Monday, 15 April 2013

Sewlution Juniper trousers


I did it, I did it!! I completed my Sewlution for 2013 - to make a pair of trousers with a zip fly. Hoorah. I rule.

Ahh the relief!

I used the Colette Juniper pattern and even though they didn't actually take that long to make, the pattern instructions for the fly front had me completely flummoxed. How on earth they managed it on last week's Great British Sewing Bee with a rubbishy set of instructions I do not know!! The insertion of a fly front is a relatively quick and simple job, it's just getting your head around how it all fits together that's the difficult part (well it is for me anyway). Luckily, there's a photo tutorial on the Coletterie website which is a godsend if, like me, you need to see things visually in order for them to click in your head. There wasn't anything else tricky about the construction and the only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the leg length by three inches. 


I made a size 8, which initially seemed a bit on the tight side, until I realised that they're actually supposed to be extremely fitted around the waist and hips. My big worry was that they might be too wide in the leg, but on comparing them to my Simplicity 3688 1940's trousers and my sailor trousers, they're actually narrower in the leg than both pairs. Would you credit it?!


Very fitted around the derriere 


I think it's the design that made me think they're about fifty inches wide - the legs drop straight down vertically to the floor from a very fitted waist and hip. In the end I didn't narrow the leg width, having decided that they might look a bit odd if I tried to taper them in.

Side view

Fabric-wise, I used a lovely red gabardine from Calico Laine which was a delight to work with - hardly any fraying at all. As I'm short I only needed two metres, so at £5.99 a metre it was a cheapish make. I used scraps of leftover Lauren Childs Liberty fabric for the pockets which was last seen on my second Violet blouse. This worked well as Liberty Tana Lawn is a perfect weight for pocket lining. 


One final change I made was to add two buttons to the waistband instead of sewing on hooks and eyes. It may seem like madness to some of you, but it was actually a lot quicker and more beneficial to my mental health to make two buttonholes and sew on the buttons than it would have been to sew on some evil hooks and eyes (uurrgh). I like the way they look too - I think they add a bit of a nautical touch.  


Oh yes I nearly forgot - look at the interfacing on my waistband pieces... 


"What interfacing', I hear you cry, "I can't see any." Well that's because it's RED!! Yes, red interfacing from Walthamstow market - how cool is that?!

I'm pleased I've finally made these trousers and I'm ecstatic to have ticked off my Sewlution at the same time (there's nothing like somebody putting your name in a jar to make you stick to a task!) 




On reflection, I think they're quite a difficult shape of trouser to wear, which is probably why there aren't that many versions out there. They kind of remind me of Oxford Bags - I feel like I should be doing backflips down at the Wigan Casino when I wear them. So they may take a bit of getting used to...

Oxford bags in action

Also, because the waist is so fitted, you can't really tuck a top into them or you end up with an unsightly bulge. They look good with navy though, which is always a crowd pleaser in my book. Happy Monday. x

97 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Jane, they are too perfect for words! The colour is gorgeous and I love the Lauren Child lining. they fit beautifully. Yay, I can just imagine how triumphant you feel. ;-)

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  2. Congrats on such a fabulous make and achieving your sewution. x

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  3. You got an awesome fit on these! That is definitely the hardest part of making trousers imho. The fact that they are fitted on your waist and hips is what makes them so flattering, otherwise, with wide legs you'd just disappear in a big baggy crumple of fabric.
    Thanks for the link to the fly front picture guide. I used Sandra Betzina's fly front video on Threads to get started with fly fronts, and I found it completely de-mystified the whole process. Here is the link, should you ever need it.
    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3831/video-an-easy-flat-fly-front-zipper

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    1. I agree, without the fitted waist and hips I would definitely disappear in a baggy crumple of fabric! Thanks for the fly front link, I need all the help I can get! x

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  4. Wow! These are great and suit you perfectly. Your timing is spot on too, I hope to make a pair of trousers for MMM and you have a nice little reference library for me to nose at now! x

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    1. Yay, go for it! The 1940's style ones are really easy to sew, good luck! x

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  5. Like! Will consider this pattern after your glorious make. They look a bit low waisted, how do they fit when sitting? Do they "gape" at the back?

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    1. They are a bit low waisted for my liking, if I'd made a muslin beforehand I'd have made the waist higher. They're ok to sit down in, the fitted waist stops them gaping! x

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    2. ah, there you go, thanks a bunch!

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  6. Wow Jane - they are absolutely sensational! They certainly don't look too big in the leg. Definitely vintage looking and I love the buttons at the waist!

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  7. Wow I am so impressed... and jealous!! How on earth do you get a pair of pants to fit without spending a million hours faffing around with the fit??

    I understand how you feel about wearing a silhouette that's a bit different to what you're used to, but from an outside perspective I can tell you that the style looks fantastic on you. Especially with the little nod to nautical :)

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    1. Aw thanks so much. The fit was pure fluke, I'm just v v lucky with Colette patterns, they seem to fit me straight out of the packet, which is a bit of a miracle, especially with trousers (although I haven't tried the Clover trousers yet...!) I did decrease the seam allowance a tiny bit around the back crotch, but that's it, totally jammy! x

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  8. Yay, well done! :) They look fantastic, and I LOVE them with that top!

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  9. What a lovely pair of pants. The fit is very flattering on you, maybe precisely because it is so fitted around the hips before flaring out. It took me about 5 pairs of pants before I could make a decent fly and a waistband that was actually level over the fly, so well done.

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  10. Jane, they look totally fab, hun!
    Just downloaded this pattern last week so will definitely need to put my arse into gear and get them done.
    ps. thrifty stitcher, who's also the technical advisor on GBSB has a great video on the fly inserstion here

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    1. Thanks Alana, that's a great link. x

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  11. Wow love those trousers great colour and the pocket detailing is beautiful. I love the uniqueness of making your own clothes.
    Really lovely :)

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  12. I actually loves these on you Jane, they are very flattering! And well done on achieving your Sewlution so fast...really need to get cracking with mine ;o)

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  13. Oh wow - I love these trousers. I've already pinned them on to pinterest and whilst I may have to wait a while before attempting them, they look fabulous. Great post.

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  14. They look fantastic on you Jane, I love the white buttons - agree it gives a fantastic nautical touch. These trousers would also look great with a white top in summer (perhaps a modification of the pussy bow blouse you made?), some raffia wedges and a raffia bag. A victory roll would be the icing on the cake :-).

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    1. Oh wow, the outfit you've just described sounds perfect! Will you be my stylist?! x

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  15. I love em; I just love em!...You did an awesome job...I have been wanting to try my hand at a pair of trousers too but I'm still on a bit on the scared side LOL...thanks for sharing! :)

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  16. They look great - I simply love the way you've styled them with the buttons and that shirt and your red lipstick - fab outfit :) And I admire your resolution of sewing a fly front. That's on my list of 'scary but I must do it' too!

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  17. Oh wow, they are perfect! I think they look gorgeous on you, and I love the fact you did them in RED! and added the buttons. They're wonderful :)

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    1. Thanks Katy, any excuse for red! x

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  18. Amazing! I love them, and they look wonderful on you!

    I've been imagining a pair similar, that sits high on the waist, but being fat I have an awkward stomach to fight against, so I might just live vicariously through your trousers!

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  19. Wow! These are brilliant on you - well done for such a fab fit. Very flattering on your bottom if you don't mind me saying!

    I like your hair like that, as well. The side parting suits you.

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    1. No, I don't mind at all! Thank you for liking my hair! I'm trying to grow my fringe out and it's driving me mad so it's appreciated! x

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  20. What lovely trousers - and well done on getting the fly done so well - neve easy the first one. Love the fit as well.

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  21. Gorgeous trousers, great fit and how about that red Interfacing !!! Love it.

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  22. Wow, I am so impressed! I have also decided that this is the year I am going to attempt trousers with a fly! I'm not sure how, but I didn't even know about this pattern, so thanks for sharing with us. They look great on you and I love the colour!

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  23. Wow, I am so impressed! I have also decided that this is the year I am going to attempt trousers with a fly! I'm not sure how, but I didn't even know about this pattern, so thanks for sharing with us. They look great on you and I love the colour!

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  24. These pants look amazing! The fly looks super neat, and that has to be one of the best bottoms I have seen in self-made trousers. Well done!

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    1. Aw thanks Julia, what a fabulous accolade! x

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  25. Jane they're fabulous (and red too) and well done on ticking off your sewlution.

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  26. Totally with you on the hooks and eyes!
    And red interfacing? RED interfacing?! Awesome find...
    You've made some really nice trousers... And not even half way through the year to complete your sewlution- what's next for you?

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    1. Thanks so much Tania. Next on my list is something really simple, maybe a T shirt?! x

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  27. Those pants look amazing! Very nice job. :)

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  28. Wow, great job! I just love your pocket lining. I agree, the trousers look really good with navy. Awesome job meeting completing your 2013 Sewlution before the year is even half gone.

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  29. lovely! thanks for mentioning that they are so fitted - i might revisit my muslin in that case. i cut my normal size and felt like it was far too small for the style, but perhaps it could be saved?

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  30. They look great...I freaken hate hooks and eyes. Arghhh

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  31. Jane your red trousers are a triumph! And v. spookily-lucky on the colour-matched interfacing front too (it's like the sewing-stars were in alignment or somefink ;) !)

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    1. Thank YOU Claire for alerting me to the wondrous red interfacing in the first place! x

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  32. You DO rule! I love the fabric you chose for the pocket bags.

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  33. They are TERRIFIC! And the fit is beautiful. Not many could get away with red trousers but you make them look like every day wear :-)

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  34. Lovely work, Jane. If I were a trouser-wearer these would be my preferred style. And the buttons look so good, I can't imagine the trousers without them.

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    1. Thanks Roisin! No I can't imagine the strides without the buttons either, and they were such a last minute addition too! x

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  35. Wow, I LOVE these trousers. Will have to make some myself as they are perfectly how I like my trousers.

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  36. Oh, they look great! I'm always so intimidated to put in fly zippers, even though I keep telling myself that I've done it before, it wasn't that bad, and it turned out surprisingly well. This style is difficult to wear, but the pants suit you very well!

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  37. Ooh lovely! What a great fit they are too. I'm with you on needing visual instructions, I just can't get my head around only written instructions.

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  38. They look amazing! I'm still baffled at fly fronts and which way they should lie after the sewing bee...

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  39. Congratulations! The Keeper of the Jar is very impressed, Jane. She likes your ability to anticipate deadlines. Now, Karen says - Holy Moly, Jane! How did you find red interfacing on Walthamstow market, and how come I've never seen it? I HATE when other people score great stuff on my pad. Why do I never spot these things? The trousers are great. Well done! I am scared of trousers.

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    1. You don't mess with the law of the jar Karen. No way! Ah yes, my red interfacing (she said smugly), I have to admit it was Claire (Seemane) who alerted me to it. I'm sure she got some in pink too! I could show you the shop but have no idea what the name is I'm afraid. Soz matey. x

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  40. You are so right that you rule! These are fantastic!! The fit looks great and I think the buttons really set them off. I have done exactly one fly zip, and blindly followed the instructions so really don't know what I was doing, so I must have a look at the Colette fly zip tutorial to see if I can work out what I did. I am in total awe of the folks on The Sewing Bee. And who knew interfacing came in any other colour than white!

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  41. You totally RULE! Three cheers for Jane! Hip! Hip! Hip! :-D I am slowly building the courage to try a pair of proper pants. I have plans to start with a pair of shorts. Thanks to you and your fantastic success, I might actually try it.

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    1. Aw that's great to hear - go for it! x

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  42. I love your whole outfit, you look like the epitome of Spring - I'm holding you personally responsible for the improvement in the weather :)

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  43. I'm having red pants envy! They look great!

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  44. Oh they are awesome! Red trousers really suit you, I want some!!!

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  45. They look great - the whole outfit, even. Can't go wrong with a nice pair of red pants ;)

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  46. Wow, I love these. They fit beautifully. I have this pattern in my 20:20 challenge but I'm a little worried about the fly though!

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  47. Confession: when I saw the title of this blog in the reader, I thought it said Jumper Trousers. My mind went off on a bender about trousers made from upcycled jersey sleeves, perhaps for a toddler?
    Nothing could be further from their red super yumminess. I adore this style of trouser and I think it really suits you. And what a superb fit too!

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    1. Ha ha that made me really laugh! I'm sure if you searched long enough, somebody somewhere will have made a pair of 'jumper trousers'! Thanks Mrs C x

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  48. Wow! These are fantastic and well done on finishing your sewlution so early in the year. Now you can relax and wait for everyone else to catch up!

    And like you, I also prefer photos!

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  49. They look lovely on you!!I love the colour and the style. I always think that a fly zip isn't too bad, it's the getting your head round the instructions that's worse.

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  50. What an amazing fit Jane and such a popping red!! That must be the best shade of red ...ever! They do look awesome on you and whilst I am sure you might feel like they are big n baggy, I am coming to the conclusion that the view from the outside world is based on chic lines and how the fabric hangs as opposed to 'all that air' you feel inside your trouser legs!! Well done on achieving your sewing challenge so early in the year!!

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  51. Amazing! I love wide leg trousers and these look fantastic on you. Good job on finishing your sewlution so early in the year. I really want to make a red pair of sailor pants. Maybe I'll just make shorts though. I'd get more wear out of shorts with the weather here on the Gold Coast.

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  52. They look smashing and I am so glad you made them in RED!

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  53. Oh my gosh they look soo great! And I love the color. Brightly colored trousers for the win!

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  54. They are so stinkin' cute!! I love how you did the buttons instead of the hook and eye. I made these trousers too but they were just so wide on me. I had intentions of trying to narrow the legs but like you I was afraid it would leave them looking just weird.

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  55. I think these are so cute - I love the nautical look you achieved. The fit looks great, too!

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  56. I am impressed with your work. I love it.

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  57. Nice topstitching and a fantastic fit! They look great on you...you should make more!

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  58. They look fabulous! Well done on completing your sewlution! x

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  59. They look really great - very professional!

    -Amy (www.thatssewamy.com)

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  60. Well would you look at that bottom - what a great fit! ;)
    Those are amazing. And as so many people have said - the buttons make them "so Jane"!
    I wish I felt happy in red. It scares me. I still haven't worn my red suspender skirt :(

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    1. Thanks Ruth! It's funny how different colours are so wearable for some people and not for others - I have to physically hold myself back from sewing everything I make in red! x

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  61. That are just SUPER on you!! And I love the red! You can totally go for that nautical feel when you want, or dress them another way too. Look at how great your rear end looks in them! (Um, not that I'm staring at your rear end.) And I love the little pop in your pocket linings, that's absolutely darling!

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  62. Congrats on your spectacular sewlution!! I just love the colour too!

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  63. I think they turned out quite nice. Wide-leg trousers can be difficult to wear, but I have a pair I wear all the time (mostly because they are as comfortable as sweatpants.

    I also love the buttons you've added!

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  64. These look gorgeous on you - very flattering! These are definitely on my to-make list after seeing your pair.

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  65. They look fabulous! I was waiting to see the results of your Junipers before having a go myself - I have the pattern ready and some lovely fuschia pink irish linen. I'm inspired and ready to have a go now so, thank you :-)

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  66. Amazing, Jane. They look fabulous on you. The buttons finish them off beautifully. And I hear what youre saying about hook and eyes. Hook and bar is much easier to deal with. My tailor friend showed me how to spread the tension with some inner tape. Will share with you on Tuesday for future ref! x

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  67. you look great in them! I think you really should find a little spot for wearing them: the fit is perfect! I totally agree with you re buttons vs hooks and eyes, it's easier to have a nice result with buttons

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  68. These are gorgeous! I am currently trying to make my very first pair of 40s wide legged pants and am struggling with the fit! But I'll soldier on :)

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  69. Ooh. They look great on you! I love that you love red and wear it so well! It's my favorite color too. The pocket linings are so cute and perfect! What a great fitting pair of pants.

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  70. They are gorgeous...and apparently Sarai thinks so too! Congrats on making it to the Colette blog!

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    1. I know!!!!!! I'm famous! Thanks Evie! x

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  71. very nice, lovely colour and great fit.

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  72. These look gorgeous. Congratulations!

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  73. I am in love with your trousers! I have an idea that your body shape is very much similar to my body shape especially on the lower body and I have been surfing the net to find a courageous person with my shape in a pair of trousers, so I could find just the right pattern to try for my-self. I think Colette Juniper is a match!

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  74. Those pockets are gorgeous - I love that print - Lauren Child? What perfect fitting trousers. x

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