Posted in Sewing

Completed: Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

There is this common belief amongst sewing people, especially those new to sewing, that trousers are difficult to make.

Where this has come from, I have no idea. Let’s get one thing clear here – trousers are easy!

One of the first sewing patterns people try their hand at – and one I always get my GCSE textiles class to start with – is pyjama bottoms.  A pair of trousers is really not that much different.


That being said, I rarely make trousers. Not because they are difficult to make but, jeans aside, I just don’t really like wearing them. I tend to wear dresses and skirts which err on the side of vintage throughout the week and jeans or (forgive me, fashion police) jeggings on the weekend.

But I have had this Sew Over It Ultimate Trouser Pattern in my collection for ages now. Years. So I put it on my #2017makenine list to encourage me to make it.


I decided to make a toile for this pattern. Like I said, trousers are not particularly difficult, but you will probably need to do a few tweaks to get the perfect fit. And let’s face it, a saggy bum is never a good look.

For my toile I cut a UK size 12, my usual size in Sew Over It patterns, and this resulted in a pretty good fit on my hips and legs. I have quite chunky thighs though, so if you have slim legs you might find that you need to grade the leg seams in a little. The size 12 waist was much too big for me though and I ended up taking a good two inches off the side seams and a further half inch off the centre front and centre back seams.


To make these adjustments I tried the trousers on, inside out, and simply used pins and a pen to mark out the excess fabric. I then transferred the adjustments to my paper pattern pieces.

Onto the actual garment…

As well as not being much of a trouser wearer, I’m also really not at all keen on prints on trousers, so I went with a basic black cotton with a bit of a stretch for my trousers.


But then, the more the more I thought about it, I just could not see myself ever wearing a pair of plain black trousers.  My boyfriend even suggested, quite rightly, that I was just making them for the sake of it. They’re just not my style at all. So I decided to hack the pattern a little to create more of a cropped 1950’s capri pant style with little side vents at the bottom of the legs.

And just look how cute they are!


The fit is just perfect – seriously my bum has never looked so good in a pair of ready to wear trousers – and I love that they now have a bit of a vintage touch to them. This is much more my style.


I have not worn them yet but I will do, just as soon as it gets warm enough for me to flash some ankle. I can see these becoming a favourite in my spring/summer work day wardrobe.


And if you’re reading this and you are one of those who has always been too scared to tackle trousers, just do it, they honestly are a lot easier than you think.

Posted in Sewing

Completed: Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress

I was back at work this week and finding it a bit of a struggle getting out bed while it is still dark outside. But, early mornings aside, I’ve spent much of the week sewing and drawing. Not that different to my holidays really except this week I have been sewing with children  in a classroom instead of in my living room with kittens!

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I decided to kick off my 2017 sewing with a nice easy project and one that I have been meaning to make for a long time now – Sew Over It’s Ultimate Shift Dress – made from a fab geometric print cotton from Minerva Crafts.

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I have sewn a couple of Sew Over It patterns before – the Ultimate Wrap Dress and the Ultimate Pencil Skirt – and I am a bit of a sucker for their retro packaging. The instructions are always really clear and it doesn’t hurt that I seem to fit their measurements perfectly,  so there are hardly any alterations to make.

The Ultimate Shift Dress is marketed as a beginner friendly pattern and it really is. Apart from maybe a Tilly & the Buttons Coco, I don’t think I have ever made an easier dress.

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There are a few style variations within the pattern, including different sleeve lengths and the option of turning it into a top. I went for the standard dress length, with short sleeves. Once again I found that this SOI pattern suits my measurements almost straight from the packet. The only alterations I made were to raise the bust darts by 2cm and to add an extra cm to the width of the sleeve to accommodate my chunky upper arms.

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It could not be easier to put together.

It is basically a front piece with bust darts and two back pieces, sewn together with a centre back seam. Plus set in sleeves and facings. There are no zips in the dress, but instead a hook and eye closure and cute little key hole opening.  I actually love this type of fastening. If you can pull your eyes away from my weird hairline,  it looks really elegant, no?

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I have quite a curvy figure and, being a medium weight fabric, the dress hangs off my boobs rather than skims my curves. So for me I think it looks a lot more flattering if I wear it belted. But for someone with less boobage I think it is such a great sixties shape when worn without a belt.

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This dress took about two hours to make – that’s including overlocking all of the pattern pieces and hand sewing the hem. A quick and easy make to start off the new year and the first of my #2017makenine projects completed!

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