A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of visiting the place my boyfriend grew up in, which is a tiny island off the west coast of Canada, about 4700 miles away from London. The second hand shops there are stuffed full of cheap clothes and even cheaper sewing patterns. I picked up this McCall pattern for some elegant looking tapered trousers that fasten with a zip at the back. I usually make my own trousers without sewing patterns, but I wanted to learn a method for making good looking, smart turn ups and was interested in any new tips I could pick up on inserting a zip.
When I got back to the UK I realised the pattern was intended for a lady much larger than me. It was a size 18 - 20 and the whole point of a pattern is that you make something that fits. I turned to the internet and found a version in a smaller size at Dawn's Pattern Shop in America. She has a good range of patterns, they are cheap and postage to Britain is very reasonable.
While I waited for the pattern to land in my hallway I chose fabric and did some design experimenting on Adobe Illustrator. I drew an outline sketch of the trousers, tracing an image from the front of the pattern. I scanned in the fabric, and dropped it into the illustration so I could imagine what my trousers would look like.
My smaller sized pattern arrived incredibly quickly and it took me a couple of hours to put the trousers together. My own sewing machine is currently broken but the shop have been kind enough to lend me this sporty looking retro Toyoto machine whilst mine is being fixed.
The McCall pattern advises making a waistband to attach at the top of the trousers, but I found that the top edge was already quite high on my waist so decided adding another strip of fabric would make them sit too high (or the crotch hang too low). I simply hemmed the top edge, which also shortened the whole making process. Here I am jumping for joy in my new trousers. You can also see an animated version of this joy induced flying!
The shoes I'm wearing are from Topshop and replace some much loved, white leather ex-Royal Navy shoes that fell apart over the Christmas holidays. I hope these ones last me a long time! The jumper is a second hand job from Beyond Retro. Here is a trilogy of collages showing various different views of the trousers in action and inspired by ancient Egypt.
I look forward to venturing forth into 2012 in my tailor made, tapered turn up trousers : )