Hot! The “Swayback Girl” Clovers

The Facts
⁃ Fabric: 1.5m stretch brown denim (dyed to dark olive), scrap cotton for the pockets
⁃ Pattern: Colette Clover + self-drafted swayback triangle pattern pieces
⁃ Year: 2011
⁃ Notions: invisible zipper
⁃ Time to complete: 2 days
⁃ First worn: Wednesday
⁃ Wear again? yes!  I love them, although the self-drafted piece is a little funky, I love the way these trousers fit. No gaping at the bum.
⁃ Total price:~23 EUR

Price breakdown: 3m @ 7EUR/m = 21 EUR, but I only used 1.5 m for the pants.  It’s pretty wide fabric.  So, I have enough to make another pair!  It’s likely I’ll make a different variation with more jeans-like qualities such as pockets with depth. Dylon dye in olive green was 8.70 EUR, and the zipper I had on hand from ages ago, but it was maybe 2 or 3 EUR.

Modifications to Clover pattern from Colette:  Extended legs to full inseam length.  I used a flat-felled seam throughout.  And, by the way, can I tell you that flat felled seams are awesome, but really hard to do on your outer pant leg seams?  It took a lot of scrunching and patience to finish them.  I also drafted this triangle piece to help with swayback gaping which happens to me all the time.  I am a swayback girl. I tried the trousers on after basting the legs together quickly just to test the fit.  I noticed I was getting the usual low-rise back effect and took action!  I quickly drafted two triangular pieces in order to raise the back waistline to make sure I wasn’t exhibiting my undies on a regular basis when wearing these.

triangle pieces (RS & WS)

I did an adjusted dart as well.  Instead of making the darts perfectly triangular, I extended them straight down and then tapered thanks to a tip from another swayback girl who recently addressed the issue on her blog.  Here’s the short version:

dart comparison

Pattern Crit:  I was so happy that my first wearable muslin of Colette’s Clover trousers is actually wearable.  I made the zipper on the left instead of the right.  I think it could use a hook/eye closure to help ease the zipper up.  The invisible zipper installation proved to be a challenge, but with my Simplicity Sewing book + the Colette online tutorial + this invisible zipper tutorial from see kate sew, I was finally able to manage it and I only messed up one leg of the zipper just once!  Plus, my fabric was really wide, so the pressure was off and there remains enough fabric for me to make another pair, and I definitely will!  Also, I’m proud of my funky although somewhat strange triangle pattern pieces.

About the dye… I used Dylon Fabric Dye (40C for the washing machine) color #34 Olive Green.  My original fabric was a medium brown and with the olive green, they turned out a very deep olive.  The dye worked really well and did not leach into the machine or on other items I washed with it right after dying (just to see).  I followed the instructions and I’m really happy with the resulting dark green.




Adriprints is an illustrator and designer by trade; a knitter, crocheter, and pseudo-seamstress by craft. You can find her work in typo-phile calendars, online knitting mags, and on random people's business cards, greeting cards, and websites. She currently lives in Munich.


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  1. These are great. I love your swayback solution!! And that you named the photo “my lumps”! Lol

  2. Great pants! I love the idea of olive green pants, rather than one of the more usual colours.

    • Thanks! Glad you liked the color. I was pleased with the resulting dye-job too. It’s always a gamble when the base fabric is already a fairly strong color.

  3. What? You can correct a swayback with a gusset? OK, now I really am gonna try the Clover pattern. Especially after seeing how you so brilliantly made them sit at your natural waist. Very nice work.

    • The only thing you need to worry about after inserting the gusset pieces is that the back yoke of the pants still matches up in length. So, I’d pin a muslin yoke on one of the sides and test the length before wasting interfacing and fabric on a piece that won’t match anymore.

      Glad you enjoyed the project!

  4. Yes, after reading your post and seeing your results, the Clover pants are on my to-do list. If I have any problems, I’ll check out your suggested links. Great pants and good fit!

    • I’m glad I could help with some resources. The “perfect fitting” pair of trousers (or at least a really flattering fit) has been on my list of goals since forever. I’m still working toward it, but I feel this project helped me get one step closer.

  5. Oooooh swayback?!?! Sounds so fancy, and you make it look so easy! Love it! Great job!

  6. This is such a great tip! I get that gaping with most of my trousers. Also, it adds a cute detail. Adorable!