Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my pinafore skirt! I actually can’t quite believe I’m here 3 days later to post another finished sewing project. But friends, I did it. I finished a project for Debi’s Sew Grateful week! Keep reading and you’ll find out why these are for Sew Grateful, as there’s a whole slew of reasons and people to thank!
Now, I managed to space out that Sew Grateful week was coming up until Monday when I was reminded about it on Debi’s blog. Monday afternoon, I said, “Rats, too bad I don’t have time to finish a project in time for Thursday’s project day.”
An hour later I was washing 4 different fabrics and trying to decide on a pattern and a fabric combo.
A few hours after that I was cutting fabric.
Tuesday night before bed I was prancing around in these.
Behold, my new favorite trousers, in lightweight corduroy. A totally appropriate vintage fabric choice and great for cooler months. (I’m pretending the blue is closer to cadet blue than it probably is, it was a very popular wartime color for women’s clothing in the 40s.)
The pattern is Simplicity 3688, a reproduction pattern from 1941. If you read any sewing blogs, odds are you’ve seen at least someone make or talk about these trousers. Prevailing opinion is they’re easy to sew and they’re flattering.
And my opinion on the prevailing opinion? AGREED.
Because I intended to sew these faster than the speed of light I pretty much followed the pattern instructions to the letter. I think the only things I did different was to change the zipper application and to hand stitch the waistband shut on the inside instead of stitch in the ditch.
I also sewed one size down from what I would have normally after measuring the pattern pieces and realizing they’d be gigantic!
I love them. LOVE THEM. I’m totally making them again and again.
I did a centered zipper instead of lapped as I thought the fabric might be too heavy for a lapped zipper to look nice, so I took a queue from the Wearing History Smooth Sailing pattern. I have no idea where the instructions came from because I wrote them out by hand in my sewing notebook when I made my Smooth Sailing trousers, but wherever I got them, the results are great.
I love the vintage button that closes these. I have several more, so someday they’ll make it onto another project. Though I may need to add a hidden snap on the inside of this pair to keep the button from meandering over the edge of the waistband.
I cut off about 3 1/4″ off the length of the pattern from the bottom, turned up 1/2″, then 2″ again for the hem, and blind stitched by hand. I may do a folded up cuff next time but it wasn’t in the cards with my tight deadline.
Now, here’s the lengthy Sew Grateful elements!
I think I first saw this pattern when Debi sewed them, but have also seen them on the likes of Jane (twice!), Karen and Lauren over the last 2 years. I bought the pattern at some point after reading about them so many times, but hadn’t sewn them yet. Fast forward to early January this year, when Rochelle personally recommended the pattern to me. That stuck in my mind and when I was trying to come up with a project, I remembered Simplicity 3688 and what she had said. So I owe a huge thanks to Rochelle for putting up with my last-minute emails about fit and sizing, these wouldn’t fit as nicely as they do without her!
Last but not least, I was inspired by several of the deadlines Debi herself has set for some of her sewing projects. I channeled Debi to get these trousers done and photographed in time! If you haven’t been following her posts this week, you simply must go check them out. Her Sew Grateful project is stunning!
This project also marks a really important milestone for me: I’ve officially sewn more garments in 2013 than I sewed in all of 2012. I know. It’s only February 7th. I think my sewing demons have been left behind for good. And I couldn’t be more grateful for the online sewing community to help make that happen in so many ways. Tutorials, inspiration, friendship and support.
Thank you ALL!
(p.s. I promise you I haven’t forgotten about knitting!