The 'Ultimate Trousers' is something of a holy grail for most women, I'd wager. The Ultimate anything is a bold enough claim, let alone adding the noun of the most tricksome of sewable garments right next to it! And yet, that is what I am discussing today.
I must explain that it was not I that chose this title: it is the name of the class I taught last Saturday at Sew Over It in London. To prepare for teaching this class, I naturally wanted to test the pattern and instructions so I could best advise the students who were under my guidance.
Having taken a look at the pattern and measuring a few key points, then comparing the dimensions with what I already know about my physique, I knew some tweaks would need to be made before any fabric got involved. The original pattern has front darts but my ever-present belly was going to need more space, so I eliminated them entirely and added a tiny bit extra width to the side seams at the waistline. I then did what I ALWAYS seem to have to do when making myself trousers or shorts: added 2cm to the back rise to accommodate the bootay my mumma gave me.
I was hoping that, at best, these would turn out to be a wearable toile. So I picked some stash fabric that wasn't my favourite, but that I also have lots of, so wouldn't be heart-broken or even particularly annoyed if they didn't turn out to be wearable. Goodness knows what type of fabric this is, all I can tell you for sure is that it's pale grey and very soft!
And a wearable toile is what I think I achieved. They have come out a tiny bit tight, so I plan to add 1cm to each side seam to loosen things up, plus I've raised the front rise a little as the waistline dipped down a bit too much at the centre front. Aside from being a shade away from perfect, fit-wise, this is also a colour I can't see myself wearing often, which is why I'm NOT counting these as one of my '12 wearable garments in 12 months' sewlution. But what I am really excited about, is that these are the closest I have ever got to successful fitted trousers!!! I've paid my dues with several failed attempts at Burda magazine and Burdastyle trouser patterns over the years, plus last year I spent far too much time trying to get the Colette Patterns Clovers to work out. But I think with these I am so close to well fitted trousers. SO CLOSE!!!
Having made those pattern tweaks I mentioned above, plus lengthening it to make a long version, I'm set to cut out some more in some fabric I really do care about. Watch this space.... Oh, and Lisa from Sew Over It has informed me that this Ultimate Trouser pattern may be one of the patterns they will be releasing for home-sewing in a couple of months time. I'll keep you updated in case you fancy getting your mitts on it too.