Summer Trousers: Final

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Sunday, 10 August, 2014

The summer trousers are finished! After I put everything together, I had my friend try it on. It's important to have a first fitting like this, because even if you are really exact  in your measurements you can still have different results with different fabrics and you'll often need to make more adjustments. This one was no exception! The pant legs were too wide and had to be taken in a bit. But now it looks great! I'm really happy with the final result and luckily so was she :) She even offered to bake me some cookies for Christmas and I'm stoked because her cookies are amazing! Can't wait for Christmas :D
Scroll down to see how it all came together. 

So, in part 2 I took a break after I forgot to mirror the pocket on one of the pant legs (again :S) I quickly learned that checking (and double checking!) to see if I mirrored things correctly is absolutely essential when making pants.
Here are the steps we already did earlier:
    First making and cutting out all the parts of the pattern
1. Then to start putting our pants together we do the front panels first.
1A. Start with the darts.
1B. In our case the front panel was split into two parts, so we sewed these together next.
2. Now come the pockets (see this as part of the front panel)
You can find details on these steps in part 2.

I undid my pocket after my mistake and now sewed it on correctly. That's good sides of the fabric on top of each other, so that when you turn the pocket over the seam disappears on the inside. (note to self, note to self!) Then ironed it flat and repinned it. I like to leave the pins in the pockets so they stay put while I'm finishing the rest of the pants. It's very easy to take along other parts of your garment in your stitching by accident, especially with thin fabric like this. So pin it down so it doesn't move around and keeps nice and flat. Both panels look like this  now. 
Now that the front panels are finished, the next step is 
3. Making the pant legs. 

Make sure to sew everything relative to the crotch. I measured the distance from the crotch on both the back and front panels (20 cm). 

And sewed them together along the inside and outside seam. Do this for both legs.

4. Sewing the two legs together.
Turn one of the legs inside out. Put one leg inside the other one (good sides facing the inside!) and sew them together along the crotch. I like to hand stitch this first to make sure it's right. My Burda recommended that you double stitch the crotch for extra strength, sounds good to me!

Finally it's starting to look like pants :D The crotch and the sides are finished, the only thing left is the waist and the bottom seam.

5. First the front waist band.
Remember this piece that we cut earlier? At first I thought one piece would be enough, but I decided to cut it twice for some extra strength. I sewed them together and ironed 1 cm along the edges to help me with the seam in the next step. 

I hand stitched it first. Looks good! Except..

See that part in the middle? It's a bit asymmetrical. This is where my attention for detail takes over (or should I say obsession? ;)) 

I just HAVE to fix things like this, lol. So I undid it and skewed the two sides just a little bit to make it more symmetric. Call it what you will, in the end I think that it's details like this that can really elevate a product. So it's totally worth taking those few extra minutes to me!

Beautiful :)

6. Attaching the elastic band to the back.
I used a wide elastic band ~2.5 cm. The width of the back panel is 50 cm. Always cut your elastic shorter, because you want it to be tight when you're wearing the pants. How much shorter depends on how stretchy your elastic is. I'd say between 30-40 cm for moderate stretchy band. 

I purposely cut the top of the back panels a bit longer than they should be. I don't know why but despite meticulous measuring, I still lose pieces of fabric sometimes and don't have enough for my seams. So I cut it a bit roomy this time. I checked where my elastic band should go to line up with the front band. Add ~ 4 cm to create a tunnel for your elastic band and cut off the excess. 

To make the tunnel simply overlap the fabric and sew it like you would a seam. Make the tunnel just a but wider than the elastic and then use a safety pin to funnel the elastic through. I do this, because I want to keep the maximum stretchiness of the band. Once you sew through it, it becomes tight and won't stretch anymore. So only sew the elastic into the side seam of the pants. 

The bottom seam is usually very easy. But again I lost a few cm of my fabric (??) But no worries! It's a bit more work, but we can easily repair this. The length of my legs should be 68 cm, but now it's closer to 64 for some reason. I cut two strips of fabric of 10 cm wide and then made a mock seam on one end. This is just so the final seam on the leg is continuous, otherwise it looks a bit weird. Then cut the bottom of the leg straight and sew the strip onto it. Make sure to mirror it! (I didn't get this right the first time again, boo!)
So, reverse the (mock) seams of the strips, so that when you flip it over the create the final seam, it will end up right side out. Pfew, got it. This technique will give you a few more cm to play with.
At this time it's a good idea to try on the trousers to see where exactly to make the seam. Depending on the fit, it will sit a bit lower or higher on the hips. I had my friend try it on before I did this final step. 

Oh, and remember this mysterious extra piece above the pockets? Just as I suspected: it's purely decorative :)

And here's again the final piece! It was a lot of work, but also an amazing learning experience. Totally not bad for my first attempt at trousers, even if I say so myself :P I'm actually really happy and it turned out even better than I expected :)
Finally I did have to make some final adjustments after my friend tried it on. I will post this as a simple mod 'How to take in pant legs' soon!

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