Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers

So I finished my first proper sewn garment! I know I was supposed to share the FO pictures on the weekend but didn’t get round to it, so I’ll share them with you today.

Let’s start off by showing you the initial muslin I made:

I think the fit was ok! I did make this back in October, so it’s possible my weight could have changed in the interim, plus the actual trousers used a different weight fabric.

So the plan for the FO I’m about to show you was for it to be more of a wearable muslin – so a test garment that can be worn, but is more just to make sure you’re comfortable with the fit in that weight fabric and the techniques involved in putting them together.

Here they are!

The front of the trousers, including a close-up of the topstitching around the fly. I think it looks ok!

A few whoopsies here. It didn’t occur to me until after I cut the buttonhole open, that I should have done it horizontally, not vertically. It does make the button a little tricky to do up, but not impossible. But WHAT ON EARTH is the crazy zigzagging on the fly extension? I don’t know what I did wrong, but when I was attaching the left waistband, it wasn’t long enough to go all the way round and cover the whole of the fly extension. No idea how this happened but it was maddeningly frustrating.

My solution to minimise bulk was to zigzag in the diagonal and cut off the excess fabric, so there was no excess poking out after the end of the waistband. Not the most elegant solution in the world, but it’ll do.

I attached the hook and bar once and had to undo it as it was nowhere near the end of the waistband, which it needs to be. My second effort was a bit better but still not brilliant.

Now onto the back of trousers. It’s a bit of a car crash. It wasn’t originally – when I first did up the centre back seam it looked beautiful. The only problem was that the back was too big when the waistband was all said and done, even though it felt ok when I basted it. I ended up having to take off an extra 2 inches to get a good fit and in redoing it (which I did twice and this was the better looking attempt!) I guess this weirdness happened. I didn’t want to try and do it a third time as I worried it would look even worse. At least I know to take the extra off for next time.

My welt pockets generally came out ok. I still have some of the puckering I mentioned in my last post but I think I know how to stop that next time.

The right rear pocket is even worse unfortunately:

One of the corners hasn’t been caught quite properly – I’ve tried to catch it with some hand-stitching from the inside but it doesn’t look good 😦

I also got to practice several new stitching techniques. Like stitching in the ditch, to secure the waistband. Some parts of it looked ok!

Others, not so ok. I may consider investing in the speciality foot for my machine to do this, but generally I think I just need more practice.

Under stitching! I love this. Makes such a difference to stop facings of garments rolling outwards. I have several ready to wear pieces that I wish had this around the necklines, for example to help them not roll to the outside when you’re wearing them. I need to practice doing this even closer to the seam, but it came out ok!

Belt loops! Some of these were more successful than others, but on this pair of trousers they are mostly decorative rather than functional. I did trim them, as did Lladybird in the sewalong she led (great sewalong and I can highly recommend it if you’re thinking of making a pair) to make them shorter as they seemed a little long to me. I’ll try again next time. Maybe I need to try and sew closer to the edge while folding less underneath?

Dotty lined pockets!

The insides of the trousers. They did look better before I mangled the waistband when I resewed the centre back extension (you can see how much extra I had to take out of it). When I make these again, I will finish all the raw seams with bias tape, rather than just zigzag them – which is fine, but I want to try and technique and hopefully improve some of my finishing skills.

The inside front pockets don’t look too bad either – these raw edges will probably just need to be left zigzagged so as not to add too much bulk.

Blind hems! This was another new technique to me and a good chance to play with the new foot that came with my machine. Once I got the hang of it, some of it came out ok.

Some of it not so ok, and not so blind.

Now for the part where I show you what the trousers look like on me! Be warned – these pictures aren’t at all flattering. I hate photos of myself at the best of times, but I accept that it’s a necessary part of showing you finished garments. It doesn’t help that I need to lose a fair bit of weight, but there we are.

I’ve also taken picture of myself in a similar pair of ready to wear smart trousers that I bought from Next a few years back, by way of comparing the fit. Initially when I tried the Thurlows on I wasn’t happy with the fit at all, but having done subsequent wears and looking at other people’s FOs, I feel a bit better.

I think they’re a pretty decent fit from the front. Most people seem to have some creasing around the crotch, which I’m guessing is due to to needing a bit more fabric in this area? But I like the length now I’ve hemmed them and I certainly don’t think they’re unflattering at all.

I wanted to show the rise of the trousers. My waist falls quite high, above my belly button in fact and initially I thought these sat way too low. I now don’t think that, but would consider trying to increase the rise for the next pair I make.

The difference in rise and front fit is all the more apparent when you look at the RTW pair:

They’re not as long, although the rise at the top is a good couple of inches higher and closer to my natural waist. It doesn’t help that I’ve probably put some weight on since buying these so they are a bit snug.

Thurlow side view – nothing too untoward happening here. Bit odd that you can see the pocket linings, as the gabardine was a fairly thick fabric.

Here’s the RTW pair – not much in it between the pairs really. I do find it a bit funny that I don’t have much of a belly or a butt going on. I am ALL HIPS AND THIGHS.

Now for rear views. The most unflattering of all! (Aren’t they always?). You can see the bungle job that I made both of redoing the centre back extension and also some of the weirdness with the waistband. It didn’t look like that at all when I was pinning it in place and I don’t know why the right side looks worse than the left.

But if I wear a top of a decent length, I can keep most of the weirdness covered and then I don’t think it looks too bad?

MOST UNFLATTERING PHOTO EVER! These don’t look good from the back at all and not helped by any possible weight gain. Both pairs of trousers have similar creases going on at the back.

One of the things I do like the RTW trousers is some of the finishing of the edges – they’ve used bias binding, which is similar to what I plan to do for the raw edges next time.

I have some little tags I want to sew into finished garments. My hand sewing is shocking, so it’s something that I’ll need to practice more to get the right effect, but I think the little labels are cute!

Overall I’m fairly happy! I’ve ordered a copy of Pants For Real People so I can take a look at eliminate any creases by adding/removing fabric where needed. I will take a look at increasing the rise on pair #2. They’re certainly not unwearable and I think I will attempt to wear them out of the help, particularly if I’m wearing a longer top to cover the mess at the back.

I’m looking forward to making my second pair and for my first actual finished garment, I’m pretty pleased with these! It was probably a bit ambitious to attempt a pair of trousers this complex on the first go. The Thurlows are quite a bit more complex than the Junipers, which didn’t seem challenging enough, or a good enough fit for me out of the packet. What this project has shown though is that I can do it, even if I need to take more care over my finishing and some of the details to avoid letting myself down when it really counts.

Onto the next project, which will be a shirt for Trev!

3 thoughts on “Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers

  1. Really useful post, thanks Azzy. I had exactly the same problem getting the waistband and the fly extension to match up – the left waistband seemed too short to make it all the way to the end. I wonder if it’s us, or the pattern..?

    1. Great to hear from you Janet! I would like to think it’s the pattern – I’ve made it twice now and had the same issue – you experiencing it too makes me feel better that it’s not just me 🙂 I’m due to make a third pair soon so I may try extending the waistband and seeing what happens. If I have an issue again, I’ll drop the team an email.

      Looking forward to seeing your finished trousers – interested in your drafted t-shirt too – knit tops are still a huge issue for me – I just can’t get them right!

      1. Let me know how you get on with the waistband adjustment – I’d love to see the results. I’ve added my finished trousers to my blog today – I need to make a few more adjustments to the pattern but it’s getting there – slowly…

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