Hot! The “Mustard” Trousers

The Facts
Fabric: 2 1/2 yards medium weight mustard wool tweed suiting from Mood, $45
Pattern: Simplicity 3688
Year: 1940s/contemporary reissue
Notions: self-made bias tape from quilting cotton, invisible zip, interfacing for waistband
First worn: 12/12
Wear again: a bit tricky, but yes
Time to complete: about 6 hours in little bits and pieces
Total cost: about $50

I bought this fabric to make Thurlows for Lauren’s sewalong.   Yeah, that didn’t happen.  I will be making Thurlows soon using the knowledge Lauren shared, including back pockets big enough for a phone.  But this pattern is a known entity, much easier to knock out in a short time.  I had to double up on challenges to finish out the year because by the time you read this we’ll be a long way from home.  We’re spending the holidays with my husband’s family in northwest Germany, with brief stops in Amsterdam on our way in and Reykjavik on our way out.  Exciting!

This pattern definitely qualifies as a favorite.  Both my seersucker and lightweight denim versions have seen a lot of wear, and I could use a cold weather pair.  This wool is so soft and buttery that I found it hard to get a good press.  I’m used to crisply pressing well-behaved cottons.  I could get used to wool, though.  I made bias binding using Sarai’s ingenious method in the Colette Sewing Handbook that results in one continuous strip.  The folding and line matching was a puzzle, but now that I figured it out, I’ll definitely be using this method.

Color is off. Imagine a warmer more saturated yellow.

The construction details, if you care:  I used the binding to finish the crotch and side seams.  The inseams are flat felled.  Though I was planning to do a more vintage lapped zip this time, in the end I went with a good old invisible zip, which I installed quite well, thank you very much.  However, it gets stuck right at the waistband line, I guess because of all the fabric thicknesses in that spot.  I’ll have to add hooks and eyes on the waistband.  I made a big note not to get lazy next time and just learn how to do a lapped zip for !@#$ sake.

Because the color stands out and the cut is a big contrast to the skinny pants everyone is wearing these days, I felt pretty conspicuous on the city streets.  I don’t mind, but I do need to refine the overall look.  Different shoes for sure (my flat oxfords).  The real issue is a weather appropriate jacket in the right shape and probably not in wool, which I don’t have.  I felt too sloppy and wooly in my dark green wool duffle coat that hits just below the hips.  Have to see what I can dig up.  Wouldn’t a 40s style leather bomber jacket– not 80s style from the Limited which I probably could dig up at my parents’– be fabulous?

To squeeze in some photos before we left, I dragged my husband out of his office near the Brooklyn waterfront for a quick lunch break photo shoot, an extremely rare occasion of seeing each other alone during the day.  Might have to do that more often.  I received more direction that usual.  Here he said “Jump!” and I was all “These bricks are uneven and I’m in heels.”

And this was supposed to be glamorous but just looks incredibly awkward.

Happy holidays to you all!  I’ll be back for one last challenge in 2012.  Kind of amazing.



Lee is a highly educated stay at home mom with a lot of projects. She lives in New York City.


Comments are closed.

  1. (Argh, gateway timeout frustration again.)

    Even if you feel out of place in these, belive me when I tell you that they are flattering and you look miles better than those people squeezed into their skinny jeans (or worse, jeggings as pants. ick.) Everyone seems to love this pattern, so I grabbed it last time there was a $1 pattern sale, but I’ve been too intimidated to try making them in a Sew Weekly week. Recipe for disappointment. I’ll try them with less time pressure in the new year, and hopefully they will look as good as yours.

    Have fun in Europe; I spent 2 weeks in Iceland way back in 1996 and loved it, but that was in the middle of summer…..keep warm! I guess you could spend all the time submerged in the Blue Lagoon?

  2. Ooooh….I love the colour! And I love the wide-legged trousers! And who cares what everyone else is wearing, you look fabulous! Have fun in Europe!

  3. These are BEAUTIFUL! Don’t let everyone else’s trendy fashion sense take down your style : ) How wonderful to be on tour on the continent, have a wonderful vacation and holiday!!

  4. These are gorgeous! I love the colour and the cut of them – I really hope you wear them heaps, as they are stunning on you!

    Have a super holiday. Iceland – how fabulously exciting!!

  5. Great pants! You’ll look so fashionable on your vacation. I hope you find that “just right” jacket to go with those lovely trousers. If not, I bet you could make something spectacular. I’ll be waiting for lots of vacation pics on your blog. Merry Christmas!

  6. Super smashing Lee! I never did understand the appeal of skinny jeans with half a butt crack and muffin tops showing eww. Your mustards cut the mustard for sure, love them. Do they look great with your winged top? Loved that too. Have a magical holiday and safe travels.

  7. The colour is beautiful, but those INSIDE SEAMS! I’m floored! Happy holidays!

  8. Love these, the colour is marvelous….and those finishings, wow. I bet tons of people were watching you on the streets and wondering where they could get a pair…I bet you get asked about them in the future. Hope you have fun on your holidays…I shall look out for stories/pics on your blog next year.