I think I’m the only person in the UK who is pleased that summer hasn’t yet arrived. I’ve been working on a pair of navy trousers for the last few weeks and have been willing the weather to stay cold enough for me to get some wear out of them this side of summer! Thankfully, the good old British summer did not disappoint.
I was keen to find a simple modern pattern that would force me to stretch myself, without resulting in failure. The Avid Seamstress’s City Trousers are just that. They are a fitted slim-leg trouser with a waistband and invisible zip, so a step up from the elasticated trousers I’ve made previously, but without having to get to grips with a fiddly fly or fastening.
The instructions were really comprehensive, covering everything from measuring yourself to cutting out the pieces, and provided useful tips along the way (the tips about seam allowances were particularly helpful). I’d definitely buy an Avid Seamstress pattern again (I’m already eyeing up the Day Dress).
The fabric I used was a navy cotton twill from Merchant and Mills. I was almost paralysed by the choice of fabric in the store (I could have bought everything in there) – but knowing I wanted to buy fabric to make trousers did narrow the selection down a little. In the end it came down to the twill and a more simple cotton, which I decided would be too thin and precarious for a pair of trousers.
In hindsight a thinner fabric might have worked better. Overall I’m pleased with the fabric – it’s a great colour and certainly has enough integrity to so cover my derriere – but its quite thick and has no stretch, which I think would have made fitting the trousers a little easier. Next time I’ll go for something a little more forgiving.
As this is the most complex pattern I’ve used to date, and the first time fit has ever really been an issue, I decided to make a toile. Investing the extra time was definitely worth it, as after letting the side seams out as far as possible, I decided I really needed to go up a size for the real thing. I also used the toile to figure out the right length – important with this pattern as the side slits mean you need to shorten the leg around the knee.
Despite taking my time on the real thing, it didn’t take long for it to all come together. I think making more simple trousers in the past really helped. I’ve never made pockets before, so that was quite exciting too! As the fabric I chose is quite thick, I decided to make the pockets from a simple plain grey cotton, which I think compliments the navy nicely.
As anticipated, getting the fit right was quite tricky. Going up a size from my toile meant that the legs fit perfectly, but I struggled a bit with at the waist/hips (I’m not sure if it’s worse to blame my large behind or wide hips), and it is a bit too big at the waist. The crotch also comes quite low, something I wasn’t able to adjust but will make sure to correct when cutting pieces the next time I make these trousers.
Though the trousers are certainly wearable, I think a simple adjustment should improve the fit. I’m going to bring the darts in a little more, to make the trousers sit on my waist rather than my hips, which I hope will improve the fit at the crotch as well as the waist, and will shorten the length slightly.
Saying that, I’m still really impressed with these trousers – not bad for a first attempt!