This week has been a welcome distraction from the current reality or our world. I’ve been digging into the wonderful new book, Sewing Basics for Every Body from the always wonderful Wendy Ward. A collection of patterns for core basics, designed and drafted so brilliantly, that they look great on any gender. Hence the “Every Body” (as opposed to “everybody”) title. Clever huh?
The blog tour started a couple of weeks ago and is being organised by Cico Books with fabrics provided by George and the team at Fabworks. So far it’s featured Mercedes, Fiona, and Zoe, So be sure to check them out! Next up is me; and then after that you have the delights of Ben and Elisalex to come.
The book comes with 3 double sided pattern sheets with the pieces for each pattern marked out in their own colour. So first stage of realising any of these patterns is tracing them off. No pretence here. I hate tracing patterns! BUT I loved Wendy’s designs. They are right up my strata. Relaxed, loose fitting styles with an androgynous feel. I particularly love men’s tailoring on the female form. Generally the pieces are really easy to make out through Swedish Tracing Paper; even thought it’s a bit of a visual overwhelm when you first clap eyes on it! I opted for the Harper Classic pants though, and THOSE pattern pieces are marked out in a pale grey which was a taddly tricky! But other patterns on the sheet would be pretty easy to make out.
I opted for a gorgeous soft caramel twill from Fabworks. Rather spookily the same one Fiona chose for her wonderful boiler suit. If we ever meet up after the pandemic has passed we could have a matchy matchy coffee date drinking caramel lattes and eating caramel shortbread…
The Harper Classic pants, designed for woven fabrics; are a relaxed fit, pleat front trouser with cut away pockets, fly front fastening and a cinching tab at the back waist. There is a variation for a knit version with drawstring/elasticated waist and a number of variations inbetween if you allow your imagination and creativity to have a play. Which naturally I did because I can never leave a pattern well alone and am compelled to hack everything, lol!
Essentially I squared off the front and back legs as pictured above, and blended with the side seams and inseams to create more of a wide leg culotte shaped trouser. Length wise these are 41cm from the knee line on the pattern piece to the hem. (Including a 1.5cm hem allowance).
I didn’t want to cut my pocket bags from the twill so I used an old shirt that Elliott has outgrown.
However, because they are cutaway pockets I employed a little trick on the underpocket that I’ve picked up from RTW men’s tailoring. (See above). The twill “add on” is a little bit bigger than the part that will be visible behind the cutaway pocket curve. So as far as anyone will be able to see when wearing, it will appear as if my pockets are the same fabric as my trousers. But inside is a gingham check party!
The pattern calls for a couple of d rings for the waist cinching tab at the back. I only had super huge D rings so I adapted and used a waistcoat slider/buckle I had in my stash.
This required a slightly narrower strap than the pattern…..
I’m really pleased with the way the style of the buckle combines with the colour and the fabric to give the whole thing a slight 1940’s military vibe…this detail reminds me of my Dad’s RAF uniform when I was a child.
I went for the same contrasting fabric for my fly shield, as for the pocket bags, a white brass metal zip and a scrap of twill tape as a hanging loop. (I have taken to hanging my trousers on door hooks between wears because I is lazy like dat!) Everything apart from the fabric I made a point of only using what was in my stash because….pandemic.
Genuinely love these trousers AND this fabric. (Even though my resting bitch face would never betray that, lol!) If you haven’t checked this book out yet and, like me, you are a fan of these kinds of relaxed androgynous basics, I thoroughly recommend checking it out. Wendy’s drafting and instructions are meticulous and you’ll be in excellent hands.