trousers

At the beginning of the year I set myself the goal of sewing three items of clothing that I’ve never made before – trousers, a swimsuit, and a coat. One down, two to go, as I recently made my first pair of trousers!
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
These were made using Simplicity 3688 which is a reproduction 1940s pattern. The pattern envelope includes both the adorable original illustrations, and photos of the finished items which (while not exactly thrilling photos) allow you to get a sense of the finished shape.
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
I would totally recommend these trousers to other trouser newbies. They are made from only three pattern pieces (five fabric pieces) and are a quick make (my favourite kind!). Personally I love the vintage shape with the high waist & wide leg. I used a grey polyester suiting fabric which has a nice drape which suits the wide leg & is light-weight for the summer.
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers

Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
I was lucky enough to get to take these photographs in the Lake District, actually at Beatrix Potter’s House and just outside. For those outside the UK who may not know it, the Lake District it is like a storybook version of England – all tiny villages, countryside, slate and stones walls. Basically it’s gorgeous.

More photos and nattering on my blog, English Girl at Home

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You guys – I MADE PANTS!

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Finally, after many years of sewing, I tackled my sewing nemesis.

Sure, they aren’t fitted pants or anything – I wanted big, wide, swing-y 40′s styled pants. But I made them. And they fit. And there isn’t any – ahem – wrinkling where there shouldn’t be.

While it did take me 3 muslin attempts, I finally managed to wrangle this 40′s pants pattern into submission. But it wasn’t easy. Oh dear, this pattern…

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The cover image makes them look so sleek and Katherine Hepburn-esque. Even the pattern outlines on the back promise this exact outcome. But in actuality, the paper pattern tapers, majorly, towards the bottom of the pant leg. Leaving you with ballooning hips and skinny ankles. Not a good look people. It’s a little Fresh Prince-Harem-Pant gone wrong (was that ever right?). Oh, and they taper on both the back and front pant pieces, in both the inner and outer leg.

 

That first muslin made me really question my friendship with this pattern and making pants and so we took a break. We both needed some time apart. I needed to make patterns that weren’t completely different to the front and back cover images. And the pants pattern needed some time alone to think about what it had done.

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After a few weeks, we sat down together, sort of made up, and muslin 2 came into being. I made a completely new muslin, straightened out the outer leg taper on both front and back pieces (at this point, I hadn’t connected the dots to realise that the inner leg tapered as well, because it didn’t taper quite as much as the outer). I also added some extra hip and waist room. I tried them on, and to my surprise, we were nearly there.

Onto muslin 3 and I unpicked the inner legs, basted on some extra muslin and straightened out the slight taper there. Now the legs were pretty much perfect. Looking much more Katherine Hepburn than Fresh Prince.

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Oh, these pants I’m wearing? Yeah, I made them.
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If you would like to read a bit more about the changes I made and for more pictures, head on over to my blog here.

xx
Jen

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Well its that time of year again…the local lindy exchange and I’ve set myself quite a task. A new outfit for each dance. So that’s three for the evening dances. The themes go Casual, Vintage, Seaside.
So I decided to have a general nautical feel and blues as a colour running through the outfits.

 

Outfit 1 -
A boat print 1940′s style dress. This is for SEASIDE. Used Butterick 5209 again. Its becoming my ‘go to’ pattern. I liked the bodice but not the waistband or skirt. Instead I wore a slip and vest underneath.

Outfit2 -

Navy blue swing trousers to wear with red and white striped top in the evening but a white to for the day events. This is for VINTAGE. I used the Eliza M Swing hop pants pattern.

I even went beyond the pattern instructions and added a few extras like bias binding the facing, decorative buttons and hand picking the zip. You may recognise the top I’m wearing from this post.

Outfit 3 -

Blue Polkadot circle skirt (with complimentary top.) This is for CASUAL. I used Simplicity 3847 for the skirt.

I did wear a petticoat underneath but it was homemade and didn’t give enough uhmff. Next time I wear it I’ll have to find an alternative one.

Read my original post at my blog.

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