Why is it that every time I do a new course and it requires me to measure myself that I seem to have put on an inch somewhere on my body. This time it appears to be around my hips and probably more specifically my bum which has somehow grown an inch...not happy. I am blaming it on the tape measure which must surely have been stretched by overuse! It's most annoying because I now find myself needing to use the larger pattern sizes which in itself is not a problem but some of the books I own now don't cater for my size. At least with the vogues, Burda and Simplicity's of the pattern world I still have a little while to go before I slip off the scale. I have also started making my new Simplicity trousers and find myself cutting out a size 16. Now I don't usually get caught up in the number but I have only just come to terms with the reality that commercial size 12 fits me, not size 10 as my brain still believes. Silly I know but I suddenly realise not all patterns are made for me. I am almost deemed plus size by some and I am nothing of the sort. What a way to wreck body image!!
Anyway I digress. The funny side is I was on the first night of my trouser block pattern cutting course last week and when we cut out our calico trousers to finesse the fit we all held them up grimacing at what huge clown trousers we had created; 'surely these can't be for me'!? But then you try them on and they fit like a glove! Guess everyone has a slightly skewed perception of their body. At least by sewing I feel I am getting a better idea of what suits me. Doing this blog has made me make more and in turn I realise what I like to wear and what suits my shape. I still don't get it right all the time but I am getting there. One of the reasons I wanted to do these pattern cutting courses is to be able to make things that don't require buying a pattern so maybe I can begin to forget that number!
I have now finished the course. I highly recommend it - I went to Raystitch in Islington which is the second time I have taken one of their courses. It was really informative and just like the skirt course I went on with Fashion Antidote its easier to grasp the ways in which you can play around with the trouser block to make your own patterns than the bodice block one I did. I still feel shaky on the bodice block as I think I need a little more tuition about how to manipulate it and the two night course wasn't, for me, quite in depth enough - something i realised when I tried to use it afterwards. Mainly I just need some time and a lot of pattern paper to play around and have a go. I am looking forward to my next break from work to spend some solid sewing time at home, which usually means I don't see the outside world for days at a time. Cant wait!! It will be even sweeter considering work is super stressful at the moment and I am dreaming about sewing every day. I expect I am not the only one who sits at their desk wishing they could be creating their next project. Work really does get in the way sometimes!
Before I started this course I also embarked on my second ever pair of trousers. I have only made one pair before, the Clover trousers from Colette Patterns, and I have to say they were an epic fail which kind of put me off trying to sew another pair for a while. Luckily I only made them in cheap fabric as I wasn't sure whether they would suit me, but the fit was all wrong for me and the zip seemed to buckle and crinkle on the side seam. They were swiftly relegated to the bin as I don't like to be reminded of the things that haven't gone so well.... in fact the only dodgy pieces I have kept are the first things I made as its nice to see how far I have come. And actually looking back they didn't turn out half bad!
The trouser block course taught me a couple of good tips to approach trousers. The first being that zips are much better on the back of the garment as apparently it doesn't just happen to me that the zip ruins the line on the hip. The teacher also said getting the trousers cut on the grain is really important as if its off you can get your trouser leg riding round your leg and it wont sit straight which is not what I want!
I am using the Cynthia Rowley pattern - 1371 from Simplicity. Unusually I am not tracing the pattern but cutting it straight out. I am mainly a little impatient to start these trousers but also the main pattern isn't too expensive if I change sizes and have to buy it again, unlike the cost of most independent patterns, so I just went ahead and cut it up! The only change I will make is to place the zip at the back as currently its on the side seam.