*I use the term “balloon trousers/pants” because it’s more descriptive and much, much, less problematic than “harem trousers/pants”. If you ever see me using the phrase “harem pants” assume I have been kidnapped and am asking for help in a coded way.
They are based off an old Khaliah Ali Simplicity pattern I’ve had in my stash for years. I wanted a trouser similar to the Luna Pants, but couldn’t justify buying yet another pattern when I had one in stash I could modify!
My aim was for a super lightweight pair of trews for the 3 days of hot weather we get in my part of Britain in the middle of August. And also pockets.
I made a muslin (toile) first out of a cotton/poly duvet cover to check the fit. I added an inch to the waistband, knowing that I wanted to raise that. As a result of the toile I added half an inch to the back crotch and a further half inch to the back crotch rise.
Fabric: very lightweight linen/cotton blend from Abakhan online
Notions: Gutermann thread, 1/2″ elastic for waistband, 1/4″ elastic for cuffs, interfacing for buttonholes (for ties)
Sizing: Measured as a 22W (what?! I think Simplicity sizing is out of step with a lot of the independent companies because that’s not my size in Cashmerette patterns! Just goes to show you shouldn’t go off your “Dress Size” but should use your actual measurements) but cut a 24W because I wanted a loose fit through the hips and thighs.
Omitted patch pocket on leg
Added elastic to leg hems
Raised waistline by 1″/2.5 cm front and back
Made “large bum” adjustments to back by extending back crotch seamline by 0.5″ and raising back crotch by another 0.5″ using “slash and spread” method on paper pattern
Switched the pocket and fronts around to create a slash pocket so I didn’t have to pattern match a patch pocket!
Edged the pockets in the same grey bias binding I used for the Sorbetto Top
I made this top as a test of the fabric. I squeezed it out of the meter of fabric I had left over after I’d cut out the trousers by adding about 1.5cm to the centre fold line of the back piece and seaming it. This had the added bonus of making sure the print was in the correct orientation!
I cut a straight size 16 but after sewing the side seams I tried it on and discovered I needed to massively increase the bust dart. This improved the fit immensely.
I chose to leave the pleat unstitched to give more of a breezy swing top.
When it’s tucked in to the trousers it gives the effect of a jumpsuit, but with none of the toilet-related panic!
To conclude? I’m really pleased with how my first ever pair of trousers (we’re not discussing the sh*tty stripy shorts of doom from many, many, years ago) turned out. With the help of my “Fast Fit” book I think I got exactly the fit I wanted. I’m keen to try a more fitted pair at some point, but my sewing to-do list is going to take me in a different direction first!
The bralette is a princess-seam soft bra top with adjustable straps and a racer back. The undies are a “boy short” fit which is my preferred style.
Most of my fabric stash is woven so I’ve had to buy some suitable stretch jersey fabrics in.
My first bralette will be in this hot pink spandex as the lining and blue leaf print mesh as the outer. This will act as my test piece as both the fabrics were inexpensive remnants from The Sewing Chest.
The next versions will be in cotton/elastane fabrics. One will be in this soft black and white chevron print from Girl Charlee, backed by a plain black fabric from Minerva Crafts.
The (final for now) iteration will be a reversible top in these two fabrics, both from Girl Charlee UK. I’m also going to make matching knickers for this set (hopefully one pair each in the stripe and floral if I have enough fabric left).
However, my first pair of kecks will be out of this striped print (again, from Girl Charlee).
Have you made your own underwear? Have you got any tips and tricks for me?
Yes, already! I’m still probably going to make the same kind of items as previously posted, but maybe not the exact patterns?
As you can see, I’ve simplified my grid. A lot.
Pretty much everything will be the same patterns/fabric as before.
One thing that will absolutely change are the pyjamas for my mum. I’m not happy with the pattern I chose (the top is massively oversized and the bottoms are too small) so I’m changing that. I found a free pattern from 5 Out Of 4 called, rather simply, “Pajama Pants” that look ideal. I’ll probably pair it with a simple sleeveless or short sleeved pull-on top pattern from my stash (Mum does not do well with buttons on sleepwear!). I have some very narrow vintage cotton in my stash that will be used for the first, semi-muslin, version and I’ll need to buy some cotton voile or lawn for version two later in the year.
I bought enough fabric for my Level Up Loungers shorts to make a top to go with them, so I’ll make myself a simple set for the warmer weather (should it arrive this year).
I’ve also changed the “Lucky Booty Undies” entry into “underwear” because I bought the Ororo Bralette from Rad Patterns and I’ve got plans to make at least 3 versions of this in various fabrics. I may even, for the first time in my life, make a matching set!
Size: cut a straight 18 C/D cup to fit 44″ full bust.
Fabric: Navy/cream striped and ochre llama print French Terry from Fabric Godmother plus some thin single jersey from my scraps stash for the pockets.
Notions: seven 20mm triangular prism buttons, all thread Gutermann, clear elastic for shoulders and front pocket opening (all from stash)
I chose View A for the awesome collar and the colour blocking, but liked the back hem length of View B so I copied that for the front to turn it into a tunic.
Added in seam pockets (mostly successfully) because as it’s a warmer-weather outerwear that I intended to wear over leggings I knew if it didn’t have pockets I wouldn’t wear it!
Because I was keen to get this finished, I made a few mistakes (cutting two left sleeves, getting half the back piece off grain and having to cut a new one) but I’m sure I’ll forget about those in time!
I sewed the buttons through a single layer of fabric only so I could wear the cuffs turned up and not have the thread show through.
Overall I’m very pleased with how this turned out and I’m keen to try View C as a plainer, more sensible, version in the future!