I was lucky enough to be able to choose a Fibremood pattern for their Linkparty and after much fiddling around, I decided to choose the Clover cargo trousers. I rarely choose any sort of trousers as I have to make so many changes and these were no different. This is no reflection on the pattern, but on my strange body shape.
First though, the pattern!
There was so much about these that I loved. The pockets – nine in total, the topstitching, and that utility look.
I wanted to make a pair from some Merchant and Mills denim oilcloth that cost me quite a bit, so knew that my future included a toile or two. I got out my trouser block and laid it over the two main pattern pieces. This is what I saw:
Based on my waist measurement I chose size 38, but was planning to grade to 36 in the hips, but in the end I let the block dictate the measurement which was way inside the 36 line in places.
I felt a bit anxious about taking so much off, so instead of cutting the pattern I folded it in for the first toile.
I chose a firm home dec fabric for the toile. This was some thrifted heavy cotton from a Hawaiian designer. Strangely, I really like them!
The fit across the back is pretty good, but I noted that the fly is off centre, and they are too short. There is no hem on these.
I modified the fly by adding in a tiny piece and changing the position of the centre front. I also added 5cms to the length.
Then I did a wearable toile from more heavy cotton home dec fabric that I’ve had in my stash for more years then I care to think. It has an almost corduroy look with wales woven in horizontally. I didn’t want the ridges going across my body so I cut the whole thing on the crossgrain.
I’ve worn these out and about a couple of times already. I think they are growing slightly due to being cut on the crossgrain, but they are really comfortable. The altered fly worked perfectly and it is exactly in the centre now. I used a homemade sheoak button that I varnished. Not sure I like the look as much as the oiled. Things to note about these. Although I lengthened them I feel as though they need another 2.5cms as these still have no hem. I had used the selvedge for the bottoms so didn’t feel the need and the length seems fine. I’m wearing them with my Fibremood Vera for symmetry!
As mentioned, there are a lot of pockets and I topstitched everything but my thread is such a perfect match that you can’t even tell. There are benefits to this of course 😉
The pattern includes a hammer loop, so of course I had to add a hammer! This is not comfortable, it hit my legs every time I walked, it looks silly, and then there was the scoffing I had to endure from Archie…
After some minor procrastination I was ready to cut the denim oilcloth and added another 2.5cm to the length, although I think I could have added more. Of course oilcloth can’t be ironed and this is something like my thought process around this:
“yippee, I don’t even have to turn the iron on”
“oh, I’d love to just give those darts a quick press”
“it’s so fast when you just finger press”
“I need to press those pockets”
“please let me press those pockets!”
“I really, really, want to press these, sob!!”
I will never take my pressing for granted again!
Anyway, they got made, but not without difficulty. When I made the blue ones I did no unpicking, the pattern instructions are excellent and I just followed the bouncing ball. Of course, the path of “the real thing” did not run as smoothly! I used clover clips to hold things together until I got to the back pockets. The only way I could hold them in place was with sticky tape – a lot of sticky tape! Which fell off during sewing (remember, the cloth is oiled) and the bit that didn’t fall off had to be picked out from under the stitches.
I got them on, with some difficulty. I won’t say that I didn’t have to unpick, but I think I got away with it.
I used grey topstitching thread, rather than the more traditional orange. I really like it. The “misplaced cowboy” label was taken off some rejected article of clothing of Archie’s and I couldn’t resist it. The button was from my stash and also pleases me. I didn’t sew in the hammer loop. I can imagine getting myself tangled up on door handles, and also I can feel it when I sit down and these are for travel so need to be comfortable.
In action, worn with my new wool Stokx Patterns Skater top.
I don’t think I could have got the fit of these any better, especially if I wanted to sit down. The oilcloth has basically no give, so I knew I would have to tolerate a few wrinkles.
The reason I wanted these was to wear when it’s raining. I’ve got waterproof overpants but find them cumbersome and I never have them when I need them. The idea with these is that I wear them as regular trousers when rain is forecast and I should be ok. I’m thinking of the day I got absolutely drowned on the Manhattan Bridge – I’ve never been as wet in my life, including when I swim. So… the big question became, will they be waterproof? showerproof? useless? I decided to ask Mark to sprinkle me with the hose to test them. I should have known from the glint in his eye that it was not going to end well! I was expecting a light spray, this is what I got!
I was squelching around in my shoes, but how did the pants hold up? I thought I had wet legs, but in the end they were just cold – that water is out of the dam and it’s freezing! You can see where the water has hit and the bottoms are saturated on the outside.
but the inside shows how well they did – perfectly dry.
I will wear these with waterproof walking shoes and my raincoat and Vera hat and I should be good for whatever the weather throws at me – as long as it isn’t a hose!
Just to make sure that all those seams are watertight, I used a wax dressing on them, and then used the hairdryer to finish them off. This is supposed to give a “factory finish”! Sorry about the poor quality photo, the sun was in just the wrong spot!
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, these are a new pattern and were made for Fibremood Link Party #23. Go and check out the other creations, there are some beauties.
Ok, you’ve arrived at the end, and here is a little video of our girl for your amusement. The gorilla in Mark’s mouth is Germaine from Edward’s Menagerie.