Thursday, 9 April 2020

Romero Trousers: Work in Progress

May I present to you the March project from my #2020makenine sewing plans?! Like last year, at the beginning of 2020, I chose nine pieces of fabric in my stash and promised to sew them up throughout the course of the year. Having just realised that I never shared my 2020 plans here on my blog, check it out below:


The piece of fabric in the middle of my 2020 selection is some AMAZING, mid-blue denim that I bought from Merchant & Mills in Rye last year. It's broken twill weave (my fave!), medium weight and just the nicest quality ever. I bought it without a precise project in mind. I have a self-imposed rule of only buying fabric if I can envision what I'll make from it, however I'm so glad that I ignore that rule this time. The medium weight lends itself well to a spring/autumn weight garment. The buttons I used were also from Merchant & Mills, from a separate trip. I was running low on blue thread and determined not to buy another reel, so I stitched them on with contrasting red thread. 


I'm very rarely an early adopter when it comes to sewing patterns. Sewing pattern styles usually have to grow on me, and I like to see other people's versions pop up on the interwebs before I, myself, commit. This pattern was somewhere in between for me though. It's not a newly released one (so I had the joy of exploring the hashtag), however I knew I wanted it as soon as I saw it. I felt my beautiful, medium-weight denim would work well for the cropped/'trans-season' style. I don't have any cropped trousers in my wardrobe currently, but I chose to keep the length as per the pattern (rather than follow my instinct to lengthen the pattern pieces to ankle length) so that this garment would fulfil a different function to my broken twill Lander pants

(image source: Pauline Alice)

I am a ginormous fan of sailor style trousers. I even made a pair almost exactly ten years ago! I wore those a lot, until the cheap, nasty fabric I used shrunk and faded. That was at the beginning of my Rockabilly phase, and even though I'm out the other side of that now, I still love that nautical-style button detail. 

Once I'd bought the PDF pattern, I took the rare (for me) step of getting the A0 file printed out in large format using the Fabric Godmother printing service. I usually print out the A4 file at home and spend an evening sticking all those sheets together, but this felt like a special occasion! Before cutting out my pattern, I laid my Lander pants pattern pieces over the top to compare them. I could see that I would need to alter the crotch curve of the Romeros a bit, and I preemptively curved the back waistband so it would sit nicely against my lower back. 

I haven't used a Pauline Alice pattern before, and it was fun to try out a new-to-me company. I believe her patterns are available in English, French and possibly also Spanish, which is awesome. The instructions were fairly clear, although the pocket/button stand construction was pretty complicated, and I had to wing it at a couple of points. 

(image source: Pauline Alice)


Now that we're in lockdown in the UK, I'm rarely out of leggings and joggers at the moment. However, I made myself wear these on a recent trip to the shops so I could analyse the fit. Generally, they were great and I was super happy with them. However, there was one thing that was bothering me. Because of the construction of the pockets and fastening method, the side seam at the pocket mouth isn't straight, and the pocket facing won't sit very flat. You can even see this happening on the sample pair on the Pauline Alice website (pictured above), as well as in my pair (below). As much as I like having the pockets, I've decided to try to remedy this by stitching through the pocket and button stand, which will seal the pockets shut but should help that whole area sit more neatly. 

Another issue that I think I can improve on, is the rise. I didn't notice until I was going through these pictures, but the back rise is too high. I didn't even want to share that picture here because the look is a bit embarrassing if I'm honest. I'm going to scoop the crotch away a bit to give my bum some more space, which should fix this issue. I love these trousers and the fabric so much that I really want to go the extra mile and finesse them as much as I can. 

There's also something a bit weird going on with the fabric around the front crotch area. It's particularly noticeable in the image above. I'm not sure if it's a tightness caused by not enough space in the front rise (some kind of rounded pubis (!) situation?) or a pooling of fabric due to some other factor. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment! I may not try and address this last issue in this particular pair, but I'd like to learn from them for future versions.

It may not surprise you to learn that I plan to use this pattern again, with tweaks. Or I may frankenstein the fastening pieces onto the Lander pattern, seeing as I achieved a better fit generally with that pattern. I'd love to make some shorts next, perhaps in red twill or linen. It seems that my renewed sailor pants obsession is here to stay for a while...


Mary C. said...

Hi, Zoe! I'm new to your blog. I was wondering if once you close up the pockets, the other issues might resolve themselves? Pockets like that always seem to gape open on women's pants, no matter the cut. You generally don't see that happen to me.

Mary C. said...

Whoops! I meant to say that doesn't happen to men, not me because it does!

Jo said...

I made a pair of sailor trousers like that about 2 years ago and had the same pocket issue and actually tried the same remedy but then the button shot off when I sat down because it was under too much pressure. I guess we need that slack to take up ease across our hips when we move about. They are a lovely shade of blue. Jo xxx

Zoe said...

Thanks for your comments ladies! So far I have stitched up the pockets. You're right Jo, they are a little tighter now but the sides looks so much nicer that it was definitely the way to go. I have yet to solve the rest of the fitting issues, but I intend to try!!!!


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Anastasia @CleanCutPatterns said...

Hello, Zoe! They look great with that stripy tee. I just commented on one of your older trouser posts... As I was saying there it would be good to see the pattern, at least the top half of the front piece. I immagine it's a case of reducing the rise length (so centre seam becomes more vertical) then lengthening the front crotch extension.

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