Mustard and white striped trousers

Ever since I bought this piece of yellow and white striped linen a picture of a pair of light, swishy trousers floated into my head and once I got my hands on the finalised @PatternlabLdn trouser block, I was determined to use that to create the summer pants of my dreams.

I’ve been dabbling with Patternlab’s block system for a couple of years and helped test them. I’m really chuffed to be able to work with this innovative system for self-drafted patterns. The PatternlabLdn system works by entering your own body measurements into a program that then drafts you a custom-sized pattern block. The techie in me loves this idea and I had to try it.

The fabric is a bold pattern made of different width stripes in white and mustard yellow and definitely needs to be matched to give a satisfying finish. The way that the pattern runs, I had to mirror each leg lengthwise so that they matched each other.

Mirror, mirror…

Due to my usual Curse of impulse buying 2m of fabric, I didn’t quite have enough length to cut out the pair of trousers that I was imagining – long almost floor-skimming fluid pants. However, I did have enough width to make it by cutting the legs and then piecing the missing 10cm afterwards. I hope that it reads as a turn-up.

Hoping this add on reads as a turn-up

Of course, as soon as I cut the 10 cm I wished I’d allowed a bit more and actually made a turn up as it looks like these are still going to end up ankle length rather than the floor-skimming trousers that I had in mind – but this is what I have. We’ll see how it turns out.

In order to make the fabric go as far as possible, I planned to line the inside of the waistband with contrasting cotton, if I have one in the stash, if not I knew I had some cream linen. I finally remembered the cream silk noil that I have that will do the job and be soft against my skin.

Lining the waistband with silk noil for a very comfortable finish

Sewing the linen was uneventful and I completed the trousers relatively quickly. I enjoyed working on the details of the Patternlab design, with a cut-out detail in the pocket.

Love these details

I finished the trousers just in time to coincide with a little heatwave which was so welcome after the cold spring. We celebrated with a mini staycation to East Anglia and Cambridge. The trousers paired perfectly with my new Luftig knitted sweater.

Trousers sewing seems to be a major milestone for many sewists. I find the sewing itself uneventful, but fitting is another matter. Usually, I have to contend with my non-standard front and back crotch; my proportionally longer legs; swayback, full abdomen and buttocks and thighs that meet. Phew! The PatternLab system helped me overcome most of these. Although I think I overcompensated with the waist as I was sure they were going to be tight as most of my trousers seem to be so I let out the darts a bit – trust the system – in future I’ll stick to the block. I am very happy with the resulting trousers and have been wearing them frequently since completion.

PatternLab have not asked me to endorse these patterns but I would definitely recommend giving this system a try, while I am still committed to learning the alchemy of fitting garments, it really takes some of the work out of fitting clothing projects.

Would you hand your fitting conundrums over to tech?

Thanks for dropping by.

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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