The bed in the spare room where we are now sleeping was home to quite a few piles of fabric. In fact there was enough fabric on the bed for me to be too embarrassed to take a photograph of it. In order for us to be able to sleep in the bed I had to tidy the fabric away into plastic storage containers - six 60 litre containers to be exact. Oops.
Back to the trousers I thought when I made the white ones that they fit really well apart from a twist in the leg where I had ignored keeping them on grain when I narrowed the leg. So I made minimal changes to the pattern for the Silver Stripe version but did take note of the fabric grain, at least to begin with.
The finished garmentI really like these pants, the fabric I used is just great for this pattern. Pity it is a hundred years old or I would buy some more to make an improved version of these trousers.
The fabricThis fabric was bought in the early 2000s to make a straight skirt. I had purchased a ready-made Lisa Law skirt with an elastic waist at great expense so when I saw similar fabric in Fabric Vision I bought it in three different designs. Two were made into skirts. The third piece was put away just sitting there waiting to be used for a pair of Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo pants, long after its sister skirts had departed the wardrobe.
The Flat Bottom Flo pant is described by Style Arc as "Every butt has a different shape! This stretch pull on pant is for those with a flatter bottom. The back side seam comes to the front giving this slightly narrow legged pant a slimming look and the back yoke adds to this flattering shape."
The pattern alterationsBased on the first version of these pants I altered the pattern (not the half sewn garment) for a more narrow legged shape. As the back pattern piece is so much larger than the front (the back wraps around to the front at the outside seam) I narrowed the back pattern piece more than the front. I needed to remove 4 inches at the hem to get the same leg width as my favourite skinny trousers. To achieve this I took 1.5 inches from each side on the back piece and 0.5 inch from each side of the front piece as you can see in the photographs below. This kept both the front and back leg pattern pieces on grain. I also raised the markings for the back pocket 1.5 inches on the back pattern piece and that seems to have done the trick. The pockets are in a much better position now.
These were the only alterations I made to the pattern before sewing my silver stripe version - worn with the red booties in the photographs above.
When I tried the silver stripe pants on there was a large amount of fabric underneath my bottom, which I didn't notice in my white pants. By taking a two inch wide dart at the outside seam at the top of the thigh tapering to nothing in the inseam I could remove the extra fabric. I will make this alteration to the pattern for the next time I make them but I thought there was nothing I could do with the silver stripe version. Then I had a eureka moment. Fehr Trade had made a pair of jeans suitable for cycling by putting darts in the front leg at the inside and outside seam. What if I just made a large dart at the knee - that would remove the extra fabric and they might still be wearable. So that is what I did.
I drew a horizontal line at the knee, measured one inch above it at the outside seam tapering to nothing at the inside seam as in the photograph below. I then folded the bottom of the leg into the top part at the horizontal line and sewed the large dart around the back and front pant leg. Once pressed I top stitched the dart in place using a black thread. You can't really see the dart in my finished trousers, even with the stripes not matching up.
In the finished garment pictures the ones with the red booties have the narrowed legs and the ones with the yellow shoes include the knee dart. I think the wrinkles behind my knee in the yellow shoe photographs are because the dart moved the fabric off grain again. To be honest in the photographs (lightened to show more detail) there seem to be as many wrinkles in the knee dart version as the original silver stripe version.
The sewingThe sewing was very straight forward and the minimalist Style Arc instructions were not needed. The seams are overlocked. The back pocket is made and then top stitched to the pants. The cotton used for the front pockets stops the stretch fabric from distorting too much to accommodate an expanding tummy.
From the Sweet Bubble knit fabric I made a long 1.5 inch wide strip to use as a binding to cover the raw edge of the waistband. The elastic and garment were marked in quarters, matching these quarter marks the elastic was put in the waistband then the waistband folded down, and stitched in the ditch from the right side.
Outfit of the day 1
In their original incarnation Flat Bottom Flo Silver Stripe pants worn with Silhouette Patterns #312 Giorgio's Top and United Nude Zen Mid in Merlot booties.
Outfit of the day 2
So after I had made the dart in the pants at the knee they were worn with a David Pond Oasis spotty tee and Kate Spade Go Taxi flats.
The photographer was trying to get me to relax and here is the resulting out-take. Apparently I was bowing deeply - obviously in homage to the photographer.