My First Trousers!

I finally did it - I made trousers! I'm so thrilled. I mean, they're FAR from perfect, and really they're just a wearable toile, but they are, nonetheless, a perfectly passable and functioning pair of trousers. Yippeeeeeeeee! I can't quite believe how quick and straightforward they were to sew, either. I really enjoyed my first foray into trouser making! Who knew it would be fun?!

Colette Clover trousers, worn with New Look 6217 top
My "gateway" trouser pattern of choice was the Colette Clover. I have a pair of rather old but wonderful Uniqlo x Orla Keily cut-off stretch cotton trousers which I've been longing to recreate for a long old time, and the Clover pattern is a similar shape to start from.

I did quite a bit of blog snooping of Clovers, assessing how they seemed to fit on lots of different people, and fit adjustments people had made, and decided I would give them a whirl. I got the pattern in the Colette sale, so that's a bonus!

Since these were a wearable toile, I went for the longer length option with no pockets. I figured I could then shorten them to 3/4 length later, but it would be useful to have the full length pattern too.

I used this lovely tulip print stretch cotton from my stash (leftover from this Flora dress), and actually, when they started turning out pretty well, decided to keep the longer length. Somehow the longer length looked more "right" in this print.

I did do a fair bit of fit adjusting, but naughty me didn't make notes at the time like I usually do!!! The main adjustments though were:

  • slimming the legs down at both inseams and side seams considerably (and I think they're still a bit too baggy, particularly if they were 3/4 length)
  • flattening out the shape of the hip curve as my hips aren't very curvy
  • changing the shape of the crotch curve to fit more closely 

I also think I need to make a few more changes for the next version. Namely:

  • slim down the legs even further
  • perhaps decline to interface the whole waistband.... and instead just interface the seam allowances where the zip is inserted. I feel like one place it's really helpful to have a bit of stretch is a waistband? Maybe I'm wrong here and it would stretch out horribly with no interfacing?
  • make the waistband slightly larger. The current size is fine when standing, but not so comfy when sitting. It only needs a couple of mm adding at each side seam I think

I know there are still more fit issues to fix, but I reckon it's sensible to do the above adjustments first on my next version, then go from there. Most adjustments have a knock-on effect on other areas of a garment, after all.

These pictures were taken on our holiday in Provence. The photos are a bit dim, as the only day I could wear them was our only cloudy day, in the evening. It was too hot the rest of the time!

So now I am constantly on the look out for good quality stretch cotton, preferably polka dot of any colour. I think that the Clover could become a staple pattern of mine! I'm too late for this year but I can also see me using this pattern to make some lovely jazzy shorts for next summer.

Mostly I'm just proud as punch that I managed to sew a passable pair of trousers that fit and are comfy on my first go. When I was quizzing my friend as to whether the fit was actually good enough, her reply was: "If you were trying these on in a shop and asking me whether you should buy them, I would say 'Absolutely.'" She's right! I'd buy them! So I guess this wearable toile is a complete win.


  1. Yay for trousers! They look awesome, definitely a wearable toile win. It's so easy to get too involved with fitting and forget that if you tried it on in a shop, you'd think "hell yeah these are great!"

    I think Sew Over It have polka dot stretch cotton online, may be worth a look?

    1. Thanks! Yes I am liking the look of SOI's polka dot stretch cotton - I'm definitely going to get some of that!