Summer in England is a rare thing, but we have had an overflowing bounty of gorgeous, sunny, and hot weather for the past three weeks and counting! So it’s natural that the heat would go to my brain and cause me to make some out-of-character sewing choices, right?
As I revealed last week, this manifested in the form of some super-bright pink trousers, and a teeshirt made from cream stretch lace:
The lace teeshirt was ridiculously quick to sew up – I’ve had the lace in my stash for several years now after buying it at Tissu Dreyfus on one of my Paris trips, and some of you may even remember it from when I used it on a long-sleeved KnipMode tee. I love that those photos were in the snow and now I’m using it again in a heatwave! I just used my knit sloper I’d drafted from the Kristina Shin book, only I levelled off the sleeve hem rather than the usual scoop.
The construction was identical to any other teeshirt, and the only real point of note here is in the neckline binding – I didn’t have any matching cream jersey, and I didn’t want to just fold it under and topstitch, so I had the great idea to use the selvedge as a band, and just overlocked it in place. It matches, it’s lightweight, and it’s guaranteed not to fray!
The trousers were much more interesting from a construction standpoint! I had a bunch of Mood fuchsia stretch cotton sateen leftover from my fuchsia party dress (which is still my go-to party dress btw – I’m getting lots of wear out of that!) and I knew I wanted some fun Spring/Summer trousers. In my original Spring/Summer 2013 ideas, I thought I’d reuse the Burda Jan 12 pattern I’d made in grey flannel, but then I really wanted to try a StyleArc trouser pattern, and I already had the Jasmine pattern to hand, and it’s for stretch wovens. Perfect!
Things I like about the Jasmine pattern:
- The pocket shape – I’ve not seen this angular shape anywhere else!
- The drafting – everything matched up perfectly and easily
- The curved back yoke & no back waistband design
- The extended front pocket yoke (see below)
- The curved front waistband drafting
Things I don’t like about the Jasmine pattern:
- The fly-front zipper instructions (I’m totally just using my regular Burda method next time!)
- The separate fly facing (which adds seam bulk when it could just be a fold)
- The Left & Right front waistband pieces are mislabelled (they need to be swapped!)
- The extended pocket yoke as drafted could only be sewn in the same stretch woven – negating any stomach-flattening effect! (see below)
- The weird CB bubbling above the bum (partially fixed in the yoke area, but still visible below)
A note on the extended pocket yoke – I absolutely, totally love it when trouser patterns do this, either on the pocket lining piece or the pocket yoke. Burda often have this but Jalie’s jeans pattern does it best – they have you cut the pocket yoke out of non-stretch lining fabric, but topstitch a bit of the exterior fabric over the pocket opening area so it looks seamless from the front. This both reduces bulk in the pocket bag and means you get non-stretch fabric extending to the centre front fly right over your gut, which holds things in nicely!
So I made a slight modification to the pocket here to mimic the Jalie jeans pattern – I cut the pocket yoke from lining fabric, then drafted a small overlay piece where the pocket opening is, plus a bit extra just to be sure. I cut this out of the pink sateen and topstitched it onto the lining yoke. You can see on the inside that the pocket bag is just the normal size – it doesn’t extend all the way to the CF (shown here on the left), too!
I didn’t find the order of construction to be all that helpful in this pattern – I read through them, but then ended up using my own, preferred order of construction anyway (apart from the fly-front zipper, where I used their instructions and then didn’t like!). Also, I chose to join the back to the back yoke, and join the front waistband to the front, sew the side seams, then treat the inner waistband and the inner yokes as a “waistband” and stitch in the ditch to hold it in.
I also deviated on the fastening – I didn’t have a suitable shocking pink button so I went for a trouser hook instead!
I’m quite tall at 5’8” (and mostly leg), but I had to chop off a good 2 inches from the bottoms of the hems, and I still had room for a generous 1 1/4” hem, so I think these must be drafted to be long and worn with heels. Overall, I think the fit is okay with these, but I’ve noticed in these photos that they’re not as spot-on as Burda are for me, especially around the bum where there’s some extra space I could’ve pinched out. They’re a fun wear for the spring and summer, but were I to make this pattern again for more regular wear I’d definitely make some fitting tweaks.
However, the drafting is perfect on these and straight leg shaping of these trousers is really flattering – not too wide and not too skinny, either. I’d definitely consider sewing them again, albeit maybe in a more subdued shade!. The things I didn’t like about them are easily fixed, and I’ll know in future to just sew the fly-front zipper the way I know by heart!
Annoyingly, I finished 95% of these trousers well over a week ago, but I was so busy in the evenings last week that I didn’t eat dinner before 10pm on any night, and I only managed to sew on half the trouser hook in the whole week. So I had to wait for the (only slightly less busy weekend) to sew on the other half and sew the hems!