Saturday 9 June 2012

Navy Cropped Trousers: Best Trousers Ever?

Of course they are not the best trousers ever, but I am loving them pretty hard at the moment. These cropped trousers have already received a fair bit of blog exposure during my documentation of the recent Me-Made-May '12 challenge, but now it the time to talk about this creation more thoroughly.

Pattern Description:

I started out with the Colette Patterns Clover pattern that I bought at Sew Over It last year. I then made a bunch of changes that I'll explain about below. 

Pattern Sizing:

As with every time I use a Colette Patterns sewing pattern, I erred on the side of caution, made the size 8 as per my measurements, and they came out WAY too big. One day I will learn and make the size smaller than my suggested. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it?

More or less.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I ignored the instructions and followed my own method of construction. I used to make a garment style similar to this at work so I felt comfortable going off-piste. I wanted to make them easy to re-fit if that turned out to be needed (which it massively did) so I chose an order of construction that would make refitting super-simple. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I've been looking for a decent capri-pants style pattern for an age. Such styles are notoriously difficult to fit to your exact shape, so I was prepared for a pile of adjustments, I just hoped this pattern would provide a decent starting point which I feel it did. 

Fabric Used:

This pattern requires a woven fabric that has a decent elastane/Lycra content. Seeing as I only use fabric that is secondhand or already in my stash, that left my options pretty slim. I have two pieces of fabric in my stash that match that description that I really love, but I didn't want to risk wasting them on this creation in case it turned out badly. I'd had this nasty navy bengaline in my stash for about six years and nearly gave it away countless times. I'm glad I didn't because it proved the perfect fabric for this (hopefully) wearable toile. It feels pretty nasty though and can be a bit sweaty if I've been running or rushing about as it is more synthetic than reality TV.

   Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Ah, here's the biggie. Well, I started out tracing my chosen size onto pattern cutting paper and making some alterations based on my prior knowledge of my body and how I like to wear my trousers. 

I added about 2cms to the back rise to accommodate my bootie, plus 1cm to the front rise for comfort. I reshaped the side seam around the waist because the original pattern seems to go in pretty violently at that point and I knew the final garment would cut in and feel uncomfortable if I left it like the original pattern. I've finally accepted my belly isn't going anywhere, and seeing as it's here to stay, we may as well make friends so I may as well accommodate it. Altering the waist as much as I did meant redrafting the waistband pieces too. I think I shaved a bit off the hips as well as that shape seemed pretty exaggerated. 

After I had half-made them, I tried them on and realised some hefty refitting and shortening was going to have to take place to make them wearable. The result was looser than I think the pattern intends, but I like the more casual look for daytime outfits. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I definitely plan to make these again, but I think I'll scrap the altered pattern and start again from scratch with the size smaller. I'll then go through same initial changes I made and be prepared for a bit more fitting if needs be. I predict that starting with a size smaller will bring make the proportions less casual. I'll also make the next pair a bit shorter, more capri pants than cropped trousers. 

Yes I would recommend it to others, as long as they were prepared to do some tweaking to get a good fit.


Although not perfect, not quite the silhouette I intended when I started this project and made from nasty fabric, the fact that these trousers have seen serious wear since their completion shows that they are a WIN!


Stacy @ Stacyverb said...

Great Clovers! I'm bookmarking this post so I can refer to what you did, if I do make them. Thanks for the helpful tips!


They really suit you! I too made Clovers out of a piece of nasty/itchy poly fabric I'd been hoarding (and it was navy too, no less!). It ended up being a perfect fabric match, although they're not very comfortable in hot weather :P

ScarletteOTara said...

Ooh great post! This is really helpful because I'm about to make a start on my first Clover muslin tonight.

I'm particularly interested in the bit where you altered the order of construction to allow you to make size and fit adjustments more easily. Do you think you could expand on that a bit? In fact a whole post on it would be amazing, if thats not a cheeky request!

I use lots of vintage patterns that rarely fit out of the packet, even when I make adjustments for my non-girdled waist etc. I've often thought that there must be a way of constructing things to make adjustments more easily (particularly to side seams) but I'm not really experienced enough to work it out.

Your wisdom would be very gratefully received! x

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