Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vogue 1059 - Alice + Olivia Trousers Tutorial - and a Question

Well, I am really proud of my first pair of trousers! I'm just so glad I got through them. Maree And Lore, I couldn't have done it without your invaluable tips.

So, here is my guide to sewing trousers. I am no expert, but I certainly learnt some things along the way.

The number one thing I learnt is that it is imperative to make a muslin. Here are the alterations I made from the muslin:
  • First of all, I followed Maree's suggestion to cut the muslin one size larger, but sew with larger seam allowances. I ended up taking the pants in about 2-3 centimetres further in the hip area, directly beneath the yoke. But I did not do this alteration until I had sewn the waistband on - then I could really see where the changes needed to be made. 
  • The second thing I have learnt is that I must have a very long crotch to waist measurement. I ended up cutting the crotch length at three sizes larger!    
  • I also used a slightly longer zipper, and thus increased the length of the pants from the crotch to just before the waist band by approximately 1.5cm. You can see the nice length I have on them side on:

  • I should have trialled welt pockets on the muslin - I really screwed up on the fashion fabric and had to do some pockets a la Rachel - which look fine, but are not welt pockets all the same. 
    Pockets and rear view:

    • Now, the major design alteration I made was to the construction the fly. The pattern called for approximately four different pieces for constructing the fly and fly guard. I just could not get my head around this. I am quite spatially challenged, but this was ridiculous.
    • Then Lore from Sew Red Hot came to the rescue, and pointed me in the direction of this amazing video:

    My goodness, this little 5 minute video saved my life. Thank you Lore! I'm forever in your debt. I watched this video a few times, consulted with my spatially-gifted hubby, and re-drafted the trouser leg to include a fly extension. Here is what the pattern piece looks like now:

    The fly extension probably extends 7cm. I trimmed it after sewing in the zipper. It was sooooo easy!

    Here is what the new improved fly looks like on my trousers (sorry this isn't the greatest photo):

    And here is what they look like on me!!

    Now, it is from this last photo that I have the question. See how coming up from my crotch I have that kinda 'U' shape going on? What could be causing that? Here are my thoughts:

    • Is the crotch seam still not long enough?
    • Or is it too long? Does that area look like it extends too high?
    • Did I not trim enough on the inside seams?
    • Do I need more length on the trouser length before I get to the waistband? 
    • The fabric is relatively heavy - could the fabric be too heavy? It is heavier than my Herringbone, Cue and Veronica Maine suit pants material.
    I don't really notice the 'U' shape when I'm wearing them, but its pretty obvious in the photos! I'd really appreciate your help and any thoughts/tips you might have!


    1. Hello! I'm sorry I can't help you with your query about your trousers, I have never done any! I was just wondering about the "welsh pockets" you're referring to, what are they? I live in Wales, so I'm intrigued!! xx

    2. The slacks look great. It is possible that the shadow in the photo doesn't really show up in real life. But, it is possible that the crotch is still just slightly short. I don't know. I don't sew for myself anymore, just for little ones. Fitting issues are not a big problem with little ones.
      It's hard to believe these are the first slacks you've ever made! They are awesome.

    3. Great fit indeed
      Hope you get an answer for the U
      Sorry I have no cue but a too short crotch

    4. Ok, don't take this as any real expertise, but I do have some guesses:
      a) I don't think the crotch seam is too short. This usually presents as a tendency to wedgie.
      b) I'm guessing the problem is leg front horizontal measurement at the crotch, or maybe just the shape of the line where the zipper attaches is slightly off.
      c) One thing that you can do is take a tape measure and compare various measurements on that pair of pants to a pair that fits somewhat similarly but does not have this problem.

    5. I think your pants look lovely - a very nice fit for your first time! I always get those lines in RTW pants, and I'm not totally sure what causes them. I also have a long waist to crotch length, so it could be that!

    6. Fantastic first attempt at pants! And what a flattering cut too.
      I haven't made pants in a long long time, so I have no ideas on the "U." Maybe it's not as noticeable in real life, too? It's also easy to be more critical of your own work as well.
      Thanks for sharing your tips on the fly as that's one of the main reasons I avoid making pants!

    7. They look great Rachel - only guseeing here but could the u shape be caused by pulling th pants up too high on the hips?

    8. The pants look very nice! I used to have the same problem with fitting pants and I fixed it by lengthening the front crotch point only. Now all my pants just skim nice across my stomach into the thighs!

    9. Hello Rachel - these are damn good - trousers, how I love them. I am not expert on trouser fitting...the 3D aspect of fitting is so tricky ..I find this link really good - its from a tech school (like our TAFE I guess) which like Lisa suggests it could be the front crotch point only that needs lengthening. Perhaps try this next time.
      Hope your wrist is healing well. Maree xo

    10. I've made a few pairs of jeans-type trousers and always fought with the fly, but thank you SO MUCH for finding that little video. It is a total life saver! Sometimes with work trousers I cheat and put an invisible zip in the side - that works very well too.

    11. Thanks for the recognition but Sandra Betzina was the one with the great fly video!

      I think the pants look great, I love that wide leg. I'm not sure about the 'u' business. Maybe a little more front crotch (as Lisa says)?

      I'm not a fitting expert and just wiggle things around till it seems to work.

      Have fixed my following thing now as I think I was following under my google address rather than my blog name, hey, I'm newish at this game !!

      Hope your arm is healing and the pants are getting some wear in this chilly winter (officially, from today)!
      Lore x

    12. Don't know the answer to the U, have the fly front zipper tutorial and it makes lots of sense. Would love to see a tutorial on the pants. I cut out the pants with a stretchy material and it was downhill for me. I hope to find a tutorial on this pant because it's so awesome. Anyway, if you have sewing questions, you might try: Love your blog!