I had planned on making these trousers for ages. I bought both the fabric and the pattern back in the summer and just never quite got round to them. I've seen so many versions of both this and similar patterns, and they just look so cool and easy to wear. I also thought they'd be easier to fit, since they have an elasticated waist and are meant to be oversized.
But being totally honest, now I've made them, I just don't know. They do look cool on other people, but on me, I'm not so sure. It might just be that basically I made summer trousers in October. It might be that I have no idea what to wear them with. It also might be because I normally live in skinny jeans and skinny/fitted trousers, so this is just so different it feels odd.
But lets start with the positives, shall we? I love the fabric, which is a polyester from John Lewis (I think it was this). It is drapey but with a lovely weight and the colour is a rich navy with a slight sheen. It is a bit staticky, but it's otherwise a good choice for this style. It wasn't too slippery to cut or sew, but it did fray badly.
The pattern too, was a good experience. This is the Named Alexandria Peg Trousers. I bought the PDF, so seam allowances were included (they aren't on the printed versions). The pattern includes trouser and shorts versions and if you wanted to make both, you would need to trace them, or print twice but I have no intentions of making the shorts, so just cut straight into the PDF. Only 2 sizes are nested on the PDF - there are about 4 PDFs in total covering all the sizes. This was fine, but they weren't nested in such a way that I could cut between sizes. I wanted to cut the 38 based on my waist measurement, however I could have done with sizing down to the 36 at the hips - but the 36 was nested outside, not inside the 38, so it wasn't possible. I opted to cut the 38, figuring I could always take in the hips if necessary. The 36 would have been fine, but I was nervous that the tapered legs would be too narrow, and I was correct. Even with the 38, I had to decrease the SA from the knee to ankle to about 0.5cm (the given SA is 1cm, or 3/8").
The pattern went together no problem. It's beautifully drafted, even including things like tapering out the hem at the ankle, to account for the fact that the leg is tapered in. This means the hem circumference is the same size as the leg piece you are sewing it to (I haven't described that well at all, sorry!). The instructions are concise but thorough. There's not a huge amount of hand holding, but it explains each step adequately.
The pattern comes with patch pockets for the back, and also instructs you to sew in a drawstring. I omitted both of these.
|You can see quite a lot of fabric at the front here. I look pregnant!|
The back view. It's actually not nearly as unflattering as I was expecting!!! :)
And so to the negatives. Although I love the pleats, they do create a lot of volume. And I mean a lot. When I sit down, there is just SO. MUCH. FABRIC. I did plan to take the trousers in at the hips, but the excess fabric is at the front, not the sides, and I just don't know how to remove it from there. Really, I should have cut the 36 and just graded out from the knees. I should have made a muslin.
I do wonder if with a "proper" waistband, and the removal of the gathers, the pleats might work better? Even a half fixed, elasticated at the back? But I have no idea how to reduce the volume in the front of the trousers to do this. I guess I could slash and overlap the pattern in a few places? In truth thought, that's probably a pattern adjustment too far for me, from a confidence, ability and time point of view. It would be simpler to just buy another pattern.
Really then, the positives outweigh the negatives, in volume at least. However, it is telling that I haven't yet worn these. I am the sort of person who makes/buys something and wears it as soon as is humanely possible. If I don't do that (and it's not because it's just not appropriate e.g. a ball gown), it's usually because I'm not that certain about it. I'm just not sure I feel confident enough to pull them off.
What's interesting though, is that I think in these photos they look great. I feel uncomfortable wearing them, but even as I was shooting the photos I was thinking how they looked quite nice. I had to struggle to find a photo that sufficiently captured the excess fabric. And they look OK with this top and these ankle boots too, although Small Boy did ask where my socks were. As an aside, I asked him his opinion on the trousers. He said "Good, but they don't go all the way down"!
I did see these recently, which are very similar, and which look nice, although I haven't tried them on. I also like the name! :)
|Helena Crepe Trouser by Whistles|
What do you think? Would you wear these? Do you think they are just too summery? What would you wear them with?