Thursday, 26 January 2012

Travel Wardrobe. South Island New Zealand. Trousers BWOF 04-2009-118, t shirts

A particularly annoying thing about outdoorsy techical clothes is their incredible ugliness and unflattering nature for non-20-year-old-ectomorph figures.
I find this particularly notable in the trouser selection, my figure being trouser resistant. Shorts are worse.
Despite these feelings, I made a pair of trousers that convert to shorts for my travel wardrobe. The fabric is not-quite-thick-enough wicking woven nylon from The Rainshed. Sometimes practicality trumps feeling nicely dressed, and although we did no overnight hiking on this trip, there will be future trips where convertible clothing will save me pack room.
Fortunately I do have a TNT trouser pattern.This fits sufficiently for my trouser tolerance.
I converted my adjusted BWOF 04-209-118 trouser pattern to a convertible shorts/trousers pattern in the following way.
1. Lengthened the legs by 10 cm in the general region of the knee.
2. Constructed the trousers to hemming stage, then stood in front of the mirror with a roll of masking tape applying horizontal lines at possible shorts cut off lengths until I had a only slightly disgruntled happy compromise between no-zips-at-knee-creases and covering-sufficient-leg.
3. Added hem/cuff allowance to thigh end of this line (7cm-which was not quite enough as it turned out), and cut off the lower leg, marking the front of each lower leg with a pin
4. Discovered that the leg circumference was longer than any light coloured pairs of separating zips in my stash other than chunky zips.
5. Applied chunky zips to one leg, then folded down a cuff to cover the zip. (This is why the 7cm cuff allowance(+3 cm for the zip seams) was insufficient), as my cuff needed to be deeper than the 6cm I had erroneously allowed to cover the zip sufficiently, next time I would increase by 15cm rather than 10.
6.Discovered that chunky zips are too bulky and stiff for such an application and are also rather uncomfortable under the back of the thigh when sitting.
7.Removed chunky zip.
8. With reluctance, bought 2 overpriced Sullivan junky, thin separating zips from Lincraft,due to time constraints, still at less than the circumference of the leg due to the limited usefulness of Lincraft.
9. Reapplied zips, thigh end with wrong side of zip to right side of fabric, lower leg side with right side of zip to wrong side of fabric, gap at outer side seam.
10. Added button tab to cover gap.
11.Hemmed ankle end of trousers.
This covers the shorts conversion.
My other additions were to fold gussets into the back pocket vertically and horizontally, to give more storage room. I had to tack down the gussets where they crossed to avoid a very unflattering protusion when the pocket was empty.
I added an internal waistline pocket.
I wore these as trousers several times in New Zealand, with leggings and stockings underneath.(The weather was not entirely wonderful at all points of our trip).
Very windy walk to Rob Roy Glacier, near Wanaka
Gerturde Saddle walk, Fjordland National Park
I wore them as shorts only when staying at a backpackers' lodge at Milford Sound for trips to the showers - it is unpleasant to have trouser legs contact a wet floor whilst dressing.
The t-shirts I made for the trip co-ordinate with both the bone trousers and the burgandy skirt.
The pattern is an adaptation of the two layer t shirt in Burda Style 08-2010.
The dark purple/brown t shirt is a rayon knit, with a dark brown voile bias strip gathered and stitched with zig-zag to the neckline.
The print is from scraps of silk jersey left over from a wrap dress I used for my 2010 trip, with the neckline bound with fold over lingerie elastic.
I used these knit fabrics after my good experience with them as quick dry fabrics for a previous travel wardrobe. I find the wicking knit quick dry polyesters no faster to dry, less pleasant to wear, and prone to nasty smells if they are even slightly damp when packed, whereas the silk and rayon (and merino) do not seem to become musty in the same way.


Anonymous said...

Well, even though the pants-making sounds like an adventure, they turned out nice, and I think you'll get lots of use from them.

Bri said...

Wow koodo's to you for all this work into your pants! Obviously worth it though since you made good use of them!

KathyS said...

Very clever conversion and improvisations. I would never have attempted it. Well done!

Allison said...

What a great, practical and yet lovely travel wardrobe you have made! I've been contemplating making a pair of the same sort of pants so thanks a bunch for your description of how you went about it.

I agree with your comments about the poly wicking fabrics. I find them hot and uncomfortable to wear and prefer the natural fibers you've listed.

I'm envious of your NZ holiday. I've been a few times (no hiking thought, as DH definitely is NOT a hiker) and just love it!

Ruthie said...

Pretty tops and I am with you on that style of trouser/shorts, my RTW ones were so hideous I got rid of them.

Gabrielle said...

This sounds like a lot of work, so it's great to see that these clothes worked so well.

Thanks for the tip on natural, quick-drying travel fabrics... do you think those weird fabrics really are good for sport either? They seem to get so smelly!

velosewer said...

Thanks for the trouser instructions. They are handy and it does make a difference having practical trousers that are travel friendly.