13 March 2011

Trousers that Fit

'Trousers that Fit' is the name of the class I've been attending at Oh Sew Brixton for the past four Wednesday evenings (well, three, as I missed one when I was poorly). Remember my ill-fated attempt at pedal pushers? That's when I realised that fitting trousers involves intricate work and intimate measurements, and that I needed to invest proper time in planning before trying again. So this course has been just the ticket.

The tutor took about 20 measurements from each of us - the standard ones and then some dimensions I never knew existed (I now know my, ahem, crotch length for instance). She entered the figures into her computer using Bernina's 'My Label' programme and printed out bespoke patterns for each of us. We made these up in calico to test the fitting. Some people's fitted perfectly. Mine turned out quite baggy so needed tweaking at the side seams and the hem, but nothing too complicated.

It's been lovely stitching in the company of other ladies (one of whom reads my blog - hello Susan!). It's also been great having a knowledgeable tutor to help out with the trickier aspects of trousers, such as constructing the flies.

I'm now making them up in a dark grey poly-wool blend I got for £2/metre at Walthamstow market - nothing expensive for my first try! The pattern style wouldn't be my first choice either - low-ish waisted flares with flap pockets - but my main concern at the moment is getting the fit right at my hips. Now that's done, I can adapt the pattern or transfer the lines onto a more interesting style in future. One of the teachers talked us through ideas for adapting the basic pattern, including adding ease, extra darts or box pleats, and trying out different styles such as tapered or culottes. She was so inspiring, urging us all to play around and experiment to find interesting styles and the fit that we like.

I like Vogue 8604 as made by Stitchywitch and Simplicity 2654 as modelled by this lady. Do you have a favourite trouser pattern you could recommend?

[Soundtrack: 'All the King's Men' by Wild Beasts]