Trouser Time Again

 I really need a new pair of trousers for work and didn't want to use McCalls M5239 yet again.  I never did like it, except as a pattern to learn with, and after making quite a few pairs in various fabrics, am bored to tears with it. 

McCalls M5239

My McCalls M5239 learners pants/trousers

 I actually went to the shops to see if I could purchase  a pair - sometimes I get tired of having to make everything if I want it to fit me to any degree.  Where I live it is not easy to get small clothes, as  the average build here is very large indeed.  But I had a quick look. I think I am an embarrassment to any shop assistant because I burst out laughing at the huge thighs that balloon out in RTW.  And low rise as well, so they just start slipping down.  I usually frustrate the shop assistants, who are quite sure that they will find me something, only to find that when I say I am not easy to fit, I mean that I am not easy to fit :).  It frustrates me as well - I would love to be able to buy things from time to time, especially when I am busy and I need a garment.

Anyway, as some of you know, RTW pants and myself do not get along well at all.  My worst fitting pants tend to be a better look than this:

Seriously sad saggy look
(For those of you who have followed body shapes, you can see from this photo the V shape line of my body - the inverted triangle -).

Anything I make, however badly fitted, has to look  better than this.  So, to the pattern collection to find something that I might want to make.

I quite like the following pattern and traced my sizes off - Small at waist and high hip, Extra Small for hip and legs.  Then I wondered if maybe it was a little too dramatic for work trousers.

Kwik Sew 3853.

This thought then made me consider assessing what I have in my wardrobe that could get me by for the next few weeks while I sort out what sort of trouser might best suit my needs.  I came up with a few combinations of clothes - so then I went back to wondering what pants to make.

I then looked at McCalls 6403.  I thought this was a nice classic pant that would do for work.  I looked at the pattern pieces and worked out straight away that the back was going to be far too big and baggy for me.  I really don't want to have to start seriously remaking the pattern at this point in time.  I just want some basic trousers.  And to make them with limited frustrations this time around and not with weeks of muslins.  Seriously, I need clothes, not lots of muslins in the rubbish bin.

McCalls M6403
So next I pulled out Kwik Sew 3363.  I thought this was a good classic trouser as well - so I traced it off.  When I really assessed the pattern pieces, and considered the fabric I was going to use, I decided that the pants would not look too good at all - just too wide, and in a poly/viscose gabardine this will look like two planks of wood.  This pant will look good for summer, made up in a nice linen with some sort of drape. On the list - especially as the pattern is now traced.

KwikSew 3363
Then I pulled out another slim leg pants  pattern (Burday 7134) as I had decided the wide legs would not work.  I looked at the pattern pieces and decided it was too slim and severe.  I would just look too boyish - which I don't mind, but the fabric is not right - I would want a jacquard or something,  to add a feminine touch to such an androgynous look.

Burda 7134
So at the moment I am back to my first choice, Kwik Sew 3853.

As I had traced it off this morning, and having turned down other choices, I decided to cut this out in calico, down to the knees - I don't like to waste calico - as a muslin.  If it looks okay, I may make this trouser up for a formal long legged pant.  I do like this trouser, and love the cuffed version, which I will make in a cotton fabric for summer.  I guess it is just not what anyone else is wearing, which is part of the appeal - I also like the looseness around the tummy area, and the inbuilt bagginess (no need to fit !) which also hides the fact my legs are thin and my waist not so defined. 

While I am working on solving the pants choice, I am also making an A-Line skirt.   I tend to like a simple project to work on while thinking about the next project and getting the pattern and muslin organised.

Do you have just as much trouble choosing what to make? I'd love to know - I'm sure I'm not the only one :)

Sarah Liz


  1. I noticed that you have the Sure Fit Design 'ruler'. Have you used the system? If so, what are your thoughts? I am waiting for my package to arrive and I have great expectations of being able to fit MY body. Am I deluding myself?

    1. Yes, it is a Surefit Design 'ruler' - otherwise known as a French Curve. I did purchase a surefit kit late last year and very quickly drew some slopers for myself. They are not perfect and I still cannot get surefit pants to work - can't easily measure my crotch. I will go back to the system later this year. I'll post on the pants later this week - not in detail, but there will be a visual of a muslin, which will give you some idea.

  2. I feel you pain about RTW pants fitting. Looks like you have a few pattern options there. As for project planning, I tend to suffer fom sewing ADD. I have tons of ideas in my head for pieces of my beloved stash and have a hard time deciding where to start...did anybody say "squirrel"??? :)

    1. Yes, I think a few of us find RTw a disillusioning experience - I find humour helps. I think quite a few of us are not sure where to start after hoarding so much stash :)

  3. I really like that Kwik Sew pattern you've decided to go with. I don't think it looks too dramatic for work at all.

    1. Hi Sam, I really like it as well - not yet sure which one I will use - I need to make the muslins so that I can see how they actually look on me in real life :)

  4. If I only had one pattern of each in my stash, I'd just go with that. However, since I hoard, I have 3 or 4 (or more) and then I agonise and agonise. Reality is instead of agonising I should just get on with it and if I can't make it work, move on to the next one, because when I started sewing I wanted to take lessons, but the sewing school close to me offered courses like 'make your own skirt' for $200 or 'make you own dress' for $300. You had to bring your own fabric and pattern, so at those prices I decided I could waste a lot of fabric to get a passable end result. I am more of a book learner anyways :-)

  5. I quite agree - I suffer from stashitis as well - surfeit of stash and ideas, which leads to the agonising you have described :). Some lessons are expensive - I like your logic that the money can be better used elsewhere - And you still learn just as much. I like books as well.

    I think all sewers are a little on the frugal side :)


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