Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Before it’s Too Late


As part of Catch-up Blogging, I have to show these trousers now before they fall out of season. They’re made with a navy wool tweed (admittedly a light tweed) but are really for winter wear. I’ve had the fabric for quite a while now and was intending to sew a smart pencil skirt at some time in the distant past, but there you go – no skirt but trousers. Do you often do that? Buy fabric with one plan in mind, only to change later.


The pattern is Vogue 1508: Zandra Rhodes design. Simple straight legs, elasticated waist but with some added “Corecouture” bits and piecimgres-1es. The envelope photo shows the trousers as narrow legged but in reality mine are neither wide nor narrow – sort of in between.

I’ve made them before in a heavy tweed and was very pleased with fit and style.




The Alterations

Firstly, mine are cropped. I do like a cropped trouser and with only 1m of fabric there had to beimgres-2 some concessions made somewhere. I know that some of you are not fans of cropped trousers and I am conscious that sometimes they look like they were made with too little fabric so I made a little feature out of the shortness. The hems are curved at the outside seams. I took the idea from vintage Vogue 1522 , Perry Ellis design – so a little 1980s vintage touch and emphasises that the cropped length was intentional.

Curved seams are never easy to sew. I used some bias tape to help keep the roundness and pressed like a mad woman. Sew the bias tape to the hem, clip if necessary: fold to the inside right along the edge, pin and press; topstitch in place and press again. It also helps to do this before you sew the trouser legs together at the inside seams so that you are working flat. Just leave a wee bit of bias tape hanging at each side to be slipped stitched over the hem of the inside seam.


Trousers without pockets are pretty useless. Mostly I use my pockets for posing and not really for holding things but to me, they are essential part of a garment. I made single welt, slightly angled front pockets. See here for how to…..


I didn’t line these ones but wear my trouser-petticoat underneath. These are brilliant; can be worn under any trousers that don’t have lining, including RTW, and fulfil the functions of all the benefits of lining – reducing creasing, preventing sagging at bum and knees, helps the hang of the fabric and an extra layer for warmth on colder days.


All you have to do is use some good quality lining (mine are cotton/silk blend), use any old trouser pattern – no pockets, waistband or anything and if they are a bit loose that’s OK. Sew some elastic to the waist, overlock or hem the ends and you have a very useful trouser-petticoat.

But of course, as versatile as a pair of navy trousers are, it’s always best to sew a coordinating top – remember – outfits, not orphans – ONO!


Nothing new here I’m afraid. Back to Vogue 1247 (OOP) and possibly the best pattern ever drafted with a bit of remnant viscose jersey picked up for a fiver at the Spinning imgresWheel in Belfast.







It drapes beautifully and with those colours of blues, red-orange and white can be worn with a wealth of others. Not many alterations done here apart from lengthing the sleeves by simply cutting long and leaving off the cuff. The interesting piecing at the front is lost in the fabric pattern but it really does help with shape and drape.


I might have added an inch or two to the length but it’s been so long ago that I can’t remember rightly. I was probably just using as much fabric as I could. By the way, I didn’t French the seams, the at-the-moment very well behaved overlocker did that bit for me. I’ve probably just put a curse on it now………


Now I am well aware that my photography is pretty crap and I am not photogenic but could I just point out – primarily to those sewing bloggers who have a trillion ads on their pages – just because you’ve taken the photographs doesn’t mean you have to use them all. Front, back and sides are usually enough. It’s like writing an essay that just repeats itself, there’s nothing new added. Just saying………


Hello to all new followers, you are very welcome and I’m quite surprised that as I haven’t posted in a month or so that you still think it’s worthwhile to add this blog to your feed. I am truly appreciative. Please share your ideas and thoughts in the comments, even if they’re not related to my current sewing projects.


Until the next Catch-up Blog……….


35 thoughts on “Before it’s Too Late

  1. Love the curved hem on your trousers, but I really wanted to comment just to say your trouser-petticoat is genius!

  2. I love the top. I have this pattern and obviously need to try it if it’s the best pattern ever drafted! I’m not keen on cropped trousers for myself but these look great with lovely pocket and curved hem. Beautifully made. I love the trouser petticoat! I’m still trying to fit trousers so will make a trouser petticoat too! I agree with your photo comment.

  3. … Lovely outfit. I too have that top pattern and am plucking up the courage to use it. I know I CAN do it so just need to face my fears ( mostly with getting a good fit on my narrow shouldered frame ) heartily agree with you that when posting an outfit or garment on a sewing blog that all you need is a front, a back and a side view.
    From one who doesn’t even write a sewing blog but hugely appreciative of those of you who do. One further aside – I’m about to make the oversized tee from The Makers Atelier book. It says that although loose fitting, it has a neat fit at the neck and shoulders- here’s hoping !

    • Janice, fold out the pleats on the shoulders on the paper pattern before you cut that should help to narrow them. Good luck with your Makers Atelier top, I love those patterns. Thank you.

      • Thank you. I’m going to give it a go – once I find the right fabric. Btw the Makers Atelier tee shirt turned out great – a quick make and a lovely fit.

  4. Your pockets are perfection! And I love the shaped hem that you added. A number of years ago, I purchased a trouser slip. Like you, I love it! I have no idea why I didn’t think of this earlier, but I really need to make a pattern and make a few more. Thanks for the inspiration 😊

  5. I do like a lined trouser and was very suspicious of my couture teacher who couldn’t fathom why anyone would bother! But for warmth – never. Woolly lined trews on our weather are just too humid!!
    Great idea to curve the hem, I have that pattern and it has languished since… was it really the 80s?!
    My particular gripe is with poor, poor quality photos. There’s really no point if I can’t make out the detail in my view!

    • Sometimes I might add in an out of focus photo if my sewing isn’t too good – LOL!
      I thought all couture garments were lined, that’s what makes them couture??

  6. I love both the trousers and the top. I like your take on the curve at the bottom of the trousers, its a tip I must remember! I agree with you just saying as I’m beginning to unsubscribe from some blogs because of the sheer volume of pictures. Like you, I feel there are way too many and I’m bored because of those plus the ads as well! Theres only one way to make my feelings known, by voting with my finger. That’s why I’ll keep following you, because its never boring, ever!

  7. Your trousers are great, and I absolutely love your top! How did I miss that fabric in The SW?! The colours are lovely on you.

  8. Nice outfit, I’m impressed with the curved hem idea for cropped trousers – it makes a much more decisive feature of the shorter length.

  9. You wear cropped trousers so well. And I’m inspired by the thought of a long sleeve Vogue 1247.

  10. Crikey you wait for a post and then along comes 2! I really like the cropped trousers on you. I’ve been trying to buy the vogue 1247 pattern without luck. 1 copy available on eBay but they want nearly £60! Anyway it’s a great top! X

  11. I love reading your blog…from garments to quilts. Your comments about the plethora of photos on some blogs had me laughing out loud. Thanks!

  12. I really like the crop trousers – I’d like to make a pair in a lighter fabric for the summer.

  13. In all my years I’ve never heard of trouser-petticoats, but it’s EXACTLY what I need for my next pair of pants! Yay!

  14. You must be tall? Cropped trousers on me make me look even shorter! 🙂 Nice work with the trousers and the welt pocket is perfection. They take a little work, but I love making them!

  15. Thanks for listing the reasons for lining things. Now I know what I’m giving up by not lining 🙂 I love your idea of a trouser slip, and will get on that pdq. I’m also going to practice making welt pockets. You’re absolutely right that they’re a great pocket. Side pockets are sometimes a real bugger, ruining the line, the pockets poking out, etc.

  16. Love the outfit (will remember “ONO” – that’s genius!) and all the sewing tips. And the blogging tips! Which reminds me that I must have ads by the thousand and should look into that. Don’t think I could wear the cropped pants as my legs are too short……..but they are amazing on you, especially with that top!

  17. Love the top. So flattering. Will be in Ireland this summer. Dublin and other places. Any suggestions for not to miss fabric stores?

  18. Pingback: Sewing Goodness Extracts | Lin3arossa

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