My never ending battle Part 1 with the Thurlow trousers. Part 1 – (part 2 is still in work)


So after a few shirts, a jacket, and some dresses, I figured, well, why not making pants? It is after all the one thing that I REALY need to make for myself, as it is painful to go shopping for them. I’m almost never happy with what I find, and when I do, it is expensive (and then I get bleach stains on them, never mind). I

couldn’t make up my mind between the Thurlow and the Juniper. I chose with my heart and got the Sewholic pattern.

As I’m a stubborn rookie, I didn’t make a muslin, I just used super cheap fabric I found at a thrift store. But I spend too much time on the back pockets (spending some quality time with LLadybird) but the pants were far from wearable. I looked online, and the solution seemed simple – the crouch is too low. I was happy to alter the pattern and start again. But still no good. And then again. And again. 5 times I made it. The fifth pattern was so remote from the original…and almost wearable, and from such a cute fabric combination, that also matched the jacket, that I planned to wear for a conference …. but then I realized:

  • I can’t wear it to the conference, it is not good enough.
  • I should have altered those front pockets.
  • I should make muslin; no more spending time on back pockets (but I got really good at it!)
  • I should buy that book that everyone recommend ‘pants for real people’.

So I got the Pants for Real People, and before I even started, I learned the most exciting thing: I can (and should) iron the original tissue pattern! Wow. I never did that before. I usually I don’t cut my tissue patterns, but instead I copy the right size to a wax paper. This time I used parchment paper instead since I had a wider toll wider, and I can iron it (love it, ironing the pattern is so much fun).  Also, I found it refreshing that this book uses actual REAL people. I wish pattern designers will do it more often (yes, Colette, even you can improve).

Real people rock!

Real people rock!

I also thought “I should probably check the sizing table again”. And guess what, I’m an idiot.  My first 5 attempts were all with the wrong size! I cut an 8 instead of a 12. The only reason some of them were close-to-wearable is that I altered them so much. OK. I am a 12 and I can deal with it! So I copied and cut the size 12 pattern carefully. But when I tried the “tissue fitting” method, using the back, right front, waistbands and front pockets, I wasn’t so sure anymore. My beautiful copy of the pattern is all wrinkly right now, and I think I will need to add some extra fabric to the side seam, that will probably change everything else. I’m panicking! it will never happen!Here is the plan right now is:

  • Practice pants alternation with two old pairs that need some work anyway. As we Israelis say, “hard training, easy battle“ (it have no real grammar in Hebrew as well!)
  • To get a helper! This will not work if I try to fit myself on my own. (I should have taken a video of myself trying the tissue fit, alone, amusing).
  • To get some cheap fabric to make a muslin. Preferably plaid. Preferably an actual grid.
  • Make THE most perfect Thurlow trousers ever. And then duplicate at least 10 times, before I even consider another pant pattern.
  • Copy the altered and proven pattern.
  • Document the whole process (I saved 3 out of my 5 attempts for your amusement).