Completed: Ultimate Trousers

14 Aug

Hey look, here I am again – with another pair of polka dotted trousers! Are you surprised? Would you be surprised to know that I have another pair of dotty trousers sitting on my sewing table as we type speak? Do you think I have a problem? I’ve never considered myself a polka dot trouser kind of girl, but these sewing numbers don’t lie!

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

This polka dot cotton sateen is actually an old spoil from the Mood Fabrics flagship store in NYC, which I bought while I was there in March. I knew I wanted to make pants with it – what pattern specifically, I couldn’t tell you, but pants for sure! I love using cotton sateen for pants as it’s usually a good weight with a nice, heavy stretch, and the colors are always so lovely and saturated. Plus – polka dots! Yesss!!

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

The pattern I eventually ended up using is the Ultimate Trousers from Sew Over it. I actually tested this pattern ‘way back when earlier this year, to help get it ready for it’s print debut. I was on a pretty tight deadline during testing, which meant that I didn’t end up with a finished garment – just a muslin and a loooot of notes. This is actually pretty typical for me as a tester; I don’t always finish the pattern to the effect that it warrants a blog post! Once I got everything back to Lisa, I put the pattern on the backburner since the summer heat was starting to ramp up and I couldn’t handle the thought of wearing pants in this kind of humidity.

Anyway, we’ve got promises of cooler weather lurking on the horizon, which means it’s PANTSSS TIMEEEEE! Yay!

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

I did make a few changes to the pattern, both for fitting and general style. Let’s go over the fitting stuff first. Every time I make trousers, I end up doing the same adjustments across the board, especially if the pattern doesn’t include a front zip fly. I realize that trousers are kind of a scary subject for a lot of sewers, so I’m going to show y’all what I do in my fitting and hopefully that’ll shed some light on the whole matter (and even more hopefully – prove that they really aren’t so scary to fit!).

I don’t have muslin photos of this particular pattern, but I do have muslin photos from my archives (super unflattering muslin photos, I might add! Ha!) back when I made the Colette Clovers. Different patterns, but the concept is similar.

 photo CIMG0016.jpg
See all those horizontal wrinkles allll over my damn crotch? This is an indication that the crotch is way too long for me – so it’s wrinkling. The easiest way to fix this is to pinch out the excess into a long horizontal line, and transfer that to your pattern piece with slashing and taping. I’m petite, and while my torso is a pretty standard length, my crotch length is on the short side. So this is an adjustment that I have to make with *most* trouser/pant patterns. The amount can vary depending on the pattern – obviously the Clovers needed a lot taken out, and the Ultimate Trousers didn’t take much (and I just made a pattern the other day that I had to remove 2″ from!) But it’s a common adjustment for me, and this is what it looks like.

 photo CIMG0006-1.jpg
Same muslin, back view – see how tight the ass is? Like, not even flattering tight, just imma-bust-outta-here-like-a-jailbreak tight. This is fixed by adding a wedge to the back crotch depth pattern piece. How much you add will depend on how much room you need (the Ultimate Trousers didn’t need any, but the Clovers clearly needed a lot), but you can easily hack this alteration by just cutting a bigger size right there at the back crotch (this picture from Sunni’s Trouser Sewalong shows where to add length – right in that blue circle).

clover close-up
Here’s a pair of Clovers where I fixed the length issue, but now there’s some weird puffiness around, well, my crotch. Isn’t that flattering! You guys, this particular fit issue took me a LONG time to figure out because it seemed so weird – but it’s really not. Basically, my crotch requires a different shaped crotch curve than what is drafted for most patterns. I’m a J shape, and the majority of patterns I sew are an L shape. This is a stupid easy adjustment – you literally just redraw the curve, and once you’ve done it on one pattern, you can trace that curve to every pattern thereafter. For the first pattern, you’ll have to eyeball it (or find a pair of pants that fits and copy that crotch curve) and adjust until you get it right, which might take a couple tries. Once I figured that out – what it looked like, how to fix it – that really opened the floodgates of trouser making for me. Also, you should read this post on the Fashion Incubator.

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers
Here is my front pattern piece with the adjusted crotch shape – I’ve already redrawn and cut my piece out, but I put it back on the table so you could see the difference in the curves. For whatever reason, I don’t need quite as aggressive a crotch curve when I’m making pants that have a front fly – it’s just trousers with a smooth front (especially if it’s sewn in a stretch woven).

You can also see where I tucked out the length horizontally. I didn’t take a photo of the back piece, but I sliced that length to hinge, and the side front has the same removal of length with it tapering to nothing at the center back/crotch, if that makes sense.

So yep, those are my pants adjustments! I know they might seem confusing, and to be honest – I learned all this when I was going through my Clover saga a few years ago (never got those pants to fit right, but I sure learned a lot in the process!). It was a LOT of trial and error, but hopefully my notes will help a least a few people go through less trial and error :) As you can see, there aren’t a whole lot of adjustments needed to get a good fit on pants – but they all work together, and each one affects the other (and they are all adjustments that need to be made BEFORE cutting your fabric, which is why a muslin is SO essential when making pants!). For more fitting help, I strongly recommend investing in a copy of Pants for Real People, which is basically a pants-fitting Bible. So much good information in there, I use that book often!

Ok, now that THAT’S out of the way – let’s go back to talking about this pattern, and the style adjustments I made!

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers
Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

This pattern is designed to be worn cropped (or as shorts), with a faced waistline. I have learned that I really don’t care for faced waistlines, so I decided to add a waistband to my pants. I didn’t draft a waistband – I just used the facing pieces and flipped them to the top as waistband pieces (and cut two, so I could face the waistband, as you do). I think, for me, these are a little more wearable with a proper waistband. For interfacing, I used tricot fusible, which I looove because it stabilizes the fabric but doesn’t compromise the stretch of the fabric (which is what makes the darn pants so comfy to begin with!).

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

I also kept the length on the longer side, which means I can wear them full-length in the winter (with cool socks!) or fold them up to make them cropped. This length is straight out of the pattern, by the way – I didn’t shorten anything, and I’m 5’2″. Just fyi!

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

The one major design change I made to this pattern was to sew it in a stretch woven, as opposed to the firm woven (non-stretch) that the pattern calls for. For one, my muslin was a firm woven and I plain just didn’t like the way they felt! They were too restrictive! I like wearing stretch woven pants, ok. Also, it’s hard to find a good pants-weight print that isn’t a stretch woven, so there’s that. I think these are fine in the stretch fabric, although I should probably go back and size them down a little because I think the legs look kind of loose. I was trying to avoid the stovepipe legs look, just to try something different, but I think these do need a little less ease. These are a size 8, by the way!

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

So that’s it! Thanks Lisa (and the Sew Over It team!) for letting me test this pattern, and being so patient with me taking months to make a finished wearable garment :) Londoners, if you’re still afraid to tackle the trousers, there is a whole class for making these (with tea and cakes, omg I wish I was in London) if you still wanna try them!

Those of y’all scared to try trousers – what are your thoughts? Do you think the process looks any easier? Are you going to throw caution to the wind and try anyway? Y’all – pants are fun!

* Oh yeah, and I cut my hair! I hope you like it! Well, I guess it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it – it’s not like I can stick it back on my head lololol

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75 Responses to “Completed: Ultimate Trousers”

  1. Noelle August 14, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Awesome pants! Pants fitting is such scary territory, so thanks for sharing how you fixed your issues.
    Your last line gave me a good giggle :)

  2. Helen // Grosgrain Green August 14, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    Love these! I have never sewn trousers but I really want to give them a go, and this seams like the right pattern for it. Thanks for the fitting info. Hopefully one day it will actually make sense!! And LOVE your hair! It looks so cute short.

  3. helen August 14, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    For some reason I avoid trousers but want to sew some for this autumn / winter. Thanks for the fitting tips and the book suggestion. I love polka dots – not sure If I would be brave enough for trousers!

  4. lisa g August 14, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    these are so cute! basically i have a huge weakness for polka dots… but who doesn’t? i’ve made lots of pants/shorts but haven’t ventured much past the thurlow. since those fit great, i’m pretty content to change leg shape and pocket details when i want a different look. anyways, i saw somewhere to take some foil and roll it up, then press it around your body to get the exact shape of your crotch curve. haven’t tried it out myself, but doing that may help identify whether someone is an “L” or a “J” pretty quickly!

    • Inclement August 14, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      I think there’s even a thing that’s sold called a flexible curve or ruler, which at least sounds like it might help with crotch fitting?

      Love both your hair and the polka dots!

    • Danica August 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      Nice idea with the foil.

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Ahh that’s such a good idea! Kind of want to try it right now hahahaha!

  5. Aubrey August 14, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    LOVE! And I can’t wait to take your knits class this fall so I can get back into sewing. xoxo

  6. laurajane August 14, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    Great information! Thanks for sharing. I love these pants!

  7. Kate August 14, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    I really like your hair. Did you take photos same day you got the cut? It looks like you got a blow wave or something? Is that the right word? Blow dry?

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      I actually took these about a week after my cut – which means I’d washed/dried it at home by that point (although, yes, I always opt for the blowout at the salon. Because, come on! It always looks a million times better when my stylist does it haha). My hair looks giant and awesome thanks to pin curls – it’s an overnight dry set, and it gives me a nice body wave :) Hope that helps!

  8. lakaribane August 14, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    I love polka dots sooo much. I want some trousers like yours, seriously! I do have a pair in window pane plaid on the brain. *Moves it up the To Sew List*

    I think I figured out my pants alterations and they are similar to yours. I used a Burda pattern and did a toile in a non-stretch woven. I used Burda because my waist-to-hips length is EXACTLY that of Burda Petite vs Big 4 where I have 5cm (2in) of difference.

    I also did the foil thing Lisag mentions and it was eye-opening. I took out 1,5cm at the hook of my back crotch, tapering in both direction. Then I cut wider seam allowances at the side seams because, and I had not read this ONCE over at PR on the related threads, you have to put back in the *width* you take out when you do the crotch scoop.

    I was very happy with my pants toile. Did one for some Burda Bermuda shorts and similarly happy. Now, I feel I need to take a little bit out of the front length, maybe 0,7 cm (1/4in) and maybe remove as much from the back crotch for things to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

    So, I made up the pants…and forgot to reinforce the back seams *facepalm*. Split my pants. That’s the only reason (besides my total absence from the blogosphere this past schoolyear) I didn’t review the finished garment or blog about it. And now it is really TOO HOT for pants here. So, I agree, well-fitting trousers are possible but they need work and practice!

  9. scruffybadger August 14, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Wow you’ve got a polka dot pair!! Want big time!! Funnily enough I posted about my ultimates today also. I do love how you describe your standard trouser ( ooops sorry pants) adjustments. Makes perfect sense and altho I make the j shape adjustment generally I found it was ok shaping for these ultimates. Totally need to make a polka for pair now and wear with red shoes….

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Haha yess, I saw yours too! Ultimate day and all! :D I’ll be honest – I didn’t even try the as-drafted crotch, I went ahead and J’d it up and tested my muslin. I make that adjustment for everyyyy other pair, I figured I’d save myself the trouble. But that’s good to know that it worked for you! And yes, do make yourself a pair so we can match ;)

  10. thetelltaletasha August 14, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Thank you so much for the detail on your pants fitting process. I am going through the process of trying to figure out a crotch length that is standard for me.

  11. beklet August 14, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    I can’t see the pics because I’m at work and…prehistoric browser… however trousers are a nightmare for me – I tried making them from a commercial pattern but..l shaped crotch – huh? I learned that the wedge is the thing that makes trousers moveable in…I did make my own trouser block, and just made one for the OH, as he had similar complaints to me, and once it’s done, it’s so easy to make different style of trousers..I don’t think I will ever make them from a commercial pattern again…

  12. Nilla August 14, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Great pants! Thanks for the book tip, I’ll need to look into that. And I had never heard about the crotch-foil-thingy, will have to try that too :D What’s your experience with satin pants, do they usually stretch out during the day? I complained once at my local fabric store that my satin pants stretched out terribly after like half an hour, and they were surprised to hear that. Did I just have really bad luck…?

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      Sounds like your sateen doesn’t have any stretch recovery! Make sure you get something with lycra and polyester in the blend, that will help the fabric keep it’s shape so it doesn’t stretch out over the course of the day :) A heavier weight helps, too!

  13. LinB August 14, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    Yay for polka dot pants! Or, indeed, polka dot anything.

    You are absolutely correct that not every pants pattern is drafted for every body type! Once you’ve found (or self-drafted) a pants pattern that works for you, hang on to that sucker. You can use it as a TNT to make nearly any pant you’ll ever want, for the rest of your life. I find that I have a Burda body — I need to make fewer adjustments to Burda patterns than to any other commercial pattern, to make garments that fit me well. Some people slide right into patterns from other companies. You’ll have to sleep around with a lot of patterns before you find the right match. Then you should marry it, hahaha. And have its babies, which are all the marvelous things you’ll make to wear.

    I add a simple, rectangular waistband to almost every pair of pants or skirt I make. 1. I find a waistband helps to anchor the garment on my body, so that I do not walk out of my trews as I amble down the street. 2. I grew up with waistbands, at my natural waist, and it just feels better to wear them. 3. Shut up. It’s my garment, it’s my design decision, I am not forcing you to copy my actions.

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      Sleeping around and having pattern babies – ha! I love that!!

  14. Katharina August 14, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Hey Lauren! Thanks for sharing your notes. I figured most of that stuff out by myself. I sewed three trousers and the last one was … alright.. But it had that puffiness around my croth and up until now I couldn’t figure out why! I already thought that I was the only one with that problem and that this might be normal! So thank you a lot, you really helped me :)

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      The puffiness is MADDENING if you don’t know how to fix it (I certainly didn’t for the longest time)! So yes, I’m happy to hear that I helped you! Yay!

  15. Anonymous August 14, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    Love the new bob!! It really suits you

  16. Evie August 14, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    These pants are super adorbs and your hair looks really cute as well! You are also f-ing hilarious and reading your posts always makes my mornings more entertaining, so thanks for that.

  17. Kelly August 14, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Oh, pants. I want to make them so bad and I think I’m pretty close to figuring them out, but I’m just not there. I’m ruining so much (cheap) fabric! It doesn’t help that I feel super frumpy in a bootcut, but I’m pretty pear shaped and look kind of terrible in anything else. I know the solution is just to wear dresses all the time, but I can’t! I want pants! Anyway, your pants look great :)

  18. jules August 14, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Lauren,

    Cute pants and cuuuute hair. The last trousers pattern I tried Cynthia Rowley/simplicity 1371 in a stretch woven flowered sateen. They came out so huge that I tossed them in the corner as a fail but then gave in to my daughter’s suggestion to turn into a pencil skirt. They/It look kind of good that way and at least I can wear the damn thing a couple of times. Can’t seem to get the fit right though on any pants I’ve tried. I’ll look up your book suggestion and have another go soon so thanks for that. It seems like all the pants patterns are made for people with hips, which I lack. Have fun in NY.

  19. Chris August 14, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Thanks for all the fitting info! The “puffy crotch” adjustment is exactly what I need, too, and I have never seen it explained as clearly as you do here. Great result on those polka dots pants too!

  20. zilredloh August 14, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Your hair just keeps getting better and better, Lauren! :D

    SO pants… Yours are just plain amazing. Mine… well I keep getting weird butt/tight thighs in mine. I actually (& unfortunately) gained a few lbs BUT the great thing is now my pants fit. heh I always thought they were not generous enough in places – but now I found that it was quite the opposite. It taught me that I should have sized down before. Thanks for showing your alterations, really helps seeing how people go about fit issues.

  21. Shae' August 14, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    I love those pants…they are scary for me but I do try…have done a pair of jeans from the Angela Wolf pattern/craftsy class, and boy did I learn a lot about my shape…for one my waistband had to be really curved in back to fit and eliminate my pants coming down! I also LOVE the haircut! Noticed it first thing!

  22. Inclement August 14, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    Another question – did you make any alterations to the rise? The drawing on the pattern envelope looks like they sit at the natural waist, but on you they look lower than that.

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

      They are slightly lower on me due to having to pinch out some of the rise (for my short crotch), and they sit right at my navel. I think that’s where they are supposed to sit? Actually I’m not sure haha, I just went with what looked best on me :P

  23. devon August 14, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    major polka dot envy! and all this crotch talk makes me really want to dig out my clover pattern!

  24. Kelly August 14, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Thanks for all the really helpful tips – I haven’t dared try making trousers (having read your blog post I really want to say pants, but it sounds so wrong!) yet, but I have the Thurlow pattern lined up ready to go for when I am ready to tackle them…will also be referring back to your posts on those!

  25. mommylap August 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    When I made my pants sloper in school, the back crotch is a backwards L and the front was practically a C shaped curve. So weird. I love your haircut! I’m plotting to chop into a short bob myself, once my gray streak is a few inches longer. It’s going to be my version of a big chop…

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      Crotches are SO weird, aren’t they? Yay for a big chop, and super jealous of your grey streak!

  26. Catherine from Canada August 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    My problem isn’t puffy crotch (in the front) it’s saggy ass in the back.
    I eventually figured out that I had too much width in the leg immediately below the crotch. Is that right?
    I tried fixing it by “curving” the inseam line to a narrower width from the crotch point (so that the rear trouser piece almost looks like the inside of curved bit of a B) (if that makes sense). Did I not narrow it enough?
    Also, lovely stretch cotton sateen by the end of the day makes for saggy ass anyway. Boo.

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      I believe that’s how you fix it. I actually just slice right up the pattern and overlap the amount that needs to come out (similar to shortening the crotch, except it’s vertical) and eliminate back darts. That’s what we did for my trouser class this past week and it worked swimmingly :) And hey, if you try a sateen with a bit of poly in it, that usually helps keep the saggy ass to a minimum :)

  27. Rebecca August 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    I have yet to make pants, other than very loose pajama pants, but I’ll give it a try soon! I’m mentally prepared to have some fit issues on the first few projects, but it’s encouraging to see that others do too, and to get some tips for fixing it. Thank you for the informative post!

  28. neoknits August 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Cute pants! I think I have had pants anxiety since I decided that it would be a good idea to do pants for my final garment at FIT. I totally chose the wrong fabric and those pants almost ruined me! Fast forward and I was actually talking about making some jeans this morning. I think I can do this! Also, cute hair!

  29. Rachel August 14, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    I love your trousers, the polka dot fabric works so well! As the weather is turning I am seriously tempted to make my first pair of trousers. I always struggle finding RTW which fits over my hips without gaping at the back so a handmade pair seems like the perfect solution. I am going to have to get myself a copy of Pants For Real People and go for it!

  30. ThreadTime August 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Good post! and thanks for the links for alteration tips. Very helpful.
    Love the fit you achieved on these pants. See what you mean about the fit in the legs, but for me these would be perfect as is (you know… if I had your waist, etc :-))

  31. Tasha @ By Gum, By Golly August 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Okay my pants are totally jealous of your pants. Wait I need to rephrase that. WAH I WANT YOUR POLKA DOT PANTS!!! It was actually the cover photos for the Ultimate Trousers that made me re-think my own red pants and got me finishing them…! I want navy polka dot pants so desperately, but can’t find any fabric. (Tiny violins…) Love yours times 1,000!!! Not to mention they’re totally adorable on you, because they are. I’m enjoying my non-stretch-woven ones but I’ve been wearing them all day at work and I definitely think some stretch would be more comfy. Food for thought for future versions for sure!

    • LinB August 15, 2014 at 7:31 am #

      Tiny violins print would be awesome pattern for your pants, as well. Work on finding some.

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Call Mood and talk to George! He always finds my polka dot fabric for me. You can even tell him I sent ya :) haha!

  32. beaglescout524 August 14, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    This is one of those posts that I will vaugely remember, then frantically search for when I’m in the land of nothing-is-fitting-correctly-what-is-wrong-with-my-body-when-did-I-get-so-fat. This land has no sunshine. It is lit entirely by those horrible department store fluorescents that make me look green.

    Love the short hair, btw.

  33. Nicole August 14, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Pants are the most difficult thing to shop for and what I’m most terrified of tackling sewing-wise. You ROCK the pants sewing tho, I’m always so inspired! Oh, and love me some polka dots. ;-)

  34. kaloskraft August 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Oh man these are cute! I have trousers on my list of things to make soon…and I have my eye on the Clover pattern. The Ultimate Trousers look so cute on you though I am tempted to give those a try. I have no idea what shape my crotch is but I’m glad of the troubleshooting info if I ever get around to sewing a pair. I so want a pair of beautifully fitting pants, but I am lazy…

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Between the two, I preferred the Ultimate Trousers, but that’s mostly because the Clover did not fit my body shape AT ALL ha! I’ve seen some successful Clovers on other ladies, so there’s that :)

  35. Deborah August 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Years ago I used an item named the PantsFormer ruler to get that crotch curve right. The pants fit well (made in wool flannel). Never made another pair, though. It was a lot of work! Have seen the PantsFormer items on ebay and etsy. I still have mine. They were available in the mid-1970s.

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      Oh my god I want one of those. Looks awesome!

  36. Annabelle August 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    I am in that camp of “afraid to sew pants”. I need to get out of that camp. I think it’s because I don’t have any RTW pants that I love, so I assume that if I can’t find them RTW, then I won’t be able to make them – but that is so the wrong attitude.

    Love the new haircut on you. I think it work well with the color too, I’m not sure how the length can make a difference with the color, but it does!

    • LLADYBIRD August 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      Thank you! I think the length works better with the color, too – maybe because there’s less of it? That, and we cut a lot of damage off. It didn’t *look* damaged (as in, didn’t look fried or anything), but there was a lot of obvious fading at the ends.

  37. Katie Lynn August 14, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    I am super picky about pants, especially jeans, but over the years I can spot a pair that will fit from a mile away. Trousers usually fit me really well, so I’ve never had a yen to sew any, either. It’s skirts that fit my large waist-no butt that I have a problem with. And dresses to fit my large chest (if it fits in the chest it’s too big everywhere else, and vice versa)

    I absolutely love your hair cut! I have been growing mine out for about three years and it is wearing on me as of late. I think I need to do something fun with it soon before I wake up one day and try to chop all of it off! I think I may have come to the longest I can stand it, so it may lose a few inches next time I got in for a trim.

  38. Cathy August 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    One of these days I will tackle pants again! Thanks for making it look so easy! Love the length of your hair!

  39. Catherine August 14, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Oh My!! Another whole new world opening up to me!!! I’m heading to Mood Fabrics in LA in two weeks for a class, I just might have to get some cotton sateen. Love your polka dot pants!!! Thanks for sharing. And yes, the hair looks just dandy!

  40. mahlicadesigns August 15, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    I’m testing the waters by making a pair of shorts as we speak in a navy cotton stretch sateen. Fingers crossed that I’ll have a wearable muslin.

  41. Lisette August 15, 2014 at 5:42 am #

    Now I’m really bummed I can’t take your class! Clearly I need to run out and get that book because I still have yet to make a pair of pants. I never knew there were so many techniques for fitting them and that they had names (plus I’m usually fitting 1700s knickers on people, which is pretty straightforward, it is rare you get pants in theatre!) because the books I have don’t go in depth about it. Thanks for the really informative post! And of course, the pants and haircut are SUPER cute!

  42. missjoiedevivre August 15, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    The trousers are amazing, but your hair is DIVINE.

  43. sewbeckyjo August 15, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    You know what the world needs (meaning I need it so the world must too…)?!?! L’s Top 10 (5?) Trouser Pattern List. Yes. #1 – Furlough? #2…etc. We need this. Puleeze.

    I had (have) the exact EXACT same issues with the Clover. 4 muslins later, #5 was actual pants and they’re still not just right. took out crotch fabric, add butt fabric…it’s a shame too when I got that invisible zipper in perfectly on a Kaufman stretch twill that is like butter…I *still* have crotch baggies and a seam sneaking up my rear. Gonna throw in the towel on that one.

  44. weefrills August 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Cute hair cut!

  45. JamieLMac August 15, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Absolutely love the shorter hair!!! The pants are great too. I bought a pattern to make pants but have yet to even look at the pattern. I hear so many horror stories (just like yours) about fitting the crotch. It puts me off a bit.

  46. clemensnp August 17, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    Love ‘em! I’m all inspired to make polka dot trousers ASAP! Catherine x

  47. Trice August 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Polka dots trousers for the win. YES!!!
    I love your hair btw, LOVE!!

  48. Kilkenny Cat August 18, 2014 at 8:09 am #

    Your hair looks great. Kind of retro sixties. Google Dawn O’Porter This Old Thing to see what I mean. More London stuff. They are great trousers. Everything looks better with polka dots.

  49. Rachel August 19, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    The hair is excellent!

    I had to make those exact same adjustments on the one pair of pants I’ve made (40’s style loose trousers), so I’m going to stalk your Clovers posts when I get around to making some of my own. FYI. :)

  50. Kim August 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Very cute! And thanks for all the fitting tips, I’m going to like this post and then check it out again when I get back in November. Been having some fit issues with my Maritime shorts, first pair is creeping upward, made some changes, now I have excess fabric around my crotch :( luckily its a busy pattern so you don’t see it, but I’d love to fix it properly..

  51. sewcookgardenrepeat August 31, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Although I don’t plan on making them right now (my to-sew list needs dealing with first), they definitely seem easier than before. But those polka dot pants are super cute! (Also: LOVE your hair!) I know there is such a thing as a full bust adjustment, do you think making room in the bum is a full booty adjustment? (I know, I’m hi-LAR-ious)

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Oh yeah, full butt adjustment is totally a thing! the Coletterie has instructions on this (from during their Clover sewalong), but honestly, I just extend the back crotch and that’s always worked fine for me. Either one :D

  52. HennaMackoin September 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Ooh nice trousers! :D I am a artisan so I have had to learn how to make pants and I too can’t understand why people are so scared of sewing trousers. Well, even I have to admit that trousers are kind of tricky to sew compared to skirt when you need to make some special adjustements to the crotch pretty often but otherwise it’s just like sewing any other clothing :D I found your blog and fell in love with your writing style and pictures, I will look forward what I can see here!

  53. Mercedes R. Donis October 8, 2014 at 3:10 am #

    I’m very new but reading as much as I can before I begin my first pants project. Could you elaborate on what you did to the back of the pattern? I don’t understand “slice the length to hinge”? here are a few more questions:
    1) say you need to shorten crotch. Ok, done. You shorten front and back, but in the fashion incubator post, the front piece ends up looking shorter/lower than the back.
    2) say you also have a swayback. A fashionable stitch shows making a lower waistband in the back but not the front.

    So, if you need both of these adjustments, does your waistband kind of look scallop-y? with a dip in front and in back?

    This is for a pair of hypothetical pants of course. I’m too scared to just jump in!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      By “hinge,” I mean I sliced across the cut line of the front crotch, leaving a little piece of paper at the side seam so that it hinges – so when I overlap my shortening adjustment at the center front of the crotch, it tapers to nothing at the side seam. I did not shorten the back crotch at all. You may need a different adjustment, based on your body on the pattern you are sewing; this is just what works for me :)

      If you have to shorten both the front and the back of the pants to get them to fit correctly, I’d assume that you would redraw and blend the top of the side seams so you don’t get that scallop effect, if that makes sense :) I’ve never had to shorten both front and back, so I’m just assuming based on what experience I do have, but that would definitely warrant a muslin to see what the end effect looks like and determine how to fix it :)

      Hope this makes sense!

      • Mercedes R. Donis October 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

        Thanks! I know I should just do it. i’m thinking of either these Ultimates, or the Butterick B5895 after seeing Rochelle’s post about them on Lucky Lucille. And let the fitting fun begin!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Daydreaming about autumn sewing and knitting | By Gum, By Golly - September 11, 2014

    […] not obsessed with finding a stretch polka dot bottom weight so I can be twinsies with Lauren (one, two, gah!) but that would be a lie. In fact, these Sew Over It photos of their Ultimate Trousers […]

  2. Sweaters & Skinnies for Fall! | LLADYBIRD - September 24, 2014

    […] assembled (for those of you who are all, “Wtf is this J crotch you keep talking about?” Here’s the post where I talk about my pants adjustments, including J crotches. Also, in case you were wondering- those crotch rulers *do* work. I found one […]

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