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A Claudia tribute outfit – the trousers

After talking about the inspiration and my goals for this outfit, the drafting and sewing of the cape, and the incredible details of the silk shirt, we’re now onto the final piece – the plum trousers!

If you recall from my first post, the trousers used in the show were high waisted, wide legged, with a wide waistband and presumably a side zipper (as there’s no front opening on the wastband). I actually hate wearing all of these things, so making this fit my own tastes while still looking similar was going to be a challenge!

A Claudia tribute outfit – inspiration & finished set

It’s been years since I’ve had a reason to sew something for Halloween. I’m pretty sure the last time was when I made the badger and fox suits for J and myself, and that was 6 years ago. So when I found out we’d be in Cornwall over Halloween AND there was a local outdoor fancy dress party, I started plotting. And when a friend said she’d be hosting a vampire party on Halloween weekend, I really got down to some serious planning.

You’ll already be aware from my tribute teeshirts how much I adore the recent “Interview with the Vampire” tv show (Brits, it’s on iPlayer now!), so my immediate thought was to try and recreate one of the vintage costumes from it. The first season takes place from 1910-1940 but the main female character, Claudia, is introduced in the 4th episode and spans 1920-1940. Unfortunately, for a good portion of that she’s dressed pretty juvenile, so those early outfits really didn’t appeal.

Sage green Aina trousers

In amongst the absolute frenzy of pattern sample sewing (the trisuit pattern is with testers now, for an estimated mid-June release!), I managed to squeeze in a small amount of Non-Work Sewing! Woohoo!

I’ve been wanting to sew the Named Aina trousers ever since they were released – I’m pretty sure I even bought the pattern on release day! I love that they appear to be a standard jean-like trouser from the front, but in the back they’ve got a half-elastic waist and tabs that extend around from the front to snaps. It means they still look like normal trousers, but have some elevated details.

Brown linen Bob trousers

I’ve seen a lot of great versions of StyleArc’s “Bob” trouser pattern over the past few years, so I finally caved and bought it on a whim during a sale last year. They’re a pretty basic elastic-waist woven trouser apart from a rather bulbous outer leg shape.

The question is – would this shape of trouser actually work for me?
And to be honest, I’m still not sure I have the answer…

I had 1.5m of Raystitch’s European Washed Linen in the “Muscovado” colourway which I’d bought with a gift certificate last year, and I figured this was a great way to test out the pattern. I know I could sew a muslin first, but I know by now that sewing muslins really dims my enthusiasm for any project, so I tend to just compare a new pattern to an existing one I like and adjust from there.

Turquoise Audrey cigarette trousers

Even though we’ve been friends for years and I’ve followed her progress ever since she won that Threads magazine contest WAY back in the day, up until this point I’d never actually sewn one of Gertie’s patterns before, even though I own her vintage casual book. I mean, how is that even possible?!! It’s probably because I’m not really into wearing 1950s-era vintage styles, but I absolutely love her current 1960s beatnik speakeasy theme for her Patreon patterns! So I joined her Patreon to get this pattern and her Joan wiggle dress (also a knit and in my aesthetic), though it was a nice surprise to find out that you get access to all the previous patterns when you join, so even though you missed these, if you join now you can grab them.

When these slim-legged ponte trousers were released I immediately went and bought some kingfisher blue ponte from Like Sew Amazing specifically for them. I love sewing with ponte but I didn’t really have any in my stash, and I figured this shade of blue would coordinate nicely with lots of tops in my wardrobe.

Black ramie Pietra trousers

You know a pattern is a good’un when you not only find yourself making it multiple times, but feel a deep need in your wardrobe to make even more. This is my 5th time making the Closet Core Patterns “Pietra Pants” pattern – twice before as trousers and twice also as shorts.

My very first time sewing this pattern was a pair of trousers in black linen, almost exactly two years ago, which since then I’ve worn so much that the inner thighs literally disintegrated (even after patching). Thankfully my second pair, in grey wool, are still going strong (probably by virtue of only being worn in winter rather than all year round like the linen ones).

Paprika Palisade trousers

I realise that “Paprika Palisade Pants” would’ve had more pleasing alliteration but since I’ve nearly reached the point where I’ve lived more years in the UK than in the US (19 vs 23), I dislike using ambiguous terms that could be misconstrued. And “trousers” if more definitive than “pants”, which has wildly different meanings based on your geography (the reason I tended to use “bottoms” or “leggings” in my book, too).

In any case, these were an attempt to kickstart my missing sewing mojo and make something comfortable and useful for my yes-I’m-still-shielding-at-home life. I’ve sewn the Closet Core Patterns “Pietra” trousers three times now and have literally worn holes into my first pair, but I wanted to sew something a little different and thought I’d branch out and try the Papercut Patterns “Palisade Pants” which I’d bought in a recent sale. I mean, come on, that pocket detail!!

Perfect Pandemic trousers – for her!

After the success of James’s pandemic trousers (he’s barely taken them off since I gave them to him!), I decided that I needed some elastic-waisted joys of my own to wear while working from home (and relaxing from home, and eating from home, and socialising from home, and everything else from home!). And then I realised that I actually already had a casual woven trouser pattern (complete with separate drawstring waistband!) that I had printed onto A0 a few years back and never sewn – Seamwork Moji!

The perfect pandemic trousers – for him!

I was encouraged by the effect that sewing for my mom had had on my own sewing mojo, so I decided to stick with the theme of sewing for others and I turned my attention to my husband instead.

I’d bought La Maison Victor‘s special Menswear issue back in 2018 (which I bought first in French when it was originally released, and then, later, again when it was finally released in English). There were so many good menswear patterns in this issue – lots of interesting and different (but still wearable!) designs, but I thought that the “Jeff Trousers” in particular would be perfect for J’s new work from home lifestyle.