Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Clover pants

A-ha, a finished garment, finally! Clover pants by Colette Patterns.

You know, this pattern required a lot of patience! A L-O-T! There is something going on with the crotch, and I have to stand in a very stiff pose to have no whiskers, wrinkles, pulls or whatever.

The original pattern suggests using medium weight fabrics with some stretch. I had a stretch wool tweed. The fabric has some shine, but by far not so much as on this image, I still need to work on my images (even though this was taken by Mr. Frabjous, ahem...)

The instructions are easy to follow, although I did a few things differently. Let me explain one by one.

You may remember from another post on Clover pants, that I serged side seams with  fine silk thread. However, I just could not do the same on the crotch and pockets. Well, the problem was I underlined the pants with stretch silk charmeuse, and used the same charmeuse to make pockets. Well, serging just went all over the place with the slippery stretchy silk, so at the end I just hand overcast it, and it looks quite decent without living an imprint on the outside. I must add, that at the end it took me less time to hand overcast than to go though all that trouble with serging. But that's me again :-)

Here are the pockets, I love them, but they are hardly functional. In fact, I always have to push pocket lining down when I put on the pants.

One piece of advice, though! Don't you ever put your hand in this pocket in public: it looks weird, especially, if the pocket is not visibly identifiable as such... you got my point, right? here, oh horror, when I saw it on this pic....

I am really ashamed! but, enough of this...  Another thing I did, was faced waistband, which I did following Claire Shaeffer instructions from her Couture Sewing Techniques, or, even more detailed, her article in Threads (Facing Finesse: A couture waistband thins even the thickest fabrics, August/September 1990, from Threads Archive DVD).

How did  I do with my couture learning ? I think, well. So, to summarize, here are some couture techniques I used:
  • underlining (right decision, because tweed is very! scratchy)
  • hand-overcast all but side seams
  • faced waistband
I like the result a lot, but  before I use it again I will definitely have to work more on the crotch fit!

So, here is my additional New Year's resolution: create the basic pant block using personal measurements! It will take some time, but I am determined to get it right!

What is your experience with pants? Do you get the fit right? Any recommendations? 


  1. I like them a lot! They might actually be fabulous in silver... Drafting a pants sloper is a marvellous idea. I've got mine practicallly finished, and I can't wait to make my first pair of trousers that will fit perfectly.

  2. Yes, Clover fit is a bit of an issue with many of us however, once sorted out you will make more of these. I've done three so far with plans for No 4 and these look great on you. Good for you for making them up with couture techniques.

  3. They look so great! Even though the photo makes them look shinier - the visual effect is kinda grown-up punk/rock chick!! :)

  4. I think your pants look great and although yes, I can see where the fabric doesn't sit QuITE flat across the crotch at the front, I think in RTW you would just accept that. We are much more critical about stuff we have made ourselves don't you think? I haven't made Clover yet (fabric and pattern sitting on the table) but I have just finished a Style Arc pattern for trousers called the Leah Lounge Pant. The crutch fits perfectly and I usually have the extra fold of fabric around the front crotch that looks as though there is room for some male appendages there! I did have to deepen the back crotch curve just a bit but this was easy to do while I was fitting them. Best pants EVER straight out of the pattern envelope! Shams from Communing with Fabric blog has also had good luck with these patterns. I'm hoping this means ALL the pants from Syle Arc are going to fit me!

  5. I don't like the style to begin with, but can't say that I've seen a truly successful version of this pattern anywhere on the web. I'm sure it's not you.

    Were I to make pants, I'd probably ask a Menswear grad I know to draft a pattern for me. It would be a much more traditional silhouette. I look better in dresses, so it would never be at the top of my list.

    Some books say that a pants block should be drafted from a skirt block.

  6. I bought the clover pattern, but have ever since been wary of it - for pretty much the same reasons as you. Perhaps I will end up making it, perhaps I won't. Still, pants are a challenge, which makes them a very attractive proposition for me!
    Thanks for the links on the faced waistband - seems like an intelligent thing to do!

  7. Really lovely fabric for these pants. I wish I had the leg length for this classic but alas.... Fitted pants are difficult to get right and I agree with Rebecca that we are far more critical with the items me make then those we purchase. My experience with pants is that it really doesn't matter what you start will be tweaking the muslin and then tweaking the actual pant each and every time you make them. Different fabrics respond differently and require subtle changes that are unique to each least this has been my experience, but then a weight fluctuation of 2 pounds can change the hang of my skirts! so imagine what that does to pants!!

    Thanks for the post I enjoy seeing your fine craftsmanship.

  8. I love your pants! You look really cute in them and your fitting issues are probably unnoticeable to the untrained eye. However, I dont think Collette patterns are drafted that well. I have had to fix major issues on all 3 dress styles I made. But Sarai seems like a really cool person and her styles are adorable nonetheless. I might drape my own pants too but I have a pattern by Palmer Pletch for a pair of pants almost identical to clover. Every pattern company has a pair of pants similar and I would rather buy my pattern at the dollar sale at Joann's because I am a cheapskate and dont want to spend 20$ on a pattern with shipping unless it is vintage.

  9. Great choice of fabric and fit looks good. I draft my trousers so fit was surprisely easy

  10. These look FABULOUS! Great job!!!

  11. The pants really look quite good. I agree with those who point out that we are always so much more critical of the things we sew compared to the things we've purchased.
    Pants are difficult to fit, and once you have a pattern you love, you can always add the style or construction details you like.

    I especially like how your shoes look with the pants!

  12. Unfortunately I don't have the legs or the height for a fitting pants :p The Clover pant on you looks quite good already and maybe with just a little tweaking you'll get it just right.

    I am currently rectifying my basic pants blocks. The muslin came out with a little bunching in the front crotch area. So with some changes and another muslin, the basic pants block should be good to go and easily modified for different styles.

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  14. I think they look really nice Marina, and beautifully made as usual!
    I have found that photos can really emphasise any creases, and in narrow leg pants you are always going to get a crease whenever you move.

  15. I love the couture additions you made to this pattern, I can't get enough of gorgeous detail in hand made clothing... I'm so off RTW because of that, and am striving towards your level in that area - being able to not just envision, but execute those details immaculately is definitely a goal I'm working towards :)

    They are quite nice despite the fact you feel the fit isn't perfect... no one can really judge that but you as you're the one who has to wear them! LOL.

    I dream of the perfect pants as well, as do many of us I'm sure! LOL I've seen some great fitting versions of this pattern, but I haven't tried it myself yet so we'll see ... but oh my yes... i would love to draft my own pants block too; it's just way beyond my skill level at this point ^__^

  16. Marina, they look fantastic and I love those little details.

  17. I wish I could wear that style... it looks very nice on you! I made my own sloper for pants but still needs some tweaks. I would love to know more about the couture changes you made.

  18. Your Clovers look great, whiskers and all! That's up next on my list, and my stretch lining just came in. I've had quite a time trying to fit these buggers. The jeans I finally finished only need some slight tweaking, but this pattern has had me in knots. I really like the faced waistband, and have that book so will def be reading up :)

  19. Great to see the final result. I also bought the pattern but sooo reluctant because they are PANTS and the fit issues. Also Colette have a cool so along that addresses all the possible adjustments that may be needed. Still daunting though....

  20. I made a pair from Ottobre mag that fit like RTW with no alterations needed. Its only a muslin though (they are prison-chain-gang-Orange) so I've worn them out maybe once (add to that the fact that they have no pockets and are made of super thin fabric and you can see why they're still lying at the bottom of the wardrobe). Should really make up another pair in nice trouser fabric...

  21. It is common in narrow, close fitting pants to get those front crotch wrinkles. I had them in my jeans as well. The solution? I watched Peggy Sager's latest video on her website, Ultimate pants fitting I think it's called. She pinned out a dart wide end at the crotch, below the crotch ending at nothing at the side seamline. Repeat on the back pant. Voila, so weird bubble at the crotch. It also reduced the rear wrinkling for a smooth fit below the rear end.
    The issue is the angle of the crotch and taking in the dart changes that angle. The horizontal wrinkles above the crotch need to be pinned out as well in the same kind of dart. It cannot unfortunately be done after the fact. I pinned out the dart in my jeans and altered the pattern so the next pair should be much better. Peggy has some very good pants fitting advice. Having an imperfect body I have had many issues fitting pants. Now I only make my tnt pattern making style changes to it.

  22. Oh, I forgot to congratulate you on getting your skirt in Threads. I, of course, recognized your beautiful skirt.



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