Woven trousers from knit joggers pattern

It’s a long shot, but I’ve got excess cotton-linen plaid check, a massive heatwave to dress for, and a healthy amount of ambition.

Pattern mods off the bat:

  • Added an inch length at ankles (and straightened out the side seams for last 4″ to allow for hemming)
  • Added 2/8″ all round to give myself more room in the SA
  • Added 1″ to both front and back side seams, giving myself an extra 4″ through the seat and 2″ through the legs, to compensation for lack of stretch. We’ll see how it works
  • Added 0.5″ to the whole rise. Didn’t want too much as didn’t want to drop the crotch and the fabric I used for the knit version didn’t have much vertical stretch at all, so not much lost to compensate
  • Remembered to edit the pockets to match!

Tried to draft a cut-on waistband idea (adding 4″ plus 1/2″ wiggle room to top of each piece), but realised I wouldn’t be able to do slant pockets with that, and I really wanted slant pockets. So I’ll bother with a proper waistband.

Didn’t try to match the plaid vertically, or in the pockets/waistband, but I did make sure to cut all the leg pieces with the hem lined up on the same horizontal stripe, so the horizontals should mostly match up at the side seams.

Constructed pockets and French crotch seams, then pinned the inseam and side seams to check fit. They were plenty big enough to pull on so that’s great but I suspected they were too wide through the leg for what I wanted – I’m trying to avoid a full plaid-pajamas look.

Sewed up the inseam (french seam again) and tried them on again to check and yep, too wide. So angling in from the knee downwards I took that extra inch back out at the side seam. I was pushed for time so I did this just by pinning at strategic points and sewing from pin to pin and actually that worked fine! Made sure it was a straight vertical by the ankle to avoid difficulties in hemming.

Tried them on again and it seemed good enough so I slammed through zigzagging the remaining seam allowances, putting the waistband on, and hemming them (1/4″ and then 1″ turned under), and jumped on the bus to my sister’s graduation!

After wearing them all day round London in 28C sunshine I learned 1) linen/cotton trousers is definitely a good thing and 2) I didn’t need that extra half inch in the rise, the elastic waistband is too generous and probably would be comfier if narrower, and I can still take a bit more width out of the ankle. Half the da I wore them with the waistband rolled over so there’s definitely too much height in the waistband/rise. Also, an elastic waistband which isn’t secured will roll and twist, even in a woven and not a slippy knit. Need to learn that as it always bothers me and it’s an annoying thing I can’t be bothered to take the drawstring out again to fix post mortem.

If I were being thorough/fancy, I should also have aligned the front/front pocket about half an inch beyond the pocket bag at the side seam. Because, the top of the pocket bag gets gathered at the waistband, and the front/front pocket don’t, so they gape slightly.

Post mortem (post animam?) edits:

  • Picked the waistband off, and narrowed it while keeping he buttonholes centered by sewing a generous 5/8″ off the top, and trimming off the bottom
  • Trimmed that unneeded half inch off the top of the rise. Remembered at the last minute to redo the basting of the pocket bag within the new seam allowance first before trimming
  • Went to pin the waistband on and remembered I wanted to flatfell the side seams. Can’t do that till I’ve fixed the ankle width and hem and wanted the waistband on before that so I could check the hem length. So in the meantime I removed the zigzag and folded the top inch or so into a flatfell so I could stitch it under the waistband in the proper layout
  • Stitched the waistband back on
  • Inserted a new slimmer elastic (7/8″??). The original waistband that I just measured against my waist turned out far too big – turns out it was 39″. I tried to be more scant with the new one and cut 36″ plus SA. But I safety pinned it for testing and found it still needed to be a few inches shorter to comfortably hold up the trousers. In testing I also realised the front rise was now on the scant side so I unpicked the front between the pockets and restitched it with a narrower SA – 3/8″ extra height at CF tapering to nothing to original stitchline at pockets. Safety pinned the elastic and the waistband closed and went off to a Cuban music night by the river to try them out. Success! Much hip wiggling and no trouser-loss! Narrower waistband is much comfier as well and doesn’t roll over so much
  • Not convinced that the ankles do need narrowing. They’re so comfy. Still need to finish the side seams and waistband properly, but maybe I’ll leave further edits to a new pair (dusty navy linen??)

Future possible edits: take 1/2″ out of the whole side seam. Fix the pocket gaping. Give that 1/2″ back to the rise at CF.

Further possible hacks: take width out of the front and only elasticate the back half of the waistband? Front pleats? Front fly??

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