Sunday, 25 February 2018

Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers

In New Zealand we have a holiday to celebrate Waitangi Day on 6 February so we took an extra long weekend over to Westport on the West Coast of the South Island.

On 1 February Westport was hit by ex-cyclone Fehi which coincided with a king tide.  The warmer than normal weather raised sea level by about a metre. It affected much of the west coast washing away parts of the main highway that runs along the coast. In Westport itself 32 homes were assessed as uninhabitable (or red stickered) another 21 homes were yellow stickered (they are damaged but habitable).  For a population of 3,900 this is a lot of damage. As if that wasn't enough they were battered again this week by ex-cyclone Gita with winds up to 118km/hour which removed house roofs.

Over the last couple of years Westport has suffered a number of set-backs with the down-sizing of many of the coal mines and the closure of the Holcim cement plant in 2016. They do farm a lot of dairy cows which provides some economic support to the region, as well as tourism.

We love Westport and visit their regularly. It is surrounded by native rainforest and the Southern alps.  Sometimes we make a day trip from Christchurch (four-hour drive each way) to have dinner at The Bay House in Tauranga Bay at the other end of the beach from the Cape Foulwind seal colony.

The outfit

Here I am posing by the railway in Westport in a mixture of me-made and RTW.  The Megan Nielsen Flint trousers in a Liberty print with an Untouched World merino knit singlet and Lofty merino cardigan both in colourway scuba. Worn with my Eos Metro white shoes, which are more than 10-years old and newly discovered from the back reaches of the wardrobe.

The railway is unused but was a good venue for pictures, especially given the theme of my shoes.

Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers

Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers
Cement carrying carriages from a bygone era

Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers
Eos Metro shoes

Westport and the West Coast

I felt a bit ghoulish taking photos of the storm damage, knowing how I felt about the "disaster tourists" who came to Christchurch to experience the earthquake, so these pictures focus on the wild beauty of the West Coast.


Creates Sew Slow: Westport

Creates Sew Slow: Westport
Unit 13 at our motel

Creates Sew Slow: Tauranga Bay
Tauranga Bay from the Seal Colony


Creates Sew Slow: Tauranga Bay
Sculpture of Tauranga Bay's main attraction

Creates Sew Slow: Tauranga Bay
Bay House Cafe, Tauranga Bay

Creates Sew Slow: Carter's Beach
Evidence of the storm at Carter's Beach


Creates Sew Slow: Granity
Granity Community Library

Creates Sew Slow: Waimangaroa
Woodcarver's studio at Waimangaroa

Creates Sew Slow: Waimangaroa
And the carvings

Creates Sew Slow: Waimangaroa
And more carvings
Denniston plateau was home to one of the richest, high quality coal seams in New Zealand. From October 1879 to August 1967 it was the country's largest producing coal mine, with an estimated 13 million tonnes carried down the incline during its life. Denniston existed purely for the mine with a less than hospitable climate. Today only two of the houses have permanent residents from a population of 1,500 when it was a mining town.  A little ditty by anonymous:

Damn Denniston
Damn the track
Damn the way both there and back
Damn the wind and damn the weather
God damn Denniston altogether

The Dennsiton Incline was an amazing feat of engineering taking the coal 1.7 kilometers over a 510 metre drop, with some grades as steep as 80%. The coal wagons (Q wagons) started their journey downhill at the Breakhead.

Creates Sew Slow: Denniston
Denniston tracks with the breakhead top centre

Creates Sew Slow: Denniston
Site of the engine boiler house

Creates Sew Slow: Denniston
View from Deniston Plateau, of the coastal plains of the Karamea Bight

Creates Sew Slow: Punakaiki
Walk through the bush to the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki


Creates Sew Slow: Westport
Coastal view on the drive to Greymouth

Creates Sew Slow: Greymouth
Greymouth harbour wall

Creates Sew Slow: Westport
A typical West Coast sunset

On the way home via Arthur's Pass is the Otira Viaduct, officially opened in 1999.  It was built because of the major rockfall hazard from both above and below the existing road (the zigzag) which threatened to destroy it, or damage it to a point where it was unrepairable.

The Otira Viaduct is deceptively steep with a 12% incline over its 440m span.


Creates Sew Slow: Otira Viaduct
Rock protection shelter and water bridge over the Reid Falls

Creates Sew Slow: Otira Viaduct
Otira Viaduct

Creates Sew Slow: Otira Viaduct
A bit of the old zigzag road, which now takes you to the Death's Corner lookout

The Kea is a common sight at the look-out points by the Viaduct, although their conservation status is nationally endangered.  They are very curious birds, attracted to people and fond of shiny objects. They can do great damage to cars left unattended in their habitat including removing the rubber around the windscreen.
Creates Sew Slow: Otira Viaduct
Kea, the New Zealand alpine parrot

The making

This is the muslin for my travel wardrobe Megan Nielsen Flint trousers.  I couldn't use the fabric picked out for the travel wardrobe in case they were a disaster so I chose another Liberty cotton corduroy for my first version.  Whilst I will tweak the pattern next time I make them these are very wearable and have been worn a lot this summer.

Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers
Liberty of London cotton corduroy
Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint TrousersCreates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers

I cut the medium size based on the finished garment measurements. My waist is bigger than the medium so I cut the large waistband and made smaller front darts (instead of a pleat).  I should have just stuck to the medium throughout as they are a bit baggy at the waist.  The pattern also uses a straight waistband and I will change to a curved one next time I sew these.  I am wondering about raising the top of the pants 1/2" and doing a facing instead of a waistband as I prefer a facing and the trousers are pretty high-waisted as is.  The back crotch length is also too long and I will remove at least 1.25" when I make them again.  Having worn skinny pants for many years now I was worried these would be too wide so I reduced the width by making the legs straight no extra flair down from the hip.

Some of the reviews complain about the opening pocket not being useful for anything so I continued sewing round the pocket bag about an 1" more than the pattern recommends.  There is still more than enough room to get the trousers on and off. As I only keep a handkerchief in my pockets the size is fine for me.

A small brain fade moment found me trying to make a buttonhole using the straight stitch plate on my sewing machine.  My Bernina 830 has a safety feature that stops you doing zigzag stitches (and breaking the needle) when you are using the straight stitch plate but it took me a while to realise why it wouldn't sew a buttonhole.

Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers

The only other thing I did slightly differently was I bound the inside edge of the waistband to make the inside pretty.  I am really pleased with myself because I trimmed 3/8" from the inner edge of the waistband and bound the edge with 1/4" of bias tape showing.  This meant when I stitched in the ditch of the seam on the right side it came to the edge of the binding on the wrong side.

Outfit two

You have already seen this outfit last week but I do love it and thought it was worth repeating! Megan Nielsen Flint trousers with Untouched World merino knit singlet and my United Nude Issey Miyake Rock sandals.

Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers

Outfit three

Still on the railway theme, standing by coal carriages at Granity, with my Metro shoes here is a different outfit. This dress is an adaptation of my Home Sewn World Cut, Make and Trim tee. The tee was extended to dress length using Silhouette Patterns #2010 three piece Yoga skirt. It is worn with my Untouched World Lofty merino cardigan, both of which are part of my 2018 travel wardrobe.

Creates Sew Slow: Outfit of the Day Megan Nielsen Flint trousers

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular wild countryside and coast line, I'm not surprised you visit often. The trousers have been very successful for a muslin and professional finishing inside.

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