It doesn't come with photos. It's not happy. It likely will not predispose you to take up sewing.
Nonetheless, when you have the kind of creative day that pushes up challenge after challenge - who are we kidding, they're legitimate problems once you have 10 of them, and each is predicated on the last - putting on a sweet face isn't really authentic.
I finished the Clover trousers and, right now, I'm not loving them. For a simple pair of pants (fitting was more or less done with this muslin), they sure did take me fucking forever. Like 16 hours.
Let's outline the issues:
- I either read the pockets instructions wrong (I can't bear to look at that pattern again for a while, so I can't confirm it right now), or they're unusually inserted, leaving an (interior facing) exposed raw edge. I managed to finish and invert them to get a clean finish, but only after having to chop half of them off. (Note: I don't need the pockets so it's not a fitting problem. In fact, I don't like front facing pockets right at my stomach, even if they are discreet, so I'm likely never going to make them in these pants again.) Furthermore, don't use Bemberg lining. It frays like a bitch and the fibres stick to everything. That pissed me off all day.
- I like inserting invisible zippers. Well, I like inserting them better than any other kind of closures, which means they're tolerable. But side zippers are much more finicky, apparently (this being my first ever) than back zippers. The hip curve makes them tricky to align, not to mention that they take wear differently. Given that I had to be utterly certain to get the sides to line up, it took a LONG time. 90 minutes later, I had a lovely finished product that proceeded to fall apart (at the part where the waistband unit meets the pants top) as I pulled it up. The zipper is sticky there, given the fabric bulk and join. Mercifully, the follow up zipper only took 20 minutes to insert. As I'd serged the outer seam leg of the pants (remember my last experience of that?), I had no room for error. I just decided to stop over-thinking and it went in pretty well. Also, I used tape to hold the zipper down. Why don't I do that all the time?? Basting an invisible zipper is ridiculous.
- I forgot to serge the ankle hems before assembly. I don't think the pattern instructs it, and I followed the pattern exactly, to the best of my ability, which meant I had a miserable time trying to do it once everything was put together. It's pretty nasty looking.
- But the piece de resistance of stupidity was when I inserted the zip on the left side (the opposite of the one stipulated in the pattern). That meant I had to invert all the instructions and rip apart already finished (according to pattern instructions) waist facing and waistband units. Note to self: Don't finish things till you've checked to see if you've mixed up left and right (a semi-regular occurrence). I was lulled into a false sense of security because the instructions are so clear and well presented. I know, I'm blaming clear instructions for my errors. How rude is that?
- I don't like facing. There, I've said it. If you're even vaguely off, the facing unit and the waistband unit don't align perfectly at the already inserted zip, which makes the finishing process very challenging.
- Furthermore, I think the waist finishing - while really clever and, I'm sure, beautiful if you are working with an amenable fabric, machine and a comfort level with zipper feet / aren't sewing (somewhat blind) and dangerously close to zippers that have already fucked up once - is difficult to pull off. I know the next time I try this pattern - and there will be a next time after the sew along ends (once I've had some time and a chance to see how Sarai tackles the waistband) - it will be easier as I will have seen everything twice before.
- This pattern is very well conceived, explained, and is not conceptually difficult. It does take rather a lot of dexterity for a beginner pattern. But pls., peeps. I'm dextrous and I'm not a beginner!
Sarai, in one of her posts, advises participants not to overfit. I think that's really smart advice. The pants don't need it. (Quite honestly, I think that an overfitted garment is as bad as one that hasn't been adjusted at all. And the danger of making a muslin or two, much like that of using Botox, is that sometimes we don't know when to stop.)
The other reason for trying again is that, despite everything, I have a really gorgeous finished product. The pants are totally flattering. If not slimming, and I suspect they are, they totally make the most of one's assets with their streamlined design.
Over and out.