Some months ago, I purchased a whole heap of Style Arc PDFs,including three or four trouser patterns [Ebony, Daisy, Willow, Sammi]. I started to toile two of them for Dawn [Willow and Sammi], and got hopelessly bogged down for various reasons:
- I hate toiles
- I’m not perfectionist enough to persevere with fitting issues
- I hate toiles
- Style Arc, much as I love them, have really narrow seam allowances, and I forgot to increase them
- I ran out of curtain lining, which is my favourite for toiles as you can write all over it
- I lost the will to live, as Dawn is really bad at standing still while I bodge pins into her. What a titty baby!
Anyway, they ended up stuffed into a crate while I got on with more interesting projects. I have repeatedly made the resolution to gird my loins [not lions] and crack on…and then procrastinated again. Oh look- shiny!
So last weekend I forced myself to sort out the mess. And faltered. Those scruffy patched and scribbled-on toiles were very daunting. SO I sang ‘la la la’ to myself, and dug out two replacement patterns, both designer. One is Vogue 1143, a Guy Larocke trouser suit which I REALLY want to make for Dawn as I think she will absolutely rock it, and Vogue 1309, an Issey Miyake outfit. I previously got myself bogged down in trying to make the top, but the trouser pattern looks really smart.
Both styles have side pockets. The Laroche has waist facing, and slightly flared or bootcut shaping. The Miyake trousers have a full waistband with belt carriers, and are wide legged.
I spent quite some time choosing sizes.
Like me, Dawn has slim hips and a thicker waist. Unlike me, she also has a curvaceous bottom. I’m used to adjusting for that by slightly raising CB waistline, and also extending the back crotch seam by anything from 1/2″ to 2″.
Accordingly, I selected by hip size. Then I looked at the finished garment measurements on both patterns. Vogue strikes again! Excessive ease of 4-5″ on both styles. Good grief. I went down a size on both, and still expect to take them in where needed. I did a quick tissue fit of each, all seemed well.
tissue fitting V1309 and V1143
Rather than annoy myself by using toile fabric, I picked out some ‘second string’ fabrics from Dawn’s stash. The Miyake got paired with a heavy stretch denim, in a rich chocolatey brown, already pre-washed, yay! The Laroche went nicely with a lengthy piece of deep purple poly with a satin back. There is a tiny bit of stretch in it, but only because of the crepe-like weave I think. It’s much lighter weight than the denim, and more ‘dressy’ as befits the style.
I decided to extend the pocket pieces in both to make pocket stays [ie stitching an extended pocket piece into centre front. This stabilises the pocket AND gives a little bit of tummy-smoothing.] Pockets in both are cut out in a bit of the leftover chambray from my Mizono dress, to avoid bulk.
So, on with the sewing!
V1309, brown stretch denim Miyake wide-leg trousers. [sorry, can’t say ‘pants’ without giggling]
I like Vogue patterns, and I like the step-by-step instructions. As this is a designer pattern, and a toile/trial run, I decided to be obedient and follow through every step. This was interesting! Some sections are quite high-end in finish, some bits are weirdly messy and unfinished. Might just be me, of course…
I haven’t done a fly front in ages, and then it was a red-hot Hot Patterns balls-up, so I slowed right down and checked each step carefully. I like that some of the fly pieces are lined and bagged out. I liked the instruction to bind one of the edges…but having completed it one seam is left unfinished and fraying, while everything else is neat and enclosed. Is it me? Did I do it backwards? Not according to the diagrams.
I love the pocket construction, nice and sturdy, plenty of the pocket bag is sewn into the side seams. I extended one of the pieces to make the pocket stay attach to CF too, and fortunately, found that this will neatly cover that messy fly seam if I like. I do like. On the other side though, I would need to change construction order to get a clean finish, as the pocket extension needs to tuck under an already-stitched-down fly piece.
The rest of the construction was unusual in my experience: having fully assembled fly and pockets, with the 2 front legs only joined by about 2″ of seam, you then sew the two legs’ inside leg seams, then the remainder of the crotch seam, and then the side seams. Weird, but it worked really well.
V1143, aubergine poly crepe, slight stretch, Guy Laroche suit trousers
Construction on these followed the same order, the pockets are designed with front stays, but are considerably smaller. The fly front is partially grown-on, but all fly parts are MUCH smaller and ‘daintier’ than the Miyake ones. I also rushed this, and got it all arse-backwards. Not to worry, this can be fixed after I get the fitting sorted!
Fitting time. Of course, the missus was now fast asleep under a blanket, so I had to kick her a few times. Trouser fitting notwithstanding, she started to remove her jumper. Sigh. I got her into the trousers, which despite shortening by 4″, were still too long. I folded up the excess so they would fall neatly. Nice fit on the hips. All over the shop at the back though, because I hadn’t made the 4 back darts. [Isn’t four unusual for trousers? Whatever.] I pinned out the darts, and also pinned out the little extra that I’d added in at CB. The denim is pretty stretchy so every time I pinned in a bit, they just grew a bit more.
Frustrated, and bored, I walked away for a few days. Part of the trouble is that the missus doesn’t ‘get’ that I just need a well-fitted trouser pattern- ANY pattern, to work from. I don’t do drafting, I don’t like it, I WILL find a pattern and adapt it. She keeps offering helpful [ahem] style suggestions, and wanting me to copy an extant pair of RTW baggy crotch jeans which she likes. No. Not the point dear. We glared for a bit.
Then I snatched up my well-worn StyleArc ‘Misty’ pull on jeans, and asked her to try them on. SLIGHTLY too baggy on the seat, but otherwise, very good. Doh.
Time for take 2!