MANSWAP #7 (Nearly) finishing the brown corduroy trousers

posted in: SWAP, WIP (work in progress) | 14

Last week I left you with a cliff hanger! Would letting out the back seam fix the problem of the trousers-that-were-too-tight?

Last week I explained that the brown corduroy trousers I am making for my son turned out a little too snug. Demented Fairy suggested Gus might have over-indulged over the Christmas break. While that was true I think the fault was all mine. Because my toile, made with thin calico, fitted well I hurtled straight to the real thing. In thick corduroy. The toile omitted pockets and fly, so taking that all into account I felt I had lost and inch or so – enough to use up all the ease. And make Gus uncomfortable in the strides. I posted pictures.

Thank you for your advice, and the interesting insights in how to fit Gus – the cupping of his rear, the thickness of his thighs, and the shape of his stomach were discussed on this blog. Poor guy – rather than being fitted in the privacy of a gentlemen’s outfitters changing room by a professional his figure is being viewed and discussed world-wide. Thankfully he is a good sport – this is the cost of free, made-to-measure wardrobe.

So I said I would fix the issue via men’s secret seam – the split waist band and wide CB seam with lots of excess fabric in it. I was excited to try such a classic move. I gave it a try, and it certainly worked technically. Supurb. But Gus looked a bit like he was standing in a bucket. Way too much fullness at this point. Gus’s bum now looked big.

I think many of you will know that I share my home with my husband Nick, and that various children and grandchildren are in and out of the flat as they all live very close by. While I was fitting Gus Nick got involved and as a result you will see that the side seam is now pinned. That was because Nick hates “flaps” around his thigh area, and he persuaded Gus that he also needed the leg slimmed down a bit.

Making trousers for men
Let out to full extent at the CB seam

There was now only one thing for it – I had to pull the pants apart and reshape the outer leg seams too. I felt it was worth doing this properly as I had to make these pants at least twice more and I needed to understand the shape of that outside leg seam. This is how I make my own trousers and skirts. I have an intuitive understanding of my shape from the side (amongst other important lines) and I could draw in a trouser side seam by hand if I had too. With Gus this is a good way to understand his shape.

Making trousers for men
Trousers in pieces

Once I had pressed the seams open I laid the pants out on the cutting table and chalked in new side seams, taking out fullness across the thigh but allowing a little more ease across the seat and front body. I took the CB seam in again, but less than originally, and I measured everything carefully. I then thread tacked all the seams (the two fronts together, and the two backs) so that not only would they match but I could also understand the shape. I then carefully pined the thread tacks together and remade the pants.

Making pants for men
Redefining the side seams

These are beginning to look great, I think. Gus finds them comfortable and they look nice. I don’t think he had ever worn cord before and likes the softness, warmth and yield of these pants. He liked the look with brogues and a dark T. “I will definitely wear these for work” he said. At this stage the waistband is unfinished, the belt loops are missing, the trousers are pinned closed and the hems are not done. The CB may still need a little tweak and the fly needs to be redone.

At my snail’s pace that will be another week, Sir.



14 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    Nice job, Kate. The client seems satisfied! I like the front view in one of the final two photos. I’ve always liked corduroy and find it warm, although G always disputes this with me. You’ve chosen a nice colour and wale.

  2. karen

    Lucky Gus! His mum has follow through. I have a tendency to get frustrated, ball garments up and toss ’em. You do realize that you may have toiled yourself into the unenviable position of Gus’ tailor for the rest of your sewing life? He will not be able to get the fit and comfort of the pants that you have made for him. Now that he knows how things can fit, he will be looking for it again and again. lol And you say Nick is poking his oar in? Another customer on the cusp. I hope you know what you may be in for.
    Oh well, at the very least, things will be interesting. Best of luck.

    • fabrickated

      I think you maybe right. But this is such hard work for me. I feel like I am learning a foreign language. But most of all I am being brought up against my lack of construction skills. I am just not used to level of accuracy that seems to be involved.

  3. Sue

    These are looking very good indeed! I’m pleased you are going for perfection for Gus as it seems that he really appreciates it, and that makes everything worthwhile. Tailoring at its best.

  4. Brenda Marks

    Your patience and persistence is admirable. And your problem solving is really helpful to see. You’re reminding me why I don’t like to sew for other people – they have opinions. lol.

  5. Joost De Cock

    Question: I’m currently working on my new pattern site, and I’d like to showcase makes from the sewing community on it based on patterns of the site.
    Since I’ll also be migrating the patterns currently on MMP, I’d like to prime the pump a bit with some great makes from those patterns.
    Would it be ok for you if I posted a picture of these trousers, linking back to your blog post?


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