Ponte Houndstooth Hybrids

Firstly I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you about my previous post on the floral trousers. The response was amazing and Simplicity had them as Tweet of the Day!

Once again I have used the Simplicity 1696 pattern and tweaked it slightly - no zips for me this time! I made these trouser/leggings hybrid from a really good quality houndstooth ponte de roma from Minerva Crafts. I wanted to try and make some 50s-ish-Hepburn-esque-capris.

It is the exact same pattern as the floral ones, darts and all - but as the fabric is mega stretchy I just added a black elastic waistband made of black ponte as a contrast.

 It feels like wearing pajamas! Ridiculously comfortable. Very pleased how the same pattern turned out with the ponte - they would be ideal for travelling as seem smart but crazy comfortable at same time.

Next on the agenda....leggings! Time to test the Burdastyle Carol leggings pattern #BS-039.

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Trigger's 'Bloom' Trousers

Ta daaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh...... Weeks of intense labouring over patterns and fit have finally culminated in finished floral trousers!

I suppose the pattern used is Simplicity 1696 - but then I realised that the pattern has been chopped and altered so much it's not really recognisable as that pattern anymore - very much a Trigger's Broom paradox.

(Dear non-UK readers, if you have no idea what this 'broom' I'm talking about is then dear god PLEASE watch THIS; British comedy at its best)

This is actually attempt number 2. The first pair I made had twisty legs and I had no idea why, then I started messing about trying to fix them and slim the legs and it just got a bit out of hand. Fortunately I had bought extra fabric forseeing my incompetence.

Take 2 was much better, I made sure everything was cut precisely on the grain. Then I read a tip online which was mega helpful.

  • Pin the inseam from the ankle up and stretch the fabric from the knee line upwards to put the pieces together.
It worked! I had to mega-stretch the front piece to fit the back piece inseam, but it works! I guess it keeps everything in line and on grain across your body.

The fabric is stretch cotton from myfabrics.co.uk - 'Yumi Floral'. Blooming marvellous (yeah I went there). There is a black concealed zip down the left side and I had to improv a waistband. However as I ran out of fabric it's cut in the non-stretch direction and made of 4 different bits - so it makes the trousers a bit tight. Will have to save them for non-bloaty no-need-to-breathe days. Maybe it will give a bit as they are worn in. Made little ankle side slits too for decoration :)

So they may not be perfect but it's as good as it's getting! I discovered there is such a thing as over fitting - and I would quite like to sleep easy and get my life back now...

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The taming of the trouser - Simplicity 1696

Following the great trouser debacle of 2015 in the last post I thought I'd try a different tack...Simplicity 1696. Well it does say 'amazing fit' on the packet, must be true.

According to the measurements I am super 'curvy' (no surprise there) and a size 16. I cut a 16 and marked out a 14 on the same pattern piece just for reference (in my experience of patterns, not much granted, they always seem to end up huge even when I use the chart properly). The pattern also says it has a 2 inch ease which is pretty roomy for slim fit trousers.

I cut a muslin and they were good to alter as the pattern also has a 1 inch seam allowance to mess about with. As predicted the muslin was bloody massive. I will spare you a photo of what looked like clown trousers.

There are photos here because when I was looking/obsessing over trouser fit I found other people's photos a massive help to see the issues in real life - so here, I give you my butt pic, in case it helps someone else out with this pattern.

I started pinching in the waist and hips and also made the back seam curve a lot deeper to accommodate my derriere. I also took the front seam in slightly to mimic the flat-belly adjustment and it seemed to work. However as you can see they are not amazing........please excuse the jumper it was freezing, I realise it looks like cookie monster.

My main issue - despite the dreaded horizontal wrinkles at the front (of which I decided to do nothing about in order to save my own mental health) - was bagging under the bum. Not a good look. I then had a stroke of inspiration and decided to take the inseam in at the back piece but NOT the front.

It was at this point I realised I needed my life back and decided that this was to be my finished pattern. Woop. Next stop was drawing on the alterations with a sharpie then taking the muslin apart again to trace the 'new' pattern pieces.

Let the real fabric cutting commence!!

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That time I started drafting trousers and couldn't stop...

It started so innocently. In order to regain a bit of sewing mojo I signed up to a 1 day class on drafting a trouser pattern at MakePlace in Norwich. Took a day off work and had a lovely ol' time in their sunny studio. The instructor was amazing as were my fellow learning buddies.

We followed an instruction sheet based on the Winifred Aldrich Pattern Cutting for Womenswear book - now I already own this and have used it but doing so in a class environment was priceless for the extra tips we picked up along the way.

I didn't take any pics of the class but I intend to go back and feature that in a bit more detail next time. HOWEVER what did happen after the class is that I got taken over like a woman possessed.

Gonna make me some trousers I thought...

And then I just couldn't stop. For the next 4 weeks I lived and breathed trying to find the holy grail of fitted trousers... Turns out there is a LOT to learn about 4 little pattern pieces. Crotch depth, crotch curve, hip curves, crazy bunching and sagging and removing and fixing and altering...aggghhhhh.

I have a big bum/hips and a relatively small waist - try getting general sizes to fit that. So to the drafting in the quest for a perfect fit, and I soon realised that you basically need an engineering degree...especially if you have my arse.

So I drafted straight leg, slim leg, leggings...I copied some RTW trousers I had by tracing them onto paper, then tracing them through clear plastic... I sewed and ripped and sewed again and made 7 MUSLINS (stash busting exercise). I needed some sort of full-bum-adjustment and flat-belly adjustment. I went back to the drawing board, made technical adjustments, sewed again.....Just call me rain man.

Even Rocky had a montage........

Can anyone sympathise with this or am I just going crazy? - if you start with the drafting there's no going back - and you also can't stop staring at people's trousers to look how they fit. I warn you now you're going to look like you're checking people out. I near drove myself to distraction looking at the wrinkles in the front of jeans and tight trousers. Turns out nearly everyone has them, even RTW on models.

There is a very useful document for fitting trousers - the Colletterie Cheat Sheet. I would recommend having a little read of that if you are doing the same. Another useful tool was the Burdastyle University seminars - in particular the Perfect Pair of Pants video. As much as you read and read its good to get a visual of what fitting issues actually look like so you can compare it to yourself.

And so the quest continues......

WARNING - The following post will more than likely contain photos of my bum. Do not be alarmed. Time and therapy will assist.

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Welcome to Crafty Clyde!

Welcome to the all new look blog Crafty Clyde!

As you can see its had a massive overhaul and lick of paint. Also a new domain! www.craftyclyde.com

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Jessica Ann Lee, a fabulous designer and illustrator who created my new art work and drew a cheekly little Clyde tortoise! Check out her website and Etsy store its gorgeous.

I hope that you will keep reading and commenting - pop by any time. Don't forget to say hi on Twitter, Facebook or by emailing emma@craftyclyde.com xxx