Last winter I made a pair of black wool cropped flares and I wore them so often that I decided I could do with another pair. But what colour? That question was answered one day in The Fabric Store where I discovered some burnt orange stretch wool of the most amazing quality. It was a no-brainer to snap some up and take it home!
Not long after I discovered this sailor trouser pattern from Burdastyle (issue 11/2015, 106C) and decided to use that instead of the pattern that I had already made for my black pair. My pattern had minimal design details, but this Burdastyle one has extra novelties like a naval button fastening and turn-up cuffs! Compared to my pattern, the leg shaping was very similar but the crotch curve was slightly different.
This fabric was thicker than expected, and it is probably not the best choice for this style as bulk was a bit of an issue. You can see the free edge of the facing through the front button wrap. The cuffs are also heavy with four layers of fabric (eight at the seams!) but I had my heart set on those cuffs and made them work! The upper edge at the waist is also chunky, especially with cotton tape in there as well. In retrospect I could have used a thinner fabric for the facing, but it would have had to be a good colour match as it would be slightly visible at the button wrap.
I had a lot of fun sewing the hems on my new machine. Being so thick, this fabric was perfect for blind hemming and the stitches were totally concealed. The cuff turn-ups were stitched in the ditch at the leg seams, CF and CB, and given a good press to hold them in place.
I had a few problems sewing the buttonholes because of the thickness of the fabric – it barely fitted under the presser foot! A couple of times my machine did a short buttonhole instead of the right length. I’m not ready to blame the machine yet though as operator error may have been involved… being only the second time I had done buttonholes on my new machine.
There is a side invisible zip, so the button fastening is purely decorative. I left the buttonholes uncut and sewed the buttons through them. The buttons are tagua nut dyed to match the fabric.
If you are sewing these trousers, I recommend extending the facing to run below all the buttons, so that R lower button has some extra reinforcement.
This is the first time I have sewn trousers with a shaped back leg seam. It gives a very close fit!
Care will certainly be needed in selecting underwear to wear under these trousers! I am wearing my jade undies – which clash hideously in colour on the inside, but show no lines on the outside. Yes to handmade underwear!
The front legs have pintucks running from waist to hem. This is really handy whenever you need to press your trousers! The back leg seam becomes the back crease so it is pressed back on itself.
When I tried these on the front crotch was wrinkling, and the front pintucks were curving outwards at that level. I unpicked the front crotch and took it in so the pintucks were closer to vertical, and it fits a lot better now too. Because the pintucks are exactly on the grainline, they can be a useful fitting tool!
If I was to make these again (there is a full length option that looks very tempting) I would reduce the front crotch length by taking a wedge out. Burdastyle trousers are always a bit long here on me unless I stand perfectly, perfectly straight.
The obvious colour to wear these with is black, but I’m trying to be more adventurous than that. I looked around my wardrobe for another colour that might work, and the only option I could come up with was this burgundy/brown colour of my silk balloon sleeve blouse and matching oxblood leather boots. I like these two almost tone-on-tone colours together – amazing what you come up with when you stretch your imagination!
I do like these trousers, but I feel very body-conscious in them. At first I hated the photos and almost didn’t write this blog post (I didn’t bother putting lipstick on, and threw the trousers on the floor afterwards lol!) But maybe I was just having a bad day, because I don’t mind the photos now I’ve got used to them. And now I wish I put lipstick on. And now the trousers are hanging in the wardrobe – a good sign!
Do you have orange trousers? If not, what is the most adventurous colour that you’ve made trousers in? And while we are at it – what is the most adventurous colour combination you’ve worn?