Getting on with it

I have, at long last, had a day off! One day of absolutely nothing except the school run yesterday, on which I chose to rest completely. I watched The Phantom Thread (somewhat odd film, though beautiful) and then fell asleep with the cat on the sofa. I finished reading my book (The 1,000 year old boy) and watched some TV with Mr Jack. Perfect!

Today, feeling a little more rested, was a day of getting on with it. Despite my fabric disappointment the other day, I do still have enough of the same stretch denim I used before to make a second pair of trousers. I’ve been pondering the alterations for some time and hesitating to commit them to the scissors, so I made the decision to just get on with it. I finished the redrafting without agonising over every detail and cracked on with cutting out.

I only had time to cut one front and one back leg piece, but I’ve made a start and it feels good! And I have another day off tomorrow to continue. Bliss!

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Knit therapy

Life is non-stop at the moment. Work this month has been more or less full time. Or at least it’s felt that way. Combined with the usual home and kids obligations, that would be enough of a challenge. But I’m pretty much rehearsing the rest of the time at the moment.

Now, I love rehearsing and I love my job, but to be honest it’s all been a bit overwhelming recently. I may have had a bit of an overtired emotional meltdown at the start of the week.

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Last night I picked up a bag of knitting to take to rehearsal with me and I knit a bit between scenes when I wasn’t required on stage. I haven’t knit a stitch for months and it was amazing how soothing it was to just quietly knit a few rows. I’d forgotten how therapeutic it can be.

Buzzkill

You know when you spend hours browsing a website and filling and amending your shopping basket, and that small buzz of excitement when you finally place the order.

And then the thrill when the package arrives in the post and the hum of anticipation as you have to wait for a more convenient time to open it.

And then the slight sink of disappointment when half of the things you ordered turn out to be not quite what you imagined and so you’re almost back to square one on a project.

That.

Clockwise from top left:

1. Clearance fabric that I thought would make a nice top, but is much more open weave than I expected. Plain green crepe intended as lining for said top. Hopefully I’ll still be able to do something with it.

2. Star print cotton fabric for future pocket linings.

3. Popper fasteners kits, D rings and bias binding for work trousers project.

4. Samples of fabric for work trousers, cotton drill in medium- and heavy- weight, both of which are not as heavy weight as I’d expected. And one I’d hoped would be a tough fabric for knee pad pockets is more like a lightweight tent fabric.

5. A variety of zips at clearance prices. Many are a bit shorter than I expected, despite ordering by length!

So, I’m not really any further with my work trouser project, but I’m sure the above will be used one way or another!

 

Pant-o!

I made my first pair of trousers! Oh yes I did!

They were done in time to wear them for crewing the Panto at work, which was just as well, since my previous work jeans acquired some extra ventilation in the knee department a few shifts into the run of the show. For any non-Brits around here, panto, or pantomime is a very silly theatrical tradition, which is very serious business around this time of year. Personally, I’ve always hated panto, but I’ve seen it in a different light this year, and being backstage has been an absolute blast!

Anyway, trousers.

The Bryce Cargo pattern from Hey June Handmade was a great starting point. The PDF pattern was super easy to print and piece together, and the instruction booklet was excellent. Well laid out and easy to follow.

I made several modifications to the original pattern, including redrafting the front pockets from hip-slash to jeans-style, and changing the pocket bags to a pocket stay, omitting the pocket flaps from the back pockets (and the leg pockets, though I hadn’t intended to) and redrafting the lower leg to be longer and wider.

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The finished trousers are not without their flaws, but are perfectly serviceable for the job. I now want to make a second pair and eliminate some of the imperfections of the first.

The front pockets are fab. I might be tempted to modify the depth of the pocket bags, but the redraft worked very well, the openings are a good size and the pocket stay gives extra structure to the front of the trousers.

The back pockets really don’t need a flap, but the jury’s out on the cargo pockets. I quite like them as they are without a pocket flap, but I think they may look better with one. I intended for them to have a flap, I even made them up, but sewed the buttonholes a little too small for the buttons and couldn’t be bothered to redo them. They were also quite bulky once folded over and possibly a fraction too short, and I thought the buttons might stick out a little too much and be prone to catching on things when shifting stuff about at work. At the stage that they were due to be attached, I was worried about the overall fit of the trousers – they looked like they might come up too small, so I wanted to get the leg seams at least basted so I could check the fit – so I thought I’d leave the pocket flaps and come back to them later. Of course, once I’d sewn the leg seams, it was then impossible to sew the flaps without ripping everything out again! So they got left off. I think next time I would cut them maybe 10mm longer than the pattern piece and try again with the buttonhole, or perhaps go for poppers instead.

The biggest problems with these trousers is the fit and the length. Both of which are my own fault. Firstly, I need to trust the seam allowances. That would go a long way to sorting out the slightly baggy fit at the waist/hips. I may also do a bit of a fit diagnostic on the rise before I go again. Secondly, I need to get someone to help me measure my legs as it’s very difficult to do it yourself. I added half an inch above the knee, which is about right, but I only added one and a half inches below the knee to take it from a calf length to a full length trouser leg. And I’m tall! I think an additional two inches would not go amiss, and even that is possibly too little. I think I’d also flare the leg out a bit further for preference.

Both of my female colleagues have admired them and even requested a pair already. I’m sorely tempted to oblige them, as i know women’s workwear is hard to come by, but I’m definitely making myself a second pair first.