Saguaro Set Trousers / Pants
I had been admiring the Saguaro Set by the Friday Pattern Company ever since its launch earlier this year, but I had one nagging doubt - was I too old to show a bit of midriff? I scoured the Saguaro Set hashtag on Instagram and every single one of the hundreds of posters looked amazing in it, and so here we are :)
I made these in the run up to a holiday, starting with the trousers as I thought I’d get more wear out of these. This was the first pair of trousers I tried fitting, having only made a pair of pyjama bottoms before without any modifications. I was pretty sure I could easily get away without any fitting since they were loose-fitting with an elasticated waist, but in anticipation I’d watched the Craftsy course called Easy Fitting the Palmer/Pletsch Way: Pants, and wanted to make use of the information I’d learned.
It was a great course that went through a few examples of the whole fitting process, and by the end it didn’t feel quite as daunting as I’d imagined.
Read my separate blog post Fitting the Saguaro Set trousers / pants to see how I used their tissue-fitting method which worked really well for me, my sizing and adjustments made, plus the mistake I made when cutting the pockets after fitting.
I used Merchant & Mills linen from their 185 range in Calamine. They describe it as pale pinky grey with a slight lilac tone. I have a fair amount of grey in my wardrobe and it’s a really pretty pink without being too pink, so this suited me perfectly.
I generally don’t follow the recommended washing/drying advice for fabrics, as I tend to put everything through at 40 degrees and into the tumble dryer. If I need special settings or effort for an item of clothing, I know I just won’t wear it (or wash it!). It survived just fine and I used a tip I picked up on the Patternreview.com forums for overlocking the two raw ends together before washing to help prevent it rolling up into a big ball.
The waistband drawstring requires two buttonholes. Before attempting the real thing, I tried some practice buttonholes on some scrap fabric. I must have tried about 15 times but something was up with my machine or the foot and it wasn't happening. I was on a roll and desperate to continue. I considered eyelets but I only had one in my stash (!) so I decided to go it alone with a zig zag stitch. Turns out I really liked the amount of control this gave and so will probably do this now in future instead of the automatic setting. Here's what I did to make it neat in a step-by-step post which includes a short video tutorial.
Gathering the waistband
The instructions advise you to leave a 5cm opening in the waistband for you to insert the elastic. The elastic itself is 5cm and so pretty stiff, and I found I was stretching the opening in order to insert it. If sewing this again, I would leave a longer opening to avoid stretching the fabric here.
I wanted to make sure that the gathers were even all the way round. The instructions recommend stretching the waistband several times and then pinning it before sewing the casing to the elastic.
After stretching the waistband, I placed one pin and then stretched the waistband again to ensure it didn’t look like it had pulled on the waistband fabric. I did this with each successive pin.
If it did look like the waistband fabric was being pulled as in the photo above, I repositioned the pin and checked again. The photo below shows much less pulling after repositioning the pin and so I would then add another pin and repeat.
This technique works if you’re sewing this alone. If you have a willing helper, they can hold the elastic stretched while you pin it, or clamp / stretch it between two points. It is similar to the technique in this short Instragram reel from Jen Hogg, but this would work best on lighter elastic.
Having added 3cm to the length (I explain my 2 reasons for this in my fitting post), I hemmed it up by 2.5cm. The instructions suggest folding it up twice but I wanted to avoid bulk so I overlocked the edge and handstitched with catchstitch for an invisible look.
Things I'd change next time
I would reinforce the pocket openings with interfacing as these will likely stretch out over time, as they get used A LOT! This was described in the Love At First Stitch book which I learnt to sew from, but just forgot.
I would put a double layer of stitching in the crotch area to reinforce this. Again, something I'd been recommended in a pyjama bottoms workshop but just forgot.
This was a great project to introduce me to fitting and sewing trousers. They are so comfy to wear and the pockets are of course fab. There’s a good chance I’ll make another pair in a darker colour, and I’m looking forward to making the matching top.
Here are photos of all the angles. The wind caught the trousers in the photo of the back so they look wider than otherwise. In these photos, I have paired it with a simple t-shirt.
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