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!


    • I decided that I could use some advice and my blog should not be all about ‘showing off my triumphs’ but also asking for feedback… once people stop laughing of course 😉
      I do like this pattern, it goes together nicely and easily.

  1. Wow- if thats as wonky as you get-be proud. Not being a tailoring gal, I look forward to what the sewing sages advise you to do. I know they’ll be cambie perfect in the end (and the hem and the welts…)

  2. Well, I understand why you bought the fabric, I love the look of it. I think the side view fit is perfect, the pocket lays perfectly flat. I am very interested to see what the pants gurus say, as I am not one. I would say you need to let out the crotch seam so that they will hang without cupping, but probably just a little. What do you say about the back fit? You have had more triumphs that most lately, so I am glad you are able to stay in good humor. I will try to emulate you if I ever get my new machine so that I can sew again.

  3. Oh NO! I’m so sorry! My only foray into sewing shorts was the Colette Iris pattern, and it turned out so terribly (and I made five muslins!!) that I couldn’t bear to post photos online! Ugh! Better luck with the next pair– this pattern looks really promising!

    • I think I can make it work (especially if I take the time to get everything to line up – there is no reason this wont’ deliver a cracking pair of pants – it’s just my terrible fabric to blame here).
      I’m trying to figure out if I need to length or shorten the ‘back crotch line’. I can’t decide if I’ve got a long torso or a flat derriere. They don’t seem to be pulling across my hips/derriere but the leg fabric is weird under my ‘yet to be classified’ derriere. Bodies are complicated things!!
      I might put them back on and have a wiggle and see if that tells me anything that the photos don’t.
      I’ve got a book called The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns – it’s very helpful, once you figure out the offending body part causing the problem LOL
      I wasn’t going to post the images but I figured the best way to solve my problem was a bit of collective comment even if people roll around the floor laughing for half an hour to achieve it. Just imagine how impressed everyone will be when my derriere is perfectly clad!
      I was going to buy Iris but I like the versatility of the shorts/trousers, welt pockets and front fly that Thurlow offers.

  4. I’ve got this pattern – can’t make to make some work pants with it. I’ve never done welt pockets either – maybe I’ll end up with a wonky toile too! I can see why you bought this deceptive fabric, it would have made a lovely pair of shorts had it not been naughty 🙂

    • I’ve been crashing about the house in them tonight – very stylish with stockings, heels and my woollen dressing gown. They are seriously comfortable. I think I’m sticking with the sizing and going to try a long leg version in black… black hides a lot of sins, including sewing ones!
      I think my pose last night was off. Clearly need more practice at butt shots. I struck a pose ala Tasia and they looked much better!

  5. Weeeeell… the fit at the front looks real good haha! I can’t help you with the back as I have the opposite problem – maybe you just need to take some of the volume out back there?

    And doesn’t it feel good to post something crummy so you can laugh at yourself?! Yessss!

    • Maybe I should get myself a pair of padded undies! No pattern alterations required!!
      Gotta laugh at yourself, best to do it before everyone else does. Look slightly less of an idiot that way… or not LOL

    • *sigh* it’s super cute this fabric isn’t it? I’m think about sensible black or grey next and cheering it up with some cute lining.
      I wore them around the house last night, incredibly comfortable fabric and pattern. I kept think they had undone or fallen off – but no, they are just v.comfortable.

    • I’m baffled what to fix. I’m going to try running in the back seam a bit and if that doesn’t work, try the crotch next.
      They are AMAZINGLY comfortable so its battle stations!
      The Cambies are perfect for me. Fabulous pattern and the finish is beautiful.

  6. oh it is a shame when things dont work and you realise the fabric you have is awful BUT i love that you embraced this experience and made the best of it!
    The derriere fit seems good! I am not half as horrified by the welt as you are either. 😛
    The first thing I ever made were really easy trousers which was over 10 years ago. I wish I remembered how. lol.
    But I am going to make a thurlow muslin later this week. Maybe then we can compare notes. 🙂

    • Apart from the welts it’s such an easy pattern. I’m busting to make it up ASAP however have a 4.30am start at work with a ‘live site’ at work for the Olympics. One of our local boys is swimming in the 100m freestyle finals. James The Missile Magnussen. Fingers crossed!

  7. Pingback: Learning curve – more like climbing a mountain – Thurlows « Kim-ing

  8. Wow these seem to fit really good other than a little bagginess under your butt. If you wanna fix that then check out Sunni’s site (http://www.afashionablestitch.com/sewing-school/) particularly the trouser fitting section and try searching on 3hourspast.com where Stephanie has some really useful info too. On zipper flys there a great great Threads video tute :


    PS the little dress you made your gorgeous girl is lovely and I hope she recovered from the cold :o)

    • Thanks for all those tips! My second pair is even baggier under my butt. Weird. Perfect fit around my hips/waist and there is no room for more adjustments in the ‘crotch’ seam.
      My husband tells me ‘that’s how pants look on you’ No wonder I prefer skirts & dresses – or skinny jeans LOL


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