I don't like alterations. Alterations rank very highly on my boredometer. Despite this, I spend quite a bit of time doing alterations as I am even more bored by spending money on something I can do myself. However, I rarely carry out alterations on my own clothing any more, as I prefer to sew new things.
Yesterday, I had planned to start a pair of Burda 12-2009-115 trousers for myself, curved seams and all, but realized that these trousers would require 1. Tracing 2. Pattern fitting 3. a toile 4. several hours of actual construction, and 5. I wanted trousers to wear to work on Monday. #5 was not compatible with the previous numbers.
I thought that instead, I would make trousers 4-2009-115, which I had already made as jeans, so were already up to step 4 and also were very simple to construct.
Whilst searching for the altered back pattern piece I came across a shameful object - purchased trousers.
These were purchased in January 2008. After 3 days of shopping with my sister in Melbourne, all I managed to buy for my then desperate need of work clothes was one shirt (5 hours of alteration required) and this pair of trousers. I have not been able to wear RTW trousers since I was 13 years old. It is not simply that they are ill fitting, as if the hips fit, the waist is so ridiculously large, that it then falls down to the hips, giving a rap boy crotch line, which I consider unwearable.
I girded my loins, and altered them. 2.5 hours of precious sewing time. I am documenting this to discourage myself from even trying to buy trousers again.
First I removed the back waistband. This reminded me how badly sewn RTW can be.
Next I took in the sideseams of the entire outer leg.
I lowered the crotch seam.
I took in the back darts and the centre back seam at very top.
I added a centre back seam to the waistband, and sewed this at an angle, tapering to the waist.
I quartered the back waistband, and added a similar seam at each side of the waistband.
I reconstructed the back waistband, matching seams and darts.
I took up the hems.
I now have wearable trousers. The only problem is that they are made of not-very-nice poly blend fabric, the colour is not great on me, and they still don't fit very well. They are also pocketless trousers, as I always pick trousers with few details, such as pockets, as these make alterations more difficult.
Materials cost $89.95 trousers, $1 or so thread.
Time cost 3x4 hours shopping, 2.5 hours sewing, 14.5 hours.
I could not abuse my mojo this much on a Sunday, so started the Burda trousers. I was able to spend about 2 hours more sewing.
So far, I have cut out, sewn darts, tried a new welt pocket technique with exposed zipper for a pocket, sewn the legs and crotch, and am up to the zipper insertion. It will take me more than half an hour to finish them, but I am ahead already. Note to self. Do not buy trousers again.