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.


    • I think you are absolutely right, there is just too much difference between the denim and white batiste. It is a fun combo, I suspect another sewing addiction is developing….

  1. You have a slim silhouette, one that a mighty percentage of the women in the world would love to have! Don’t forget that! You have just enough junk in your trunk, and I love the trousers! I think the fabric is lovely; I would not have thought of using damask for trousers. You know, trousers are the hardest thing to make/fit, so you have really accomplished something. Feel good about this. How many people can wear their first pair of trousers?

    • That’s very true. I’m always pretty tough on myself and extremely fussy about how things fit.
      I’d love to say the fit is all down to my skill but I made this straight out of the packet. It is a well drafted pattern and the rest it patience.
      I had trouble finding fabric to make then with. I didn’t want 100% polyester (it’s humid where I live) or anything that crushed badly.

  2. Your trunk looks great. 🙂 Really, congrats on another nice Thurlow, and thanks as always for the detailed post. It will help immensely when I venture into pants. I am squeeing over your fabric choice in the Macaron. That polka for trim is amazing. I’m afraid of the two different fabrics thing when I make my Macaron too, but I’m hoping it’ll be such a fun combo that no one will care. And go grungy, girl! I guarantee you will not get one tsk tsk. 🙂 Creativity trumps pastels and florals every time!

    • Thanks!
      I think this is a good pattern to try pants. You just need patience as there are lotsa pieces!!!
      I’m thinking gingham for my final Macaron… we will see, I do love to play with shapes and colours. I thing that’s my ‘thing’.

  3. These look great! The welts are perfection! I’m sure there are many women who would gladly turn in their extra junk for your slim figure ( including me!) I really want to try this pattern, I think it might be next on my list since I’ll finally have some down time this week. Looks like I’m going to need some patience!

    • If you have got down time then this is the pattern. I think the cutting out takes longer than the sewing to be honest.
      I’m grateful I’m slim, especially after having had two (enormous) babies. But some days I think a little bit of vavavoom would be cool. I love the bombshell dress but I ain’t got nothin’ to bomb in it LOL

  4. Wow, lots going on under your sewing machine! And funnily enough I’m almost embarking on thurlow and am also working my way up to admitting its coat time and minoru it could be….however, coat sewing seems too sad when it’s supposed to be summer holiday time. Good luck with macaron, like the contrasts red white and blue…a fun looking muslin!!

    • LOL I sew to keep myself sane. I like to sew things I will wear but I also sew to challenge myself. We are coming out of winter but there will be plenty of use for a coat for a few months yet.
      Thurlow is a great pattern, just give yourself plenty of time to cut out. I think that took me longer than the sewing!

  5. Just discovered your blog, and love it. Brilliant job on those welt pockets. Can’t wait to see your progress on the Minoru. Off to have a peek around your other posts….J (from Sunny & Warm Qld!!!)

    • Hello! I love it when I find another Aussie stitcher!
      I’m so jealous about warm weather, it’s been sooooo cold here this year.
      I’m looking forward to the Minuro, watch this space. Cutting out the lining next.

  6. I wish my trunk looked like that! 🙂

    I think you’ve done a fantastic job on those pants! I look up to you and you’re sewing so you should feel proud of yourself! 🙂

    You’re like the sewing master! Always something new, and I wish I had the time (and don’t forget skillz!) to sew as much and as nicely as you!

    • The junk trunk is probably further downsized with all the sprinting between the kitchen (downstairs), sewing room (upstairs), living room (downstairs), kids bathroom (upstairs), dining/cutting table (downstairs)… LOL
      Thank you. I’m rather amazed at the improvement in my skills in the last few months myself!

  7. Oh Lizzy, the concept that you could EVER be obnoxious is charming – but so very wrong! (I, on the other hand, am always worreid that people will get pissed when I post so many barely-recognisable versions of well-loved patterns – Who am I to mess with a classic?!) I love see what different sewists come up with to make the pattern their own… and with a dress as polka-dot squee-ish as that Macaroon muslin, you deserve to make something a little more grungy too!

    • I love it when someone ‘shakes it up’ with a pattern, it takes skill and imagination to journey off on a new track and I always admire some doing that.
      I think my visual aesthetic is a little less pretty than most. While I adore lots of the floral concoctions of others and genuinely compliment them, the reality is I’m not terribly ‘at home in my skin’ wearing them, although Cambie is bringing me around!

  8. I think you have a great trunk! and the thurlows turned out great! Just shows what a little perseverance can achieve! I love that you embrace every challenge and let us follow your journey to greatness! 😀
    The macaron muslin is looking great and I agree with the little changes you propose! I actually really like the polka dots accents! Looking forward to seeing your next creations!
    How cute of your daughter by the way! I didnt appreciate the effort that went into my mum´s knitted creations, just always called them itchy. lol

    • She is a cutie pie and v.funny and kind as well.
      The Thurlows are all about patience, pinning and thinking before you sew. I think I could further improve the welts by using my rotary cutter to get a perfectly straight raw edge. The rectangle and stitching line needs to be perfect I think for an impeccable finish.
      Now I want to try bound buttonholes! Crazy stuff!!
      I think it’s valuable to document the losses as well as the victories. Sometimes you need to see what went wrong and how someone fixed it to truly learn to avoid the same disasters.
      If I help someone avoid woeful welts and puckered pockets it’s been a good day.

  9. i have similar issues with colette, especially the macaron, which i ended up just re-tracing onto a sloper for the style lines and then abandoning. those trousers are great, and so is your review. very helpful. (also, love your V1247 skirt in denim. i love that pattern and have 2 in progress right now. i think a denim one may now be in order!)

    • So glad I’m not the only one with Colette fitting issues. I see all the Colette disciples and have been wondering ‘WHAT is wrong with me??’. Which gives me a weird determination to beat the ‘fit beast’. Sucker for punishment… but I think I’m a Sewaholic girl, they just fit, right out of the pack.
      I am tragically addicted to Vogue 1247 skirt. I wear it EVERY weekend. It’s the pockets, you can fit EVERYTHING in there. It’s like a skirt-handbag. LOL.
      I’ve become so addicted to my Vogue 1247 my husband TOLD me to make another. Yes boss 😉 Denim is great as it holds its shape well.

  10. The new trousers look absolutely terrific, and I had to smile… *yes* the pose does make the difference!! I always end up posting the pose with my bum stuck out somewhat, for that reason 😉
    However if you are not happy with your mirror-reflection in these, it could be that this pattern is not drafted to suit your shape. I find Burda jeans and shorts patterns to be great for my figure type, and I think you and I have a similar body shape 🙂

    • I’ve been a little bit terrified of the apparently legendary bad Burda instructions and missing seam allowances. However as I’m getting more experience, I’m needing less step-by-step guidance. I’ve managed to get a few Burda Style magazines when traveling so I’m going to try a few patterns as there are a few nice pants patterns in there… once I get a few projects off my ironing board.

  11. Oh, the flat bottom problem… I know it well. I’ve steered clear of Sewaholic patterns so far because they’re apparently cut for someone smaller above the waist and larger below – exact opposite of me! With those (impressive!) pockets on the back you can’t add darts to take any fabric out of the bottom, can you? But I think your husband’s right, they look good anyway!

    • I think I’m being too obsessive and precious – and black hides a lot of sins.
      Sewaholic patterns are seriously awesome. If you are an ‘upside down pear’ LOL many of the other patterns would still work I think. The full skirted Cambie, Renfrew etc I’ve tried three Sewaholic patterns and they are well drafted and versatile. Can’t ask for much more!

  12. Hi, Just letting you know you’ve won the McCalls 611 pattern from my blog 🙂 Please email with your details and I’ll post it out to you 🙂 amber_stone (at) bigpond (dot) com

  13. I giggled so much reading this that my sick kiddo came to see what was going on! “Junk trunk”! Very funny…. And you have been seriously productive to boot – wow. Don’t forget to rest and eat in between sewing projects hey.

    Brilliant pockets on the trou and I think the fit is really good. I have a small butt too, or so I am coming to realise so the baggy thing in the seat is something I am going to have to keep working on. Its nice to know actually :o)

    Interesting about the bodice though I haven’t made one yet really so can’t really help there ….

  14. If these pants are designed for a more hourglass shape, then I am seriously considering these….plenty of junk in my trunk unfortunately. I find with rtw pants that they tend to be too short in the rise and narrow in the legs or the waist gapes…can’t win. Your trousers look fantastic!

    • These should be great for you. The way the back seam works, similar to men’s trousers, should help you deal with back waist gape. Much easier to fit. After all, noone like ‘plumber’s crack’. 😉

  15. I swore that I’d make pants this year and I’ve avoided it mostly, but dang! Your thurlows are really inspiring me! I want a tricolored macaroons too. Wonderful welts…..

    • It’s time to get your junk trunk into some Thurlows girl. Every good junk trunk needs a good welt or two 😉
      I actually found the fly front easier than lapped or centred zippers. Really!
      Tri-colored Macaron sounds rather delicious – could bring on ADHD with all those colour additives!

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  17. Hi – I followed here from…. thanks for the review – your pants are great – and they look great!
    I think your extra fabric is because Sewaholic designs are aimed at us so called pear shaped women. See her site for details :). They would work for hourglass types. I am guessing you fir the Big four pattern range much better than I doas a classic teardrop (which I prefer to being called after a fruit!). As to Colette, your problems are probably because she is the opposite – her designs are sized for C cups – I love Colette, and they have the best blog with so much stuff on it, but nowhere do they actually proclaim the C thing, and after making Big four patterns without a problem other than cuttinig a larger size bottom, I found myself swimming on top. You would probably have to do an SBA like I did – and like so many bloggers out there. She has tutorials on her site too for many of her clothes, sealongs and how tos for different fit problems – check them out –

    • I totally agree. I guess I’m less of a pear than I thought. All the other Sewaholic patterns i’ve tried have been perfect but they didn’t involve ‘junk trunks’ as I call them. The Alma blouse is next on my hit list.
      I got Colette Hazel to fit without a SBA. I find there is too much fabric in the backs of those patterns. I love the Colette weekly snippets and adored their new video of how to insert an invisible zip – how great was that!
      Thanks for popping by!

      • Nqh, you’re too well proportioned to be a pear:). You know – you probably have a narrow upper back like me. I trick I like is to use the back a size smaller than the front with some pattern makers – like Colette, for instance. And with the Big four, I go by high bust not full bust measurement – works better for the frame….

        • I think you are right, I’ve always joked I have a sparrow’s rib cage and it probably true.
          Unfortunately with Colette I start at a size 0 so I just have to take slices out of the back pattern pieces before I cut out the fabric.
          I used the upper bust measurement with Simplicity 1880 and it fit much better than previous Big 4 things I’ve made so I think it will stick with that system. 🙂

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