Purple Reign Trousers
If I ever become a roller girl, I claim Purple Reign as my name.
Fabric: stretch cotton, $4; stretch lining, $6
Pattern: Colette Clover, $16
Notions: petersham ribbon, $1.60; invisible zip, $2.60
Time to complete: let’s not talk about that
First worn: February, 2012
Wear again? Yes. I mean, should I? They’re not perfect. And they’re purple. But all of that time, all that energy…
Total price: $14.20, $30.20 incl. pattern
Friends, these trousers have been an epic battle. I think that good has mostly prevailed. But they are not perfect by any stretch cotton. They have been long in the making, and long in the finishing. In fact, I’m quite tired of thinking about them at the moment. But here goes.
I first started my Clovers back in October, as part of my fall/winter palette challenge. How four pieces of cloth could give me so much fitting trouble was doing me in. Discovering I’d made a yardage miscalculation on the red stretch sateen was the last straw. I put them aside. Finishing a six year old pair of jeans gave me a little confidence, but I was still distracted by other projects. Until this week. I’m pretty confident in my sewing abilities. Fit, on the other hand, has been coming in stops and starts. There are so many different diagrams advising different methods, so many interchanging parts on a pair of pants. David P. Coffin: “fitting is a huge challenge that can easily eat up all your available sewing time and block all further progress, if you let it.” Well said. However, I am afraid to even research the price of his personal solution of having a pants pattern drafted. So, I found a steal on some stretch cotton that still matches a color from my fall palette and started from scratch. If you’re afraid to ruin some perfectly good cloth, you shouldn’t sew, right?!
I wanted to keep the integrity of the Clover. A slim trouser, but not a skinny jean or jegging. This meant trying to strike a delicate balance between slim & flattering, and straight lines falling from the side and under the butt. Too tight, I got lots of horizontal stress lines. Too loose, frump city. The crotch still frowns, even at a neutral still stance. And a diagonal line is still on the butt. Any stance outside of neutral and… whoa! I’ve fiddled a lot with lowering the front crotch depth, larger darts, moving the hip slope down to my thigh (widest part), making sure my muscular quads felt comfy walking, stooping, sitting. I brought up the back waistband to better match the rise of some of my favorite jeans. I like it lower in the front, without fear of bending or sitting. The slow progress was my own hesitation at making a mistake.
Like I said, they aren’t perfect. And maybe the Clover isn’t the best style for me. I’m afraid it accentuates figure areas I don’t love. Or maybe a few more tries, and I’ll get the fit just so.
I used this brilliant method of binding the SA with the interlining fabric. I love the way it looks. Instead of a self facing, I used petersham ribbon from Sunni’s shop on the inside. It feels divine on the skin! My vintage invisible zip met it’s end by me at the last minute. All that, and I probably look like a walking grape. Or a wrinkly raisin. Maybe if I purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, everything will be okay. [bonus points if you get that reference :) ]