I finally finished my only make in all of the two weeks I was off work; my first ever pair of trousers (shorts really), with the help of my new acquisition. I so want to make a pair of ladies’ trousers but haven’t had the courage, which is funny because I usually dive into projects head first. I have trouser fabrics ready to be transformed but I’m still holding back because I’ve read that they usually need loads of alterations. So I decided to make BurdaStyle 7046 first (men usually would have standard measurements?) while continuing to learn about making ladies’ trousers. I’m getting impatient though.
I think I may have mentioned in a previous post that I don’t like to make a toile before making a garment, but that is not quite right. I just prefer to make a wearable toile, so instead of using muslin/calico, I buy sale fabrics to try out a pattern. So, this is the toile I made for my son.
- Fabric – 1m Liberty Twill, bought on sale for £4 at Abakhan. It’s chino-like with stiff drape.
- I made view c in size 36
I was so carried away by the idea of ‘me’ making a pair of men’s shorts that I measured my son’s waist instead of his hip to pick his size, and was about to cut the fabric when alarm bells started ringing. Phew! Then I started sewing and noticed the pattern is for an advanced sewist. No wonder it felt like the instructions are written in German in places 🤔. I had to use two different chino trousers from my son’s wardrobe as guides as I sewed.
Alterations/Changes I made
- As my Brother XR-6600 was misbehaving, I decided not to top-stitch the back pockets as instructed after two failed attempts. Instead I stitched-in-the-ditch to hold down the welts, and satin-stitched both ends of the pocket openings together.
- I also misread the instruction and did two back pockets instead of only the right one.
Likes – Though I struggled to understand the instructions in places, the diagrams helped tremendously, and I really like the finished garment. I think I now know how to improve on it in my next make.
Dislikes – Caveat: I’m not an advanced sewist and didn’t realise until I almost finished this pair that the pattern is advanced. That said, I didn’t like some things.
- I think the pattern for the welt strip for the back pocket was too short because my stitching didn’t catch the raw ends, and I tried twice. So I had to cut a longer strip, width was okay.
- I didn’t like the finished look of the pockets when the shorts is turned inside out (I just used an overlock stitch to neaten the edges), but I liked the way the back pockets of his ready-to-wear chino trousers are finished. One showed the right side of the pocket against the wrong side of the shorts (so any untidiness was hidden from view), while bias binding was used to finish the edges of the other. So I made bias binding from the fabric to neaten all pocket edges. I guess the sewist is expected to choose an appropriate finish. I promise to remember to take pictures next time showing the insides of my finished pockets.
- Using the same fabric for the insides of the pockets created bulks in several places such that my Brother XR-6600 struggled. So I took them out and used a 100% plain cotton fabric in places to reduce bulk. An example is shown here.
- Even though I narrowly missed what would have been a major disaster (using waist measurement to pick the size instead of hip measurement), I still ended up with double disaster. I made two buttonholes without realising I had stitched the pockets closed. Unpicking those tiny stitches took me almost all of one day. At that point, I really wanted to kick something.
- The fly didn’t quite cover the zip fully, but I was able to remedy this by seriously manoeuvring the hook.
Verdict – It was challenging, yes, but I AM going to make both this version and the pants again, and again (yes, I have four gents to make it for). The trouser version for autumn and shorts for next summer.
It’s show time.
Till next time.