A new pair of trousers

montana jacketBrown ones, at that.  Big colour surprise!!! I’ve had this wool crepe in my stash for years.  I originally purchased it as a complementary colour to the jacket in the picture above, which I sewed in…. um…. probably…. I’m guessing…. 1999?  You can tell by the shoulders, I’m sure.  I’ve a lovely pencil skirt to go with it, but I really wanted a pair of trousers to go with this jacket (which I’m not really loving anymore now that I see it, especially with the green sweater), and I haven’t gotten around to making them until this year.  And please excuse the headless photos – I was lazy today.

This is the same wool crepe as my latest brown skirt, and I have to say I’m happy I was able to get both out of the length of fabric.  The trousers are lined in the same not-pre-shrunk bemberg lining.

Trousers are funny, especially if you’re not particularly tall and have an hourglass (pear?) shape.  It’s only been since Jones New York came on the RTW scene that I’ve been able to purchase RTW dress pants that fit me properly, so I’ve usually sewn them myself.  But becoming a SAHM in 1998 changed my wardrobe requirements (no more dress codes), and I got out of the habit of sewing pants very much.  That said, I prefer a classic cut V1933 patternspant, or wide-legged pants that are dramatic and take a lot of fabric to the more shaped or skinny ones that are the trend.

I sifted through my pattern stash and decided on Vogue 1933, which is a Claude Montana design, and happens to be the same designer as the jacket, although from a different pattern.  I liked the technical drawing with the faux-pocket detail at the waist. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure about the front pleats, but the pattern cover seemed to be a straight-legged looking pair of pants on the model.  Mind you, the length of that jacket is covering the shaping/draping information that I really needed to know prior to cutting this out.

V1933 tech drawing

I did not read the description.  Bad.  Bad bad bad!!! “Tapered” equals a lot of extra fabric through the thighs à la 1980.  Not the look I was going for.  I didn’t bother getting photos to show you of my try-on session, but here’s the technical drawing of the pattern pieces.

V1933 pants

Pattern #24 is the back.  It’s been looooooong years since you’ve seen a trouser pattern looking so tapered, I bet!  I used to like wearing tapered trousers.  They were OK during the ’80’s, and you could still get away with them in the ’90’s (this pattern is copyrighted 1997), but I’m just not in love with that look anymore, for obvious reasons.  Haven’t been for a while!  I may change my mind in the 2020’s when the designers decide to have a go with reinventing the late 20th century styles, but for now I much prefer a “curvy” look, so I snooped through my traced Burda patterns and went for the version I made from Burda 01-2011-134.  Just for comparison, here’s the pattern pieces for that pair.

B 1-2011-134

The trouser back is piece #23, and you can see a big difference in the shape.  There’s a bit of flare to the Burda pair, too.

Of course, you realize, I didn’t make the Burda decision until after sewing up the lining, sewing up the fashion fabric, carefully pressing everything be-yew-tifully, trying on the original pants sans waistband and realizing there was no way that I would be wearing them in their original state.  BOTHER!!!  So I ripped all the seams apart except for the zipper, pressed everything as flat as possible, and recut them using Burda pattern pieces.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric in the original pants to do the flare at the bottom, so this is what I’m left with.  The shoes are totally wrong for these pants, as you can see.

V1933But I like the colour and the cut enough to keep them, or at least tweak them if I need to so they’ll be palatable for as much as I anticipate wearing them.  I have to say, the bottom of the waistband sits at my natural waist.  It’s a very different feel from the more up-to-date trousers with their low-rise cuts.  But I think this can work in my wardrobe. V1933 waist detailI took the time to practice my hand worked buttonholes on the pocket flap.  All that silk buttonhole thread that I ordered arrived, so I gave it a try.  Let me say there is absolutely no comparison working with silk buttonhole twist vs. cotton buttonhole thread.  The coverage per stitch with the silk is amazing, and makes the buttonhole go quite quickly.  This one’s not a perfect buttonhole, but with practice, I’ll master the technique. handworked buttonholeI finished the hem the way I like to whenever working with wool or other fabric that frays easily.  I cut a strip of the lining material on the bias and did a mock binding.  Then I used a catch stitch to enable movement, as there’s bound to be some on a trouser hemline.hem finishingYou can see how much the crepe frays from the seam allowances in the picture below. And, finally, I used a thread loop to keep the lining in place, as these are fully lined trousers….. because they’re wool!

thread stays


19 thoughts on “A new pair of trousers

  1. Beautiful job! Your post was so informative and educational! I used to love Claude Montana by the way! Funny but that tapered pant has been comin back into style. Ive been seeing some baggy type pants with tapered rolled up legs recently. I like the straight leg you sewed versus a flare. Thanks for linking at Sew & Tell Saturday.

    1. I’ve been noticing those rolled-up pants lately, too. I’m not sure I’m as trendy as all that, though I do like the overall silhouette when they’re paired with the perfect top…. not like this jacket!!!

    1. The collar on the jacket is what originally convinced me to sew it up years ago. I’m a complete pushover when it comes to oversized collars. And I do like the high waistband sitting at my natural waistline. It makes me feel like I’ve got some shape!

  2. I think they look lovely! Especially considering the midstream pattern change! I love the jacket, too—I think it wouldn’t look dated at all with a slightly more “modern” cut of pants. Although slim-cut pants can be tricky for the curvaceous, I think they work well tucked into tall boots—and then your pant-hems don’t end up soaked in snow! Of course the trick is finding knee-high winter boots that are warm enough and don’t look like Sorrell’s….

  3. Just found your blog and wow, those colors are really gorgeous together. Really lovely trousers. I just bought a few Claude Montana patterns recently and look forward to trying them out.

  4. The pants are really flattering – I like them a lot. And I really appreciate you showing us the detail of *how* you made them (it helps a learner like me!).

    The whole outfit looks very autumnal, which I imagine is very appropriate in your hemisphere!

  5. Those are gorgeous trousers, and I also am loving brown this fall. What do you think about pairing that 1999 beautiful jacket with slim cut pants, and the trousers with a short cardigan?


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