Stretch Gaberdine Flint Cropped TrousersMay 7, 2017 / byFiona Parker / Categories : Feeds
I actually bought the fabric for these before the pattern was released. My colleague's trousers are quite smart looking black ones with a bit of weight which flow beautifully and I had my eye out for a similar fabric. Classic black seemed like a good way to go for this first try of a new shape! I was shopping for work in John Lewis on Oxford Street when I came across their range of stretch suiting. Just the weight I was looking for and beautifully soft with a gorgeous drape provided by the viscose content. It is a polyester/viscose blend which I know might have some of you running for the hills but some modern day polyesters are world's apart from those nasty crepes and chiffons that melt as soon as they get anywhere near a cool iron. I couldn't tell that this was a poly to touch or work with it and as these trousers are a particularly breezy style I wasn't worried about the it getting hot or sticky to wear. I didn't need the spandex content but it's nothing too dramatic and it has made the completed trousers exceedingly comfortable with a nice 'bounce'.
I knew it was ideal on first touch and figured 2x the length of the trousers I wanted plus a little extra would be plenty so bought 1.8m with no deliberation. The Flint envelope actually recommends 2.4m of this width but with a bit of jiggling I managed with what I had. Phew! If you're using a fabric with a directional print or nap you will need more as I placed some of my pieces upside down to squeeze them on. Interestingly John Lewis's tag recommended hand wash or dry clean only which I'm assuming is because of the viscose content but I pre-washed it in the machine and have washed them a couple of times since with no trouble. I also risked a medium heat iron rather than the recommended cool as to get a nice flat seam it needs a good steamy press the eliminate that bounce that is so lovely to wear.
Labelled as a stretch suiting I'd call it a stretch poly gaberdine as it's got that visible twill weave and smooth finish. It comes in a range of neutral colours and I'd very much recommend it for tailoring projects that you want a bit of movement or give in. At £14 it's a bit more than I'd usually pay for a black basic but I knew it would be perfect and I'd pay a lot more than £25 for a pair of RTW trousers like this.
I cut the size S which is a teeny bit larger than my measurements but I was concerned about them being snug around the hips as proportionally I've got a bit of a bum on me! They did come up quite large on the waist so I just moved the button over by 1.5" which worked out quite well to give me a snug fit. I think this may have something to do with the stretch in the fabric as I haven't had as much of a problem with the pair I'm currently making but then the waistband is interfaced so it shouldn't have stretched out. I'm training for a half marathon at the minute and all that running seems to be doing some crazy things to my measurements so that's made keeping track of fitting a little tricky!
Fit wise they're fairly easy to manage because of the loose fitting style. I think I could do with a really tiny sway back adjustment as I have a little bit of excess fabric sitting below the waistband but it's nothing to overly bother me. I did put a lot of consideration into the length as I don't exactly have the longest legs in the world and was concerned about the cropped length really not working for me. The length of these was going to be key to their success! Before hemming I tried them on with pretty much every pair of shoes in my wardrobe to find the optimum length for all possible occasions and whilst I'd usually only pin up a section of the hem to check it I pinned up both legs so I could properly see how they would look. I ended up removing 1.5" from the hem and used the recommend 2.5" hem allowance.
The fastening on these is genius and a detail unlike anything I've seen before on RTW or otherwise. The waistband overlaps slightly to one side and opens up into the pocket to give you enough room to get in and out, eliminating the need for a zip or fly. You have the option to use buttons to fasten the waistband or a tie which I opted for as I love this kind of unusual detail. If you're concerned about the tie not being secure enough fear not, there's an additional button fastening hidden inside the waistband to keep things safe. This also provides the perfect opportunity to use up those odd beautiful buttons you've been hoarding but never quite know what to do with! I think my button is a discarded sample from a show I was working on a couple of years ago; I remember getting it in Cloth House on Berwick Street.
I was going to say that the fastening was my favourite thing about this pattern but actually there's so much else to love! Just the general cut of the trouser is fab; the width of the leg is spot on and super comfortable yet chic. I really like the release tucks and the way the front hangs because of them and also the deep hem gives a bit of weight which again helps the way they hang and move. The hem was a little tricky to sew as the widening of the leg plus depth of the turn up means you've got a much wider edge to fit into a narrower space. I noticed in the sew-along that Megan suggests to fold down the excess fabric near a seam and sew over it which is exactly what I did but I wasn't personally sure about that finish. Now I've decided on my ideal length I might adjust the pattern next time so that the leg pieces start to taper in again from the hem line to match the area that the hem allowance will be turning up into. Another construction aspect I thought might be tricky was topstitching along the bottom edge of the waistband to secure it inside but I'm really pleased with how neat that has turned out.
I bought the PDF of the pattern as I was so impatient to make them and ended up printing way more pages than I needed to because the waistband for versions 1 & 3 isn't nested and each size prints individually. And I wasn't even making that version! Entirely my own fault as I forgot that on the first page of Megan's PDFs she lists exactly which pages you need to print for which version and size to save you wasting your paper. This is a feature I really loved when I made her Dove Blouse so I'm annoyed at myself for forgetting! Something for you to bear in mind if you're planning on using the PDF.
I couldn't be happier with this combo of pattern and fabric and can see me wearing them all year round as I'd definitely layer them over tights with ankle boots in the winter. As it's such a new shape to incorporate into my wardrobe I thought I might have some trouble styling them but my favourite thing about them is how surprisingly versatile they are! I love them styled down with a t-shirt and pumps or trainers like in the majority of these pictures but they are so easy to dress up too. I wore them to the press night of my latest show with my Inari Cropped Tee and a pair or wedges but they also look great and feel super sophisticated with a pair of killer heels. A total triumph of a garment.
The proof of how much I love this pattern is in the fact that my sewing queue is out of control right now but the photo above is already happening! I decided my wardrobe could absolutely benefit from a pair on more of a summer weight so am using this beautiful chambray from Sew Over It to make a pair pretty much exactly like Megan's sample. And a pair of the shorts in striped linen are on the list too!
This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Diary of a Chain Stitcher
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