A little flurry of blog posts before August hits us, but I wanted to sneak this one in as it’s the #sewmystyle project for July and this project was one of the ones I was most looking forward to in the challenge calendar. I eyed up the Lander trousers pattern when it was released, saw some of the lovely versions around, and so was pleased to see it make its appearance in this challenge list. I decided to make the shorts as a wearable muslin as I’d seen quite a lot of the same issues cropping up on the #sewmystyle page and was pretty sure some of them would apply to me.
One thing I had noticed about the True Bias Landers, even months ago, was that lots of versions looked a little strained at the tummy, where the button fly is situated. The exposed button fly is quite a distinct design feature of the Landers, so I wondered whether it was just because it’s a button fly, if they were wrinkles after wearing them, or whether the ease was, in fact, a little skimpy in that area. As Lander examples started to come in on the #sewmystyle Facebook page, quite a number of people mentioned the need for full tummy adjustments, which led me to think it was maybe a drafting feature, rather than wear and tear, as it were.
As you can see from my finished shorts toile, the need is real. My popcorn machine is overflowing and busting at the seams. Well, it’s maybe not that bad, but I do indeed need a little FTA, amongst other things. To be fair, I finished them in the evening of a hot day, after an afternoon of feasting, so it could be that in a week’s time they’ll fit me a little better there (or even tomorrow morning to be honest), but I suspect a little extra will be required anyway. The waistband and hips are perfectly comfortable and, in fact, I chose the size 16 to make because it’s actually a touch larger than my measurements. From what I’ve read and experienced myself, I would say the pattern runs a little small, if you’re asking.
As I’ve already half-intimated, there is also a specific shape to the shorts. The hip measurement is slimmer (or closer) in proportion to the waist measurement than other patterns I’ve made. I think it’s fair to say this gives them more of a “straight” shape than other shorts and a few of the sewists participating in #sewmystyle have commented on this aspect. From what I’ve seen, this has resulted in quite a number of people grading out at the hip, or letting out the seams. Interestingly, the patterns allows a one inch seam allowance at the seams, as if anticipating this may be required. The other big adjustment I’ve seen is using a curved/contoured waistband rather than the straight pattern piece provided, but more on that later. All patterns are different, of course, and some adjustments are to be expected, but hopefully this will give you some clues on the Landers own parameters.
Anyway, I’m totally writing this blog post in reverse. I should tell you first that, should you have been hanging out under a rock, or on a year-long sabbatical in Papua New Guinea, that the Lander trousers/pants and shorts were released by True Bias last year. They’re described thus: “With a high waist and button fly, the Lander pattern is not only on trend, but also flattering and comfortable for all body types. The pattern includes front and back patch pockets, belt loops, and a straight fit through the legs. View A is a short with a 4” inseam, View B is an ankle length pant, and View C is a boot length pant that can be worn with a heel.”
Despite me jumping right in with fitting adjustments, I can tell you that these trousers/shorts have been insanely popular. I think a lot of this has to do with the general design. The finished product is very professional looking with just the right level of oversized pockets and great proportions. And, adjustments aside, I really do love the finished shorts. They feel good and really look like a well-finished RTW pair.
The instructions are also very good – there is a good sewalong on the True Bias website, but I never needed to bother with it. The shorts go together surprisingly fast, and it’s a satisfying sew. I had forgotten how quick a button fly was in comparison to a zipper fly and the illustrations were particularly good in this section I thought.
I made my shorts as a wearable muslin, so used some bright Cotton & Steel quilting cotton, which has a popcorn design. As I’m sure you know, C&S always have distinctive and fun selvedges, and in this case there was an almost-border print popcorn carton design. I was trying to figure out how to incorporate it and suddenly thought – huh! I’ll use it for the belt loops! I think it turned out pretty fun. The QC might crease like crazy, but so far, so good!
I felt that the waistband piece came up a little short, so had around a quarter inch on each end, rather than half and inch, but it worked okay. I also came a cropper sewing on the buttons by hitting them with my needle not once, but twice! Whoops!
For another iterations there will be other adjustments as well as the full tummy adjustment. I will add a little extra in the crotch rise (particularly the back side) and height. These are normal adjustments for me as I’m rather long-hipped and a high-waist is never a high waist on me, with a few rare exceptions. I have a bit of gaping in the back of the waistband, despite the tummy tugging, and, as mentioned above, this seems to have been another common result for the sewists of #sewmystyle. Many suggested drafting a contoured waistband using this tutorial and to fix the problem temporarily with a little elastic, as espoused by Lauren on Lladybird right here. I shall do both!
My button placement was kind of crappy and I didn’t have much room to shift them about as I used buttons that were a little larger than recommended. Thanks to my “making your bum look good” lessons as part of the Ginger jeans-making process, I know that I’d like to raise the back pockets up and in, and that will make my big ‘ol buttocks look less flat and wide. Finally, I used a 3/4″ hem rather than one inch on the legs and I would actually increase that further next time. That is, I would like to add a little more length in the legs – maybe an inch or so.
Whew! I really like the pattern and I think with these tweaks I’ll have close to a pretty perfect pair of shorts. The nice thing is I can then just lengthen them and get a couple of pairs of trousers too! Since recommended fabrics are heavier non-stretch bottom-weights, this is going to be perfect for autumn. Yay!
That’s it from me today – up next everyone’s favourite read – a complete wadder! Talk to you later!