Foldover wool trousers

Let me start by saying that I hate drop-crotch trousers! Hate.

These are not drop-crotch trousers.

I chose these because the crotch is where it should be – they are in no way “Hammer pants”, let’s be clear about that! But there’s a large pleat that runs from the right knee up to the mid-left waistband that creates the drapey folded roominess instead.

I was instantly drawn to KnipMode 01/2011 #5 when I saw it, but since I made these I realise that the idea must’ve been stewing in my subconscious for quite some time, as carottesauvage made an awesome similar pair last year, Burda magazine actually had something similar in the Plus section back in August, and KnipMode had a less severe draped version all the way back in September 2009(!) that I found going back through my archives.

So even though these feel absolutely bleedin’ cutting edge, the idea has been floating around for a while now. I made these with a gorgeously soft 80% wool / 20% acrylic flannel (bought from Fabric.com in Dec 2008 for $14/yard) that tends to look either pale green, slate blue, or even brownish depending on the light. In order to shield my skin from the wool and prevent the knees from bagging out, I entirely underlined these in black silk/cotton voile. I had to hand baste these two layers together to keep them nicely aligned and not bubbling, and this took a couple of evenings.

Here are some detail shots of that pleat so you can see that the centre front seam is exactly where it should be, it’s just that the right front piece is folded back on itself and caught in the waistband.

The fold was actually very easy to construct – KnipMode have given this pattern some large illustrated instructions (the pdfs of which are online here), but essentially they just tell you to baste the larger front piece together along the marked lines. So for me this meant three lines of basting – first to mark both fold lines, and then again to join them together. I had to be quite careful when sewing the inseam of the right leg to ensure that the pleat did not get caught in the seam by the knee and make a weird bubble!

These trousers close using an invisible zipper in the left side rather than fuss with having a front closure – it just makes these a bit less complicated to get on and off! These ended up being bit tight around the upper waist which made my back view photo a bit shocking to behold! eek! They don’t really look this VPL in real life, honest…

One thing surprised me with this pattern its how VERY curved the front waistband piece is! The waist overall is quite high on these, and the fit is very nice and slim, especially in the back and lower legs, which makes a nice contrast from the front folded drape. It just gives me the overall impression that someone at Knip really sat down and thought about this design while they were drafting it.

As a nice added touch, I cut the waistband facings and pocket linings from leftover viscose from my Patrones cowl top.

Even after finishing these, I still wasn’t so sure about the style, but I wore them to work earlier this week, and I spent the whole morning feeling kinda self-conscious about them. Then I realised that absolutely no one cared. No one commented. No one stared. And absolutely no one was laughing. Granted, I do work in an IT office full of boys who probably wouldn’t notice if I turned up dressed like Carmen Miranda, but still. Sometimes I think we make too big a fuss over what might possibly look odd fashion-wise to other people.

I’m glad I took so much time with the finishing of these because wearing such a luxurious pair of trousers encourages me to be brave and just wear them! They’re the sort of thing I’d admire on other people but never buy myself… But having the silk lining makes them SO comfortable, like wearing your most expensive silk pyjamas!

I think this exercise has taught me to take more chances with fashion.

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