An Estonian girl who has found a home in Sweden.

Monday, May 18

Trousers, First Proof of Concept

May 18, 2015 Posted by Vaire ,

This weekend I had finally figured out which features I wanted to have in my first trousers. I took into consideration the fabric (light medium weight cotton) and decided to skip fitting the hips, which in turn meant that there were no pockets or zipper either. I wanted to test the leg width (87 cm!) and the crotch curve/rise length.

Why I call this pair proof of concept and not a muslin/toile is that I made them to be wearable. Muslin is usually made from fabric of similar weight to the final garment, but is not meant to be worn, just to make adjustments. I wanted to have a pair of comfy house trousers or flying trousers that have no metal whatsoever. No eyelets, studs, D-rings, zippers, or buckles which normally adorn my clothing.

The thing is that every time I fly with my normal trousers I get patted down. This is something I expect and account for in my scheduling when I fly. What I do not count for is to be admonished for the style of clothes I choose to wear by security. Swedish, Estonian, or UK security doesn't care that I wear massive amount of metal on my clothes, they just pat me down for dangerous stuff and that's it.

But the Irish lady chose to comment that my clothes are not suitable for flying, and I had to respond that this is the only style of trousers I have. Frankly I do not think that it's her business what people wear to fly, it's her business to make sure that no one has dangerous things on them as they go through the security.

So, next time I visit, I am bloody going to wear clothes with no metal whatsoever! Not even an underwire in the bra. And I'll bet that they pick me "randomly" to pat down anyway because the trousers are so wide they can hide an arsenal. But at least then they can't tell me off for wearing so much metal.

I had sort of leaned to ultra simple trousers with elastic for the first pair anyway, but this was the final push. To simplify things even further, I decided to do away with the side seams too. I put the pattern pieces on top of tracing paper and traced around them to make the new pattern. I adjusted the waist to be the same circumference as the hip because I needed the room there to be able to pull them up over the hips.

First Proof of Concept Trousers

Then I gathered the mats and tools, and realised that my new fine sewing table was too narrow to cut out a whole leg. Doh! The pattern is that roll of tracing paper, that's how wide one leg is. The width at the ankle was already wider than the table, so back to the floor I went. Hence the sticky roll for cat hair removal among the tools.

First Proof of Concept Trousers

First I pinned and traced the trouser leg with only single layer of fabric, then I folded the fabric so that the waste would be minimised. After cutting out, I marked the bottom layer with seam allowances and pinned the inseam. The work order was: inseam, crotch curve, bottom hems, elastic. I finished the seams with zig-zag over both edges together because I felt that the method used by the pros who made my bought trousers was good enough for the first proof of concept.

Then I tried them on and the leg width is fabulous! They hang just the way I wanted them to. I love it! That was not all though, I must have stretched the elastic too much while sewing — it was 10 cm too long. That means that the trousers were not sitting at the waist, and it also felt as if they were about to slip down. So I had to fix that before I was entirely happy with them.

First Proof of Concept Trousers

Other than that, the things that I wanted to test are just fine. The inseam is perfect length, so is the rise, and the crotch curve is not too loose or too tight, it is just right. They may be quite loose around the hips, but this pair is meant to have more ease than a fitted pair would have.

Next pair is going to be medium cotton twill, fitted at the hips, with a zipper fly, and many cargo pockets. I'm probably going to reduce the leg to 75 or 80 cm, or somewhere in between because I don't think that extreme leg circumference is going to play nice with the cargo pockets, and the fabric is heavier too.

Or I may decide to go for fitted linen with side or fly zip, normal pockets with pocket stays, no cargo pockets on super wide legs. I can't decide...