Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog post for Sewalicious! I took on a bit of a personal challenge for this one and decided to try something I’d never done before. Or at least, something I’d never done SUCCESSFULLY before - Trousers! Being able to get the fitting right was definitely what was putting me off but hey, what better time to face those fears!
After a lot of research I settled on the Claude Trousers by French pattern house République du Chiffon. High waisted with a waistband and closing with side invisible zipper and buttons or snaps. In their words “Slightly loose but tapers through the leg. The welt pockets give it a modern and urban style.” Sounded good to me!
I knew straight away what I wanted to use this utterly gorgeous Japanese Style Nature Print stretch cotton satin.
If you know me you’ll know I’m a sucker for bird/branch prints and this fabric from Sewalicious didn’t disappoint at £7.50 per half metre. The fabric is 98% cotton 2% spandex and a really lovely medium weight. A matt charcoal base colour with greens and burnt oranges. The slight stretch is just enough to be super comfy without being a stretchy fabric if that makes sense. It is ideal for semi fitted dresses and trousers or it would make a REALLY gorgeous jacket...
About the pattern. I love RDC patterns (I have the Suzon and Nellie blouses) but I do know that the instructions, although in English, are very brief. So don’t expect to be walked through in nice easy steps! It asks for 2m of 140cm wide fabric. This does cover all sizes though and as my fabric was 147cm I managed to get them cut out of just 1.40m (although as you’ll find out later I did need some of that extra).
Now. I have a real love/hate relationship with this pattern!
- I really love the style - one that can be dressed up or down depending on the fabric you use.
- I love the pockets (eventually!) I thought they might be a bit small and pointless but actually they are perfect.
- I love the fact that they are true to size. My waist measurement is always two sizes bigger than my hips size so I cut out to size 40 and then just graded in the legs when sewing them together.
BUT... I really cursed those instructions! The straightforward bits are fine but the pockets and waistband had me seriously scratching my head! I’ve made welt pockets once before on the Rigel Bomber and thank goodness I had. Although the construction is different, at least I had an idea of what I was meant to be doing (although it didn’t look like it at times).
Waistband instructions were equally confusing. In fact I ended up attaching it in my own way with what just felt right and it worked absolutely fine. Another word of warning though, if your fabric has a directional pattern really take time to think through the waistband construction. This is where I needed the extra fabric as I ended up cutting the 2x2 waistband pieces no less than four different times! I don’t quite know how but I kept getting at least one of the pieces upside down.
I’m really glad that this fabric is so forgiving. It washed and ironed like a dream, hardly frayed and withstood rather a lot of unpicking at times! Wish I could sew with fabric this easy all the time!
I wondered if patterned trousers was a step too far for me but I’m seriously in love with them and wore them at the first opportunity for dinner at the weekend!
I grew to love the pattern too. The higher waistband that sits comfortably just where you want it to, the pockets, the lack of adjustments needed... my kind of trousers! And now I know what I’m doing I’m planning at least another two pairs as I think they will definitely become a well worn wardrobe staple of mine. Thanks for reading!
Happy Sewing! Christine xx