I made these on a total whim after flicking through the Nani Iro Atelier book. I was already working on one of the dresses from it, but was drawn to these simple tapered linen trousers and had some perfect RK Brussels Washer linen (Ocean – isn’t it a dreamy shade) sitting in my stash, so decided just to cut them out and give them a whirl (particularly since they can be made in a day, no problem). I bought it in a sale from Fabricworm and I think they got some more in.
As you have probably noticed, I’ve been on a linen/gauze kind of kick recently. The overriding reason for this is because next week we’re going to Virginia for a couple of weeks’ holiday and we’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing, so it seemed like the ideal time to plan a mini-linen wardrobe! Everyone keeps going on about how cool and swishy it is to wear. I have to admit I’ve never got on with RTW linen much. It never seemed to fit me well, no matter how thin or curvy I was. But now I can SEW it! Woohoo!
I’ve already made the Maya top and my Wiksten shift. I’ve started the aforementioned Nani Iro Atelier dress N and now quickly zipped up these trews. I’d like another top, if poss, have a Zadie jumpsuit cut out and am even contemplating a skirt or shorts. The lovely thing about these garments is that they’re all rather simple and quick to sew – you can really let the fabric do the talking.
Okay, so these trousers. I really like the shape of them. They’re described as tapered, but they’re a little more voluminous that what I would think of as tapered. More of a “mildly wide”. Either way, I think they’re a rather elegant width than can be dressed up or down with ease.
The Nani Iro Atelier book was recently translated to English, and I already had the Japanese version. To be truthful, I bought it being doubtful that I would actually fit into any of the patterns, being of greater proportions than the average Japanese lady. However, many of the patterns have a ton of ease and I was actually dithering between the L and the XL for these trousers. I have no idea if the patterns were sized up for the English version, but I don’t think so. If anyone knows otherwise, let me know in the comments.
I made the XL, which is touted as being for a 33 to 43-inch waist – the 43-inch being the full width without any cinching from elastic. If you use the elastic length as recommended you will get the 33-inch waist, but of course you can adjust as you need. It was fairly fitted on me at the waist (in these pics the trousers are fresh out of the dryer), but of course the linen relaxes pretty quickly and becomes much more pliable within a day or so. I would say there’s a fair bit of leeway size-wise if you use a similar fabric.
Construction was mostly straightforward. They are Japanese-style instructions with detailed pictures and supplementary notes, rather than a list of instructions. The result is much the same though, and I found them easy to follow. I managed to NOT forget to add the seam allowance on this pattern, but was zipping along with construction so fast I completely blanked on the interfacing for the waistband and the stay tape for the pocket edges. I just managed to squeeze the interfacing on before I sewed the waistband, but it was too late for the pockets, so they are a bit wavy. I would recommend you add a stabilizer, as instructed, to avoid this.
I will say that some of the seam allowances are quite small: you use a 1/16-inch seam allowance at a couple of points. I found it doable, but if you wish to avoid this and be more precise, you might want to take a look at instructions c) and d) in advance. Also, a note on pattern layout: it shows you need to cut two back waistbands, but you only need one.
The trousers have a short flat-fronted waistband and the rest is gently elasticised. I like this treatment a lot, but I didn’t care for the instructions here. The book instructs you to sew the front and back waistband together, attach the elastic at either end of the back waistband and then fold in half and sew the waistband to the body, WHILE stretching the elastic to fit. I did not get a neat finish. I find that part of waistbands finicky even without adding elastic to the mix. I much preferred the instructions for the similar waistband in the Palisade Pants, in which you attach the waistbands separately, adjust the elastic to your comfort and then stitch the two together. I think I will use that next time.
And yes, I think there will be a next time. These are nicely shaped trousers that are sewn up in a jiffy and they fit me well. I made no adjustments at all. The pockets are neat and the whole silhouette is rather sleek. One area I do usually have to adjust is the crotch rise. I compared this pattern to my Named Alexandria pants pattern and, interestingly enough, the back crotch was almost identical. The front, however, was slightly longer on the Nani Iro pattern and I feel I could reduce it by half an inch or so next time (see photos above). The main reason I point this out is that I tend to lengthen the crotch rise on pants, so if you don’t do so – or have to reduce them sometimes – I would definitely take a look at that before you cut the legs out.
Overall though, I can recommend these as a great little summer project in linen, and I daresay they would work in something slightly heavier for spring or winter too. Have you made anything from the book and how did you like it? I’m keen to try a couple of the other patterns too! Bye for now!