My second blog post for The Avid Seamstress is all about the chic and adaptable City
Trousers. My first impression of the modelled sample was that I liked where the waistband
was sitting– neither too high nor too low. It can be surprisingly hard to find a pair of trousers
that sit exactly where you want them to so that they’re giving you your desired silhouette!
Also, I certainly lack straight leg trousers in my wardrobe, usually preferring a skinnier look
(still stuck in the 2010s!), so this felt like a good gap to fill in my cupboard. The best fit for
me was a size 2.
The fabric suggestion is to choose something with a little stretch, to allow for movement
and particularly sitting! Going through my stash, I came across this short pile red/orange
velvet which is on the heavier side of medium-weight, but surprisingly has some stretch. I
picked the fabric up a while ago from the scraps of an upholstery business! Some excellent
finds that day.
I hoped to have enough of the velvet for the entire City Trousers, but alas not, so I used a
contrast stretch fabric for the waistband and pockets. On reflection, it might have been a
better result if both fabrics had the exact same level of stretch and weight, but they aren’t
too dissimilar. I helped to stabilise the lighter fabric by interfacing the waistband, doing so in
sections so that there was still some give. I also chose to topstitch the waistband, stitching
through the velvet seam allowance underneath which helped make it a bit sturdier.
Even though I was quite surprised initially to find that I didn’t have enough fabric to
complete it all in the velvet, I actually rather love coming across situations where I need to
find either a complementing or contrasting material. It can lead to quite a jazzy and unique
result. Given that I have quite a mismatched stash of fabric, it’s more often than not a
contrasting combination! It’s fun to play around with different fabric colours and prints for
something you’re making, particularly as it could save buying more fabric when you only
need small pieces. The easiest way to experiment is on pattern pieces such as the pockets or
collars, just as long as the properties of the fabrics aren’t too different so you don’t end up
with trouble sewing them together or too much stretch in one area.
When laying out the pattern, I already knew the length needed to be reduced, so I
shortened the legs by 8cm (am I that short?!), then took a little more up at the end, as I
preferred to have them a little cropped. I also originally included the split at the bottom,
which I liked the look of in the pattern booklet, but in the end I closed them up due to the
nature of my slightly bulky fabric. My final alteration was tapering the lower leg slightly,
reducing the bottom hem by no more than a few centimetres, as again the fabric was a bit
chunkier than I was expecting!
These City Trousers are certainly a change from my usual plain pairs! But they’re definitely
striking, and I look forward to trying on different tops and shoes with them to see which
outfit is the most fabulous.
We actually LOVE how these turned out. Not having enough fabric turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Lovely work Katie xx