22 May 2012

Warning: Detour Ahead

Or - this post has nothing to do with those turnback cuffs I was supposed to be sewing.
Or - why cutting on the grain is important.

For all my worrywarting about self-drafting, I can't seem to stop doing it. Yesterday I finished a pair of black trousers, based on a pattern that I designed and drafted back in the fall.

When designing and sewing these, I used a list of observations I made nearly a year ago in July 2011, about the problem of fitting pants (Part 1 and Part 2). And I think that helped, a lot. These trousers have a good fit around the hips and thighs, they're loose enough but not as baggy as my original pair were, and the stretchy synthetic fabric means they're incredibly comfortable.

Other than that, there's not a lot to say. My stitching on this project was a little sloppy, so I can't show off about the pretty hems or the marvellous darts. (Actually, one of the back darts somehow ended up a half-inch shorter than the other. Well.)  And then there's this funny little peak at the back of the waistband, courtesy of my careless lapping of the zipper:

But one thing I really like about these pants is how straight the creases hang when I press them. Maybe I'm just picky, but most of the store-bought trousers I own are impossible to press creases into, since the grain line is almost always tilted. If I don't fold & press along the grain line, the crease is messy, and if I do, then the crease ends up running from the outer thigh to the inner calf. Or the inner thigh to the outer calf. Or, with one most excellent pair, from the inner thigh to the side seam.

None of that's happening with this pair of pants. See how evenly it folds! See how horizontally the seam lies!

And another picture, because I love pressed trousers that much:

(I really do, even if I dislike ironing my clothes at all. And I usually wear jeans.)

I'll probably remake this pattern soon, maybe in a navy or a dark grey, since I like this pair so much. But first, that shirt! And about a half-dozen other projects that I need to finish.


  1. I think they look great. I think when we make our own clothes, we also become our own critics. And that can be a bad thing. Sometimes I go into stores to look at the craftsmanship just to prove to myself that my standards are too high for my own sewing. I love that you drafted your own pattern. I really admire that you can do that! Bravo!

    1. Thank you! And it's true that sometimes we expect to accomplish too much with a home-sewing machine and spare snatches of time. Actually, I've never gone to a store purposely looking for proof of my "high standards," but I love the idea of you doing that!