Thursday, 12 May 2016

Sew Over It: Ultimate Trousers

Afternoon everyone.

Today's make - the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers in a stretch cotton. I bought this fabric from John Lewis the other week, when I met up with friends for a fabric shopping session in Birmingham.

Like I said in my last post, I made the Ultimate trousers just over a year ago for the first time, in a lovely grey floral cotton. After making 2 or 3 muslins and adjusting the fit, I got it just right, only for me to find out I was pregnant, never get round to taking photos whilst they fit, and then be unable to fit into them after another month! Boo.

So I took my modified pattern pieces from last year and widened them out slightly to make them big enough for me. I made another muslin to check the fit and they seemed fine so I cut the main fabric out. 
Remember when I said I made these out of stretch cotton. Well, I made them up - all bar the facing, checked for fit and they were way to big at the back and front centre seams. the stretch cotton had obviously stretched out as I cut. So I ended up taking in a good 1.5" off the back, tapered round to about 0.5" at the front. That seemed fine, so I added the waistband facings. 

I tried them on again to decide on the length I wanted them and they still felt too big! Agh. 

So I'm not overly sure what to do now. They're wearable, but they just feel a little loose. Amy over at Almond Rock and Roisin of Dolly Clackett suggested spray starching the waistband to see if it stops the stretch so I might try that. If not, I may have to remove the facing, take the seams in a little bit more again and make a new facing to fit. 

However, can I just say that the invisible zip I added is probably one of the best I've done for a while so at least something worked properly! 

I have since tried on my muslin again and the fit is right so it's just because this fabric has stretch in it. I've got some hounds tooth fabric without any stretch so I'm going to make up a pair in that fabric as well - but with a waistband and higher waist using the instructions from Sew Over It on how to do that. Hopefully they'll work out all right, so stay tuned for updates!


  1. Your invisible zip is definitely invisible! The trousers look good, hopefully the next pair will fit perfectly.

    1. Thanks Sabs. I've still got to sort them out but hopefully something will work.

  2. I've sewn a fair few stretch cotton trousers, and they keep stretching out unless I include a very definitely non-stretch stabilizing element to them. Normal interfacing isn't up to the challenge after a few washes.
    My usual technique is a thin satin ribbon included in the waistband seam as I sew the facings to the main garment. Or in the waistband if it has one.
    Another way I get round the stretching out issue is elastic, just a tiny bit shorter than the seam, zig-zagged onto the seam allowance of the facing and the main garment. Or if I don't mind the zig-zag showing inside, I'll add the elastic to the facing, just underneath the waist seam.
    It keeps the comfort of the stretch trousers but allows for good recovery during the day. (The stretch will recover after washing, but that's not much use at 3 in the afternoon when they're stretched out and you still need them to stay up for a few more hours!)

    Your trousers look fabulous I have to say :-) And the invisible zip is beautiful!

    1. Oh wow that's some really useful ideas thanks! I've yet to sort them out so I might try your ribbon idea or the elastic. I like the idea of keeping the comfort without them completely stretching out!

    2. Glad they're helpful. I was thinking after I posted that, I've also used elastic on my favourite trousers that have a yoke. I put it on the lower edge of the yoke. It kept the top edge un-bulky, but still held them up.
      A friend suggested putting elastic just on the back between the back darts. I've done that too and it also works.
      I too like the comfort element of the elastic!

  3. Exellent trousers!