Monday 27 June 2016

The world sucks so I made trousers. Or something.

Hey everyone! Remember me? Sorry if you've forgotten me - I wouldn't blame you if you had. It's been quite a while since I posted properly. First it was work frenzy (which also led itself nicely to a delightful period of insomnia and anxiety/panic hideousness) that kept me from not only blogging, but also from sewing. I just didn't make anything for ages (it felt like months. It's really only a few  weeks). Then when the work frenzy calmed down a bit, the awfulness of the referendum got into full swing. I'm not likely to do justice to my feelings about Brexit here, because I'm oscillating wildly between heartbreak and rage, with everything in between. I'm still just shell-shocked/dumbfounded too, and I'm struggling to 'get over it', which is what much of the world seems to think we Remainers ought to do. I don't find things as cataclysmic as this very easy to ;get over', so you'll have to forgive me if I'm grumpy for a while yet.

But. This is a sewing blog, and not a political rant blog, so let us return to the making of things! Once work calmed down a bit, and I was able to get my head above water, sewing was exactly what I felt like doing. Something gentle and soothing and kind to myself - a nice easy project that would result in something I liked and wanted to wear lots.

Enter Carrie.

Named after Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, this is a new casual trouser pattern from the lovely team at Sew Over It, and is being offered as an online course. You get their Ultimate Trouser pattern as well as Carrie, and I signed up in the first week when they had a launch discount (I hope to conquer to the Ultimate Trousers at some point. *determined face*). The Carrie trousers aren't my typical aesthetic, but they fall into that category of trousers I've been trying to fill for ages - somewhere between track-pants and jeans that is both comfy and stylish. I've seen quite a few people wearing this sort of drapey trouser around the place, so I figured I'd give it a go.

Ohmygod. Guys. I LOVE these trousers. I basically didn't take them off for the first 3 days after finishing them. They are so unbelievably comfy, but also (I think) cute and not tooooo unflattering (although it was pretty hard to take a pic I liked, which is often an indicator that these don't look quite as good IRL as they do in my head. Oh well, TOO BAD! I love them!).

So, broadly speaking, there are similarities here to the Moji pants with which I've had fraught relationship - having made one pair that I wear a lot in winter (but which, if I'm honest, really do look like slightly fancy pjs) and a couple of disastrous pairs. But Carrie is different better in a few ways. Firstly, she has lovely pleats on the front sides, and while there's an elastic waistband, by having a flat unelasticated piece in the front above the pleats, the whole look sits a lot flatter than it would do otherwise. The pockets are huge and lovely, and the trousers sit nice and high on your hips so they're just really comfy to wear. They just feel like a step above Moji, and for me, their drapy design means there are fewer fit issues (or rather, they're more forgiving of fit issues).

I did the online video tutorials, rather than just following the written instructions, and I actually quite enjoyed that process. Lisa is lovely and chatty (have you watched her vlog?) and it was a bit like having a friend in the room while you sewed.

I used this fab viscose Ikat print fabric from Minerva Crafts. It's cheap (about a fiver per metre) which is always good for a first time make, but I think it's the perfect fabric for these. Size-wise, I'm a weird shape, so my waist is a bigger size than my bum and thighs. I often come up as a 12 in the waist/boobs and an 8 in the bum/thighs which is absolutely the reverse of every other sewing person in the world apparently (judging by the amount of info about how to grade out versus how much there is on my weirdo way - ie. none). But since this is an elasticated waist, I figured it would allow me a bit of wiggle room, so I split the difference and cut a straight-up 10. I think it's pretty good fit-wise. The legs are a bit loose, and maybe I could have gone to an 8, but that could also be because I think this woven viscose has stretched a bit. I'll make the next pair in the same size but in different fabric and it'll be interesting to see if I still think they need to be smaller. I also shortened the pattern pieces by 2 inches because frankly I think that's too much to just lop off the bottom when you hem them.

Look at my lovely new tiles in the conservatory! Hurrah! 

Stairs with no carpet. But we do have skirting boards, so progress is being made. 

I made a couple of errors - I used medium weight interfacing for the front panel which is a mistake as it's too stiff. Don't do this - use light-weight! I also couldn't get hold of 2inch (50mm) elastic so I used the 40mm stuff I could find at Hobbycraft, but that means it doesn't 'fill' the elastic casing and it wiggles around a bit. Not massively, but it's definitely worth getting the right width of elastic if you're thinking of making these.

So, I've already bought some more fabric to make a second pair of these (the same fabric Lisa is wearing in one of the promo pics - green and coral flowers on navy/cream crepe), and am contemplating buying some plain crepe or linen to make more. They are just fab. Projects like this are a delight really: it was a nice gentle process to make them, which was just the sort of calm project my overwrought mind needed, and the finished product is a total win. And that, my friends, is why we love sewing, right?!


p.s - sorry the pictures are rubbish. I had lighting/torrential rain issues, and then the sun kept coming out too bright, and ah, I was frankly too lazy to wait around taking better pics. Sorry!

p.p.s - Having now looked at these in the pics, I do think they are just a bit baggy. Might take them in a tad in the in-seam 'coz that's where they feel baggy. If you look at the ones Lisa is wearing in the link to the course, hers seem less baggy to me. Thoughts? Of course, to take them in, I'm first going to have to take them off...nooo!!


  1. Oh I love them. They look great on you and I really love the fabric you chose. Funny how we all seem to have reservations about this shape on ourselves but like it on other people.

    1. It is funny, isn't it?! I think you'll be a convert too - they'll look great on you! (and they're just so lovely to wear!) Can't wait to see yours :-)

  2. I think your trousers are lovely, I recently brought a pair similar to this and love them, so comfy, now deciding that I should make some myself

    1. You definitely should make some yourself! These are so simple to make (I reckon my latest pair probably took 3 hours of sewing? And I'm not speedy), and such a delight to wear!

  3. that's my shape too - I'll take your advice and go for the middle size :)