At last I have made a pair of wearing out in public type trousers. It took me a whole day because I underestimated the amount of sewing involved - significantly. I used this tutorial from Laupre.com. I have admired this style of wrap around trousers for some time. The first time I saw them was a festival and they intrigued me. When I found the tutorial for "wrap around pants" I knew that I would make them, especially as the tutorial was entitled "easy breezy".
I bought around 2.5m of a cotton linen mix fabric from Fenwicks' a couple of weeks ago. I love how soft and breathable this fabric is. It creases much less than 100% linen and is more substantial than 100% cotton. I wanted this fabric as I thought that whilst it would be cool enough for Summer, especially in this style, it would also be warm enough as the Summer merged into Autumn. I chose a zingy pale citrus colour, which is a shade that appeals to me more and more as time goes by. I'm attempting to move away (a little) from only wearing purple and teal and even made a conscious effort to put down the purple specs when I got some new ones last week.
Anyway, back to the trousers. I made the mistake of only buying one spool of thread, and I ran out before I had time to hem them. So I hemmed them by hand with a neutral thread, so it wouldn't show. I can't decide if I will change this when I get some more thread, as all the other seams have two rows of stitching 1" apart, to hold them in place and give a nice crisp look. This double row around all the hems may be why I ran out of thread!
I used ties made from the fabric as I had enough length to cut 2 strips of 4" x width of fabric. These ties are just long enough to wrap around the waist twice, which means I don't have long tails hanging down. I folded and pressed the fabric like bias binding and then cut them in half to give four ties. The cut edge was inserted in the hem of the waistband and sewed firmly in place. The lose end of the tie, was the selvedge which had a nice soft fringy look, so I stitched just inside the selvedge to add a little more strength and left it in place.
However, I think that I made the sides too wide, well at the waist anyway. I like the look of the wide legs, which looks almost like a long skirt, but I think when I get the new thread I will either add darts at the waist or cut strips off the width, at either side. There is plenty of overlap on the legs, as you can see below, so it shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully I'll still have nice wide legs despite the reductions.
As you can probably see from the very unflattering picture of my backside, my bum is significantly larger than Laupre's. After putting on the trousers last night I bent over and felt the seam give a little. So I added extra room at the back seam, rather than having front and back seams being identical.
Hopefully there is now enough ease round my backside, that I won't burst out of the seams when I sit down. But just to make sure, I sewed another row of stitches in the seam allowance, just to give a little extra security!
I plan on wearing these out and about today so I can get a good idea of what other changes may need to be made, but over all, I like the style and I am really pleased with the fabric choice I made. I'm quite proud of my first proper trousers.