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Friday, December 15, 2017

Classic Khaki Sasha Trousers: A Pattern Review

I made trousers! Or, as us vulgar Americans would call them, PANTS. Classic and khaki.


These are, of course, the Sasha Trousers from Closet Case Patterns. I haven't owned a trouser for ages. I have a terrible track record trying to buy them... I'd try on a pair in the store, it would feel acceptable, then I'd wear it for a day and then it would never be worn again. I've perused various pants patterns, but the thought of going through fitting them was never very inviting. 



When Heather from Closet Case Patterns released a trouser pattern based on the Ginger Jeans block, I knew this was the one for me, since I already have a customized Ginger Jeans pattern. It took me three tries to get my Ginger Jeans just how I like them, but my latest ones are the best fitting jeans I've ever owned. Soooo.... I just transferred over my changes to the Sasha Trousers pattern. BRILLIANT!

Just for the sake of all of you out there fitting pants or jeans, I'll just go through what has worked for me. First off, I took a HUGE wedge out of the center back top of the pant. This is, I think, basically a sway back adjustment, but might also be a bit of a large bum adjustment. I took out 2 inches. On my ginger jeans pattern, this comes mostly out of the yoke. On the Sasha Trousers pattern, I split the adjustment between the darts in the back and the center back. 



I also scoop out the back crotch curve into a sharper J. Heather calls this her "low bum" adjustment. 

To further make room for the bum, I add 1/2 inch to the back crotch curve, at the crotch. I also added 1/2 inch of height to the back of the pant... which also makes space for the bum. 

I took 1/2 inch off of the front crotch curve, at the crotch. 



I used the side seams to adjust the fit based on the stretch of the pant. My grand plan was to have 1 inch seams to play with, but I forgot to add extra to the front pocket pieces! So when I needed a bit of extra space for my hips, I had to steal it from the existing 5/8 inch seam allowance, making my side seams, at the hips, a scant 1/4 inch. 

And that's it! I made no muslin, and went on faith, making all of the pockets, fly, etc, to get to the basting step. When I basted it all together, the fit on the bum was perfect, and there were only minor adjustments needed to the side seams. 



Heather JUST posted a sewalong for the welt pockets, so lucky for all of you who are making the pattern now. While I do love sewalongs, I have to say her directions and diagrams were quite good, and they got me through the steps of the welts, front pockets, and fly with no frustration or unpicking to speak of. None of this is entirely new to me, though... although her welt pocket construction method was rather novel, I've never sewn one like it before. It all came together beautifully. 


The interior finish on these is gorgeous... Heather has you french seam the pockets and put the good side out, so it all looks lovely. The twill tape waistband is really a lovely finish, and so easy to sew. 

Do women's trousers really open the opposite of jeans? It feels wrong to me... but as I've said, it's been a loooong time since I've owned a pair of trousers. And even those weren't so nice.

I used a no-sew hook and eye... I like the clean look of it. I'm not sure why only the sew-on type is mentioned in the instructions, maybe there is some reason not to use the no sew type, but it hasn't posed a problem so far. Sewing the buttonhole on my machine was a bit dicey since my machine's automatic buttonhole feature like to just hang up if the surface isn't completely flat, but I've learned lately that I can sometimes aid it over the rough spots by pulling the fabric manually, and I just managed to squeak out an acceptable buttonhole. The button is just a plastic one from my stash.



I interfaced the waistband with Pro Weft Supreme Medium from Fashion Sewing Supply. It doesn't say this anywhere, but this interfacing is actually stretchy in one dimension, and I placed the interfacing in the direction of greatest stretch. I can't stand a constricting waistband, but at the same time, I hate it when the waistband stretches out by the end of the day. 

I LOVE this fabric. It is the J. Crew Twill from Imaginegnats. I've been looking all over for great stretch twills, now that I have a trouser pattern, and this is some of the best stuff out there. I'm only telling you this because I already purchased more. 



The fit is sort of relaxed on these... I think I prefer them that way, but I might have to take them in a bit if they stretch out too much with wear. So far so good though. 

Having trousers that fit just like your favorite jeans is WONDERFUL. So if the Ginger Jeans pattern is your go-to jean pattern, you'll probably love the Sasha Trousers. If you don't have a favorite pants pattern yet, this wouldn't be a bad place to start since the directions are fantastic, and Heather's fitting guides are pretty comprehensive.


What's up next...? I actually thought I'd make another pair of Ginger Jeans, since I'm wearing my latest and greatest pair non-stop lately. I'd already be well into them, except that I had a bit of a sewing snafu. The denim I bought for them was narrow, and I didn't notice, so I only bought 2 yards. Lovely black Turkish denim from Threadbare fabrics, out of stock with no hope that there will ever be more. AND.... I even did a custom dye job on the fabric, making an off-black denim a true black, because I LOVE true black jeans. 

So, I thought I'd just cut them out anyway, off-grain, and I did it. 

Then clarity hit. What a stupid decision! Chances are, I'll spend hours and hours sewing jeans only to have twisty-legged jeans that will annoy me whenever I wear them. 

Luckily, I just happened to be in NYC this week, so I picked myself up some pretty awesome denim, and some more dye. With a little luck, I'll be able to recut them this weekend, and do a proper job of it. 


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