Blue Jeans, White Shirt… | Colette Clover


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.

Colette Clover Trouser


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!

Colette Clover Trousers 2

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.


Clover Jeans Pattern Alterations



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!

colette clover jeans collage

Colette Clover Trousers 3

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?

33 responses to “Blue Jeans, White Shirt… | Colette Clover”

  1. These look absolutely amazing on you, a perfect style for your slim figure. Your pattern diagram and explanation adjustments are so very very helpful, so thankyou.

  2. Just found your website through pattern review and I enjoy it immensely. I love to spy on people doing high end sewing and this is a wonderful place to do so. Thanks for sharing your skills. This is the kind of thing that is most inspirational and instructional for me. Outstanding work!

    • Hi Melody, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I am so pleased you like my blog! I just spent ages looking at yours! Your photography is stunning and where you live looks soo beautiful! Cute doggys too! Xxxx

  3. Adorable! Looks so spring-like!

    Thanks for all the fitting tips – I hadn’t heard the one about removing at center front for baggy crutch, and then adding it back in at the sides if necessary. Will give that a try!

    I’ve made this pattern 3 times, but my initial fitting process was just to pin it out on my body, LOL! Much less scientific!

    • Thanks Gail! I am beginning to get really fed up with Winter weather now- obviously it’s showing in my projects! Hehe!
      Yep the centre front trick can be REALLY helpful if you are having fitting issues in the crutch area!
      I really love your blog! I have favourited your fleecy hat on ravelry as I definitely want to try one for next Winter! :o) Xx

  4. It has never occurred to me that I could make the pants higher above the waist line! I will now be doing this to all my trousers. Thank you for sharing your alterations. Even though I am a size 14 I can still use your ideas just with different measurements.

    Great work! The pants looks lovely!

  5. I’ve just discovered your blog and am a little bit in love with it! Those trousers look great on you, I love the styling!
    I’ve never made trousers but am tempted to try, the info on your alterations is really useful and makes me feel like maybe I could manage to make a pair of trousers fit me after all.

  6. Aw thank you soo much Fiona! I’m so glad you like my blog! :o)
    Oooo yep definitely give trousers a go! They are so quick once the fit is sorted!
    I was just reading your blog and looking at your pinterest and I basically wanted to repin everything from your sewing inspiration board! Hehe!
    How amazing that you work in costume! Must be one of the best jobs ever!! Xx

    • I am pretty lucky with my job 🙂 i get so inspired for my own sewing every day! And also very envious of some of the amazing costume makers I get to see work. I hope one day I can sew as well as they can! You’ve got some pretty amazing sewing skills, your camel coat is gorgeous.
      I love Pinterest. It can be a little dangerous though as I have far too many plans for sewing projects and not enough time! x

      • Hehe- oh dear! Yep your brain must be buzzing with constant ideas, I hadn’t thought of that!
        I have only just joined Pinterest, maybe it was a mistake; too much inspiration and not enough time is already a big problem of mine!

  7. Oh wow! Best clovers on the internet, hands down!! You’ve inspired me to dig my copy of this pattern out.

    I found yr blog via the Colette Patterns pinterest board – all your projects look amazing, so professional! I’m curious if you’re self taught or if you’ve studied fashion? Your finishing is impeccable!

    Will definitely continue following you. Oh and let me know if you find a good source for stretch denim 🙂


  8. Ah thanks soo much Tara, that’s such a compliment! I’m so pleased if I’ve made you want to make them! 🙂
    Unfortunately I didn’t study fashion- I wish I had done! I’ve been sewing for years and a few years ago I did some short courses in patterncutting and draping on the stand at London college of fashion. They were only week long courses but the best thing I’ve ever done! Soo worth it!
    Oooo and I actually did find some denim! I ordered a sample of this:
    and its really nice mid blue denim with 2% spandex! Perfect for the Clovers!
    Let me know of you do make some! The quilt on your blog is gorgeous- I would have done the blocks all the same way too!

    • Ahh thanks for the link – I’ve not come across that website before. Its SO handy that they list the fabric content up front rather than having to click through to find out its all wrong. I haven;t started my muslin yet and with a tiny baby sewing time is hard to find, so it might be a while before I have a finished item to show – but I’ll keep you posted. x

  9. This is brilliant – thanks so much for taking the time to explain the alterations you made on the Clovers. I’m in the process of finishing my first muslin and can already tell I will have to deal with a few fit issues. We have very different body types (I’m old! and not so slim) but I think a few of your alterations will come in handy. Your Clovers look awesome on you!

    P.S. If it makes you feel any better, getting fabric in Canada can be a major issue as there are few suppliers and shipping costs form the U.S. are very high so I can totally sympathize with your etsy purchase from Finland.

  10. Aw thanks Andrea! What colour are yours going to be?!
    It’s so frustrating when you can’t find the fabric you have in mind isn’t it! My hope is that now sewing has become more popular again more fabric shops will gradually appear! Have a good weekend 😮

  11. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my Sabrina dress!

    Never mind my dog being cute. Look how cute YOU are! And your Clovers are so utterly perfect. Grrr. I tried that pattern and just couldn’t get it right. I will have to live without it!

    But yours look fabulous!

    I’m afraid I don’t know about the stretch mid-blue denim thing. My problem was the other way around. When I wanted some non-stretch (same colour) about a year or so ago, I could only get stretch. When I asked why, I was told no one wanted non-stretch denim any more! Hehe!

  12. Aw thanks!- really don’t think I can compete with a super cute little pooch tho!
    I hate that- when you love a pattern but it just doesn’t love you back! I had the same thing with Colette Ceylon- it seems to looks so good on so many other people but it looked so wrong in so many ways on me there was nothing to be done! C’est la vie I guess!
    Ha- so typical about the denim! I have spied some non stretch mid- blue in John Lewis and Fabrics Galore recently if you’re still looking!? Xx

  13. OMG!!! I love these!! I just muslined the pattern last weekend but I think I cut out a size too large. I’m definitely going to try out your method of making the waist higher. Totally inspired, thank you!

  14. Can’t wait to see these in candy pink! I would love to turn this pattern into a Tried N’ True pattern, but I’m so new to sewing, I won’t be braving pants any time soon. But will certainly refer to this post when I do! Love the higher waist too. Thanks!

    • Thanks Krista! Yep pants/ trousers are a little intimidating but this is a nice pattern when you do decided to try them 🙂

  15. […] The little tailoress – such a lovely blog, Ami has such a beautiful, elegant, and dare I say it ‘british’ style? I think she’s basically a more stylish, blonde version of Kate Middleton! Such beautiful clothes, and she makes me want to try a pair of colette clover trousers! […]

  16. I was just looking at this pattern on Colette’s website and I had to come look at your adorable trousers! I just ordered some stretch denim in periwinkle and tangerine from a website here in the US and I think this may be the perfect pattern for it 🙂 When I do make them up your fitting information will be very helpful, thanks!

  17. I’ve been looking at Collette patterns and really like these pants. I have a hard time buying pants because I have slim hips and an apple belly. My hips are a size small and my middle is a size large … so maybe I should learn how to sew my own trousers. I have never tried to sew anything this fitted before…only dresses, and that was 20+ years ago. But it does say “beginner” on the pattern!

  18. love these jeans!!

    as you live in london, i always go to shepards bush!! theres about 8 fabric shops in a row. i have had many trips there to find denim and a few have a large selection of demin, pink purples and all shades of blue, and the majority are stretch!

    hope this helps 🙂

  19. How cute! and love the way you explained your alterations so clearly!! im having such a hard time with crutch wrinkles! :/ 🙁 im gonna try to remove More (since i already did lol) fabric from the center from & hopefully ill fix it soon!
    xoxo Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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