Sewing a pair of trousers

Sewing a pair of trousers

Lately, I’ve been keen on the idea of creating some staple wardrobe pieces to replace some older garments (*cough cough, Pandemic Body is larger*) and maybe have a go at creating a Capsule Wardrobe. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s when you have only a limited number of garments that you can mix and match to create new styles. The operative word here is “limited,” since the idea is to only have clothes you’ll wear and not clutter your wardrobe.

Enter the Arthur Pants by Sew Liberated. They are a wide, lose-fitting sort of trousers, very comfortable. I wanted to have pieces I could wear at home but still look good in outdoors. I’m a fiend for grabbing my pyjama bottoms when at home, but this hinders how quickly I can just nip out to the Post Office!

Whenever I sew a garment, I always like to create a mock-up to see about fit. If you sew, you’ll know pattern sizes don’t always conform to your own body and tweaks might be necessary. A mock-up helps me familiarise with the techniques the pattern requires, and I can see if I like how I look before cutting into the nice fabric.

Bathroom picture glamour

After creating the mock-up, I went on Instagram to ask for opinions. As you can see, not everyone was keen on the style! That’s exactly the type of honesty I was looking for. You see, I wasn’t too sure about the width myself, and having someone else confirm this for me really helped.

I tweaked the mock-up to make it smaller and, happy with the results, saw that I needed to change the sizing on the pattern to fit my needs.

I usually keep the original pattern with all the measurements and simply copy my size to use. This means I’ll be able to sew this for someone else in the future without having to reprint. The pattern piece on the left is the original one, the transparent ones are what I’ll be using. I had to shorten the legs (by folding) because this was meant for 5’7″ people, which is definitely not me – on the wonderful side, the pattern called for at least 3 meters of fabric and I only needed 2, with enough to spare.

Time to cut the fabric. Here you’ll see Marshmallow being “helpful.” It’s definitely true that if you leave a piece of paper in a stadium floor, eventually a cat will sit on it.

I was already familiar with what I needed to do, so the sewing should be smooth sailing. I hoped.

I did make a couple of mistakes, but nothing very serious. At some point, the pieces of fabric did start to look like trousers indeed.

I got pleats, I got a zipper, I got pockets – I’m very proud of myself.

Finally, I needed buttons. I narrowed it down to two styles and my other half made the final decision: the left one.

Of course the buttonhole foot on my machine worked splendidly when I tested it, only to turn demonic with the proper fabric. Luckily nothing got damaged or I’d have had a breakdown. I was almost done…

Ignore the weird background on the left, I tried to remove shoes with an app and it went wonky.

Voilá, a pair of comfortable trousers! I’m so happy with them, I’ve already started another pair in yellow linen.

So there you go, my first ever journey into making trousers, adding a zipper and pockets. Nothing exploded, my mental health is seemingly intact, so I guess all is well.

Finally, just for Ann, I have a photo of some cheese scones I ate a few days ago, because we had a chat about the difference between English and American scones 🙂 Yes, they were delicious.

Have you sewed anything lately? Share what you made in the comments section, I’m always keen to talk shop. Have a great week.

27 thoughts on “Sewing a pair of trousers

  1. Love this post……been thinking along the same lines myself for a year or so…..but have had a couple of nasty near trips with similiar style trousers, where one foot gets caught in the other leg going downstairs….beware!

    1. Thanks for the warning! I don’t think I’ll have that issue with mine though, they’re made to be ankle-high, so they’re really not moving down to my feet 😀 Maybe that’s the reason the pattern author created them this way!

  2. Bravo! The trousers look great and all your planning and pattern testing has proved worth it. I can’t sew clothing without going crazy. Free motion stitching, yes, but being a seamstress, no. The scones look like what we call biscuits.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! Doing mock-ups really pays off.

      It’s so interesting how we’re all different – I love the notion of making my own clothes and if I like a pattern, I love making it more than once!

      Are “your” biscuits hard? These are soft. I can’t think of biscuits without thinking of the hard ones we have here 😅

  3. The trousers look terrific on you! The button is a lovely accent. They will make a great item in your capsule wardrobe. They are comfy enough to wear indoors and smart enough to wear outdoors.

    Unfortunately I (Lyn) don’t have the figure for them. I’d love to be able to wear them but to make them in my (much larger) size would render them dangerous to wear outside in a high wind because I’d be like a galleon in full sail and I would be swept away!

    Cheese scones look delish and they can be eaten at any time of day.

    1. Thanks, Lyn! I’m in love with them (and already made a new pair in yellow linen).

      You’d look terrific in them! I’ve seen many women in different sizes wear them and they’re really nice for all body shapes. Do a little search and see for yourself 😀 I’d love to have an Arthur Pants twin here in the group ☺️

      Those scones are heavenly… can’t get enough of them1

    1. Thanks, Marilyn! They’re so so comfy. My new linen pair is also wonderful. I’m in love with this model 😀

  4. Well done the trousers look both stylish and comfortable. I’m about to get my sewing machine out to take in some linen trousers I bought second hand. I haven’t had my sewing machine out in ages so it might explode with fright!

  5. You did a great job of the trousers Leonor and its always interesting to see how different people approach their work. Ive only used a couple of patterns so far but, like you, I made a mock up first as a practice run. What hadn’t occurred to me was to trace my size and keep the original pattern intact….that will be something I will do in future.
    A plain, short, boxy linen top would look good with your Arthur’s.
    .

    1. Thanks, Karen! I’m loving this handmade wardrobe journey.
      I wish I could take credit for the tracing idea, but it was definitely someone more practiced who suggested it 😅

      Funny you should mention the top, I’ve got a pattern up my sleeve 😆

  6. Fab ‘troozers’ Leonor. And suit you almost to the ground🤪

    You’ve certainly worked your magic via a work-filled route. What fabric do you use for your mock-ups? And a yellow pair too – is your temperature ok?

    Whilst they look great on you the perfect model, I think I’m with Lyn imagining the wind whisking me off to far distant horizons.

    Love the idea of a capsule wardrobe by design….the pandemic has created it’s own version for me (I’ll keep ignore the unopened wardrobe – serving as useful insulation!).

    Those scones are making me hungry.
    Language is a mine field….scones v biscuits, biscuits v cakes (the Jaffa cake story) or crisps v chips (in Europe), and away from food there are many amusing others as you know all too well 😂

    1. Thank you! Don’t you mean they suit me almost to the ankles? :p

      Mock-ups are a must if I’m to avoid mistakes (ask me how I know!) In fact, the mock-up for this one had a few mistakes I’d be pulling my hair to correct if it had been the good fabric! Eek.
      I use calico fabric, it’s unbleached and very affordable. My current issue is what to do with the mock-up once I’m done with it. I worry about the planet and don’t want to simply throw the thing away. Ideas welcome 🙂

      My temperature seems to be yellow! 😀 I’ve dyed another one of my Rosa Cardigans, and yep, it’s yellow!

      Nah, I’ll repeat what I told Lyn: I saw some plus-sized beauties rocking their own Arthur Pants! Go look it up online and see for yourself 😀

      Haha, a capsule wardrobe as insulation has to become a Pandemic Meme!

      I had two other of those marvellous cheese scones today… yum.
      You want amusing wording? I keep imagining underwear when I say Arthur Pants, I always call them Arthur Trousers in private :p

  7. Great pants they look so comfy. I haven’t sewn any clothing in many years. I have one pair of linen pants and I love them.
    Scones are definitely related to American biscuits. The American ones have no sugar. I bet your cheese ones don’t either. What you call biscuits we call cookies. No one would guess we are all speaking English.

    1. Thanks! They are indeed super comfy. I’ll be heading off to the fabric store to ask about that fabric in other colours for Winter 🙂 I want to have a ready wardrobe when the cold months arrive!

      No, cheese scones have no sugar (and thank goodness for that – my waistline doesn’t need any more encouragement!) Whether they’re biscuits or scones, they’re delicious and now I know what to ask for if I ever return to North America 😀

      (It’s funny, this language difference thing – I have the same with Portuguese! The original Portuguese, from Portugal, is a bit different in language and the accent is very different from Brazilian Portuguese. We keep telling each other it’s a marvel we understand what each is saying)

  8. Fabulous trousers Leonor. Your redrafting of the pattern has certainly produced a keeper for your capsule wardrobe. The result is edgy and cool like baby bears porridge from Goldilocks … just right!
    The herringbone material is a real staple and I can’t wait to see the linen pair.
    Scones do look yummy – any chance they might be gluten free… 🙃

    1. Thanks, Helene! I love those trousers SO MUCH it’s ridiculous 😀 The linen ones are also super comfy. I’m plotting a couple more in different materials, but time will tell if I’ll need them (a capsule wardrobe’s objective is to have as few pieces as possible, after all)…

      Those scones are not gluten free, sorry! But oh so yummy 😀

  9. Hi Leonor, love the trousers and they look so good on you. You said you wondered what to do with the calico mock ups. How about pyjamas when you have made your jacket? If your calico is the same as the stuff I get here in NZ it would make nice pyjamas and of course you could dye them in your favourite colours.

    As a Brit who is now a kiwi I too enjoy the differences other countries make to the English language. One of my favourites – flipflops(UK) are jandals (JApanese saNDALS) here in NZ and thongs in Australia. The thought of wearing thongs(UK) on your feet just makes me smile though it could be a trip hazard!
    Looking forward to seeing your finished jacket(s).

    1. Hi, Jackie! Thanks for reading 🙂

      What I meant about what to do with mock-up fabric was, what to do with any of them? I often don’t create a finished garment because all I need for the project is to find out about fit… so I end up with an unfinished top, for example, when the final project would have been a dress (also, no seam finish!) In the case of these trousers in particular, sadly the stiffness of the calico and the button and zipper wouldn’t make for comfortable pyjama bottoms…

      Haha yes, I too find the use of the word “thongs” for footwear very funny 😀 Now I shall add the trip hazard to my mental image as well!

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