At the moment my “waist-down” wardrobe consists of 6 versions of the same skinny jean, a winter tweed short skirt and a summer tweed short skirt. As a result, my daily “what shall I wear today” skirmishes have been getting increasingly desperate.
But aha! I can sew now…. I can make ANY ITEM OF CLOTHING I want… Wonderfully liberating, but where to start? Fortunately the Ultimate Trouser came to the rescue. Having seen multiple versions of these online (aaah, Pinterest) I thought I’d give these a go, starting off with straightforward polka dot fabric I picked up from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton.
These trousers appear simple and unfussy, but the secret to getting them to look right is all in the fit.
I had no idea how out of sync my body actually is with generic sizings (how I’ve managed on the high street this far is a wonder). My waist is somewhere between size 8 and 10, narrow hips between 12 and 14 (most of the “mass” is at the back…), with slightly odd thighs and calves (I blame my bike for this). Best not to dwell on my own freakishness for too long…
I cut the pattern as though I were a size 10, meeting the lines between 12 and 14 around the hips, before going back down to the size 10 for the legs. Fortunately Sew Over It have put together an invaluable sewalong explaining how to deal with all the fit issues. Having cut the pattern out, it fit perfectly on the hips, but was a little too baggy on the leg for my liking (I was aiming for something a little more closely fitting) so duly turned these inside out and refitted the leg.
So here’s the first version! I was worried that the waist would be too small and wasn’t quite sure how much side seam the zip would take up (my first invisible zip!), so the waist is a bit too baggy on these, leaving some room for improvement.
I absolutely love the style of these trousers, and knew I could improve on the first version. I found this lovely hand printed fabric in store at Cloth House so gave the trousers another go. I took in a lot more from the waist and legs (particularly around the knees) and am really pleased with how these look!
Verdict: I underestimated the number of tiny adjustments required to get the right fit (although this is the beauty of making your own clothes), but it’s definitely worth it. I’ll be making more of these!
I made these trousers using the Sew Over It Ultimate Trouser pattern, available to order online from shop.sewoverit.co.uk/collections/dressmaking-patterns/products/ultimate-trousers (paper and PDF pattern), with navy polka dotted cotton from Ditto Fabrics (£4.99 per metre) and printed fabric (not available online) from Cloth House.