NOT ENOUGH JUNK IN MY TRUNK – SEWAHOLIC THURLOWS

Sewaholic Thurlows - full view. Sorry black is very hard to photograph at night!

Sewaholic Thurlows – full view. Sorry black is very hard to photograph at night!

‘Not enough junk in my trunk’ as the Black Eyed Peas and Fergie so succinctly put it.

Or the post that could otherwise be known as ‘Does My Bum Look Flat in This?”

I’ve knocked out Sewaholic Thurlows No.2. While the execution of the pattern is pretty good (my welts are only minorly woeful) and the pattern is absolutely fabulous, I just think I need some more junk in my trunk for them to look smokin’. I think my butt looks flat. Perhaps that’s a good look – I’m not sure. I was very disappointed with myself last night but after a good night’s sleep and some photographs I think I’m being a little hard on myself.

Sewaholic Thurlows - side view

Sewaholic Thurlows – side view

The fit is excellent around my upper hips and waist. I like the long wide legs. But I just don’t have enough ‘junk in my trunk’ to fill out the upper legs – I found a cure though – strike a pose and the junk appears to be in my trunk. So perhaps I just need a little more attitude – or self-confidence.

Sewaholic Thurlows - strike a pose

Sewaholic Thurlows – strike a pose

I have figured out welt pockets which makes me mighty pleased with myself.

This time I put a strip of interfacing behind the welt pocket area and there were no temper tantrums on my behalf during constructions. I did two test runs before I attacked the actual trousers – as there is no going back once you cut that great big hole in the junk trunk zone!

Welt pocket practice

Welt pocket practice – using contrasting thread

I was kind to myself during welt pocket practice and stitched white on black so I could better see and understand what was going on.

I also marked two sewing lines on the welt strips before I started sewing. I found my finish was much more even – not perfect but better. I would like to practice these some more as once you get the hang they are kinda cool!

Welt Pocket practice - marking the stitching lines

Welt Pocket practice – marking the stitching lines

This fabric is really quite nice. A black damask which is 35% cotton – it’s very hard to buy fabric for trousers where I live. I guess that’s what you get for living in a coastal resort/retirement hotspot. The flash photography makes it look frightful – those sparkly bits are just weird and not there in ‘real life’. I have made a mental note not to let anyone photograph my junk trunk in these pants with a flash in future. For some reason I think I can manage that.

I did not add belt loops as I’ve always purchased trousers that don’t need a belt. I like flat front trousers (no pleats please) with long wide legs to create a long lean line (I dream of actually being tall - I just have to live with visual tricks!) - these pants tick that box so no belt for Sew Busy Lizzy’s Thurlows.

I was having a pitiful-me-session about my pants and ELH (Ever Lovin’ Husband) pointed out they look like ‘bought pants’. “What” I cry “My bum looks this flat in pants?”Well yes, it’s cute but that’s how pants look on you.” Shock and horror from me. I guess I’ve never let anyone do a close up photograph of my junk trunk before. Never again! (Unless it’s relevant to the blog of course).

Calico Stretch has commented on my first Thurlow post and provided me with some great fitting online resources to go and check out. It’s an ongoing challenge. But now I think I have a go-to pattern for wide-legged pants and shorts.

In the meantime I’m retreating to dresses, skirts and tops.

SEWAHOLIC THURLOW CONCLUSION: Ignore all my self-critical blather. This is a great pants pattern – give Thurlow a go! I’ve learnt a lot – made welt pockets, sewn a fly and made ‘grown-up’ pants for the first time ever. They sit beautifully, not too high or too low. There are FOUR pockets – which should keep any stitcher happy!

IN OTHER SEWING NEWS: I knocked up a muslin the other night after I put the girls to bed. It’s a Colette Macaron - part of the Colette Sewalong 2.0. Because I have had numerous fitting issues with Colette (clearly they don’t design for celery sticks like me), I resolved to only do the bodice as that’s my main area of difficultly and also only use scraps from previous projects. So here is my Macaron muslin.

Colette Macaron muslin bodice

Colette Macaron muslin bodice – front view

It’s too big in the back and a took 25mm seams instead of 15mm seams at the sides. I think I need to take some out of the centre back panel if I decided to make this.

I also used some bias binding to finish the neckline as that’s my plan if I end up making a ‘real’ version of this one. This is too big in the back and I think you need to think hard about the contrast and shell fabric as this muslin sits a bit odd due to the different fabric weights. Me no like. Yes, it’s cute but the slight tension between the two bothers me no end. I would not wear this, it feels slapdash dodgy homemade.

Colette Macaron Muslin bodice - back view

Colette Macaron Muslin bodice – back view – too big

I’m not a huge fan of the white top version of this pattern on me so I have other plans if I do proceed with this one. I have a tendency to going grungy with Colette – which I think does not always sit comfortably alongside all the lovely Colette stitchers finished projects which favour prettiness, pastels and florals. So I’m not sure about this Colette 2.0 Sewalong project. I think I’ll turn into the slightly obnoxious Australian in-law that no-one really wants over for dinner… ‘oh dear did you see what’s she’s wearing…tsk tsk’

Besides this is my colour combo for the shortly to be produced Sewaholic denim a-line with red polka dots. Denim is drying on a rack!!! Watch this space (and send some warm weather to speed up the process).

And even if you are nice enough to say that this muslin in lookin’ cool, I’m not going to add the skirt. The blue is denim and the skirt would be waaay to stiff for this pattern. I would look like Davros.

Colette Macaron muslin bodice with my Vogue 1247

Colette Macaron muslin bodice with my Vogue 1247

YET MORE SEWING NEWS: I’ve clearly been rather productive of late and also knocked out a quick little skirt for Daughter No.1. She adores it – she was even careful not to leave it at a friend’s house after a play day. Trust me that degree of care for her belongings never happens. Photos later this week.

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE! I’ve started cutting out a Sewaholic Minoru.

WOEFUL WELT, PUCKERED POCKET & WONKY WAISTBAND

I’ve had a shorts disaster and I’m thrilled to bits! Today was a sewing fail but a pattern win and thrown up a host of new things I need to master. Hooray.

Sewaholic Thurlow front view

Sewaholic Thurlow front view. Wonkiest waistband ever!

Last week I posed my third Sewaholic Cambie. This dress was near perfect. The waistband met perfectly at the zip. The lining was immaculate. I was proud.

Pride comes before the fall.

I could have not posted this and you never would have know what a shoddy stitcher I could be. At least this way you know I’m an honest one :-)

I was stitching by the light of my old bedside light as the main lights were switched off as my husband and father-in-law installed some new light fittings downstairs. Stitching black fabric in very dodgy light conditions is very difficult. Good thing I did no unpicking. So the horrid fabric combined with very poor light did nothing to encourage a happy ending!

As soon as I went to sew my Sewaholic Thurlows I realised the fabric as a disastrous choice. It frays, it stretches quite randomly and is just plain old cheap and nasty. Even trying to finish the edges was a joke. The fabric just fell apart more.

I had a moment where I thought about ditching it all together and starting again.

However Thurlow involves a whole lotta cutting so I wasn’t keen to start again. So I decided to treat this as a fit test for the pattern.

I did not finish the seam allowances (why waste cotton on a wadder?), when the stretchy fabric resulted in a wonky waistband, front fly and hideous welts, I just sailed on. In fact the cheerful abandon with which I sewed was quite liberating. “Oh look one side of the front is longer than the other. How funny.” “Oh look that’s the worse welt in history. *giggle* and I kept sewing until the bitter end.

I have never made pants before, sewn a front fly, made a welt pocket so the entire project was a newbie for me. I learnt a lot and know what I need to practice before I spend decent money on respectable fabric.

My first welt pocket was such a disaster I decided to dump the second welt pocket on the back as I was purely making the shorts up at the point as a muslin to check the fit. I even resorted to sewing across the ends of the welt on the outside to get it to lay flat as the fabric was fraying so badly on the inside.

Once you pick yourself up off the floor after laughing at the welt pocket of woe, can you please let me know what you think about the fit across my derrière?

Sewaholic Thurlow - back view

Sewaholic Thurlow – back view and the worst welt EVER!

I think the welt pocket perhaps needs some interfacing behind it. Only the welt bits were interfaced and I think part of my welt of woe problems was that my material was a bit too soft and floppy. If you are a welt guru, please let me know if that helps.

The front fly was much easier than I thought. I did a bit of puzzling, pinning and flipping and I managed this part quite quickly.

I got a bit over-excited about sewing on the waistband and seeing if they fit. I sewed the waistband and the waistband lining to the trousers, instead of just the waistband and leaving the lining free to tuck over the raw edges. Stoopid. So the inside of the shorts are a hideous mess but I really don’t mind. I should have known better as the waistband is attached the same way as my Vogue 1247 Tardis Skirt.

I have not hemmed them. There is no button etc to hold them up – just a grotty old safety pin. Yes, I’m all class today.

Right from my first seam I saw these as a rough sketch for a future pair of trousers and very much a learning ground for a whole bunch of techniques I had never done. Welts, flys, and ‘grown-up’ pants!

Sewaholic Thurlow side view

Sewaholic Thurlow side view. That welt does not get any better in profile!

Despite my disasters and wonky pants Sewaholic Thurlow gets the thumbs up from me. As ugly as these shorts are, I think there are some nice trousers hiding in the envelope for me. I really like this pattern. Thurlows would make excellent work trousers. I like trousers that fit my derrière and then have long loose legs and these fit the bill perfectly. I think they would make cute denim shorts with contrast floral or polka dot pockets and lining.

Laugh all you like - I certainly have! But if you have any pants fitting tips I would more than pleased to hear them. I saw a pants fitting book at the library and I think I will borrow it, although I don’t think these are too bad at all for straight out of the envelope, size 0 with no alterations – other than my horrendous sewing! LOL

But Thurlow and I will return to the sewing machine once I have more obedient fabric for View A trousers!

Check out Lladybird’s gorgeous gingham Thurlows – now that girl can sew!!

Pattern purchased from Sew Squirrel!

IN OTHER SEWING NEWS… the daughter’s confirmation dress is finished! It’s big and it’s pink and she’s wearing it tomorrow night!