You may remember I am thinking about a number of trouser options for my SWAP.
- a good pair of jeans (although I have two or three already)
- a second pair of the Simplicity 6087 trousers but in a different colour
- a pair of perfectly fitting tailored trousers
- high-waisted trousers
- a jumpsuit
- a pair of tailored shorts
- adapting my curvy pencil skirt to make a trouser pattern.
Tailored trousers – style notes
At the moment I am working on item 3 – the perfectly fitting tailored trousers. If these don’t make the cut I still have the other options, and I have yet to try out numbers 4 to 7.
So I finished 3. the tailored trousers.
Do they fit perfectly?
They fit comfortably. I cut the size 40, and altered the waist to fit (using the multi-sized pattern to grade down to size 38 at the waist). Otherwise I made no changes. I didn’t even lengthen or shorten the trousers. And surprisingly the fit is excellent. However I did have to take the waist band in by at least a further two inches during the construction. This was not difficult due to the back seam being the last one to be stitched. Actually I machine basted the trousers once the fly and pockets were completed, and tried them on. With the very long seams on trousers unpicking in the event of a poor fit can be tedious – but I didn’t change leg width. Maybe I should have done.
The lapped fly front is great, and came out really nicely. I have Sandra Betzina to thank for this. She suggested a longer than specified zip – what a breakthrough! This allows all the stitching to be done nice and flat, and then you just cut off the top of the zip. Fantastic. I will never struggle with a little zip again.
I took the construction slowly and was glad of the thread tacking which meant everything was lined up perfectly. Of course it is a nuisance to remove but I have a good pair of tweezers. I really like the colour of the fabric (forest green) and it is a light, smooth wool with just a bit of elastane in it.
The real issue is – do they suit me?
Esme’s view is that they should be narrower in the leg, to make them look more contemporary. I think she may be right. Let’s have another look at the J Crew Cafe Capri pants description.
Introducing our wildly flattering wool café capri—now your favorite perfect-fitting pant can be worn allyear long. Crafted in lightweight wool and a collection ofcan’t-miss colors, it’s the one piece you’ll need to anchor your wardrobe for fall (and beyond).
- True to size.
- City fit—our lowest rise.
- Sits just above hip.
- Fitted through hip and thigh, with a skinny, cropped leg.
- 27″ inseam.
I have noticed a number of J Crew reviewers saying the trousers are too tight on the calf. For the record my calves measure 14 inches and my Burda pants are 15 inches at the cuff. In fact my Burdas are comfortable rather than “fitted through the hip and thigh” with a “skinny” leg. So I could perhaps slim them down as Esme suggests, narrowing the cuff to 12 inches (the same as my 1960s pants) are generally tapering the legs. Maybe.
I really don’t love this look on me. I feel self-conscious about my shape and even with a little heel I feel stocky. Stocky with a large rear. At the moment these trousers are not going into the SWAP. I will wear them for work; I already wore them to meet the housing minister. They may grow on me. But I found them comfortable and practical rather than professional and elegant.
But in terms of the SWAP it is back to the drawing board. I plan to make the alterations suggested below, but I think I can do better. Next up I going to try option 7 – the adaption of my favourite skirt pattern.
- The pockets and fly are really nice. I like the method of putting the turn ups together too. If you look great in trousers this is a good pattern.
- If you make them in a nice wool it really makes sense to line them.
- I think the rise could be just an inch or so lower to get closer to the J Crew “City fit” – they are advertised as resting on the hips but they came above the navel on me.
- The waistband could be more shaped (contour waist band).
- If you like to wear a belt they probably need belt loops.
- To make them look more contemporary taper the leg by between two and three inches (ie half an inch on each trouser piece) from the knee to cuff.