fancy pants – recutting wool cashmere trousers

My ruthless ‘use it or lose it’ continues, which is just as well as these trousers have been in my wardrobe an-embarrassingly-long-time, and on a to-do list for the same length….. Some years ago, I did a wardrobe clear-out, and sold some dresses on ebay, and ended up buying some cashmere jumpers (we had just moved to a freezing house, and these wool/cashmere burberry trousers).  I probably shouldn’t have as a strange vanity got the better of me,  but I did, and I really should have known they would not fit right and they didn’t.  And for some or other reason, I could not/would not give them away, resell or donate……

The trousers fitted at the hips but huge on the waist, and while I loved the wide leg, I looked ‘a-bit-of-a-pudding’ in them.  I took them in at the back to wear around the house and see how much I liked them.  I was rather nervous of re-cutting them – in case I would render them unwearable, but I had to bite the bullet sometime, so  I took the trousers apart, and to keep an eye on the location of the grain, I basted the crease and lightly pressed it out, and half way thru taking them apart, I was thinking I should have just given them away as I was still having a lot of work to do.  As it turned out, I was wrong.

I had got this Clare Shaeffer pattern especially as I figured such a swanky fabric needed the Shaeffer touch (I bought it on etsy after reading Lynn’s post), and I also had the Balmain pattern out to see what the detailing would be.  The Balmain was quickly put back when I measured the leg width (same as trousers).  The trousers were taken apart, pattern laid on top….. and no way was it going to work

Balmain vs Shaeffer
Shaeffer pattern

Plan B was to draft a trouser block and adapt to the Shaeffer….. and it was still not going to work, but the trouser block fitted on the trousers fine, so I laid the block over and chalked the seam allowances and widened the leg of the block on the fabric (I was getting a bit tired or tracing and figured I would just go for it).  Ultimately I did the simplest which was a basic re-cut using my pattern, and a resew in the same way of the originals.


It was a straightforward sew, but done over a few days which also allowed the wool fabric to rest in-between..  I was in two minds to replace the belt loops but decided to leave as is – as I thought them a bit fussy.  So five years on…………..I have a rather nice pair of slacks! (and I know I will wear them lots as I have already….)

And I had to check the length of this sweater from last year with them as I have another sweater remake (blue) which I may do a similar job on…..

use it or lose it – trousers to Astoria top

I have started this month with a tidy up…. of everywhere….. and trying to figure what to do next.

I did a check (again) of all fabrics and charity shop buys….. to figure a plan.
The plan is start using these up or donate back to the charity shop, which means to get trying the patterns I keep meaning to ‘try out’ and to stop shelving other projects to the back of the queue.

My sewing has taken a slow down due  I had pretty much stopped buying at charity shops some time back, as I found I was getting more than I could sew and was borderline hoarding!   My sewing slowed down a bit for a few reasons
was busy making the dance dress

  • I seem to have sufficient in my wardrobe (yup seriously and I love my new makes)
  • my soon to be grey hair has me wondering on whether is is worth making anything in yellow (my hair is currently in transition, with graduated roots in thanks to thoughtful cut by hairdresser kept it looking okay till christmas -however the roots are now just plain half and half)
the trousers
I bought these purple trousers sometime in the summer – for some reason on that day I bought three purple items from the euro rail and have yet to use them.  They are a 2 way stretch (barely) and a size 16 polyester.  I had thought to try a draft a pattern for a sleeveless shift, but then thought I could try the astoria pattern from Seamwork, and hope the fabric would work.  I had wanted to try this pattern for a while as there are some lovely results online (this being one)
the layout

As it turned out, there was enough fabric for the full sleeve (I thought I would have to do a two part sleeve)  All other pieces did have to be seamed!  I left the creases in place for the cut as they were my straight grain guide, and I ironed them flat with vinegar solution after cutting and left them to rest overnight.

The astoria is a one-hour sew, which would be right, except for I sewed a sleeve in wrong side out which I am part blaming on the shocking amount of Italian sweets I have been gorging….

The top is nicely fitted.  I find it slightly too fitted for what I wear but this is also probably due to the fabric is not a 4 way stretch (its not a great 2 way stretch either).   I am glad to have it as reference for a cardigan I am going to upcycle as the sleeve fitting of the Astoria is really lovely, it sits just right, so I am hoping it will work for a slightly thicker knit/actual knit.

As I seemed to be on a bit of a go slow with crochet this January, I got some gumshoe books from the library – there were about 10 curse words in the book I just finished and some previous reader blacked out each one! strange……..but even more unexpected was the first result back on a google search on ‘defaced library books’ (I was wondering if there was a actual term for it, and it turns out there is –  6 months…)