Friday, 9 October 2015

Trousers from the block

Behold - my first pair of trousers using my trouser block! I made the pattern during a one day trouser fitting course at Ray Stitch last month, but it's taken me a while to get round to making the final adjustments. Nothing too complicated, just tapering in the width of the legs considerably as that's the style I wear most. On a side note, I've come to the reluctant conclusion that as much as I love them, very wide legged trousers really don't do me any favours. I'm short, and however well fitting around the hips and bum they are, wide legged trousers just make me look even shorter. So it's slim legged trousers from now on, preferably teamed with a giant heel!


Having got my trouser block sorted, what I should have done is use a nice, ordinary non-stretch fabric for my first attempt. That would have been the sensible approach. Instead I used a lovely, but extremely stretchy houndstooth poly viscose I bought at Ray Stitch during my course. It has great drape, washes well and barely needs an iron, but frays and unravels like it's going out of fashion. I had to overlock all my edges straight away. It also has about a billion percent stretch in it, in fact there's so much stretch it's almost like a knit fabric. Unsurprisingly, this meant that the trousers came out way too roomy. Undeterred, I painstakingly unpicked them (I know, I'm amazed too!) and recut the pieces with the following changes:

- Removed a 1.5" wedge from the back seam 
- Removed a 1" wedge from the front seam
- Made an additional large tuck in the back thigh as there was a lot of excess fabric (this was an adjustment Alice made to my original block too)

They're still not perfect - there's a bit of bagginess in the front crotch - but that was as much fiddling as I was prepared to do and I'm happy to wear the trousers as they are. The ridiculous amount of stretch meant I could almost get away without a zip. Almost, but not quite! The zip is positioned up the back seam as that's how we made our toiles (easier to adjust) and I decided to keep it in that position as I like how it looks.

In the interests of science I've included a back view. 

I was worried that the waist would stretch out over time, so it's finished inside with a simple piece of strong elastic. It works like a waistband facing - I just zig-zagged it to the top edge of the waistband, turned it over then stitched in the ditch at the side seams to keep it in position. I cut the elastic a couple of inches shorter than my waist measurement so it keeps the waist nice and snug!



I'm pleased that the trouser block actually works! I compared it to what I'd always thought of as a well fitting pair of trousers - the Ultimate Trousers pattern. Amazingly, the crotch curves were completely different, which was interesting. It also reassured me that the course was money well spent!


I'll have to slightly tweak the block pattern for different fabrics as they're all so changeable. So for my next pair, I'm quite tempted to see how they'll turn out made with a stable denim. I'm unite pleased with how they turned out for a first attempt though. Have a good weekend! x   




  

24 comments:

  1. These looks fantastic, Jane! The fabric looks super chic and the fit is spot-on. Huzzah for blocks and your ingenuity! That course sounds like it was well worth the time. Out of curiosity, what were the crotch curve differences between your Ultimate Trousers and these? I'm in the middle of making my own pair of Ultimates, so you've piqued my interest!

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    1. Thank you Mary! The fabric was a bit of a pain as it was so stretchy but I think they're perfectly wearable. I've just had another look at the crotch curve vs the Ultimate Trousers. On the front, my block curve is straighter than the Ultimates and doesn't curve in as much. On the back it's the opposite, the block curve extends further out whilst the Ultimates curve goes straighter up. I think in both cases the block pattern provides more room! x

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  2. Well don't those look fancy! Very nice pants!!! Wait...Not pants. Trousers?? :)

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    1. Thank you! And yes, they're definitely trousers! x

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  3. Very. Nice. Something I need to conquer this winter

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    1. Thanks! It sounds like a good project for winter. x

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  4. Jane I just wrote a long gushing and curious comment and had to log in to blogger and it's gone. Sigh. Sorry. So, there were lots of hurrahs! You've made them and they look chic ! The fabric looks awesome,but you have got me worried about how it behaves ( having bought the same fabric for my first pair of trousers from my block!) and also I'm regretting not bringing my over locker with me as I stay in my temporary accommodation.....that fraying will look pants with a mere zig zag when I know what the over locker can do... But hurrah again. I really want to find time to make mine as I've packed all my trouser block work to be with me now....maybe soon. Interesting what you say about the ultimates comparison, hmmm. Enjoy round 2! Xx

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    1. Thanks goy-jus! I'm tempted to say wait for your overlocker before you start on that fabric, only because I don't think a zigzag would be up to the unravelling. Be more sensible than me and start with a non stretch fabric! The Ultimates comparison was interesting - there wasn't a massive difference in terms of measurements, just the direction of the curves! x

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  5. Fabulous trousers. I like the darts at the back and the slim fit. How satisfying to have made this from your own block.

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    1. Thank you, yes it's totally satisfying! x

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  6. These look great! I really should tackle a proper pair of trousers.

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    1. I think it's worth the effort, go for it! x

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  7. "In the interests of science" haha! That cracked me up! These are excellent, and I'm wishing there was a trouser course nearby enough to me too. What a fantastic resource a well-fitting block is! Good luck with your next versions - can't wait to see how they work in denim/non stretch fabric too.

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    1. Haha! Yes I'm tremendously lucky to live near places that offer such wonderful courses. I'm intrigued to see how they turn out in denim too. X

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  8. Look fabulous, love the fabric too x

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    1. Thanks Mary! Despite it's annoying stretchiness I love the fabric too! x

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  9. Very, very good pair of trousers! You have nailed the fit exactly. I can see why these would suit you over the fuller legged ones, which would just add mass to the look. These look great.

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    1. Aw thank you! Yes it took me a while to realise it but wide legged trousers don't do me any favours! x

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    2. I am the same figure type, Jane. That is how I know.

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  10. Oooh I love them and the houndstooth is perfect! I'm impressed with your fortitude to unpick and all to get the fit better, definitely worth it. Interesting I came to exactly the same conclusion last winter, that wide legged trousers are great on other people, but not for me, and it explains why I always felt overwhelmed by them or dumpy in them. I'm with you--slim leg for short me all the way now!

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    1. Thanks Tasha! It's a shame about wide legged trousers because there are some 1940's styles that are so chic and elegant. But you're absolutely right, slim legs are much better on shorties! x

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  11. I have exactly the same feeling about wide-legged trousers, much though I love them on others, on me they're just too much. Love the look of this fabric in your close-up, despite its stretchiness causing you so many problems. It's great to feel that money spent on courses is well-spent :-)

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