Emergency trousers and new fabrics

A couple of weeks before I went away I ran out of dress material so had to (::ahem::) make another trip to the Fabric Warehouse – which I posted about here, now I think of it.  In that mad rush (and it does seem completely mad now, looking back on it) in the run up to the trip, I took it into my head that it would be great to knock up some easy trousers for the beach – but it seemed a bit of a long shot given that I was already cutting it fine with the dress and had never made trousers before. About time to learn, I thought…

The green material in this photo is the one I thought would make excellent, soft and comfy beach trousers – you can see it’s got a bit of a sheen to it but it’s also thick but cool and quite hard-wearing. I started out by making a pattern based on my own measurements, and then looking at the pieces I thought there’s no way this will go round my legs! and cut a mock-up out of lining material with so much spare around the edge that they were absolutely huge! Bubble trousers. That quite often happens – the measurements are always correct in the end. But when I tried them I found they were too short in the crotch and I had to add about 8 inches to the pattern.

The pattern is a simple single-leg pattern, and the trousers sew up really easily. Basically you cut four pieces the same, sew two together down the long side and the short inner leg to make the legs, then sew right down from front to back around the crotch and hem. Because the pattern is completely symmetrical, I then found there were some adjustments to be done tightening the seam on the front, and I hadn’t designed them with any kind of closing (zip or drawstring) so just nipped them in at the top and they seemed to just about stay up.

Anyway that all happened in between finishing the dress, finishing packing, and work during that final week – the actual sewing took place in the last hours of the last day, after everything else was done, as I didn’t want to waste time sewing and forget to pack! But they just about worked in the end – nothing glam, but they were perfectly fine for running around on the beach, and to be honest I’m not sure what I would have done without them! I think they will make good lounging trousers for when I’m around the house and possibly pyjamas when they get old. And the best thing is, I have a pattern for a whole new garment which I know will work and that I can improve on.

I don’t have many good photos but here are a couple of snippets of holiday shots featuring the Emergency Trousers, just so you can get an idea. The colour is great and they are super-comfy!

So now I’m trying to decide what to sew next. Luckily I have bought back some fabrics from The Gambia to help me decide – fantastically bright tie-dyes and batik. I washed a load to make sure they’re fully shrunk and the colours are fixed – here they are hanging up to dry:


All dry and ready to go:


I really want to make some reversible lounging trousers with this last one – I think I must have seen something like that about twenty years ago because when I saw the fabric that was what immediately jumped into my mind. Not quite sure how you go about making reversible trousers though!

I also want to make some simple draw-string bags for Christmas presents, so that’ll be a good starter project – and maybe napkins or coasters as well.

And I have another wedding dress and a bridesmaid’s dress to keep working on.

For the time being, I’m also using fabrics to decorate the flat! – more on that tomorrow!


{Reblogged from here}


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