I think it’s time I stopped mentioned how long it is between blog posts and just come to terms with that’s how it’s going to be – I have been sewing honest, but they all seem to have been smaller, non-blog worthy projects…until now!
At the end of last year Lore Piar started sharing sneak peaks of her new trouser pattern – The Lauren trousers and as soon as I saw it I was in love.
The reason for this love was the beautiful details she’d included in the pattern; it’s paper-bag style waist, the pocket design and even the interesting belt loops. I’ve found myself increasingly disillusioned with the indie pattern world, feeling like everyone is just bringing out easy, uninteresting patterns and/or following trends. When I sew, I like to learn and I knew the Laurens would teach me something new.
This is the first time I’ve bought a pattern on release day…I even printed it right away; I told you I was in love!
After making my Dawn “trousers” back in August, I knew I’d need to muslin and make some changes, however it felt like I was one step ahead as I started by comparing the paper pattern, to the altered pattern of my Dawns, concentrating on the crotch curve and the width of the thigh (I have muscular quads that need a lot more room that most patterns are drafted for).
As you can see, there was some pretty drastic differences.
I made those changes and sewed up my muslin
I was happy with the fit of the waist at the back but there was some wrinkling in the back of the leg, between my thigh and knee – I’ve had this issue before; it indicates too much length in the back of the thigh – I’m 5ft 2″ so almost all patterns are drafted too tall for me so length always need to come out somewhere, and usually it’s a combination of above and below the knee –
*Tip* petite sewists – never just lop inches off the bottom, always check where the knee falls…if only designers would mark it!
The front was okay: the waist felt good, but it felt a little tight around my stomach. I have a rather protruding stomach that is concentrated in one area, so this is common for me. I decided to try a protruding abdomen adjustment. You can tell if this is a problem because the waistline will dip at CF. You can see when I slashed the muslin it instantly sat in a straighter line.
You slash and spread the front of the pattern, making it taller at CF.
Because of this adjustment, and the leg length changes I made a 2nd muslin and was much happier with the results – sorry guys, I can’t find the pictures I took!
Below you can se where I altered the leg length.
I had a sewing date with my friend Mary and cut out my beautiful teal wool suiting I’d purchased at Mood in NYC.
So now comes the bad news…while I love the pattern, and the drafting is great I couldn’t not share the fact that, in my opinion, the instructions really aren’t very good.
If you’ve sewn trousers before you’ll be able to work your way through it but you shouldn’t have to. The experience of sewing these trousers really wasn’t fun for me . I’ve been sewing for 15 years, have sewn trousers and jeans before so I’m no beginner. I also had two other very experienced sewists read the instructions to insure it wasn’t my reading abilities…they found even more issues than I did. One of them described the experience as “like reading something where every other word is missing”
There are steps missing…the left front waistband facing just magically turns to the right side somewhere between step 18 and 22, adding back belt loops isn’t shown/mentioned, the fly instructions left me with barely covered zipper, and the illustrations often lead to more confusion as they do not correctly show the step, such as folding one layer out of the way to expose the layer you should be working on.
I was so disappointed, I’d been SO excited about the trousers but the sewing experience was so stressful I had to put them aside for a few days. Luckily after I’d calmed down and styled them to go out for dinner I was back in love. I really do think they’re a great design and now I’ve made notes of the issues within the instructions. I will make more, especially as they fit so well!
The details that started it all:
At the same time I started these I was knitting a cropped sweater. I realised there was the perfect teal within my yarn to match the fabric of the trousers. I hoped they would go well together.
Luckily it turned out they really were made for each other!
After all this I want to finish by saying, if you’re knowledgable, and like the design, I would definitely encourage you to buy the pattern, just be prepared for some head scratching moments and probably keep the seam ripper close at hand. You’re always welcome to message me for help 😉