Friday, 15 February 2013

FO: Sewaholic Daphne Thurlow Trousers - 2013 Sewlutions: In the jar is in the bag! ;)

My Thurlows are finished!  I am not the face of shame!  Hurray!  This was my challenge to myself for 2013 Sewlutions.  To re-cap, this was an idea from Karen at Did You Make That? for sewists to make a new year's sewing resolution to themselves.  The initial post is here, and Karen will be randomly checking with people throughout the year to see how they're getting on.  Here is my pledge, word for word:

Lynne says:




Ho ho!! What a brilliant idea! I am in: and I want to make a pair of trousers, namely Sewaholic’s Thurlows. I have the pattern, and Santa brought a book on fitting trousers called “Pants for Real People”. How hard can it be?!…

 
This was an epic make; my biggest make so far, in fact.  But, I really enjoyed it.  There is a lot to talk about with these, so I'm going to break it down into sections.  The first thing though is that if you are thinking of making these, then follow Lauren from Lladybird's sewalong, it's brilliant: I've been stalking it for weeks. 
 
I will apologise now for the grainy-ness of some of these photos: these are the second lot I took, the first lot were worse.
 
 
Fit
 
I think fit is the thing that puts most people off making trousers, and it certainly frightened me.  I can recommend Pants For Real People, but I think that ultimately I got really lucky with the fit on these (I think the Fitting Fairies owed me).  According to the pattern measurements, I was a 6/8 at the waist, and a size 0 at the hips.  This seemed a bit mad, so I traced out up to a size 8.  I made a toile, and the crotch fitted perfectly.  Seriously!  I didn't have to make one change, the height and length were perfect.
 
The outside seams were far to wide though, and got taken in to size 0 at the hips.  I also thought the legs were a bit wide, so took the outside seams in a bit more from just below the hip to the ankle.  I also shortened them at the knees by 2cm.
 


Apparently I can't iron a crease straight down the centre!
 
 
Welt Pockets
 
I'm not going to lie, this was the bit I was most dreading.  This is where the sewalong came into it's own - here is the post on welt pockets.  I practised first on my toile, and the pocket turned out ok; but there's a bit, after the welt is cut open, that you sew down the triangles at the sides of the cut.  On the sewalong it says to firstly pin and then baste the triangle, and then sew it with a zipper foot.  Don't think you can fudge this with no basting and an ordinary presser foot - I tried: it dosn't work.  Thankfully that was on my toile, and I did it properly on the real thing - here is the result:




I made this welt pocket!!!  The dart is straight, I just didn't straighten the fabric for the photo. 

My first ever welt pockets!. Not too shabby, eh!  I am very pleased with them.  I extended the length of the inside of the pocket as on the sewalong here.  I added 4 inches of length overall, and in the above photo, the bottom of my seam gauge is touching the bottom of the pocket.


Strangely long belt loops

I thought when I got to the actual cutting of the welt that I would need something to steady my nerves, but I was concentrating so hard, I forgot I was cutting into the bum of my trousers.  Below is the insides of the back welt pockets (left), and the front pockets (right).


Fly Zip

With the welt pockets I could visualise what I was supposed to be doing, but with the fly zip I couldn't, for some unknown reason, so I was winging it and blindly followed the instructions.  Smart move, because it turned out ok.  Again, I recommend following the instructions to the letter.  The only problem I had was that once the zip was in, there was a gap between the bottom of the zip and the seam beneath it, but I was able to sew it up ok.


I think this happened because I hadn't sewn the seam up high enough, because it didn't occur to me that this is where the zip would end.  Sounds a bit stupid I know, but I'm blaming the welt pockets on using up too much brain power.

This is what the zip looks like from the inside

Waistband and Back Extension

Now, you'd think after the welt pockets and fly zip that the rest would have been plain sailing.  Oh no, the waistband was a bit of a nightmare.  Brain power reserves must have been gone completely.  The waistband is cut in two parts, and seamed at the centre back.
 
On my toile one of the waistbands was too short at the back, but because of the back extension there was plenty of seam room, so it was ok.  I had taken the waistbands off my toile to take in the side seams and forgot which side was too short.  I thought it was the left, and measured my traced pattern piece off the pattern, but it was ok.  Now, common sense should made me think to check the right side piece, but I didn't!  So I cut out and interfaced my main fabric, and then cut out the waistband facing.  Then I realised I'd cut the facing the wrong way round.  So I cut it out a second time, and cut it wrong again!  Third go was successful, but that was the end of the lining fabric.


Back extension
I put the waistband together, and pinned it to the trousers, then I realised that it was the right side waistband that was too short!  Arghh!  By that stage I was getting a bit hacked off, and I think it shows in the scrappy folding and stitching at the bottom of the inside of the waistband.
 
I made the belt loops the length that is on the pattern, but I wish now I shortened them as on the sewalong, because they're a bit strange and loopy looking.  I also ended up having to unpick, and re-sew the back extension because the trousers were a bit wide at the back.
 
 
Hem
 
I put turn-ups in the hems, for no other reason than I like turn-ups.
 
 

Issues
 
There is something weird going on with the very top of the side seams just above the pockets. No idea what that's about.  If anybody has, please let me know! 



Fabric
 
The main fabric is a wool mix from Abakhan Fabrics; at least I think it's a wool mix.  It's not on the website anymore, and I'm fairly sure it said there was wool in it when I ordered it, but the content wasn't listed on the invoice.  But it's definitely more man-made than wool, and frayed like nobody's business.  That said, it's machine washable, which is handy, and holds a crease ok.  It was £5.20 per metre; I got 3 metres, and used about 2.5 metres (I haven't measured exactly how much I have left yet).  The fabric for the pockets and waistband is the remains of the Ikea duvet cover my sister gave me that I made Tilly's Picnic Skirts from.
 
Conclusions
 
I am over the moon with my trousers.  Even though they aren't perfect, I certainly didn't think they would turn out so well.  Also, it means that I have completed my 2013 Sewlutions challenge, and it's only the middle of February - yey!  I am not a competitive person at all, but I am so glad I took part in this because I know I would have faffed about for months, reading about trouser making and generally procrastinating, so this was the push I needed to just do it.  It's really improved my sewing confidence, and I feel that if I can make trousers, I can make anything.  And you know what, making trousers wasn't as hard as I thought it would be - and there will definitely be more Thurlows in my life.
 
If you've made it this far down this post, I congratulate you!  And you're probably wondering why I have called them Daphne Thurlow Trousers in the title.  In my head this style of trousers is called Daphne because of this photo:
 
 
This is the author Daphne Du Maurier, who happened to write one of my favourite books called Rebecca.  I can recommend it: the housekeeper is a nutbag.  This photo is on the inside cover of my, now quite battered, copy.

In true Scruffy Badger style, I decided to try and copy the photo.

 
Daphne and I, separated at birth?  Maybe not... ;)

So what's my next sewing project?  Tilly's Mathilde Blouse of course!  Good luck to the rest of the folks who are In The Jar, and have a great weekend.

Lynne











28 comments:

  1. I know I just sent you an email but I wanted to be a creeper and comment too because THEY LOOK SO GOOD. Yay for well fitting trousers with beautiful welt pockets, and yay for kicking that Sewlution in the butt and showing it who's boss! :D

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    1. Thank you! Couldn't have done it without the sewalong!! :)

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  2. All I can say is - what a clever girl you are :) The trousers look fab-u-lous and if you hadn't said anything about the seam I wouldn't have noticed anything (not that I could see much wrong with it anyway).

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    1. Thank you! The seam will most likely be covered by whatever top I'm wearing anyway.

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  3. Wow Lynne they're fabulous! The fit is perfect and they look SO professional. You're right, the sewlution is a great way of pushing us to just go for it. This is a wonderfully informative post, I devoured every word of it! x
    ps. Still wavering between the two patterns but I think Juniper has the edge...!

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    1. Thank you! Good luck with whichever pattern you choose.

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  4. These are lovely - what a great fit.

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    1. Thank you! I'm ready pleased with the fit.

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  5. Well done Lynne, you have a fine pair of trews that Daphne would love, I'm sure!! I'm so glad you conquered them, and found that it wasn't as bad as you thought. It's also perhaps the slight re tweaking we have to do to perfect trousers and how they fit, and how to make them work that I think is so rewarding. It's a big learning curve, but I love the understanding that comes with it. Now I want to make another pair!!

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    1. Thank you! You're absolutely right, and I love learning anything new.

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  6. Crikey girl - those are amazing! Look at those welt pockets - I am SO jealous of those!
    Re the side seam - is it a change in direction of your pressing? Two layers of fabric taken towards the back instead of pressed open, but only above the pocket?
    But nobody will notice, so I wouldn't worry!

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    1. Thank you! What a good suggestion, I'll have a look see if this is what has happened.

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  7. Wow, wow, wow!! Fabulous trousers Lynne!

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  8. Oh wow!! What a fabulous make. It must have been very daunting making them. I must say they look very professional looking, you know like in proper tailor-made, not off the shelf look. Then again, they were tailor made, silly me lol.

    I too love the book Rebecca. That Mrs Danvers, what a character, totally barmy. I loved the classic Hollywood film too, with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier. Brilliant stuff.

    I've been following Tilly's blog and reading her Mathilde tutorial. She really explains things brilliantly.My machine sewing skills are still raw, need more practice before I venture on anything like a blouse or trousers :)

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    1. Thank you! Isn't Rebecca brilliant?! It was the 90s TV version with Emilia Fox, Diana Rigg and Charles Dance that got me into it.

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  9. Hi Lynne! Just thought I would drop by and catch up on your blog... wow! These are fabulous!! I can't wait to see your 2013 progress, exciting stuff!!

    Take care

    Bundana x

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  10. Oh wow - well done Lynne, your trousers are fantastic!!! They fit so well, and I just love the cute little flowers for the facing and pockets, such a nice little detail! And oh my god, you nailed that welt pocket - really really impressed!

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    1. Thank you! The welt pockets weren't as scary as I thought, but definately take a bit of practice, thought and concentration. :)

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  11. These look great, girl! You should be so proud! "Rebecca" is one of my favorite books (and movies), too. It's so creepy and suspenseful!

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  12. I've been away to come back and find that you've already made these Lynne - they're amazing!!!! I *said* you'd probably make two pairs this year...... ;) And I think you make a perfect Rebecca - it's one of my favourite books too :) Can't wait to see your Matilde blouse - I'm really tempted, it's looks beautiful x

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    1. Thank you! There will definately be more Thurlows, I just need the right fabric.

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  13. I love your trousers, so smart. You must be really chuffed :)

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  14. I love these pants! I have actually looked at the pattern for a few days now, and would really like to try them. But pant are one of the few things I`ve never tried, and they freek me out!
    anyways, I really like your blog and have been a follower for a few weeks. Please feel free to visit my blog:) http://trollemors-hverdag.blogspot.no/

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  15. Hello, what brilliant trousers and a really interesting post. I found you because you left a comment on my blog, thank you! Rebecca is my favourite book too by the way, Daphne's great!

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  16. These are fantastic! I've been scared to try pants, but I've seen these done by many others, I think you've all finally convinced me to try them! I'll have to go check out the Sewaholic shop... Wonderful job!! Happy New Year!

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.