Soft Suit Combo – the Trousers

For the last few years, I’ve been focused on perfecting the fit of my trousers and last summer I made the first of what is now a few pairs of linen trousers. I’ve had linen trousers in various colours over the years and they all were worn until they fell to bits. I’ve been meaning for ages to replace all of those favourite ready-to-wear pants, but surprisingly I’ve only just got started on them.

Earlier this summer I made two pairs of linen trousers to take away with me to Greece. I was so happy with them, particularly with the decorative additions I made to this red shot linen pair but the plain white basic pair is just as integral to my summer wardrobe now.

The pair in my inspiration photo actually has a drawstring waist but I decided to go with one of my existing patterns, which has a traditional fitted waist and mock fly front. This is one of my favourite patterns, it’s a Tamotsu design from the mid-1990s. I made the blouse, waistcoat and trousers back then and really liked them.

For the wide-legged trousers, I prefer the fitted waist, even though the drawstring might be a more comfortable choice for this ultra-casual look. I added the split detail on the trouser hem, I think this is a nice touch to elevate a standard pair of trousers.

I always say sewing trousers is quite straightforward, it’s fitting them which is a bugger. I graded the size up to an 18 and checked the crotch measurements to see if I needed to adjust that. It’s loose fitting so I didn’t need to change it much. When I made this outfit the first time around, I had very standard proportions and things fit straight out of the packet. However, now, not only is everything bigger but my waist and hips are in different size brackets. The trousers have two deep pleats in the front and I figure if the need arises, I could let them out a bit to accommodate my waist.

I had almost everything I needed in my stash, but this project brought me up against one of my sewing bugbears. Is it just me or are zips really hard to find in the right style/colour for your project? Even though I just needed a basic nylon zip, I couldn’t find anything in the colour I wanted, even online. I had to settle for an olive green one but as it shouldn’t be seen, it will be my secret.

I’m trying to cull some very old work wear from my wardrobe and this project actually helped me. I wanted to get rid of some tatty trousers that I just won’t wear again, but first I cannibalised them to acquire their hook and bar closing. I unpicked the waistband and it revealed they were not sewn but held in by some prongs. So I went to work with my pliers and managed to prise them out of the old pants and insert them into the new ones without much difficulty. Once they were in, I slip-stitched the waistband to close it. The finished waistband looks so professional, I’m really pleased.

The trousers turned out so well. They are light and airy, loose fitting and will be really comfortable, especially in the summer heat. Although intended for this three-piece project, they will work just as well with a T-shirt or a delicate top and I think they will be suitable for both casual and formal outings.

I’m really pleased with the side splits I put in the hem following the inspiration, they really add a touch of finesse to the pants.

So, phase one of this project is a success, although it’s the easiest element, it’s so nice that it all went smoothly and worked really well. Come back soon and see the next item.

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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