I’ve been busy around my sewing machine, but still lazy in taking pictures – I’m sure I’m not the only one. Does anyone have a trick for making sure you do take pictures of your makes? I always try to take pictures of me wearing the garment, because that’s the way I prefer garments to be shown: I want to see how it hangs on a real body and how it fits different body types. But, it is such a lenghtier process than taking a picture on a hanger. Anyway here are my most recent trousers:
I was beginning to be a little tight in my trousers and only had one left that fit, so I checked Megan Nielsen’s blog post on altering a pair of trousers to make them maternity-friendly. Very easy! I tried it with this old pair of black RTW linen trousers I couldn’t close anymore, marked with chalk the place underneath my belly where the trousers started to fit again and cut the whole thing. At the back I only cut the waistband (so about 4 cm) but at the front I needed to go deeper and only kept about 3/4 cm of the original fly. I made sure to close the fly and baste the tiny remaining darts at the back before adding the knit and elastic band. The only thing that can be a little tricky is determining the length of the new waistband+elastic. Megan Nielsen doesn’t give you a precise length, and she’s right because it will largely depend on the stretch of the elastic. Mine is rather stretchy and I think I removed only a couple of inches from my new under belly measurements. Apparently it wasn’t enough, because it gapes at the back and my trousers tend to slide down a little. Oh well, I figured this way it would fit me perfectly until the end of the pregnancy!
I’m wearing it with my latest Renfrew, that one was very long in the making because I think I actually cut the fabric back in November (at the same time as a white version that I still haven’t sewn). I wanted to copy the gathered neckline of some RTW tees I own. I kept the same neckband length but just pivoted the front pattern piece: the centre front at the waist was kept on the fold of the fabric whilst I moved the centre front at the bust towards the sleeves by 5 cm. I hope that makes sense I wasn’t sure it would turn out how I had imagined it but it did! I’m very happy with it. I kept the notch indicating originally the CF, to mark the part where I would have to gather the fabric. I did that by hand basting the fabric and pulling my threads. I preferred to hand baste because I knew the viscose blend wouldn’t appreciate machine basting.
This third photo of the black trousers is to show you how it fits my belly: it’s very comfortable! And turned out cheap: I already owned the trousers and as they didn’t fit me very well before, I had no regret in sacrificing them for the cause. I used less than a metre of 6 cm wide elastic band (at 2.05 € / metre precisely) and the knit fabric band is a part of my stash: a black ponte knit I used for my Renfrew cardigan. As this fabric pills a lot, I’m not going to use it anymore for a proper garment, it’s rather heavy and is perfect for the job.
Very excited by my not-so-new trousers I decided to make another pair, using my altered version of Burdastyle 01-2006 #107. You remember it? I had used StephC’s pants block to make it fit so much better. Of course, given the wide yoke of the pattern, I couldn’t use it straight away and had to make a few mods. I removed the yoke completely and left the back untouched. For the front, I used my previous version that still fits me (for how many weeks?) to mark my under belly as well and reported that marking on my pattern. Then I traced a curve between this point at CF and the side seams. That meant cutting the top of the pockets a little but it was fine and I wanted to keep pockets anyway. I’m sorry I forgot to take pictures at that point – but if one my dear readers insists I’m probably going to make another pair anyway and I’ll make sure to take pictures at that stage.
The fabric is a linen and cotton blend bought at Sacrés Coupons during my last trip to Paris – I had dragged my sister with me to discover the pleasures of fabric shopping (she has received a vintage Elna sewing machine for Christmas, with a well-stocked sewing box). At least the fabric didn’t stay long in the stash: I bought it on January 25th, threw it in the washer the same evening and made this pair of trousers over the following weekend (2 days between buying the fabric and finishing the trousers!).
The good thing with elastic waistbands is that it makes trousers so quick to sew! I just closed the CF, made the pockets, assembled both legs, sewed the crotch, hemmed the trousers and placed the waistband. I think it was done in less than 3 hrs. I was also able to squeeze the whole thing in my 1.5 m of fabric. Totally worth it!
Total cost: 15.80 € and approx. 3 hours to make. I haven’t checked maternity RTW, but I think my pair of trousers is a little cheaper..
13.75 € for the fabric + 2.05 € for the elastic (pattern is free, I’ve used this issue of Burda magazine many times, and waistband is free as I counted the fabric for my Renfrew cardigan).