The new Design Your Wardrobe has started and I’m planning to take part again and try to come up with a few A/W outfits. In the meantime, I haven’t quite finished my original S/S collection and this is one of the main takeaways from the first time round: I was a little ambitious! 🙂 I came up with ideas for 6 different outfits and I think 3 would probably be a better number, given the way my plans change and other garments crop up over the weeks.
I’m trying to finish off the last few items for the first collection, give or take a couple of small garments, as most of them are still relevant to be honest. Now that I look back on what I came up with, it’s really more of a spring/autumn wardrobe than a summer one – and that is also a useful revelation!
The Alexandria trousers by Named Patterns are the last of the “bottoms” I had to make (the others were the Cleo skirt, Ginger jeans and Teddy trousers, the latter of which I haven’t blogged yet). They are the simplest of the trousers and I’ve admired them for a while. They have the peg leg tapered shape of the last season or two that I rather like at the moment and an elasticated waist, which always makes fitting a much simpler task.
The design detail that Named has added to these otherwise straightforward trousers are two pleats along either side of the waist. The first is midway between centre front and pocket, while the second is more unusual and extends back to cover up the pocket opening. I was slightly wary of the old pleats/full tummy combo, but I really like the finished effect. It elevates the design just enough while still remaining casual.
One lovely thing about these trousers is that they are designed to be made in either woven or knit fabric, which obviously changes the feel of them. I opted to make this first pair in a cotton poplin from the Gertie range at JoAnn Fabrics. It’s probably a little crisp to be the ideal fabric for the pattern, but I thought the retro style of the black and white jacks would suit the peg leg style of the trousers. The fact that the shape is good in a fabric that has less drape than recommended for the pattern bodes well for other iterations – one thing I especially love about this particular poplin is that it appears not to crease during the day – me likey!
I went for a size 14 in these trousers and removed 3 inches from the length. Named drafts for a taller model than my own 5′ 6″ and I do have slightly shorter legs proportionally, but in actual fact, I probably should only have removed about an inch or two in the end and will probably add it back in next time. I took a 1/2-inch hem (instead of 3/4-inch) to compensate slightly. I rather like the rear view, which is not always the case for me in trousers, so well done Named!
The instructions are good, with clear illustrations. The pockets go together well and are different to pockets I’ve made before, with a separate corner piece, which is attached to the inner pocket bag. This seems to provide a little more “give” around the hip/tummy area, which I very much like and they are a fantastic depth too. All-round great pockets.
The only fiddly bit of this construction is understanding where the pleats go, but if you make sure you remember to notch your waist pieces you should be ok. Named also has an online tutorial for the pockets and pleats to deal with any trickiness, so make sure to check that out if need be. I omitted to use the drawstring with this fabric and kept the elastic reasonably loose, so the trousers sit nicely at high hip.
The whole sew only took me a few hours during the course of an evening, so it’s a fast project. I would make a few tiny tweaks next time: lengthen the leg again as above, add a bit of height to the waistband and perhaps a tiny bit more room in the calves. After wearing them a few times I may have a couple more, but for now I’m pretty happy with them! I really fancy both a flowy rayon challis or rayon twill pair and a relaxing knit pair.
A solid pattern from Named! By the way, I wouldn’t normally be showing off my belly button on the school run, but I wanted to show the whole trouser for the pics. Here’s the alternative view! 🙂