Friday, January 6, 2012

I'll Never Sew Trousers Again!


I am the Charlie Brown of sewing trousers.

It's true! Despite Colette Patterns' amazing step-by-step trouser sew-along and other trouser-specific tutorials, the process remains an exercise jaw-clenching, teeth-gnashing, and the occasional hair-pulling frustration. Always a lady, me.

So I'm not going to do it anymore. Buh-bye trouser patterns, hello thrift shop!

This isn't too much of a hardship for me, actually, as I don't wear them much. I own one pair of jeans, one pair of black chinos, and one pair of wide-legged trousers. I'm an avid skirt and dress-wearer and the only times you'll see me sporting said bifurcated bottoms is during the dead of winter when my legs feel like two frozen sticks; or on particularly windy days when my modesty must needs preserving; or when I go to yoga.

Source: google.ca via Sarah on Pinterest



I would love to find out where I can find a great pair of 1960's style cigarette trousers like Audrey's, though. Any suggestions?

27 comments:

Kestrel said...

I love the term 'bifurcated bottoms'! I never wear trousers during the week but wear jeans at the weekend so can't decide if I should enter the scary world of trouser sewing or not.

Debi said...

Oh no!!!! Sorry to hear about the trouser trauma!!! I'm curious too about good links to buying 60's style cigarette pants (besides vintage stores)!

Andrea said...

Oh, Sarah! I so hear you on the trousers front. I even took a class this past year but it didn’t help at all. This year I’m committed to giving trousers one more try but that’s it. No more after that. As for the Audrey style cigarette pants, I must confess that even though I don’t love shopping at Banana Republic, they often get Audrey pants in their spring collection and they invariably go on sale a few weeks later. It’s worth keeping an eye out for them.

Lynne Williams said...

I hear you loud and clear. Pant making is a patience tester for sure. Why put yourself through it? when I lived in Calif I rarely wore pants, but here in WI....it's a little more practical to do so. The major frustration is how differently each fabric will respond to the same pattern...so a "tnt" is still a "wait & see" Quite irritating really!

Ren said...

Im with you on the trouser making... Havent worn them for years... Skirts are the best!!!!! Big cheer for skirts! Ren x

ReadyThreadSew said...

I haven't yet tried making trousers although I plan to this month. I've already decided that if I can't get a pattern to work straight from the envelope or BurdaStyle with only minor tweaks then I will simply write off trousers from my sewing plans. Like you, I rarely wear them and I already have about eight pairs of jeans that I like so I'm not going to get overly frustrated if I can't sew trousers.

Sarah said...

Thanks for all your comments!

@Andrea - I'll keep my eye on Banana Republic. Great quality and they often turn up in thrift shops. Thanks!

Alessa said...

Heh, that actually sounds like a fun, smart goal, especially if it saves you from teeth gnashing and gives you more time for sewing pretty dresses! :) I'm with you, I wore jeans/trousers on about six different occasions last year, so sewing them is definitely not a priority!

Mikhaela said...

I'm sorry to hear that! I'm currently working on my own trousers but they're so much looser that there's not as much fitting.

I always buy wide-legged trousers at LOFT sales or at H&M but have no idea about cigarette pants.

But if you don't like to wear pants, why bother? you can certainly get along without!

oonaballoona said...

oh no mama! once, in joanns, i asked a fellow customer if she thought my fabric would be good for trousers.

she told me to buy pants.

what if you take an RTW pair and taper them in at the leg?

Montana said...

Ooh, I'm terrified of this very thing! I haven't even had the guts to try yet.

P.S. I'm pretty sure the term 'bifurcated bottoms' is the funniest thing I've heard in a while and just may have to steal the term! :) You are fantastic!

Meg the Grand said...

I like Oona's idea of adjusting a RTW pair of trousers. I'm sorry the trouser making didn't work out for you!!

House of Pinheiro said...

ohh Sarah, I think you should consider get your old favourite pair and just copy creating your now pattern.. it will eliminate all the annoying gaps and crotch issues.. give that a last try ! xx

Doobee64 said...

Pant Sewing - no way!!! I don't need the disappointment of finding out that there is just no possible way on earth to make a piece of flat fabric curve creatively around my butt. Anything that creates 'smile lines' on my body parts isn't for my sewing room...

Juliet said...

I hear your pain! I'm a beginner and a few months ago I bought a pattern for some trousers thinking, "how hard can it be?". Never, ever again!

angie.a said...

But your little vintage Butterick (? I think) shorts are so cute! Isn't the long version of that pattern similar-ish to Audrey's?? Maybe you could alter the leg?

Jane said...

Oh what a shame! My advice would be to get back on your horse and try to make a pair of wide legged trousers. They're much easier to fit than a tight pair (I should imagine). I wear the two pairs I've made a LOT. Simplicity 3688 in particular were super easy. Good luck! x

Liz said...

I just bought the perfect audrey pants at joe fresh for $29. Holla!

Isis said...

I gave up wearing trousers 20 years ago just because I never found any that fit and were comefotable. Now I am trying to get my courage up to actually sew a pair. I'm not there yet...

Sarah said...

Girl I hear you! I love the Clover pants, but sewing trousers is tough!

I did find an AWESOME pair that is very much like the Clover - it's called the Minnie pant from J. Crew. They're not cheap, but they are flattering, well cut and seem to be lasting (I have had one pair for a year with no signs of wear/tear!)

Sølvi said...

Oh my! it seems to me that you need to make some pretty dresses and skirt, and then revisit the pants at another time.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for everyone's amazing comments! It's good to know I'm not alone and your shopping suggestions are terrific!

@Alessa - I'm the same. I've not worn them much this year, either, except when I'm lounging about the house in comfy ones. ;P

@Mikhaela - I'm so enjoying seeing your progress! Thanks for the tips on sales :)

@Oona - You are a GENIUS, as always!!

@Montana - Thanks! LOL! The bifurcated bottoms term came from Ali at The Wardrobe, Reimagined.

@Meg - Me, too! Farewell teeth gnashing!

@Liz - Booyah! Hooray for Joe Fresh!

Sewing Princess said...

I found it useful to have my sewing instructor help me out when making my trousers. I also used existing fitting pants as a guideline. That helped a lot. I drafted mine from scratch. Have you tried knocking off the pattern from an existing pair of pants? Or maybe ask a friend to help you with the pattern fitting

quietandsmalladventures said...

i second j. crew or altering a RTW pair (clever clever oona!!)..... what about extending the legs on the ruby shorts pattern and adjusting the sailor placket on the front? (or keeping it and using flat black buttons?)

Lisette said...

Trousers are SUCH a pain. I too have mostly avoided them except for one successful wide-leg pair. If you want a pair of Audrey Hepburn pants, Gap made a tribute line of them about 5 or so years ago specifically with Audrey Hepburn in the ads and everything. I owned a pair given to me by a friend and they really were quite fabulous, maybe you could ifnd a pair on Ebay?

Lavender said...

I feel your pain! My biggest, and most-avoided, UFO at the mo' is the Clover. It's difficult to really dissect what the issues are, with all those intersecting parts.

ckh said...

I used to buy size zip pants at Banana Republic and Lands' End when I used to wear them. It wasn't too long ago, but pre-kids and my oldest is 10.

When I was a teen (forever ago, it seems) I used to get them at vintage stores and thrift shops.

Another idea is to get someone to sew them for you. Perhaps you can hire a handy seamstress to custom make some pants for you. Who knows how much it would cost, but the 2nd pair would probably be less. Or trade a friend in services or make a dress in exchange. Just a few ideas...