Colette Clover is such a FAB trouser pattern! I love, love, love 60s style trousers- even more so after watching Celia rock them in ‘The Help’.
I just think the high waist, slim leg and no fly-front combination is soooo elegant and flattering. By the way- for those of you who haven’t read / seen it ‘The Help’ is a fantastic book/film! I definitely recommend it, although I would try and read it first if you can.
My plan for these had always been primarily as blue jeans. I am a BIG jeans wearer and have wanted some in this vintage, feminine style for ages. I have never found any to buy and so whipping my own up seemed like an ideal solution until I stumbled across the small issue that you CANNOT buy any mid blue, stretch denim in England.
I bought this pattern last summer and have only just made it up for that very reason! It is literally nowhere to be found- and I live in London! The odd bit of indigo or black crops up but good ol’ mid denim blue. Nada. In the end I ordered mine from Finland through Etsy. Very odd but there you go!
If any of you have ever found a source in the UK please leave a comment below and enlighten me!
I decided to make up version 1 but omitted the little pockets in the waistband as I just wanted a completely smooth finish in this area and also didn’t really think I would personally use them anyway as I’m not a big pocket girl!
Luckily I still had the lilac cotton stretch twill in my stash that I had picked up last summer to use as toile fabric for these. It was only a £4 a metre from one of the shops (I forget which) on Goldhawk Road which is obviously more than I would usually pay for toile fabric! Alas, it was imperative to use something that was the same composition as the fabric these would finally be made in (ie, 2-3 % spandex) and therefore an unavoidable cost.
I made these up in the Colette 0 and then pinned my alterations and transferred them back to the paper. Then I made up a toile of the altered pattern, tweaked the fit on those and then transferred the additional changes back to the paper and traced off a fresh paper pattern!
I have included a diagram below of all my adjustments. I thought this may be handy for some of you to see as the ONLY difficult thing about this pattern (and most other trouser patterns for that matter) is getting the fit right.
Strange fitting related problems tend to present themselves with trousers (largely in the crutch area!) and it can be hard to see exactly what needs changing in order to address them! So I thought I would explain what I changed where and why.
1&2 BODY LENGTH: I wanted the trousers to sit higher on the waist than they did so I slashed the pattern above the crutch and spread it 4cm. Then I reduced the spread at the centre front so that this was only spread 2cm. This meant the trousers sat the right point on me the whole way around the waist.
If you wanted the trousers to sit lower on the waist than the pattern you could slash and overlap here instead.
3&4 LEG LENGTH: Because I am petite the knee of the trousers was too low down on me so I slashed the leg below the crutch and overlapped it 3cm (the solid pale blue area shows where the pattern piece is overlapped).
You could slash and spread at this point on the pattern instead if the trousers are too short on you.
5&6 BAGGY CRUTCH: I removed 1.5cm at the centre front seam and 2cm at the centre back seam sloping back to the original line before the crutch point.
This is an important change to make if the trousers aren’t fitting well around the crutch. Even if the trousers fit you overall you can still remove fabric here and add the same amount back on at the side seams in order to remove unattractive bunching in the crutch area which is a result of too much fabrics at the centre front and centre back seams. In my case this served two purposes- both eliminating this bunching and reducing the size of the trousers overall.
7&8 LEG WIDTH: The trousers were baggier on the legs than I wanted so I removed 2 cm from the front and back side seams. In my case I sloped this line up to remove just 0.5cm at the waist on each seam. I needed to remove less at the waist as I had already removed fabric from the CF and CB seams at this height. If you wanted to make the trousers looser on the leg you could add width to these seams in the same way.
9 CURVY DERRIERE: I have quite a curvy bottom so trousers that fit me over the bottom tend to gape at the back. Increasing the size of the dart contours the trousers back in at the waist and stops this gaping occurring.
I also needed to lengthen the dart as I had lengthened the body of the trousers.
10, 11& 12 WAISTBAND: The amount removed from the waist of the trousers needs to be removed from the lower edge of the waistband so that the two still match.
I personally didn’t remove as much from the upper edge of the waistband as I am not that curvy on the upper hips so I needed the trousers to have a more gentle curve.
For those of you with more curves you may need to remove the same or more from the upper edges of the waistband.
To alter the waistband slash and overlap the required amount. (the solid pale blue areas on the diagram are where the pattern pieces are overlapping)
DOTTED BLUE LINES: The dotted blue lines on the diagram are where I smoothed out curves on the pattern after making adjustments. This is an important step. You can either use a french curve or just do this by eye if you feel confident enough.
I hope some of this info proves handy to those of you having your own fitting issues with trousers/pants.
If you are encountering a problem that I haven’t mentioned here please feel free to leave a comment below and I can see if I can help!
The great news is that once you have these fitting they are SUPER speedy to sew up- a few seams, bit of over-locking and an invisible zip and you’re done and dusted!
I love these trousers so much and they are so comfortable. I have ordered some Candy pink stretch denim so plan to whip them up in that before the spring arrives!
I think these would be great in black too- very Audrey-esque!
Have you tried the Clovers yet? Do you like making trousers?