Moving on to my second neutral – navy – I decided on a basic pair of trousers. Although I have a few vintage trouser patterns I went back to basics and made a new trouser block.
I dug out Winnie, and got to work. This book costs about £12 – the cost of one modern “Indie” pattern.
It has been a while since I made a trouser block, but it was really easy. If you struggle to get trousers to fit just go for it.
You may remember that I have fairly wide hips and a small waist. I was never able to buy trousers that fitted well over the years. Making pants to fit was what drove me into dressmaking classes in the 1980s.
I often think making your own patterns is time-consuming, but only took an hour or so (a bit longer to trace off the pattern), and I was able to make a pair of pants that fitted really well. Because I am paranoid about my hips being too big (for most commercial trousers) I measured really loosely around the hip area. Consequently the pattern was a bit too curvy and I had to alter the pattern slightly by shaving an inch or so off the outer leg/hip/thigh area but that is the only alteration I made. You may be able to see that on my pattern (compared to the book diagram) the hips are excessively curved.
Although Aldrich suggests making the trousers wider or narrower in the leg to match current fashions, I left them at the middle position (“alternative leg shaping” on the right of the diagram). This is a little wider than I generally wear, and also a little longer. But I felt ready to try a middle-of-the road classic shape on this occasion.
Four pieces only, and the most simple approach.
I am not keen on waist bands. They either cut in or feel sloppy. As with my grey skirt I left the waist band off. I drafted a couple of facings, but after consideration of bulk issues, I just finished the inside of the waist line with a nice piece of Liberty bias binding, made by my friend Linde Carr. This is such a comfortable finish.
It is always possible to make garments directly from the blocks and get a nice fit. But when I tried these on, in plain navy cotton fabric (with a little elastane in it), they looked so boring I wanted to do something to make them a bit more exciting.
Worried that the SWAP this year favours TNT and neutrals and (frankly) dull but wearable capsules, I didn’t want to jazz them up too much. But then I thought they had a nautical look and that maybe a couple of buttons on the front darts would give a bit of interest. I had four nice vintage buttons from the charity shop and I used these.
Thinking neutrals I decided to knit up all my small left over pieces of neutral merino yarns – two beiges, a couple of creams and some grey, and a couple of pastels – lemon and pink. I was inspired by Neapolitan ice-cream. But when I put it on Nick suggested it looked like a rock formation and named it Lyme Regis. This jumper may be part of the SWAP or not. We shall see.
The photos below do not show off the trousers very well. All they demonstrate is that the fabric contains stretch. And that my husband has bought a boat. Oh well. They are nice trousers and I have no doubt I will include them in the SWAP. It is just anonymous dark pants are not my usual choice of legwear.
Next week we are going up to see my Mum who is in hospital again (dislocated hip). So I may not get something made for SWAP next week. At the moment my outline plan is
- Grey pencil skirt (done)
- Grey evening circle skirt or trousers
- Grey Chanel jacket
- Navy trousers (done)
- Navy pleated skirt
- Navy jacket or coat
- Westwood skirt in navy plaid
- Yellow jersey (done)
- Red jersey or maybe a striped (patterned) jumper
- Painted silk blouse
- Another top
Eleven weeks for eight items is realistic. Especially as I could use a Ready to wear navy jacket (item 6) and a previously made top (11), which means six items in 11 weeks. All good.