Fabric Tragic Vs Trousers, Round 1 - Colette Clover

In which I show many unflattering photographs of my bottom and abdomen.....

All in the name of learning of course!

First up in my mega trouser initiative of Autumn 2013 I am attempting the Colette Clover pattern - a slim fitting straight leg trouser, very easy to construct, with a side zipper.

From Colette Patterns

This pattern should be made with a woven fabric that has a little stretch in it, apparently about 3%. I can tell you its not easy finding an inexpensive fabric where that 3% is actually stated (most just say cotton-spandex or cotton-lycra) - I ended up finding a stretch gaberdine in a very sexy golf pant check - I was thinking if the muslin was actually wearable I could wear them in a cute 50's style or maybe with brogues for that 'ironically ugly' hipster look (because one look at me just screams hipster, doesn't it?). I actually took time to match the checks up and all.

It does seem the last week or so I have been doing nothing but sewing and blogging - smashing out hit after hit, but in actual fact a few weeks ago we went away for the weekend to my in-laws beach house in Torquay and I took several patterns to trace off and cut out - my grey Renfrew, my Charlotte skirt and these Clover trousers amongst them. So it's been very easy to just whip out a project when one has anally retentively traced, cut, marked and packed up fabric with pattern into little bags ready to go! Its actually a great way to get some sewing done when one has no access to a machine.....and I don't know which is my least favourite sewing task - cutting out or hemming....

Yesterday was my day off, and despite not quite finishing my Charlotte skirt I was determined to start these golf Clover's and try to nut out any fitting issues. I had hoped that because the Iris shorts fit me so well straight out of the envelope that I wouldn't have too many problems with fitting these trousers, and my theory worked out reasonably well. I hope.

My Iris shorts (similar style but more generous cut) were an 8, and the only slight niggle I have with them is they are just a tiny bit snug in the crotch at the front. Just a smidge - enough to notice, not enough to be a big deal or cause mumble pants*. Based on my measurements I cut an 8 in the Clovers, made up as directed without the pockets, and had a squizz before inserting the zip:

Too tight over hips and bum. But otherwise not bad. Definitely too tight and causing distortion of the checks esp over my bum. Not too much bad news in the crotch department. So before adding the zip I let out the side seams from 5/8 of an inch each side to about 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch each side extra room in total if one counts the front and back. I didn't do anything with the inner leg seam or crotch seams at this point, mostly because I didn't think to! 

Not so much straining over the bum, but now some horizontal drag lines at the crotch area.... But at this point quite comfortable and not completely hideous! I was allowing myself to feel hopeful that these might actually be a wearable muslin, so I went ahead and finished them, evening finishing the waistband facing in a funky bright orange bias just to be snazzy. Then a frustrating development after I had finished the waistband off and was preparing to hem - too tight in the crotch! Mumble pants! Noooooooo!

I mucked around with the crotch seam, thinking if I decreased the seam allowance I'd get a little extra room down there and be a bit more comfortable, and it did help a bit, but I just think I need to go up a size all over - according to some of the fitting advice on the Colette website horizontal lines at the crotch mean the side seams are too tight - so I figure if I went up a size I'd have more room at the side seams, more room in the crotch length etc etc, plus I think I need to add a little extra length for hemming. After sitting around in the pants for half an hour to Google trouser fitting they just are not great down there**. I have to say I am a little disappointed that my golf pants wont see the light of day BUT I am very hopeful that going up to a size 10 will produce me some awesome mumble-free pants! 

Round 1 results - Fabric Tragic is in the lead!

*mumble pants - phrase coined by my friend Christine as an alternative description to camel toe. I'm leaving it at that.


  1. This blog has been a revelation to me and although I am quite senior to you and with a much larger body shape, I had exactly the same crotch problem. I know when using Burda pant patterns to add extra to the front crotch seam and possibly with the Colette pattern a little to the back crotch as well. Otherwise I too liked these pants. I am yet to give them another go but will shortly.

    1. Hi Marjorie! Thanks for your comment! Yes pants can be so hard! I'm in the midst of version 2 of my Clovers so stay tuned!


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