I said when I started this blog that I would share with you my triumphs and failures. Well, true to my word I’m posting about these trousers – my least favourite project yet.
The pitfalls were nothing to do with the pattern – I managed to follow it with much less help than expected. I used Colette’s Juniper pattern, which I’m sure would make a lovely pair of trousers if you don’t make the same mistakes I did, as follows.
1. Trying to make a pair of trousers, simple or not, before you’re really ready.
In a class of about 12 people, I think only two of us have gone on to finish a pair of trousers. The class started in May last year, and we started making our trousers in October. I finally finished mine just a few weeks ago – not just because I’d grossly overestimated my sewing abilities, but also because it became quite clear partway through that I was never going to wear them. It’s hard to stay motivated with a project when you’ve got that eventuality looming over you.
2. Choosing the wrong fabric.
This fabric, from 1st for Fabrics, wouldn’t be too outrageous if it were used for a skirt or a different style of trouser. However, the red corduroy combined with the (very) wide legged trouser has resulted in an almost comically 70s pair of pants. If I were to make another pair I would choose a much more muted fabric. I’m just not sure what my thought process was when I go this fabric.
3. Deciding the trousers fit, when they really don’t.
I didn’t really realise until I’d practically finished the entire pair of pants, but they are just too big for me. Next time, I’ll go down an entire size and possibly make the legs a little narrower as well. I have tiny feet (UK size 3), which get completely engulfed by the trouser bottoms – it would only be a matter of time before I fell over and broke a bone.
4. Last, but not least, storming through what remains of the project just so you can say you’re finished.
For months, all I needed to do on these was finish the waistband with stitch in the ditch and hem the bottoms. They sat in a corner for months before I plucked up the courage to do those two simple things. I thought, ‘I’ll just quickly finish these and then I can at least say I’ve made a pair of trousers.’ I rushed through it, and consequently, I’m just not happy with the finish. The waistband is a bit wobbly and my hemming isn’t very neat. Lesson learnt.
So, there you have it. I made a pair of trousers. It took me over six months, but they’re done. And even though I’m never going to wear them, for all the aforementioned reasons, I’m still proud of myself for not giving up. I may, at some point, if I can ever bear to pick them up again, attempt to turn them into a skirt of some kind. There’s so much excess fabric in the legs, so there must be something I can do to make a wearable garment.
I am going to have another go at Juniper – a small hack to try to make a pair of denim shorts for my holiday later this year. I don’t know about you, but I can never find shorts in the right length. They’re either too short or too long. I think I have enough denim left from my very first skirt, so it’ll be a good stash-busting project.