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Self-drafted trousers (Aldrich method)

Self-drafted trousers (Aldrich method)

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 Hmm...must press side seam again!

Hmm...must press side seam again!

For Christmas I got two books on drafting patterns, which are apparently classics - Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting books on menswear & womenswear. The first thing I wanted to try was a trouser block for myself, as I think trousers are probably the item of clothing that I most often find don’t fit quite right.

I found the instructions fairly easy to follow and it was quite easy to notice when I’d done a calculation wrong, mainly because I know my legs don’t have a 90 degree turn at the calf. You can’t get anything past me.

Once I had drafted the initial block (which I did on wrapping paper - suits the purpose very well if you can’t find proper pattern paper) I decided my first pair would be high-waisted and very wide-legged. The steps for make these adjustments were pretty straightforward and I decided to just have a back zip rather than a fly as I thought it would be quicker and I was more interested in focusing on the general fit. I also didn’t bother with pockets as I was so keen to get it made up, which I slightly regret now.

The material is a really lovely dark green virgin wool from Ditto Fabrics. It’s quite light and drapey but I think has enough body to it that it doesn’t cling too much. I don’t think the green colour shows up very well in the photos, but it’s a very dark bottle green.

Trousers without a fly are really pretty quick to put together. I got to the stage where they were done apart from hemming and the waist facing, and tried them on at this point. I was initially quite disappointed by the fit - they seemed too tight in the back and with weird bunches of extra fabric at the front. Then, of course, I realised I had put the zip in the centre front by accident and was trying them on back to front. Once swivelled, they actually fit really well, but I was so annoyed about the zip. But I decided to just do it a proper waistband, with an overlapping bit to cover the zip end, instead of a facing and that kind of made it all work, as it was an invisible zip. Not very orthodox but perfectly wearable.

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Quite soon after I made a second pair with the same high waist and wide through the thighs (they really just sit at the natural waist but I think they’re high-waisted by today’s standards) but slightly tapered legs with a turn up. I will confess to pretty much just eyeballing the line of the taper but they did turn out pretty much as I had envisioned, which doesn’t always happen. The turn-ups do not look too wonderful on the inside - because I wanted them a bit shorter than I’d originally planned - but are respectable on the outside.

I’m so pleased with both of these - they fit really well. Any errors definitely my own and not Winifred Aldrich, who obviously knows what she is talking about.

 

Burda dress / jumpsuit

Burda dress / jumpsuit

Harry's linen shirts

Harry's linen shirts