Freshly Stitched

My ‘not so’ Sewaholic thurlow trousers

Blog / 6 May 2015

This blog post is very late to the party….like about 3 months late. I feel like I’ve been talking about making the Sewaholic Thurlow trousers for ages and back in…oooo….I think it might have been February, I finally cut them out.

I’ve seen a lot of good things about this pattern on blogs and instagram and I wanted to have a go myself as I wear chinos and jeans a lot, so it’s about time I made more of them myself.

I used a black and white chevron fabric that has a bit of stretch in it – which is good for trousers – you need a bit of give. Unfortunately it was so long that I cut these dudes out that we don’t have any more of it left - bummer!

Sewaholic patterns and I are a bit of a funny one. I love the designs but they are drafted for a pear shape and unfortunately I’m not that curvy. It means my proportions just don’t really fit to the size chart.
I'm a 4 at the waist but a zero at the hip.

For the Sewaholic tops and blouses that I’ve made before it has been fine as I just taken in the side seam when I get to the hip region but with trousers it’s a whole other story.

Based on my measurements I decided to make a size 4 with full anticipation that I would have to have them taken in a lot at the side seams and the centre back seam.

I also knew before I cut them out that I didn’t want the flared style of the cut - I like my trousers with a much straighter tapered leg. That bit seamed easy – I just took a pair of trousers I already have and measured the calf circumference as various points and matched that onto the pattern. It seemed silly to cut out the full flare in fabric when I knew I’d be chopping it off anyway.

Making the pockets was a bit of a challenge as I hadn’t made pockets in that way before but I worked my way through the instructions ok, just taking it one step at a time. I had some really lovely liberty lawn in my stash that I used for the lining – I love the contrast on the inside.

The fly front was ok, I did unpick it once as there was a bit of a lumpy bumpy situation in a weird place that couldn’t stay…..I’m sure you can imagine! I’m pretty pleased with it now; I just should really reposition the bar bit of the hook and bar so that the zip is more covered!

Once I had the fly in place and the inside leg seams done it was time for some serious pinning in. My mum was visiting for the weekend and I got her to pin everything in for me. This is one fitting technique that you really can’t do on your own!

I ended up taking them in an inch at each side seam and at the top of the centre back seam too – which is a lot really!

The result is a wearable pair of trousers and I have worn them quite a few times but I just feel like there is something funny about them. Almost like they feel twisted maybe. I think I just ended up changing the original pattern so much that things just weren’t quite right.

Also they are still a bit big for me despite all the fitting. I made the mistake of not prewashing the fabric first and due to the stretch in the fabric they relax out a bit as I wear them – just like normal RTW jeans do.

Lessons learned here

  • Totally pre-wash the fabric!
  • Find a pattern that more closely resembles my proportions. I’m not looking for a miracle pattern here, and I fully expect to have to alter things a bit- but I’d rather do an inch or two at most, than having to totally chop into and re-fit the trousers once they are cut out.
  • Make a toile – even just a shorts version so I can check the bum/hip/groin area (I was just too impatient before!)
  • When using fabric that has a bit of a give or stretch – make sure that I fit them even a little too tight – so that when they relax out as I wear them I’m not pulling up my trousers all day.

My conclusion..... I’m still working on my trouser skills, it’s not easy, but challenges are good so I’ll keep you posted. I really fancy trying a proper pair of jeans but think I’ll wait until after the Summer.

Have you tired trousers before and found them a bit tricky?