Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jean Independence day - Not yet.

As promised next up on the sewing agenda was my version of Sewaholic's Thurlow Trousers 1203 but in the shorts (view B) version (confused? Me too). 

I loved Tasia's sample pair of stretch denim trousers as seen in her pattern introduction post, in fact these inspired me to make my own version and hopefully kiss goodbye to the dreaded task of trying on hundreds of pairs of jeans and never quite being happy with the fit. 

The first step in the process of what I will from hence forth call Jean Independence, is testing this pattern out on my lumps and bumps. I decided to go ahead with the shorts first to gauge fit, before cutting into the 3m required to make the trousers. I never quite fall into any perfect size chart. On normal patterns I am a 10 bust and 12-14 (usually 14) waist and hips. In sewaholic Patterns I am 6-8 bust, 8 waist and 6 hips. I decided to go with size 8 as I was concerned the 6 might be too snug around my waist. I also decided to skip the welt pockets on the rear and forgo the belt loops as I won't be wearing a belt with these shorts. I used a cotton sateen I picked up from spotlight for the main fabric (not sure about this choice as I have never sewn with this type of fabric before) and for the lining I am using a funky fabric called Foal Cotton, Poplin Magic.  The colour is a dark grey (and hard to photograph), so I thought this would be a good neutral colour to team with heaps of T Shirts and button down shirts (that I will make soon, haw haw).

The first few steps in the pattern making process are to do with assembling the front pockets, can I just say that this went together like a dream, so perfect and looking so damn professional. I did sew 2 rows of stitching at the base of my pockets as I am pretty rough with them being a hands in pockets kinda gal. 

Dual stitching lanes!

Front pocket detail.
Once I hit the fly it was kind of all downhill from there. As I have said before I am fairly new at sewing garments and this is most definitely my first ever pair of shorts/trousers that have included a fly. In all fairness to Tasia and the (intermediate level) pattern, the department that was lacking was me. I am sure that the instructions would be adequate if you had sewn a more basic pair of pants with a fly or mock type fly before or just had some sort of idea of how the fly comes together, and I am sure that an intermediate sewer would know this. Now I have made these once and have a feel for it, I am sure the second pair will be quicker and easier. 

Help I am out of focus and out of my depth!!!!
(I don't normally pin and iron on this little board, in my lounge room but hey a change is as good as a holiday!)
Moving on my other issue was the fit, they are wayyyyyy to big. I ended up redrawing the sewing line at the rear from the bottom notch, angling it out to 1 inch from the original sewing line. This equated to taking 2 inches from the waist. I am not 100% happy with the look from behind (ha ha) but I am sure that is to do with the amount of fabric taken out and most likely the way in which I did it (and quite possibly the actual size of the rear) .  Next time I will make a size 6 and possibly still have to take some from the waist but I think the end result will be a better looking bottom!!! i might also consider ironing!!! 

Bottom too big? (mine that is)
All in all I think an advanced beginner would be able to handle this no problems if they had had some kind of trouser/fly experience or someone to refer to for help.

The finish ended up not too bad, certainly fine to wear at home or if brave duck up the shops for bread.

Any thoughts? Feel free to advise on all I did wrong and suggest improvements if you have any ideas.
I still love this pattern and plan on continuing with Jean Independence, but I might try a basic pair of pants first. Or hope Tasia does a tutorial on all the bits I got wrong (ie the whole thing).

On a brighter note here is a peak at my next project ......

 Have a great weekend!!



  1. You are so brave to attempt the fly if you are new to sewing. I think you did a great job!

  2. You are so brave to attempt the fly if you are new to sewing. I think you did a great job!

    1. Thanks FlyAwayHome. I really liked the style of pants, I thought my love of the pattern would override my lack of skill, but I am sure second time around will see a better version and fit.

  3. Hi! It looks to me like you've done a magnificent job. I tried the Thurlow shorts recently, too, and, although the fly was okay, I had cut out one side of the wasitband wrong and then to compound problems, inserted it upside down. So, it's in the unfinished pile. Maybe I'll pick it apart and try again. Good idea skipping the welt pockets - I chose to do the same.

    I'm certainly going to sew more Thurlow trouser or shorts at some stage. I'm new to sewing (garments) and perhaps starting on shorts immediately after tees - also the Renfrew - was not such a great idea ...

  4. I would give anything for more information on where to get that fabric with the horses?