I have to say at the outset that the prospect of knitting trousers filled me with a certain ’70s nostalgia, as well as dread, but I really wanted to experiment with cut-and-sew, and trousers seemed to be a good choice.
I let the natural roll of the knitting finish off the trouser cuffs, but might do a finished hem on the next pair.
In terms of construction, the fabric was machine knitted. I simply did a tension gauge and worked out how long and how wide to make each leg, and then knitted four of them. Once I got going, each leg took about 30 minutes to knit, and Megan from meggipeg knitted one of the legs whilst I knitted her a waistband for her skirt. Seemed like a fair trade. The idea for the trousers came from Sarah at Workspace-FADS, who managed to magic up a pair from thin air for me to try on and then we reverse engineered a pattern from them. The fit is so good that I am going to make some from cotton/lycra to wear for exercising.
Soo, once the legs were knitted, I laid the pattern on them, being careful to have two pairs of legs, cut them out and whipped them up on the overlocker. There seems to be a bit of consternation about cutting knitted fabric, but once it’s been steamed and blocked it tends not to unravel as it felts slightly. Mind you, I was pretty quick with the overlocking :). It is worth mentioning that I could have fully fashioned these trousers, which means making all the increases and decreases on the knitting machine. I considered this, but only briefly. There is a lot more working out to be done and I really like the idea of cutting a pattern from fabric I’ve knitted myself, and the bonus is that it’s much quicker. I did have some trouble putting the fabric scraps in the bin, but I got there in the end!
As I’m going to make a pair of these trousers for my One Year One Outfit challenge, I need a way to hold them up without the aid of zips or other manufactured fastenings. To experiment I knitted a ribbed band and sewed it round the top of the trousers. This successfully held them up all day, even as I dashed about avoiding the rain.
I wore these trousers all day to see what the issues might be. Would they go baggy at the knee? Would they “seat”? Would they grow? Well, the answer is no to the first two questions, but they did grow a smidgen, so I will make the next pair shorter.
I also had no idea what to wear with these trousers, so put them on with what I was already wearing, which wasn’t ideal. I will find myself a long tunic for the next time I wear them, and I will wear them again as they were remarkably comfortable and the itch factor was surprisingly absent, given that I’m not convinced that it’s merino.
It is a shame that I couldn’t use these trousers for my One Year One Outfit challenge, but the wool came from the now defunct Yarra Falls Mill in Victoria, so it wasn’t eligible. No matter, I am treating these as my toile, and I whipped them up on the overlocker instead of hand stitching every bit, so there is an upside.
Just on the Yarra Falls Mill, it was in Abbotsford, Victoria and only closed in 1998. It also processed cotton and silk and was a major employer in the area. It does make me sad to see our industries close down and I am so glad to have a few cones of wool from this mill.
The details: Trousers are copied from some RTW knitted trousers, and the fabric is machine knitted and then constructed with the “cut and sew” method.
I have teamed them with my blue Nettie and a hand knitted Endless Knitted Cardi Shawl by Stitch Diva, which can be worn in a number of ways, two of which are demonstrated here.
As I seemed to be having a ’70s moment, I thought it would be fun to team the trousers with my sheepskin jacket, which is also from the ’70s.
21 thoughts on “Knitting trousers,”
I am very impressed- knitting your own fabric! The trousers look really good, and I particularly like the relaxed roll at the hem. They look a very good fit so I can see how they would convert for exercise. I like the jumper too – I may look out that pattern for this winter.
Thank you, the cardi is an excellent pattern – I’ve made two of them. Glad you like my trousers!
I will definitely invest. It will keep me warm while I knit it too!
You always surprise me with your makes. You must have a great imagination. Your knitted trousers look really good.
These trousers are incredible! But God, you have to have a perfect silhouette to sport them, which you have! And I second Jean Margaret: your imagination is amazing!
Haha Hélène, but my silhouette is far from perfect, I try to work the camera angles 🙂
I love this idea! So glad the knitting machine is working some magic for you. Oh, and hooray for 70s moments!
So creative, loving the 70s vibe!
Thanks Barbara, and I just saw bell bottoms in a shop – too short though, don’t they know that they have to touch the floor?
Unbelievable! Wow! I have said many times. I can’t knit! I am very impressed with your work. I like the rolled hem.
Thanks Linda. These were knitted on a knitting machine. I enjoy hand knitting, but these would take too long by hand!
I have never used a knitting machine either! Totally clueless! And you educate me everyday!
You should have made these a couple of weeks ago and joined Archie at the Woodstock party! Actually, I think they look very contemporary and cool. I love the rolled cuffs. Great also that they didn’t go baggy with wear.
Now I have to make the “real” ones!
slow golf clap- thats impressive!!
These are amazing and good to hear that cutting the knitted fabric worked so well.
I really like the look of pants with red coat. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks Patrice, I’m just constructing another pair, fingers crossed they work as well as this pair!