Made by Me!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Finally... the unveiling of the Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 1371 trousers

Since my last post I had been planning to photograph and put up the finished Cynthia Rowley Simplicity trousers 1371, but as you can see I have failed abysmally. I was making my way out a couple of Saturday's ago to my friends lovely engagement drinks and I had the outfit ready to go and I decided I would take photos before leaving the house - thereby making myself look better than most pictures of me on this site because I would have somehow looked more presentable. I was feeling quite proud, I had made myself something nice to wear and its first outing would coincide with a special occasion. I had only tried the trousers on with my chosen top the day before but come Saturday night, just as I was all calm and quite unusually ready for once with time to spare, the zip decided it wouldn't budge. I wrestled with it for a good twenty minutes. You know the way...if you wiggle it in a certain fashion or think that if you take it unawares it may just suddenly come unstuck. Well even after unpicking part of the waistband, peering at it from all different directions and then thinking some thread must be jammed in the zip (which is wasn't) I had to concede defeat and wear something altogether not as exciting. When it came down to it the whole evening was a bit of a disaster. As I ran out the door well over an hour late I got to the station to realise that no trains were running, waited an hour at the bus stop where two rail replacement buses sailed past me too full to stop and then I went home feeling frustrated and annoyed having to let my friend down. I should have listened to the zip on my trousers and not attempted to leave home in the first place!

The most frustrating thing was unpicking the zip from that fabric. What a nightmare!! Double gauze is full of loosely bound threads. If you try and unpick one stitch its really, really easy to nick one of the fibres in the fabric and put a hole in it. I didn't attempt the unpicking process on that Saturday, I did it when I didn't want to be angry at the trousers anymore. Nothing like frustration to make something much worse than it needs to be. When I did do it they then laid zip-less on my floor until I had a moment to get to the sewing shop to get another zip to replace it. I tried opening and closing the replacement several times to be sure....and it seemed to be ok. So far so good anyway.Then I came down with the dreaded tonsillitis and I have been laid up all week feeling rubbish. But more of that in another post, one where I detail how not to sew when you are exhausted and ill!!!

So after a long introduction here they are. I really love them! And a note about the shoes, they don't really go but I needed height... I think maybe a chunkier heel... Have to go shopping I guess...!!

Now I had to make some alterations. I took a lot off the bottom of the leg. I am short in the leg but I did take off about 6 inches in the end. I think these were made for model giants, or maybe normal people have long legs. I also found the leg width too big so took it in from the hip down, again taking an inch or so off each leg. I like to have my trousers grazing my ankle and they looked too flappy as they were before I took them in. I do have very skinny legs, not hips, just the legs so they can look like match sticks poking out the end of the trouser leg if I'm not careful.

I finished the inside with a french seam, I thought about serging the whole thing but I wanted something that looked a little classier and I am glad I did it. The only thing I ended up serging were the pockets as I really haven't worked out how to do a good french seam on a pocket. Must look up tutorials on that one soon. Anyone else have a clue how to do it?! The hems are hand sewn and  pressed. The only other thing I changed was moving the zip to the back to avoid it going wrinkly on the side seam.

The first thing you notice when making these trousers is that the crotch level looks really, really low. It looks low when you hold it up in front of you and I did think on several occasions that I must have cut out the wrong size. But as it turns out the trousers are just very high waisted. When you have them on they transform into something else entirely but I did have my reservations about them. I think they would look really cute with a crop top - or the one that comes with the pattern but I don't do crop tops anymore.

I really like the fabric as its soft and comfortable to wear and in general quite easy to work with. The cutting out was a pain as it does move around but if you take your time you can get good results. I hope you like them. Anyone else tried to make these trousers? Love to see other versions.

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