May 20, 2015

An odd pattern

There's nothing like listing your sewing plans to remember other plans... I won't tire you with additions to the list. My mental to-sew list could stretch on forever. 
I'm now working on something which was and wasn't on my summer sewing list. These will be sort-of summer weight trousers but not the wide legged ones I mentioned (I still want to make those as well).

Here's the sketch/technical drawing. wrap-over trousers with tapered legs.

I used a similar style in this jumpsuit I made last year and thought it would also be nice to have separates in this shape.

I know there have been patterns for wrap-over styles in sewing magazines but those are usually 'fake'. That is, the wrap-over is real enough but it's just a styling feature not a functional one. Those designs usually have a zipper at the side. Because I'm a bit of a purist, I like mine to use the wrap-over in a functional way, as the actual means to get in and out of these trousers.
And I thought it might be nice to try and explain how to make such an odd thing out of a normal trouser pattern.

For a style like this, you will need a basic pattern which is loose fitting in the seat and thigh areas. I'm using the same adaptation of my sloper as I would for pleated trousers. This version of the sloper has a slightly lowered crotch and a bit of added ease at the hip and thigh.
I'll show you the alterations to the front leg pattern piece. The back leg doesn't have to be changed at all.

If you are using a sloper, it will probably have a small waist dart. Remove that by taking out its width at the side and/or center front. 

Draw a line from where you want your overlap to end (I usually put it at the point where the dart used to be) to the knee point on the inner leg seam. Trace the top edge from the beginning of the line to center front on a new piece of paper connected to the rest of the pattern and then cut along the line.

Now, to create the wrap-over fold, mirror that front piece and connect the tops of the center front line and the point at the knee. Trace the top line again.
After that, put the center front piece back on, connecting it two the pleat you've created. 
Make sure you mark the beginning and end of the pleat (the black notches) and its center (the red one). The straight grain remains in its original position running along the length of the leg.  
Add pockets if desired (and who doesn't want pockets...)

This pattern piece will be used for both the left and right leg and needs to be finished with a waistband which either connects to the entire drape/pleat or only to from the side to the notch closest to CF (which I prefer because it doesn't create as much bulk at the waistline).

I will take pictures while I am sewing to show how this thing should come together. 

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