Sewing with a Plan 2015 0.9

posted in: Finished projects, SWAP | 11

Sewing with a Plan has kicked off. Ladies all over the world have started their four month stint to make 11 co-ordinating outfits (no men yet, although menswear is being made). I have not actually started as I am still testing my patterns. I am keen on working through the trousers in the hope of getting to a definitive TNT pattern that I can use again and again. So bear with me please, as I continue to test and toile. I may need a couple more weeks before I start sewing “for real”.

Finalising the tailored trousers

Alterations to the pattern

I previously toiled the Burda 107D tailored trouser pattern (see above, in dark green). The style was not entirely satisfactory so I resolved to have another go, and made the following changes. I

  1. lowered the waist band seam by an inch to give them  a slightly low-slung, hipster look
  2. extended the back dart by half an inch
  3. removed the turn ups
  4. tapered the leg by two inches at the hem, and three inches at the knee, to give a more contemporary shape
  5. took the pattern in by a further inch at the CB waist, tapering down the CB seam
  6. discarded the waistband instructions

I still have a few items to decide

  • exact length
  • exact position of waist band (may raise again slightly)
  • the type of closure
  • the length of the overlap on the waist band
  • the exact fullness of the width in the upper thigh area

It’s interesting how many variations there are with a simple pair of pants!


I adopted the approach suggested by Mary Funt of Cloning Couture for the waist band, cutting two pieces of 3 and 1/2″ by 20 inches pieces of bias strip. I joined them and stitched this to the waist seam. I then used curved Petersham for the waistband. I am very pleased with this finish and I am grateful to Mary for the suggestion.

I did not make these up very carefully so they are imperfect in a number of respects. But I like the shape and the pattern is now adequate to the task. I am ready to make these trousers up as part of my suit.

Tomorrow I will move on to one more trouser pattern that I have in mind. Stay posted if you are interested in designing, fitting and making ladies’ trousers – something of a holy grail.

LDV the last supper
Leonardo’s holy grail

11 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    Nice fit. I especially like the taper. I probably would raise the waistband and possibly lengthen very slightly, but that’s personal choice. Interested to see the other pants toile!

  2. sewruth

    Well your hard work paid off! Super trousers that suit you well. Just one tiny thing Kate, if you are getting wrinkling on the back thigh, pinch out 1/2″ or so on the pattern just below the back crotch line to shorten this section, then they will lie perfectly flat when wearing. Looking forward to seeing your SWAP come to life.

  3. Anne

    Great advice and the trousers looking very chic and flattering Kate. P.S. da Vinci might object to renaming his painting – damned Dan Brown 😉

  4. maryfunt

    These look like a great fit. I like them better without the cuff. Did you taper the leg? Looks very flattering. Glad my previous suggestion of a bias waist helped. You can also contour a crossgrain waistband (shaping with a steam iron) if you don’t have enough fabric to cut bias. You have inspired me to get going on my own SWAP.

    • fabrickated

      I did taper the leg. I am making another pair in the hope of getting it just right, but of course different fabric behaves differently! I am terribly grateful for your suggestions. I have found that 1.5m is enough to easily create a true bias waistband, but could probably go down to 1.3m or 1.4m if I followed the crossgrain suggestion. Luckily my fabric is quite cheap (around £9 for 1.5m). I have been using curved petersham as a stiffener. What would you suggest? Also do “announce” your SWAP or Artisan’s Square Mary – at the moment the numbers are fairly low.

  5. symondezyn

    I have just made my first two pairs of trousers myself so am looking forward to following along with your trouser adventures! 🙂 Yours look wonderful so far, and the fit looks really really good!!! Mine are very un-perfect thus far, but I do believe I have fallen in love with pants-making, as even in their imperfect-ness, they fit and feel SOOOOO much better than RTW!!! 🙂 I’m attempting jeans making now – wish me luck! LOL

    • fabrickated

      Once you have a pattern that fits AND suits your shape, they are of course quite easy to make. Now jeans are another topic and I have never attempted them, so not only good luck with the jeans, but also looking forward to your insights.

      • symondezyn

        I am absolutely LOVING making trousers – it’s very satisfying indeed, and I agree, the details (while not quite easy yet for me haha) are getting easier with practice 🙂 The jeans are progressing nicely so far; it’s a fun project, especially with all the topstitching and handling the different properties of denim! 🙂

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