Harriet's Ultimate Trousers
As soon as I opened the box this month and saw that super Hawaiian-style hibiscus stretch cotton, my mind was already off in another country.
I found myself imagining stepping off of a plane in my floral cigarette trousers (and possibly a matching tie-front top, should there have been enough fabric left before I jetted off to said holiday), a 40s style headscarf and ridiculously massive floppy hat in my hand – even though I've never had or worn one. So it's safe to say that this month's theme of 'wanderlust' was very well conveyed.
I stuck to my fantasies and decided to go for the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers, and after some extensive stroking of the box's contents, I realised more and more that this would be the perfect choice for the fabric. The linen look of the fabric means that you get the appearance of luxury without the massive problems with creasing while its cotton properties make the fabric lovely and breathable, yet warm at the same time.
I was slightly terrified what with this being my first venture into proper 'fitted' trousers, but I was very reassured when I saw that I'd have enough fabric left over for a whole other pair should anything go drastically wrong – which was definitely good to know! This fabric was also the kind that is so satisfying to cut that you feel the need to gasp with every snip - much to the annoyance of my family, all of whom were watching a film in the same room. Which led to my banishment.
I really wanted to incorporate some of the super pretty fat quarters into my make, so spent a very long time deciding which one to use as the facing. I ended up going with the lovely navy blue one with little yellow circles – the reasoning behind choosing that one being that the navy blue didn't stand out too much against the main fabric if the seam rolled over a little bit, and I wear so much yellow that the little yellow circles would probably end up matching another aspect of my outfit. So a lot of thought went into a part of the trousers that you're not even meant to see!
My favourite fat quarter was the navy one with sunflowers, which I thought was far too pretty to end up as facing inside anything, so put it aside to make into a vintage-style headscarf (see aforementioned imagined holiday) I've measured everything out and I'm all ready to make that, but at the last minute I've decided that I want to put some wire inside the fabric so that the headscarf will keep its shape, so figuring out what to ask for at the DIY store is my next challenge for that.
The good news is that the fabric dealt very well with unpicking; I got a little bit overzealous and attached the facing before I tried on the trousers, which ended up needing to have the side seams taken in about an inch. That was when I decided it was high time to crack out the tea that was in the box, and made myself a cuppa using my unnecessarily massive mug. The tea definitely took the edge off of the frustration that I was feeling at that moment in time, and allowed me to plan my next move with taking in the seams – the waist was too loose by about an inch, but the fit was exactly how I wanted it around my thighs, so I needed to do some well-thought out tapering! It took a couple of goes to get the angle right and avoid the weird bulge that came with hitting the existing seam too early, so the seam ripper in the handy little travel sewing tin was very useful! Luckily the fibres really bounce back, so you can't see any needle holes in the parts of the fabric that needed to be undone.
After the facing had been attached and then detached, I decided that I might as well pop in the 'handmade by Harriet' label that I'd forgotten to do earlier so the facing, label and travel sewing kit came with me to our local smoothie bar where I sipped on a nice Caribbean Crush (to keep the wanderlust going) and hand stitched the label. The little travel sewing kit did a wonderful job, and as if by magic, the dinky little threads inside seemed to match my fabrics and label perfectly!
The trousers came together lovely and quickly, and I think the pattern can definitely be made up in a day – especially if you've made them before and have the fit down! It seemed to bode well for me that I'm so short; I only ever wear high waisted jeans and trousers and I started cutting out the pattern paper thinking that I'd have to do the hack to add a waistband to get them up to my waist. But when I held the pattern piece up to my leg, it turned out that it was already hitting my waist at the perfect point! Oh the perks of little legs, eh?