Guys, I made trousers! Yep, you heard me – TROUSERS! To be honest, I’m still wondering why. I don’t wear trousers. I’m not sure I really like trousers (for me). I own precisely one pair of jeans that I wear when camping or country-walk-walking and a pair of black stretch trousers that I got for about £2 at a charity shop. So whatever possessed me to make them, I’m not sure. But I did. And you know what? It was ok, and I learnt some things too, which is always good. And best of all, they look like proper trousers!
Why trousers? As I was leafing through the Love Sewing magazine I spotted this cute pair of Paperboy Trousers. The pattern is a Wardrobe By Me pattern that was featured in the magazine, along with an article about the founder, Christina. Free PDF (and I do LURVE a PDF!) I loved the colour and style and kept going back for a little look, so after a while I thought, come on, why not just give it a go? The pattern calls for only 1.5m of fabric – much less than the normal dresses I make, so I ordered a lovely teal Ponte Roma and thought “what the hell – if they’re awful, it’s only £11 (including postage) I’ve forked out. No biggie.” The pocket facings were cotton poplin from my stash.
So, I like quick sewing. I like to start something and have it finished the same night, or the next night at a push. This pattern was fine – completed in two nights but only because I didn’t have the required width of elastic in my stash. I learnt some new things (pockets with facings, belt loops and false fly) and realised while working on it that I have come quite a long way in my sewing journey – I could spot where there was a small printing error in the pattern (before I cut the pattern pieces and fabric!) and also could read between the lines of the instructions (I don’t think it’s suitable for complete beginners).
I love the colour of the trousers, although I don’t have much that “go” with them, because I mostly wear dresses and am not really one for separates (cue online search for sewing patterns for tops and tees!) I do also think I should have gone with my instincts and cut the slightly smaller size 12 rather than the 14 (waist measurement was nearly 14 but hips 12 so I erred on the side of caution and thought I’d cut 14 all through and take the side seams in if necessary, but in the end the waist was also a bit big too, and I’d already done the pockets so couldn’t really take in side seams on hips.) Another lesson learned!
But they’re ok. I am still not sure I like me in trousers – maybe some more fitted ones would be good as these are quite baggy and make me feel a bit ‘hippy’ (of the too-much-on-the-hips rather than flowers-in-your-hair variety). But I am mostly proud of going out of my comfort zone and making actual trousers – YAY!
One of the lovely things about sewing is that once people know you sew, then they will bear you in mind when having a clear-out! You may become the destination for all sorts of goodies, if you’re lucky!
I write this post because this month, I have been fortunate enough to have several things donated to my stash! Some fabric, a boxful of mixed threads and some pins, a couple of cones of yarn and the thing I got most excited about…three reels of bias binding!
Sewists are by nature hoarders, I think. Am I right?! There is not a scrap of ribbon, a spool of thread or a tiny square of fabric that is useless. Seriously. I always say yes (or actually “WOW, YES, PLEASE!!!” while trying not to drool on the item in question) when anyone offers me anything remotely to do with sewing. You never know when it’ll come in useful. In fact, my Margot pyjamas (see previous post) and my Skater Dress were both made out of fabric that someone gave me last year when their aunt was having a clear out!
Tools and gadgets are also most welcome, aren’t they? Some of my most treasured items came from my grandmother’s sewing & knitting things, which I inherited when she died. Every time I use her darning mushroom or needle roll I think of her. I also have a large tin full of knitting needles of all sizes that have come from friends, relatives and friends-of-friends that know about me!
Earlier this year, I inherited a cute book on crochet from a friend at work that found out it wasn’t for her. I also have become the lucky owner of a whole set of Golden Hands magazines that I have been lusting after for years (oooh! I love them for their seventies macrame and lurex gorgeousness!)
So the message to you all is to say “Yes please”, whenever anyone offers you anything. You might not use it straight away, but if you keep it squirrelled away, you never know when you might want to use it! Now, what can I do with 75 metres of bias binding?!!
Last weekend I tidied my sewing room! Woo-hoo! It was lovely to spend some time sorting through my fabric stash especially (wow, I have too much fabric, if there is such a thing!) and rediscovering some of the lovely bits and pieces I’d forgotten about! It’s all now nice and tidy and stacked neatly in colour blocks. Wonder how long that will last?! But it gave me a good chance to spy things I’d not remembered I had, which led in turn to a couple of things on the To-Do list!
The 2015 “To Do” list is coming along nicely. I have been making myself spend more time sewing lately as a means to de-stressing and getting a better perspective on life! So the first thing I did was to make another Coco dress. I made one last year in a brown jersey fabric with orange helicopters on. Here it is:
I wear it so much and it’s so comfy. So this time I made one in a red ladybird spot. I love it and have already worn it a couple of times, so I think it’s a good addition to the wardrobe. I do love Coco, and this fabric (ponte di Roma) was a dream to sew. Anyone nervous about sewing with a stretch fabric would do well with this as a first try.
I topstitched the pockets this time because the last one I made annoys me a bit because the fabric rolls (see below). But apart from that, a lovely quick and satisfying sew!
The second thing I made was a pair of Margot pyjamas from Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch. I ditched the ribbon ties in favour of elastic, which I much prefer in a pyjama! Hmmm…is it possible to have a singular of pyjamas?!!
I discovered this brushed cotton plaid when I tidied! Yay! Perfect for pjs! I do love my pjs, and I don’t think I could ever have too many!
You can see I used my beloved overlocker (thanks again, Mum!) to neaten up the seams.
My challenge: One year - I will not buy clothes - I will upcycle to make what I need - everything from underwear to evening wear! Join me for tips, exclusive BrawHem makes, and inevitably some hilarious disasters...