Do you pick your fabric and then let it inspire what pattern it should go with? Or do you choose your pattern then go hunting for the fabric you’ve already envisaged it must be made out of?
More often than not, I’m the latter. And I specifically went shopping knowing I wanted to buy fabric to make a pair of Clovers. Problems begin fairly early on with this approach though because I’m forever seduced by potentially inappropriate fabrics.
The seductive fabric in question is a duckegg twill coating – I spent forever in Tessuti umming and ah-ing over whether or not a wool coating fabric would be suitable, nay – practical – for a pair of pants. In the end, well – you know what happened. Wearing time will tell whether or not this was a smart decision!
Because of the wool, I lined them with a white and navy blue polka dot silk. Who in their right mind doesn’t love polka dots? I’m a tad annoyed that the photos seem to emphasize things that don’t really come to light when looking at them in person, but hey, c’est la vie.
|Surprisingly comfy to sit in for a pair of
very close fitting non-stretch pants!
I know that fitting this pattern has been a challenge for some, and I definitely didn’t get away scott-free. There’s a good reason why there hasn’t been a blog post on here for quite some time – I made FOUR practise versions of this before I got the fit right. Frustration quite literally was a moving target on this project. Changes made:
- scaled up a size to take into account my non-stretch fabric
- added small darts to the front & reduced the waistband to fit
- reduced the length (…the capri version probably would have been perfect for me!)
- increased the rise (I have an uber loooooong waist – hip measurement)
- shortened the crotch length
- made the crotch curve shallower (it’s a really deep curve!!)
- tapered both the side and inseam hip down to get a straight leg fit
I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to relax a little when it comes to fitting patterns – especially pants. There’s this idea in my head that if I get a pattern to fit perfectly (a fairly subjective thing when we get down to the minute details), I’ll somehow manage to overcome what irks me about my body shape. Whilst a good fitting garment is going to be more flattering than a badly fitting one, accepting that there is no pattern that is going to make my legs appear longer/straighter/slimmer/whatever has been a quantum leap for me.
It’s a little liberating too though… my beau and I had a giggling fit at being able to recognise my rather distinctive leg shape on the pattern paper once I’d transferred all the adjustments across :)
|My smoothest yet invisible-zip-to-seam transition!|
I also made a few little additions to the pattern – man style pockets at the front replacing the odd little coin pocket things that come with the pattern, and putting single welt pockets on the back.
To do the front pockets I used the pattern pieces from Pattern Runway’s Sweet Shorts, which worked a treat.
For the single welt pockets I used the same process as for my Sweet Shorts albeit adding in one extra step. For the pocket lining on my Sweet Shorts I used the same fabric as the rest of the shorts, so it didn’t matter if the welts sagged because you would only ever see the blue polka dot fabric. I didn’t want the lining fabric to show through on these though, so I needed to add a backing to the welt to keep the look homogeneous.
|Single Welt pockets at the back…|
As for the end result, I like them. Whilst the high-waisted pants look is something I’ll have to get used too, they are extremely comfortable. The original waist location of the Clovers was mid-way between my hips and waist which was horridly uncomfortable (I sat around in that toile iteration for a good half a day to convince myself of this), and reducing the rise back to hip level just looked wrong. Also, the man style pockets seem to be a great cheats way of getting a close fit with a non-stretch fabric, but still being able to sit comfortably because of the room for movement they allow.
|…Peek-a-boo pockets at the front :)|
In the end what I really like about this pattern is that its so versatile – you can make them either dressy or casual. I do think it’s worth spending the time to get the fit right purely because the look is so timeless – I can definitely see myself making this pattern up again.
|French Seams for the Lining|
Whilst away on holiday I agreed with myself that for every garment I sew on my return, I would take the time out to make it the best I could, and I’m really pleased with these, both on the inside and the outside. This means I’ll be posting on a less regular basis due to my new ‘slow-clothes’ mantra, but I figure seeing as ‘slow-food’ is so good then this has to be too :)
|Zip end covering|
I also seriously need to look at purchasing an overlocker. Colourful rayon seam binding does make me happy – but its such a black hole for sucking up all my sewing time!
|mmm… pretty seam binding|
Oh yeah – I’ve also become a Pressinatrix. Do try it – the results speak for themselves.