Cracking on with sewing for me, I’ve been on a real binge! I cut out two pieces of linen for trousers, one a khaki linen from Fred Winter’s in Stratford on Avon, and the other the most beautiful blue and white slubby herringbone from Fabric Godmother. I couldn’t avoid buying the herringbone, the minute I spotted it online I just had to have it, and I knew exactly what I wanted it for!
Bringing out my tried and tested Burda trouser patterns, it had to be my favourite wide swooshy style, 116 from Burdastyle magazine 3/2004. I made a bit of a boob though, and I hang my head in shame… You can only buy whole metres from Fabric Godmother, and this pattern calls for 2.2m You need that extra length because of the width of the trouser pieces, especially in the larger sizes. There is no way to get them pieces next to each other. So knowing I had 20cm less, you’d have thought I’d be really careful in cutting out.
Well, I put the fabric on my cutting table, which is shorter than 2m, so I carefully folded the piece that would otherwise have draped off the end, and proceeded to place the back, pocket pieces, facings, yoke & zip underlap in the space next to that piece. Then I happily cut it all out. Then I moved the folded fabric to the centre of the table and unfolded it. You can guess what happened next, can’t you… There wasn’t enough length left to cut the front. I think my cries of anguish could have been heard in the fields surrounding our little town. Then came the sound of me trying really hard to kick myself in the butt. Man I was cross, what a TWIT! A cup of tea and lots of deep breathing later I decided to wing it. I couldn’t buy another 2 metres just because I was so unrelentingly dumb that day!
I decided I’d have to piece the front, with the join as low down on the leg as possible to minimise anyone noticing. I hoped that the vertical pattern in the weave of the fabric would make it less obvious that there was a horizontal line where you didn’t expect to see one. I marked a 1cm seamline and on the paper marked the position of a dominant “stripe” in the weave to line up with. Once the main piece was cut I moved the paper over and cut the remaining 25cm, lining up those markers. Then it was just a question of pinning really carefully to ensure the patterns and stripes lined up as perfectly as possible.
For the construction I overlocked around everything pretty quickly as the fabric was rather prone to fraying. Because the weave is loose and the fibres slubby, this cotton and linen blend frayed more and quicker than a “normal” linen. I took my time lining up the pattern on the lower leg, and I think it’s worked out pretty well, I have to look for the horizontal line, so I don’t think anyone else will notice it when I’m out and about!
I do love this pattern, the way the yoke fits in the hollow of the back is perfect and this is the one pair that doesn’t pull down in the back, unlike all my other trousers. One thing I’ve noticed after wearing them for a day, as the fabric is a little on the heavier side, I could probably take the width of the legs in a bit.
They’re also pretty long. I have already shortened the pattern in the leg by 6cm but I think I need to take the hem up another 1.5 to 2cm. Which would be a bit of a pain, because I decided to support the inside of the hem against being rubbed by shoes and the ground by stitching in a piece of seam tape to the inside of the hem. So before taking it up more I’d have to unpick the tape.
But I luuuurve them! What I will need now is a white tee or two, I have plenty of blue ones! Tia Dia posted 3 tees she’s made recently, I’m quite tempted to use some of the patterns she’s tried as they look so good!