Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A tale of three toiles, one of them wearable!

Hello Sewing buddies.  A little while ago I decided to try making some trousers. I have made elastic waist trousers in the past, and wear them happily; but, I wanted to try a pair of proper fitted high-waisted trews. Out came the old paint splattered bed-sheets - it was toile time!

Looks okay standing very still, but lots of extra fabric at the front.

This pattern is Simplicity K1699 and it's very straightforward: no pockets, no fly zip - so I could just focus on getting it to fit me!  Toile number one was baggy in the front crotch, as if my front rise was drastically shorter than the pattern.

After sewing this toile, I have noticed bagginess on many old RTW trousers that I'd never noticed before! This actually made me feel better; although I should try and get them to fit the best I can, I shouldn't get too hung up on being a perfectionist with fit, as most flaws we don't even notice day to day. That realisation gave me the confidence just to have a go with fitting.

The seam on the front is where I have taken out a triangular wedge of excess fabric.

For toile number two, I have pinched out the front excess on the crotch, and it fits me much better. I also added back to the top what height I'd pinched from the crotch curve, so that the front and back of the trousers were still level. At the back, I took a small slice out under the bum to get rid of the bagging.

I am really pleased with both of these adjustments, and was keen to next try out on fabric I could wear out of the house. I believe the test of a garment's fit is only complete once you've worn it all day.

Drag lines at the back- too much fabric.

Wearable toile number three is from some cheap jumbo cord. The material, although a nice colour, has a high acrylic content; it was, though, very cheap and has a similar weight to my fashion fabric. For this version, I kept the previous adjustments and tried to tackle the bagging at of the back just under the bum. For this, I created a new seam line on the back pattern pieces, losing a good inch on both sides but keeping the front pieces as they were.

I have taken them out for a spin. Conclusions: They are comfy. They hit my waist, which is how I like to wear my trousers. I could pinch a little more out of the front crotch, they are still a little baggy - although I only really see that in the photos and don't scrutinise my clothes that deeply in real life.

You can see in this photo that there is still too much fabric at the front crotch.

Whats next?  I am not sure. I have bought the most gorgeous wool/viscose blend in dark grey suiting from Ditto Fabrics to make my final version, but I feel I should get the fit better before cracking open the lovely fabric. I may have one more toile in me; perhaps I will play with adding the bib of a dungaree pattern on my next go, just to keep the project fun and appealing. Time will tell!

Even with a less than perfect fit, they are still perfectly wearable! Ha-Yah - take that fit issues!

What do you do when you have nice fabric you are aching to use?


  1. I agree, we are far too critical. I don't get hung up on perfect fit now for my around the house chore clothes - they soon get ruined anyway. For better garments I take more care and time. Your pants look fine for a first attempt. If you have some toile fabric that is wearable, make your alterations and then decide if it is right to use the good fabric.

  2. I have some fabric from a charity shop (op shop) which would be good to play with before cutting into my wool.

  3. The best guide I have used for trouser fit alterations is in Gerties vintage casual book which has a cigarette pant pattern and all the fitting issues that may arise with a picture of what to do for each thing, I found it so useful (but I suppose you don't want to a whole book) maybe you could have one more go! Jo x

    1. I have that book its great. she was where I got all my advice from.

  4. The fabric for you first toile is AMAZING. They certainly make a statement pair of trousers! Could some of the front crotch wrinkles be down to the crotch depth being too long for you? (as you are petite) Just a thought, although I don't know much about trouser fitting.

    1. It is entirely possible! I need to do more research. Will let you know.