Trousers: close but no cigar!


I was planning on calling this post ‘Trousers: third time lucky’, but it’s not, so I can’t! But I did get frustratingly close, which is something I guess. If you’re new to reading this blog, Simplicity 1699 was the pattern I chose for my first attempt at trousers (and hello!). I cut a size 10, Β (which works well for both skirts and dresses on me) see here, but they ended up far too small. On my second revisiting of this make I carefully narrowed my darts and let the seam out along the crotch, which resulted in me just about managing to get them on, but with a serious danger of splitting them in public!

So last week, unwilling to add them to the charity pile as I’d used a really nice fabric, I cheated, or attempted to, and took them to a local, professional seamstress. She made me try them on and move around in them, but then said that I seemed perfectly capable of finishing them off myself and that I’d be annoyed if I let her! Humph, I begrudgingly acknowledged that she was probably right (but was secretly gutted she didn’t want to do it for me). Not sure if she just didn’t want to interfere with someone else’s sewing, which I do kind of understand. Anyway, she advised me to take out the front darts totally, replacing them with just a small tuck for each at the waist. She also said that if I took out the side seams just a little more, I’d be surprised at the difference it would make. She was right in a way. After revisiting them for the THIRD time, I can now get them on comfortably and feel less concerned about the danger of splitting them open in public, but as you can probably see from the photo above right, there’s still too much pull across the widest part of my hips for them to look ‘right’, darn!


There’s also a bit of weird puckering along the side seams, which is annoying. At this point, and after so much faffing around with these, quite frankly I’m sick of the sight of them! I still don’t want to chuck them, so for now they’re hanging forlornly on the back of our spare room door. I could hang on to them, in the somewhat optimistic hope of getting back to my ‘Summer-weight’, but having just had a sort out of my jeans drawer and ridding myself of several pairs of such ‘fantasy-weight’ (aka far too small) pairs, this seems pretty daft πŸ˜‰

On the plus side, this was the perfect choice of trouser pattern for work. I’m really pleased with the slim body shape, but looser-shaped leg of these. I also have a replica copy of this pattern (free with a magazine), to cut the next size up with. And lastly, the pattern itself, before I started letting out seams and darts, was actually surprisingly easy. So, all in all, there are a fair few positives to this project, even if the end result turned out to be unwearable. Onwards and upwards…



31 thoughts on “Trousers: close but no cigar!

  1. They look great & perfectly wearable. I think if you check out people’s pants when you’re out & about this week none of the RTW ones you see will fit any better. Well done, they look like keepers to me! πŸ˜€

  2. Have you got hold of “Sewing Pants That Fit”? (Library or cheap second hand). It shows you how to measure the paper pattern to check crotch depth and curve before you even cut into fabric. I’ll help with your trouser quest and that feeling you describe now they are in limbo in the spare room.

  3. I think I would have given up by now, so congratulations on your perseverance! I would definitely measure the paper pattern first – it really does work! Just remember to subtract seam allowances/darts as you go.

  4. How frustrating for you! I think they look good on you but they do need to be loose enough not to worry you’re going to explode at the crotch seam if you bend down suddenly. My husband did that in his work suit in front of an office full of clients. He still cringes at the memory!

  5. What a pity that you haven’t been able to get them perfect – although they seem perfectly wearable to me.
    I’ve recently started to pass on such projects (perfectly wearable but unlikely to be actually worn for whatever reason) on to the charity shop. It hurt at first, but now it kinda feels carthartic and tbh I’ve never given such projects a second thought after they’d been made to give up their brooding presence in my sewing room.

  6. I agree with Thimberlina – They don’t look as bad as you suspect and definitely perfectly wearable! Certainly they fit you and most likely it will only be you that notices the pulling on the front. (and maybe other sewists). If you do feel uncomfortable about the puling you could wear them with a long top – that way you can wear them after all that effort which you put in :-), Once again a great make!

    • Thank you, but I think the photos must have been taken in a flattering light. That ‘pull’ is much more pronounced in real life. I’m giving myself a month, but then they’re off to the charity shop if I’m still not convinced by the fit.

  7. I love your perseverance on this project. I do think you can wear them, you are very close to having them fit perfectly. I notice the pull lines at the crotch area. You need to lengthen your crotch curve and that would get rid of those lines. Do you have enough fabric in your seam allowance to maybe sew these a mere 1/4 inch seam? That may help to release the wrinkles πŸ™‚

  8. Pants are so tough to fit– I’ve only made shorts so far and I was glad to have made a muslin since I had some fitting issues that I had to work out. I think this looks like a great pattern and once you get the fit worked out it will probably be perfect! It’s a shame that your good fabric may be used on something you won’t wear, but hopefully the next pair will wearable.

  9. I rather like them, I think with a bit of tweaking you’d be onto a winner. I’ve only made shorts so far and they weren’t from a bought and paid pattern (free pattern I found online) so I can’t comment on fitting issues. I do think though that you did a great job and they look super professional.

    • Thank you! It’s annoying when you get so close to getting them right. Not sure what else I can do other than lose half an inch off my hips, and that’s easier said than done πŸ˜‰

  10. I think they look great! And you have so persevered with them! I think you should leave them for a few weeks and I bet you come back to liking them! Don’t throw them in the charity bag for sure!

  11. I think its great that you are persevering with fitting them. From reading other blogs, trousers are the most challenging garments to fit but apparently once you get a good fit its worth all the work. My tuppence is that you look great in them. They hug the bum very nicely – better that than a saggy bottom as Mary Berry would say πŸ™‚

  12. They look very close to a perfect fit in the photo. On the plus side, you now have a pattern which only needs a little bit more tweaking to get spot on.

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