Now it’s time to share the second part of this collaboration, the one that was actually the more challenging out of the two. I give you How to Do Fashion Madrid trousers, because everybody needs blush pink culottes in their lives, right?
(Please go back to the previous post to learn more about how I ended up working with How to Do Fashion on this project).
DISCLAIMER: This is an advertorial feature. I received the paper version of the sewing pattern for free from the designer, in exchange for a review on my blog and social channels. The designer did not review or amend the final post and there were no clauses in our agreement that would prevent me from offering an honest opinion. Please read my Readers Disclosure Policy for more details. You can also check my post on Advertising Regulations and what influencers are required to disclose.
HOW TO DO FASHION MADRID TROUSERS – MY FABRIC CHOICE
Ever since Nanna gave me the Madrid pattern, I was trying to think which fabric in my stash would work the best to showcase all its lovely details. I really did not want to get any new fabric, but all I has in the stash that would work was boring black, navy or grey. And I really did not need another pair of trousers in those colours.
That is until I remembered this piece of nude/blush pink crepe that got me all excited about the possibilities of a pair of trouser that could be anything but ordinary and boring. However, as I was telling you in the previous post, I did not think this one through very well. Remember the old adage, ‘Measure twice, cut once’? Yeah, it only came to mind after I messed it up. *Facepalm*.
So I had to go try to find something fairly similar, as I really liked the matchy-matchy look from the Vanlose pattern cover. However, it was harder than I expected and in the end I had to go for something close, but not quite the same. It’s still a medium crepe, but it had a 4 way stretch.
Enter a world of pain!
Have you ever worked with a 4-way stretch where the most elastic part is not on the grain, but on the cross-grain???? Yeah, me neither!! Facepalm moment number two, when I only realised after I cut the pattern out that I had most of my stretch downwards not width-wise! I could see the knee area distorting even as I looked at it! Not good at all.
But I had already done what I set out to avoid and bought new fabric, and there was no way I would scrap that and start again, only to have to buy even more new fabric! Grrrr!
So I carried on and hoped for the best. Worst case scenario, It would be a wearable toile and I will learn stuff, not to mention getting to practice a lot of techniques that I have rarely done before, like welt pockets and fly fronts etc.
I have to say, that so far I’m not very impressed with this fabric. Not sure how it will hold up in the long run, as it snags easy and it’s already pilling after one wear!! At £24/m I would really have expected more (though I got it on sale for £12/m).
HOW TO DO FASHION MADRID TROUSERS – THE PATTERN
As we are getting onto the pattern details, now it’s a good time to tell you more about the Madrid.
This is the official pattern description: These trousers are inspired by the masculinity of 1940s female fashion. They have all the details of male trousers and yet are perfectly fitted for a woman’s shape to underline her fierceness.
And by details of the male fashion, it means a welt pocket in the back, slant pockets, a front fly and turned cuffs. There is also a version with a back invisible zipper and regular cuffs.
If you have never tried your hand at these details, this is not a pattern for beginners. This is my fourth front fly and only my second welt pocket. The previous one was of the boys’ vest fame from the Sewing Bee, so you can imagine it came with loads of added anxiety.
So, what I liked most about this pattern was that it made me be brave and not back off (as it was a collaboration project) and try my darndest to make it all come together.
In all seriousness, I really liked the way the masculine details work in such a feminine colour, the blush pink. I am real fan of the super high waist, so if this is not your jam, be aware that they do come up very high. But I really like that, as they cover the muffin tops nicely, make my wait look thin, my bum not too big and my legs long. What’s not to love?
The pattern comes in sizes 34-48. I cut a size 38, but I made a few alterations (see below).
For the record, my measurements are:
- Hips: 98 cm (38.5in)
- Waist: 72 cm (28.5in)
- Bust 88cm (34.5in)
- Height: 1.72m/5.7in
I used a paper version of the pattern, which is printed on some lovely tissue paper, which I traced. A tip for tracing multi-size patterns: I use Frixion felt tip pens to highlight the size I need, as it makes the correct size lines easier to identify under the tracing paper.
To note that the paper pattern does not come with printed instructions. All instructions, with diagrams, as well as tutorials and helpful videos, can be found on the How to Do Fashion website.
I really liked the paper it was printed on. I also like that the instructions are not printed and are available on the website even before buying the pattern. The videos are also handy if you get stuck.
SAVE THIS FOR LATER ON PINTEREST
However, I wish there was a list of the pattern pieces in the instructions like they have in the Big 4 patterns and Burda. Something A = front top, B=back bottom, etc. It helps to make sure you have copied out all the pattern pieces. I had missed a very small piece of pattern and it took me a while to figure it out (mostly because I just could not get the instructions without it).
The instructions are fairly detailed, with illustrations, which always helps, but I must admit I did struggle here and there. I felt there could be a few more diagrams for the welt pocket section. For the front fly, I used my favourite method from *Sara Alm’s Craftsy (now Bluprint) class, which is what I always end up going back to. I have to say that front flies are one of those techniques where you do need to watch a video for it to click, where normally I prefer diagrams.
HOW TO DO FASHION MADRID TROUSERS – ALTERATIONS AND CONSTRUCTION
Alterations & Fit
I was forced to make an alteration right off the bat, as I didn’t have enough fabric and had to squeeze the pattern out of 2m instead of the required 2.3m. So I ended up reducing the fabric from inside the pleats by 2cm each. This did not alter too much the overall shape, other than the fullness of the leg, but I think it would have been too much as it was originally designed.
In terms of fit, I went very gung-ho on this pattern and cut it out without a toile. I did a tissue fit and fabric fit and they both led me to believe I will be ok. Which, with one exception, turned out to be bang on. I was especially pleased that I didn’t have to make any waist/hip blending and no full bum adjustment either. As I was noting for the Vanlose top, I feel that Nanna’s block really works for my body shape and preferred style.
The one thing that tripped me was that the front crotch is a smidgen too long, so I took the front up by 1 cm.
I normally have to add about 2.5 cm (1”) to the back crotch to make up for my generous derriere, but that was not necessary, which leads me to believe that maybe the back is a bit too long as well. So I would definitely suggest toiling or doing a tissue fit to check how that works for you.
In addition, I would add 1-2 cms to the botton hem, as I didn’t have enough length to turn the cuffs up as I would have liked to, they would just have been a bit too short. But then again, I am fairly tall, so I’m sure that’s not an issue is you are under 5’7 (1.72).
Also when wearing them for the first time, I realised that there is no way I can live with the excessive downward stretch, and after wracking my brain for a few days, I had an idea of fusing some very thin cotton interfacing I had in my stash from the upper thigh to mid-calf on the front. Maybe it could use some on the back, but the interfacing was quite expensive, so I didn’t want to use it all up. I am very pleased with the result, other than the increased propensity to crease. But I’d rather have that than baggy knees. BTW, these pics were taken before I fixed that, so you can see a bit of waviness.
This was definitely a much more challenging pattern than the Vanlose top. I think I spent a good evening on the slant pockets and at least half a day on the welt pockets.
I actually ended up unpicking and redoing the pockets because I had used a fabric remnant for the pocket lining and it was off grain and distorting the front. The pockets also have a pocket stay, which is always a nice touch.
I did five or six practice runs for the welt pocket because this is the kind of step that you just can’t go back and fix later, once you cut out the opening. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s fairly reasonable in the fabric at hand and I’m quite confident I can get it to work better next time. I’m still not sure I followed the instructions correctly, but I wanted a faux pocket, so that’s what I ended up with. I really don’t like bulk in that area of my anatomy.
The fly also gave me some trouble, as I never have been one to get the curve right at the topstitching phase. Especially because of the downward stretching situation, plus the pocket stay, I had additional trouble getting everything to sew together at the same time (even with the walking foot on). In the end, I just ended up sewing from the wrong side, as the shield was interfaced and gave me much less hassle. I should have definitely interfaced the wrong side of that area, but unfortunately that only occurred to me when it was too late.
In terms of finishing, I overlocked all the long seams and the pocket edges, but I took my time to bind the edge of the waistband with bias binding. I didn’t have matching pink lining or zippers in my stash, so I ended up using white bias binding too, to make it a feature, not a bug!
HOW TO DO FASHION MADRID TROUSERS – VERDICT
I clearly really really wanted a pair of pink high waisted trouser very badly, seeing that I persevered so much to get these trousers finished in this annoying fabric.
This was quite an intense project and I learned loads, so I’m definitely not sorry for taking it on. I have to say that I definitely enjoyed the challenge. I just hope that I will get a lot of wear out of them and the small mistakes will not annoy me too much to reach for them. I think the possibilities of styling are really endless.
Speaking of, for this shoot, I really wanted to showcase the trousers themselves, so I styled them with a simple black t-shirt and my newly made trainers. Yes, made them myself in a workshop I recently attended at Guthrie and Ghanie in Birmingham. But I can’t wait to show you even more options in the near future.
HOW TO DO FASHION MADRID TROUSERS – REVIEW RECAP
Pattern: How to Do Fashion Madrid Trousers, size 38, paper pattern version
Fabric: heavyweight 4 way stretch polyester crepe, from Goldhawk Road, I used 2m (£12/m); 1/4m lining from the stash
Alterations: Removed 2 cm from each front pleat; removed 1 cm from front crotch length.
Notions: trouser bar and hook, interfacing; 22cm zipper
Next time: make the crotch alterations on the paper pattern; add a bit of length to the hem to turn the cuff up.
TELL ME STORIES OF YOUR TROUSER MAKING! WHAT ARE YOU MOST AFRAID OF? FIT? FRONT FLY? WELT POCKETS? CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR IN COMMENTS.
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