Friday, 25 September 2015

Completed: Smooth Sailing Trousers, Take II

First of all, I'd like to say a huge thank you for everyone's support and congratulations for winning the Super Online Sewing Match! I had to stop responding to comments because my replies were getting a little redundant (I can only say thank you so many times!), but I'm reading them all and I appreciate every one.

It felt a little strange once it was over, because suddenly I had no more deadlines! I took advantage of the time to work on some mending and alterations that I had been ignoring all summer, catching up on some knitting, and writing some blog posts about things I made ages ago and never blogged about (oops).

Speaking of not blogging, sorry for the total radio silence over here! I got so busy so quickly with school and moving into my Montreal apartment, and since I haven't really been sewing, my mind hasn't really been on blogging. Even though I wrote up some post on past makes on the plane, it's taken me ages to get around to editing photos! (And yes, these are some more photos that I took at my uncle's place with my phone duct taped to the railing... ugh, they are so boring!)

I've been meaning to post about these pants since I posted about my first version back in May... what happened to the summer? These are my second version of the Smooth Sailing Trousers by Wearing History. I loved my first pair, but they stretched out so much and I'm not sure they're mendable, to be honest. I've pinned up the new hem, but it's practically on the bias since the inside of the pants legs stretched so much more than the outside, for whatever reason. Because of this, they flare out very oddly at the bottom. I'll see if they hang a little more nicely once they're hemmed for real...

Anyways, on to this pair, which I'm much happier with! I'll start with the fabric - this was a 100% unknown suiting fabric that I got whem I volunteered at Our Social Fabric earlier in May. At first I thought that it was mostly (if not all) polyester, but then when I saw how much it wrinkled and shrunk, I think there's definitely some rayon, maybe even some linen, in there. Anyways, it has beautiful drape and a nice feel to it, but it's still substantial enough for these pants. I have plenty left over, so I think I may make a matching jacket! It was wonderful to work with and I love the colour, which is just a touch more green than it looks in these photos.

I made a few modifications to the pattern from the first time to improve the fit. I graded back down to a size 12 at the hips and the legs, so this was pretty much a straight size 12, grading to a 14 at the waist. The first time I made it, I made a straight size 14, but kept the shape and size of the crotch curve from the size 12, which was the size I made my muslin in.

The fit is passable, although it's definitely not quite right in the back. I didn't notice the odd way the fabric is hanging when I made my first pair, so I don't know if that was a side effect of making the legs a little narrower or just something that wasn't so obvious in drapier black fabric. In any case, it looks like I need to scoop a little out of the back crotch curve, which I might actually still be able to do easily enough. The way these pants are put together, it's really easy to tweak the fit at the crotch.

I find that when I wear my first version, I'm always reaching for pockets, so I had to add them this time around! I used the pocket piece from the Cambie dress, but I modified it so that the pockets could be sewn into the waistband to stop them drooping. I took lots of pictures of the process with the plan of doing a tutorial on how to do this, but after all the pattern hacking I did this summer, this seems pretty simple in comparison! If anyone's interested, I could still write it, but for now I'll just show off my finished pockets!

Since I added pockets at the side seams, I moved the zipper to the centre back. I did a lapped zipper instead of a centered one, and hand picked it. This time, I remembered to add on the extra seam allowance for the lapped zipper - this was especially important because the seam allowances are only 1/2" for this pattern.

I made these while I was in Canmore, so I couldn't use my mom's serger. I just zigzagged the edges, although in retrospect, I wish I'd taken the time to do bias bound edges. The zigazzed edges aren't very neat when compared to some of my more recent makes with French seams or flatlining. I guess that just shows how much I've learned about finishing techniques this summer!

To hem these, I turned under the edge 1/2", then another 1 1/4", then slipstitched. I can't remember exactly why the odd amount, but that what I have written in my notes! These seem to be the right length, anyways. I hemmed them short enough that I could wear them with flats, but just long enough that they don't look too short with heels either. I took a few pictures in both, and I think I prefer the flats, which is probably how I'll wear them most often anyways!

I couldn't find a button that matched, so I put in a hook and bar to close the underlap above the zipper.

The one thing I'm not so happy about it my belt loop placement. Because I moved the zipper to the back, I couldn't use the suggested placement, so instead I pinned it on the pants and just marked where they looked about right. Unfortunately, once I'd attached them, they were completely off from where I'd marked! I'm not really sure why, but since the loops are sewn into the seam that attaches the waistband to the pants, unpicking them means unpicking the waistband after it's been attached. Looking back, that wouldn't really have been that much unpicking, so I'm not sure why I didn't bother, but I guess I decided that it was good enough. (Again, writing this, I realize how much I've learned from the SOSM! After all the unpicking I did to get things right, I realize that taking a bit more time to fix something can make you so much happier with the finished product.)

Overall, though, I'm quite happy with these - much happier than with my first pair! I haven't worn them all that much over the summer because they aren't very bike-friendly, but in the fall in Montreal, they'll be great!

Thanks for reading!