Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Houndstooth Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers

After my last post reviewing a project made from a sewing book I've got something else a little out of the ordinary from me today; a project from a sewing magazine! These are the Jasmin Trousers from the latest edition of Fibre Mood. Each edition of the magazine contains around 14-15 sewing and knitting patterns, some with multiple variations. When browsing through those included with issue 9 the Jasmin Trousers jumped out as effortlessly chic and wearable and also interesting to sew with that paper-bag style waist and belt.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

From afar they look like a solid purple/grey colour but they are in fact made with a black, red and ivory houndstooth wool suiting from The New Craft House. My original plan was to use some pale pink linen but I was worried that the wrinkly, rumpled nature of linen wouldn't suit this paperboy style. I felt like it needed something a little sleeker with a tighter structure that would hold the shape well. Then I remembered this suiting which I've been eyeing up for ages! I was considering buying some to make some BHL Jackie Trousers (and realised that it IS in fact the fabric used for one of their samples!) and also really loved Rosie's version of the Utu Pinafore made up in it. Luckily they are still shipping during the pandemic and had some left in stock. All of the fabric at The New Craft House is deadstock (left over from collections by local designers) so you can shop knowing you're doing your bit for the planet too.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

I would call this a medium weight suiting fabric as it has thickness and some body but it still retains a nice drape and movement. It is beautiful quality. I washed it in the machine on a gentle 30 degree cycle and pressed it with a medium iron and it has come out lovely and smooth. I did fin using a clapper beneficial to get nice flat seams as the fabric has a bit of bounce to it. I'd already assembled my PDF pattern and was therefore able to figure out that you need much less fabric than the instructions suggest if you are making one of the smaller sizes. I managed to get these out of 1.5m of 160cm wide fabric. I added interfacing to the top edge of the front and back pattern pieces which is folded down to make a facing along the waistline. I felt like that paperboy waist could benefit from a bit of structure to create nice crips pleats. If you need to do that too depends slightly on your fabric choice. I also interfaced one side of the belt to help that retain a nice shape and not go too floppy.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

I initially got on really well with the pattern (apart from the measurements all being supplied in cm which always throws me off a little!). I really liked the layout of the instructions and preparation information. It was all very clear. I thought the instructions were thorough without being overwhelmingly so. I think they've got them just right. I particularly liked the use of colour in the illustrations to make it really clear what was the right and left front when assembling the fly and where the interfacing goes. On the pattern pieces themselves there are different shaped notches in different places which I've never seen before and is an interesting technique to avoid confusion. V-shaped notches, single notches and double notches.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

The only thing I did find confusing about the pattern pieces themselves is the marking of the seam allowance, so you have a line marking the stitching line and a line marking the raw edge. Once you've got all the sizes overlaid that is a lot of lines and notches to get muddled between! I've never used pattern pieces to check the size of seam allowance, always used the instructions so this seams a little unnecessary. The markings for the tailors tacks were also a little hard to identify for the different sizes but I managed to figure it out! EDIT - I've just been informed that it is possible to print just the size you need using the layers feature of the pattern download and you can remove the extra seam allowance line too if you like. You will need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader to do this which I didn't!

 I did feel like some of the marking points referred to in the instructions were missing from the pattern pieces (in particular for the fly and on the front pieces for the pockets) and would be interested to know if anyone else found this too? EDIT - the pattern has now been amended to include the missing markings. Also on the list of supplies there is a snap but no mention of applying it in the instructions that I could see. I presumed this is for the waist above the zip as it felt like it needed something to hold it closed there.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

As I discussed in my last post I haven't made many garments from books because I find tracing off patterns from the overlapping and very confusing pattern sheets very confusing! It is the same with sewing magazines. However, the beauty of Fibre Mood is that all their patterns are available to download and print off as PDFs too! I'm sure the process of assembling the PDF takes just as long if not longer than tracing but the more familiar PDF process just feels easier to me. The option to buy the PDF of the pattern is great if you don't want the full magazine and some patterns are available in paper format too!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

I cut the size 10 and then took a little more out of the back darts to make the waist more of an 8. If you're going to take the waist in like this I'd be hesitant about taking in too much as the fly zip is quite short and so you might struggle to get the waist over your bum to put them on! Speaking of the fly, I found the method a little confusing as it was unfamiliar and you have the facing to deal with and the result isn't perfect but wearable. I had to use a purple zip as that was all I had and lockdown means no zip shopping for me!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

Every time I've tried out a paper-bag style waist before it has felt quite bulky and unflattering but the waist of this is nice and controlled and they feel really chic. The instructions have you hand tack the pleats and darts down along the waistline after you have pressed them to one side so everything sits as it should. I didn't get on with the instructions for the pockets at all and am not particularly happy with the finishing of them. This fabric frays quite a lot which made these fiddly bits even more frustrating. I resorted to hand tacking my pocket bags in place too to get them to sit correctly when the trousers are worn. There's also a little bit of hand stitching involved in the fly and turn ups, all well worth the effort to get a beautifully finished garment. If I make these again I'll probably shorten the belt by about six inches or so and possibly take a little off the length for a more cropped look. I might also rethink some of the construction techniques and do my own thing with the pockets or omit them altogether.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House

There's something about this combination of red and black houndstooth and the gold d-rings paired with this style of trouser that says 1980s power dressing to me! Never thought I'd want that in my wardrobe but I love it! The d-rings I ordered from Stoff & Stil (along with some upholstery fabric of which they have a beautiful selection!) who are also still shipping as usual during the pandemic. The package took about a week to come from Denmark which I thought was pretty great. I chose to use a red thread to match the red in the houndstooth as weirdly this was the colour which blended in best.

The t-shirt I'm wearing I've never blogged about despite having sewn the pattern up multiple times now! It is the Basic InstincT from Sasha at Secondo Piano and has become my absolute go-to t-shirt pattern. It ticks so many boxes for me after years of trying out tee patterns and failing to find one I really loved. The slim but not fitted cut, crew neck and neat little short sleeves are all winners for me.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fibre Mood Jasmin Trousers in Houndstooth Wool from The New Craft House
Ruby really wanted to get involved in this photoshoot haha!

The making of these trousers was not all plain sailing and there were points when I got a little frustrated at not being able to achieve the finish I would like but the end result was worth it. They are a beautifully cut pair of trousers, they fit lovely around the waist and seat and hang really nicely. I think they'd be really cute cut off into shorts. I will definitely be trying more Fibre Mood patterns, purely for the pattern cutting! In this fabric they have a slightly masculine tailoring, Katherine Hepburn vibe which I am really enjoying dressed down with a t-shirt and trainers like this. The neat fit at the waist and generous cut around the hips and legs is SO comfortable. These are going to be so useful for work when practicality and comfort are key but I also need to look professional and presentable.

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