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…..

9 thoughts on “fancy pants – recutting wool cashmere trousers

  1. Linda Wilson says:

    Brilliant! I think sometimes we know more about what we're doing than we realise and everything you did to alter them was already learned! The reason you didn't want to give them up was probably because they are Burberry and you know that means quality!! Beautiful job!


  2. Eimear Greaney says:

    Thank you Linda, I think I was loathe to cut up a 'good pair of trousers', but I also think in the last few years of sewing I have become a lot less slap-dash as I deliberately 'went back to basics' which is why I started using vintage patterns again and slavishly following them.(I had gotten into some very bad habbits), that being said, I am now happily drafting patterns again – as I am less in a hurry – I am still avoiding a lot of domestic sewing


  3. Anonymous says:

    These are gorgeous.. I only wish I had the skills as my hips are big in proportion to my waist and I pretty much avoid trousers as they never fit. These look great on you. You are on top remaking form this year Eimear!


  4. Eimear Greaney says:

    Hi Aimee – I have a love hate relationship with trousers at the best of times as my measurements used be 22/24inch waist to 39 inch hips (in my 20s)- and are now 29/30 waist-42 hip (dont know if i should blame gravity, age, or sweets – and thinking i should get back roller blading soon), but i have found some shapes will work better than others, a high waisted trouser seems to work best, and some i have bought off the rack I used put two extra darts at the back waistband….. i am back making a skirt and a dress soon though as I ultimately find them most flattering.


  5. wrongdoll says:

    Late reply Eimear as no notifications for comments from your blog unfortunately – fortunately I check back in often! Looks like we have a similar issue with the waist/hip ratio. I too have found shapes that work – high waisted A-line skirts and smocks!! Seeing your success here is an inspiration to step out of my comfort zone. Although that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon as am just about to cut out yet another smock for spring holiday jaunts!


  6. Eimear Greaney says:

    ya – blogs not great for that alright…. after listing my hips, i made a mental note to get some tone back as 3 years ago when i was running they went back to 40…. who knows – but either way, drafting a pattern for the correct measurements helps! (i have done the other too – how delusional is that!). i def think making your own give a lot more control, looking forward to seeing your new fabrics!


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