!

Skinny Thurlows

And yes, I still plan on wearing these. In all their wrinkly, off-grain glory.

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38 Responses to “Completed: More Thurlows, With A Side Of Skinny”

  1. misscrayolacreepy January 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    I don’t think they are bad at all! If I could make a pair of pants that looked this good I would be pumped! :)

  2. Carolyn January 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Hey I looked at those and thought how kewl! They look like the wrinkly jeans my daughters wear from RTW. Besides any time you start experimenting with your TNT to create new looks you get a few losers to go along with all the winners. I’m sure you will work this out and come up with an amazing pair of skinny Thurlows!

  3. Nothy January 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I think they look amazing! I love how you converted this pattern into a skinny jeans pattern. I plan to use all your tutorial posts when I make my Thurlows.

  4. Bea W January 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Hurray for butchering sewing patterns and frankensteining them back together. These skinnies are looking pretty good for a first attempt. I’m glad you’re going to wear them despite their grain issues. Can’t wait to see a clover grain version. Fingers crossed they work out wrinkle free. Please keep experimenting! Good luck.

  5. Amy Frisinger January 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I love the slouchy look. You could add some rushing on the ankles if it really bugs you. They look fine to me.

  6. kittee January 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I think they’re great. And a million times better than anything I could make. Yay!

  7. Felicity January 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    There was a Threads Magazine article about three years ago (I think it’s available online) about how to properly taper pants patterns. It instructed you to cut the pattern across the knee, taper a usual from knee to ankle, and for the tops: cut the pattern in two places from the dart to the center of the knee and from the crotch curve to 2” from the inner leg seam then overlap the pattern to get the desired knee width. This works so much better than just tapering seams because it spreads the dart and alters the shape(not length) of the crotch curve to cup the rear better and eliminate wrinkling.

    • LLADYBIRD January 29, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      FUCK YESSS just found the article you were talking about. Thank you so much – this will be quite helpful!

  8. Tanit-Isis January 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Hmm. I’ve had good luck skinnifying patterns just by removing equally from both sides of the leg, but I haven’t attempted to mix two such different styles—stretch and non-stretch. And yeah, the grainline HAS to be straight up the legs. I love learning stuff the hard way, don’t you?

    StephC of 3hourspast got into something similar last summer…:

    http://3hourspast.com/2012/06/12/reliable-pants-alteration-colette-clovers-and-me/

    • LLADYBIRD January 29, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      Yeah, I’ve altered my fair share of wide legs into narrow legs directly from the pants… I wanted to try the frankenpattern so I’d have something to work off next time without making more adjustments. But you see how well THAT worked out :P Oh well, I’m just glad I love learning new things haha

  9. lbrundage January 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Great looking pocket welts though…nicely constructed!

  10. Tina January 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Lauren,
    Did you try just tapering the legs on the Thurlow pattern? I have done that before with pants and had success. Try putting on a pair of your Thurlows that fit well, like the jeans, then pin out the excess all the way down on the outseam and inseam. Trace the pants front & back pattern pieces (so as to not mess up your original). Measure how much you pinned out, then re-draw the outseam & inseam on the traced pant pattern subtracting the amount you pinned out. This has worked for me. Make sure you trace the grainline arrow on your traced pattern correctly. I’ve seen in some of your pictures that you have one of those cutting boards with the 1″ lines. I like to pin my grainline to one of the black lines making sure I have everything straight. I have self drafted pants patterns for myself many times using Helen Armstrong’s book “Patternmaking For Fashion Design” and this is where I learned to draft legs differently. Hope this helps.
    Tina

    • LLADYBIRD January 29, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      I’ve done this method in the past with RTW (I liked skinnies before they were widely available, so this was the only way I could get my hands on a pair!), and yeah, I probably should have stuck with that on the Thurlows. I’m going to mull over some of my books and the resources that are getting linked up here, and see if I can’t manhandle this pattern into working for me. Thank you!

  11. SeamstressErin January 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    Another perspective – it may not be an issue of grainline but of seam length differences. I found when I was drafting my skinny jeans (http://seamstresserin.com/brown-floral-print-jeans/) the leg of my muslin twisted like crazy. I fixed it by ripping the outside leg seam, making sure the bottom of the pant is cut exactly perpendicular to the grain and straight across, and then sewing the outside seam again from the bottom up (since at the bottom of the jeans your grainline should be exactly perpendicular to the hem). I found that the back outer seam was an inch longer than the front outer seam at the top, and by starting sewing the seam at the top (which is technically correct for assemby, but where the pants aren’t straight on grain anyway since they have to curve over your hips) I was missing this difference.

    • LLADYBIRD January 29, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      That makes sense! I’ll keep that in mind for future pants. Also, I love your floral jeans and you should make me a pair, please and thank you.

      Ok ok, I’m kidding :P

  12. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! January 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    They look great! I wouldn’t have thought about the twisting unless you mentioned it, probably as so much RTW looks like that. I admit after reading all the suggestions I’m thinking I’m glad I prefer wider legs, egads. lol

  13. Sandra Julian January 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Hmm I don’t think they look too bad at all. I can’t offer any advice really because my attempt to mesh two patterns together was a complete fail – I liked the wide waist band on one pair of pants but wanted the skinny fit of another which realy meant adjusting from the hips down and I completely stuffed this up. The grain is fine but my waist is higher than my back which makes them really uncomfortable to wear (especially when I sit). I like from croutch down on mine but like you I probably won’t wear then at all and therefore didn’t even mention on my blog! I’m still too frustrated to work it out and try again, so I’m back to sewing dresses. But yep I agree ‘respect that grainline’.

  14. leahfranqui January 28, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    I like these! But you know, it’s all about what you like, and sure, I see a bit of wonk, but really these look store bought, and if they are comfortable I would wear them every minute. I mean, I see some wrinkles but I don’t think they look bad, I think they look comfortable and stretchy and cute! I don’t mind wrinkles, myself, but I can see when someone is as good as you are having them drive me nuts.

  15. Jenny January 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    The fit of your skinny Thurlows is about a million times better than any pants I’ve ever made! I’ve been off and on with Clovers for about a year and still don’t feel like I’m any closer to a pair of pants that I can wear outside the house :p

  16. Tilly January 29, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    I second Tina about tapering the pattern rather than Frankensteining two patterns, BUT – they really don’t look bad at all. They look lovely, in fact! You’ve been staring at them so you’re bound to notice wrinkles but I bet no one who sees you wearing them IRL will notice. With each pair you make, the Thurlow pattern rises a little on my “to make” list (it’s now in second place)…

  17. Liz January 29, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    I think they are cute :-)

  18. little betty January 29, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    I’ve made 4 pairs of Thurlows in 1 months, so I totally understand your love. I also slimmed the leg on mine, not skinny but slim/straight. Like Tanitisis mentioned, I took equal amounts from both sides, but also quite significantly slimmed the underbum to get a nice fit. I think the shape is worth a try again. I might try skinny too :)

  19. Scruffybadger January 29, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    I wouldn’t have noticed the twisting, nor that the pocket placement is odd…however, you writing about it is so helpful *should* I ever try it myself, as it really wouldn’t have occurred to me. I’m glad they are still going to get lived in, as they look perfectly fine, and as you say, no different to rtw. Shows how spoilt we get when we make things ourselves :)

  20. Jenny January 29, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    That is too weird. This morning I was laying in bed thinking about sewing, which led to I want to making pants. Which led to thinking about patterns, Jalie, Thurlow, which led to Ladybird’s blog. When I think of Thurlows I think of you for obvious reasons. But I personally don’t care for wide bottom legs so I was thinking with all the Thurlows Ladybird has made, I’m surprised she hasn’t varied the leg widths. Then this morning here they are! Weird. Don’t worry this is all normal sewing thoughts, I don’t usually think about you in bed! Ha!

    • LLADYBIRD January 29, 2013 at 8:56 am #

      Aw! Next time you should direct those thoughts to me winning a massive lottery pile and traveling the world! COME ON, DON’T BE STINGY NOW haha :)

  21. Maggie January 29, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    I think they look good! It is always a learning process :)

  22. sallie January 29, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    I don’t think they look so bad! Skinny pants like this will always pull a little (I think? Mine always do!) You might have more luck the next go around if you make the alterations directly to your Thurlow pattern, keeping one continuous grainline, and just slicing from the hip & crotch down, removing equal amounts on both sides…? Also, if there is a next time, don’t go with a completely non-stretch fabric or you won’t be able to get your foot in! Ask me how I know… Either way – these are a really cute silhouette on you – it’s a very lucky girl that looks equally fetching in wide legs and skinnies!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 29, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Oh, shit, you’re right about that need for a little bit of stretch! Honestly, I’m so afraid of stretch fabric for my pants… every pant I’ve ever made with the stuff gets hideously stretched out by the end of the day :( WAH. But I definitely need to be able to get my foot in there… as well as bend my knees. :B

  23. Lisette January 29, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    I had the same grainline problem when I elongated a men’s biking shorts pattern. But it only “wraps around” on one leg! Ridiculous. Yours are very cute, though, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

  24. Helen Made January 29, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Well I love them – no first attempt at a pattern mash up like that will go perfectly, but I think it’s a damn good attempt. It’s a lot better than I could do for sure!

  25. sarah January 29, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    These are lovely to be fair, I had a rtw pair of skinnys that wrinkled much worse than yours and got more wrinkly as the day went on :/
    I’ve been been thinking of making skinnys using the thurlow too. What i was going to do is use the whole pattern and take the legs in on both sides (inside/outside leg) but not over do it, so I can then try them on when they are nearly finished, pin the excess fabric whilst they are still on to get the desired skinny-ness and then re-stitch the new side seams. Or so the plan is lol! :)

  26. Lynne January 29, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    I too happen to think they look great! I’m finding this post (and comments) very interesting as I have trouser fitting on the brain at the minute. I am currently making my first pair of trousers, and they happen to be Thurlows. I have been stalking your sew-along like a big stalky thing, so if you have a zillion hits on it, it’s probably me! :)

  27. katrina January 29, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    You always use the best lining in your projects! I love the small floral fabric contrasted with the darker wool. Gorgeous!

  28. puu January 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    maybe one way to go is to copy the crotch curve off the thurlows and then just use the clovers, instead of tapering or franken-patterning? that way you keep the best-fitting bit without worrying too much about grainline or leg width…

  29. gingermakes January 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Awww crappers, I wouldn’t have realized that the different grainlines would make the legs all squirrelly. These really don’t look bad, though. I definitely have skinny jeans that look like that (ha! maybe I should dump ‘em…).

  30. megthegrand January 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    I am quite impressed with your Thinlows! I definitely don’t think these look bad – I am quite impressed how you combined these two patterns!

  31. missjoiedevivre January 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    For a first mashup attempt these are pretty damn good! And it looks like the sewing gods/commenting community have given you a tonne of resources so given your unnatural skill I’m sure the next pair will be perfect!

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