Monday, 28 June 2010

I hate trousers, BurdaStyle Magazine 12-2009-115

I don't like making trousers. I feel much better in a skirt or dress. I am sure I have an old fashioned figure.
I have, with reluctance, decided that I need trousers for my travel wardrobe. It might be too cold for a skirt. I will probably hike, and ride a bike without benefit of lycra, so trousers are undoubtedly more practical.
I managed to put off the trousers for quite a while due to fabric searching. I told myself that only quick dry, UV resistant, breathable nylon fabric such as that used in commercial travel clothes was suitable for my travel wardrobe. This is hard to obtain.
Eventually, after much googling, I received some from The Rainshed in Oregon, USA. I had to ring them up to order, and had a lovely chat with the helpful saleslady. Unfortunately, she was right, the fabric I could get in a trouser-suitable colour is really too lightweight for trousers, which was my first mistake.
Look at this mess.
Not so very bad from the front, but alas, the other views.


The pattern is the same one I used for my daughter's SWAP trousers. This was my second mistake,as Gail tells me (parapharasing freely here), trying the same pattern that looks good on your daughter is bad for one's self esteem. (Especially if she is also several cm taller than you, mostly in the legs!)

I found the fabric difficult to sew. It puckered. My third mistake was to add even more seams to the trousers than I had used previously - I added the central back leg seam of trouser version 115, rather than 116, aiming for some visual illusion of leg length, but this was a dismal failure, worsened by some inattentive hem pinning, which has made the trousers too short.

My fourth mistake is to have left myself very little time for most of my travel sewing. I leave in less than 2 weeks, and have a 4 day training ride tour during that period. I will probably have to wear these on my travels. At least I will have no problems throwing them out to fit in some fun fabric purchase. I am telling myself they will look better under the coat.

After this sad sewing, I remembered my travel trouser purchase attempt.

Don't say I never show you anything funny.

After 5 hours of unpicking I had given up, and thought making trousers would be easier. I always think this when I have to adjust things.




I added a back yoke made from the remnants of the altered travel skirt (not the same fabric, but pretty close IMO)so as to allow backside room, and took in everything else, trying to avoid the pockets. It took about 3 hours (not counting unpicking). They look better than the entirely made trousers, but only because the fabric is more suitable.
My daughter says I always hate the trousers I make, and I think she is right.

I am feeling quite annoyed that I am including 2 purchased t shirts and 2 purchased bottoms in my travel wardrobe. I hardly ever wear purchased clothes, and now not only have to wear them for a month, but I have to admit to myself that I am a snob about this!


Joy said...

Actually I think both pairs are attractive. That kind of fabric in RTW tends to pucker at the seams anyway, so in that sense yours look how they "should" look.

sdBev said...

To me both pairs look like typical RTW. If I buy pants, that's how I look. I spent a 9 month qwest on fitting pants. With every new pattern I have a place to start, but they will never be perfect the first try. I know to make big and plan for a week of fitting. Every change takes lots of thought, if I want a good final result. Wear these now, you'll look no different than any other tourist. When you come back start your own qwest. We'll be here to cheer you onward.

BetsyV said...

Oh dear, I was hoping that Burda pattern was going to fit and flatter our collective figure.

I do agree with Joy, though, on the fabric. My RTW hiking pants (Columbia and REI brands) both have puckery seams. I think maybe that fabric is just going to pucker.

Loved the parka, BTW

KID, MD said...

I was thinking along the lines of Joy and BetsyV as well. It seems like that pucker-y seams is just the nature of the beast with that stuff. All of the RTW I've seen is like that, too. And the fit of your pair is clearly superior to the RTW pair!

Sue said...

I don not have such trouble fitting pants (being a bit more straight up & down and boy-like in the figure department) but I still don't like making trousers. Matching the right weight fabric to the pattern was my last failure too!
I don't think they are as bad as you think, but I do feel for you about the frustrations involved.
Use them for the trip, them move them out of your life...

Carol said...

The puckers in the ones you made are nothing you don't see in RTW in the same fabric. When you get back from your trip, find a fitting teacher and draft a pattern for YOU. Alternately, I can send you a copy of a four part series that was in Australian Stitches that show you how to draft a pants block from scratch. I loathe sewing pants, but now I am finally beginning to understand my shape and how to make a pattern fit it, I may start to like them. I agree with Sue, use these pants for your trip then dump then in favour of some fabulous fabric that will make something beautiful!

Rachel said...

I like your pattern and I think they fit as well as any RTW pair. I am about to make a pair of trousers for the first time in a loooooooonng time. I just want to do something different, but I have never had but one real success with trousers. I am hoping these will be my second.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Honestly, I think the travel trousers look completely fine. Hopefully they will grow on you when you have some distance from the making process! And agree that it is easier to make clothes than alter them.

Mary Nanna said...

I'm with the others - those pants look good to me - I'd be happy with that. Perhaps you've got "Isewedit" that condition that effects very competent sewers who wished they'd reached perfection.