Spring Rain trousers and jersey

The Theme:
The lovely Sarai over at Colette Patterns hosts a twice-yearly colour palette challenge. I wasn’t organised enough in my sewing to take part in the last one, so when I saw she was hosting another one for fall, I thought, hey, lets give that a go! You never know, it may help me get some things in my wardrobe that actually go together. Just for the novelty of it.

It even ties in with this week’s Sew Weekly challenge, which is to make something in your fall palette. To quote Mena:

“As we did last Spring, we’re playing along with Colette Pattern’s Fall Palette Challenge. Make a mood board with your Autumn/Fall inspirations and get sewing in that palette”

Since I’m down in the southern hemisphere, I thought I’d do what the other girls down this side of the world are doing, and translate the fall challenge to be a spring challenge. Yay!

I’ve already posted about my palette for spring – a mix of pinks, red, blue and grey. Last week’s Gatsby shirt fit nicely into the blue section of that palette, and I’ve got a bit of pink on the go for next week (exciting!), so this week it was the turn of the red and grey shades…..

The Facts

  • Fabric: around 2 metres of charcoal grey pinwale corduroy, with a bit of stretch in it. No idea how much it cost – perhaps around $6 a metre, at a guess?
  • Pattern: Butterick 4705
  • Year: unknown, but I’m guessing mid 1970’s
  • Notions: 18cm dress zip (approx $3), a tiny bit of iron-on interfacing for the waistband, and a vintage button from my great-aunt’s button stash
  • Time to sew: 3.5 hours
  • Will I wear them? Yes, I expect I will. I’ve been needing some me-made trousers for a while…
  • Total cost: around $15, perhaps?


  • Fabric: around 1m of red synthetic knit, once again been in my stash for so long I have no idea how much it was, maybe around $5?
  • Pattern: self-drafted
  • Notions: none
  • Time to sew: around 45 mins
  • Will I wear it? I expect so
  • Total cost: perhaps $5?

The Story
I actually tried making this trousers pattern up back for the 1970’s challenge. I spent four hours carefully making it from a lovely black lightweight denim, only to discover that the crotch depth was completely wrong on me. *sob!* I’ll have to hunt out a friend with the right measurements for those…. (If you’re a size 30″ waist and aren’t particularly tall, let me know if you want a pair of black 1970’s style pants, folks.) Ever since then, I’ve been meaning to try making this pattern up again. I will not let a pattern defeat me, no siree!

The fall palette challenge was a good excuse to break out the trouser pattern again. I’ve been needing some me-made trousers (they’ve been on my to-make list for quite some time now) and with the shorter length tops I’ve been making recently, I really did need some waisted pants. To tie in nicely with the palette challenge, some dark grey pinwale corduroy was calling out my name.

I made a couple of alterations to the pattern – I lengthened the crotch by 1″ in front and back (2″ extra in total! Yes, I’m tall), and added a couple of inches to the hem as well.

As for the top – my original thought was to make a red cardigan, but then it just morphed into a top with a wide waist band instead. (I’ll admit it – I got a bit carried away with the rotary cutter and accidently made the top too short – hence the wide banded jersey instead of a cardigan.) It’s a nice lightweight knit fabric, so should be good coming into spring. (Assuming it ever gets warm enough to wear it, that is – I spoke to my mother on the phone this evening and it’s snowing down at my parents place. Again. We’ve had non-stop rain all day here today instead. Hence the name of this outfit – it’s for spring, and there was too much rain to go outside for photos.) I think the jersey is a bit more 1970’s style as well, which matches the era of the trousers. (And clashes nicely with my newly-dark-pink hair.)

The Verdict
I must admit, I’m not 100% happy with these trousers. I think due to the bit of stretch in the fabric, they’ve turned out a little bit big – I could comfortably take them in about 1.5″ at the waist. They’re not too big to wear though, thankfully! I’m debating what to do about the extra width – with a contoured waistband and the extra stitching I always put through the seat of a pair of trousers (lets face it – that’s the last place you want the stitching to go), they’ll be a bit frustrating to take in. I think I’ll wear them out for a day and see how I feel after that. They’re very comfy to wear – the corduroy is nice and heavy and soft, it’s almost like wearing dressy pajama pants. 🙂

I do like this pattern though. I’m a big fan of contoured waistbands – they just sit so much better, especially when you have a sway back. And now I know how much to adjust the crotch length by, I can see myself making these up a couple more times.

The jersey is simple – nothing overly exciting, from a pattern I’ve used countless times since I drafted it up about 13 years ago. I know it so well I just make alterations to it on the fly and it takes me less than an hour from pulling the pattern out of the drawer to pulling a finished top over my head. Gotta love that. 🙂 I’ve made it quite short, as I’m planning on wearing it with a few of my dresses and higher-waisted skirts.

I added a bit of fun at the waistband. Since the corduroy was so heavy, I didn’t want a double layer of it adding bulk at the waist, so I pulled some fabric out of my scrap pile instead. Now I’ve got pretty Kowhai flowers on the inner waistband! Very springtime, in my opinion. 🙂 And it makes me smile whenever I look at the inside of the trousers. I love little hidden details like that.

The Photos
Since it’s been raining here all day, we had to get some indoor photos. Steve felt like playing around with the nighttime settings on his camera, hence the back lighting from the hallway. Yep – another boring photo shoot in my lounge, just like last week. Hopefully we’ll get outside again next week and get a more interesting background to look at!

Steve got me to do some spinning and “wiggling” (as he put it) so he could test the nighttime portrait settings. Which resulted in some fun (and slightly odd) photos, like the one below with a central section of my hair missing-in-action….

Oh, and have you seen the Celebrate Color series over on Stitched In Color? They’re having a three-month-long celebration of colour, with competitions and prizes and posts. I do love me some colour. 🙂

5 responses to “Spring Rain trousers and jersey

  1. Nice one Kat! Great idea re the waistband, and the Kowhai is a really sweet print!

  2. Love these pants – they look super comfy 🙂 I also love the waistband detail – so fun that you have flowers on the inside!!

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